The Amazon,
Rio de Janeiro and Iguazu Falls



Experience the highlights of Brazil, from the adventure of the Amazonian rainforest, to the lively streets of Rio to the spectacular drama of Iguazu Falls!

Visit a rustic jungle lodge to see Pink River Dolphins and an amazing array of colorful birds. You'll see the sights of Rio de Janeiro, touring its colonial legacy, visiting the surrounding mountains for amazing views and soaking up the sun on its world-famous beaches. And you'll never forget the cascading waters and monstrous roar of Iguazu Falls. Through an amazing cross-section of the country, you'll truly discover the vibrant, colorful culture of Brazil.

Day 1 Rio or Sao Paulo to Manaus
Upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo, we meet you at the airport and connect you to your flight to Manaus, on the Amazon River. Once in Manaus, settle into Hotel Tropical before beginning the day's excursions.

As the capital of Amazonas, the largest state in Brazil, Manaus was the center of the lucrative rubber trade in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You'll visit the sights of this busy port city, including the grand baroque-style Opera House, built during the height of the rubber boom. The mooring line at the docks is also an interesting sight – it is supported by giant buoys that rise and fall with the level of the river, which varies drastically with the seasons.

Day 2 Manaus to Acajatuba Jungle Lodge
After breakfast, we'll begin the 50-mile (80 km) journey down the Negro River and up the Acajatuba River to Acajatuba Jungle Lodge. On the way, you'll pass the famous Enconta das Aguas – the Meeting of Waters – where the black waters of the Rio Negro meet the milky coffee-colored waters of the Rio Solimões. The waters flow side by side, but do not mix for miles.

Once at the lodge, you'll enjoy a welcome cocktail and have a chance to settle into your room before lunch. After we eat, we'll go on a canoe tour of the forest creeks and river tributaries that surround the lodge. In the evening, we'll go out on the river to spot caiman by flashlight in the warm Amazon night. B,L,D

Day 3 Acajatuba Jungle Lodge
We start the day with a sunrise walk through the forest, with breakfast following. After breakfast, you will go on a guided trek in the Amazon forest, stopping to visit a native home and small village to experience the way life of the local people.

After returning to the lodge for lunch, we'll head out onto the water to fish for the abundant piranha. On the way you might spot river dolphins, known locally as botos, and enjoy a beautiful Amazonian sunset as well. B,L,D

Day 4 Acajatuba Jungle Lodge to Manaus
In the morning, visit a river beach on the Rio Negro. We'll return to the lodge for lunch before beginning the return journey to Manaus, where we'll arrive in the late afternoon. Dinner includes a special treat – the bumba-meu-boi show, one of Brazil's most traditional folkloric festivities. This show, which incorporates elements of theater, musical performance, dancing and acrobatics, developed in the late 18th century amidst the swirl of cultures present in Brazil, from African to western European. B,L,D

Day 5 Manaus to Rio de Janeiro
A morning flight takes you to Rio de Janeiro, where you'll be met at the airport and taken to your hotel near Copacabana Beach. You'll have the day at your leisure to explore the city – stroll the mosaic-lined beach promenade or head to Ipanema Beach. B


Day 6 Rio de Janeiro
Spend the day on a city tour, starting in Rio's historic district. Visit the Baroque Church of the Candelaria, built by the Portuguese in the late 1700s, the Saint Benedict Monastery, and other treasures of colonial architecture.

Later, we'll visit the famous Pao de Azucar – Sugar Loaf Mountain – and board the cable car for a stunning ascent to the top and fantastic vistas of the city, beaches and Guanabara Bay. After lunch, take the train through lush forest up Corcovado Mountain, atop which stands the giant statue of Cristo O Redentor – Christ the Redeemer – towering 2000 feet over the city. In the evening, we'll return to Rio proper for dinner at a classic rodizio, a Brazilian steakhouse, and we'll be entertained by a Samba show at the Plataforma, the most spectacular of Rio's Samba shows. B,L,D

Day 7 Rio de Janeiro to Iguazu Falls
The morning is free for you to enjoy Rio on your own – go shopping, take a ferry ride to nearby Niterói or Paquetá Island, or just enjoy a good meal and a drink at a local cafe.

In the afternoon, return to the airport for your flight to Iguazu Falls. These magnificent falls form the border between Brazil and Argentina, cascading from the Iguazu River into the Paraná.

Overnight at Hotel Tropical das Cataratas B

Day 8 Iguazu Falls
Spend the day at the spectacular Iguazu falls! Higher than Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls, these cascades are one of South America's wonders. In the morning, we'll tour the Brazilian side, walking the paths overlooking the falls and cruising the Iguazu River in boats for unforgettable views.

In the afternoon, cross the border to Argentina for views of the falls from the other side. We’ll hike through the surrounding rainforest, looking at parrots, parakeets, hummingbirds and toucans, as well as getting vistas of a different perspective on the falls.

Evening brings a traditional Brazilian barbeque – churrascaria – and a traditional dance show. B,D

Day 9
In the morning, you'll have the chance to relax and take one last look at the falls before heading to the airport and returning to Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo. B