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Kick off with a 3-day exploration of Rio de Janeiro. See all the big-ticket sights and grab the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture. Then skip down the Green Coast for a real beach holiday experience in Paraty. It's pure paradise with deserted sandy beaches, crystal clear water and dense tropical forest. For the grand finale, tick off the majestic Iguazu waterfall from your travel bucket list. Cruise the water, feel the salty spray and cross borders to Argentina and Paraguay. Ready for a journey that takes you to experience the true heartbeat of South America? Let's go!
We use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here. Hotels are selected closer to departure date; you will receive a confirmed list one week prior to your departure date.
Hola! Welcome to your Ultimate South America trip! The journey kicks off at your hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Other than a check-in at the hotel and meeting your tour leader, the day is yours to explore. This evening, there’s a meet and greet dinner at a local Brazilian restaurant. Meet your tour leader and group in the foyer at 18:00; the restaurant is walking distance from the hotel.
After breakfast, embark on a full-day tour of Rio de Janeiro, led by a local guide. As one of Brazil’s most popular tourist destinations, Rio offers the perfect combination of sea, mountains and forests. With the assistance of the coach, drive main avenues and follow pedestrian paths on foot to explore the city at large. On the list of iconic attractions today are Christ the Redeemer statue on top of mount Corcovado, the Santa Teresa neighbourhood, and the famous Escadaria Selaron staircase. Over lunch the guide will help you to find an authentic local meal on the cheap. Tonight, head into town and kick back with a drink. Or join the optional group excursion to experience Rio’s nightlife.
Sleep in this morning and spend the day in Rio as you wish, or join the optional Rio Plus tour to explore more of the city. Sugarloaf mountain is a remarkable natural attraction and offers one of the most impressive views of Rio. Take the modern cable car all the way to the top, led by a local expert, and get breathtaking 360 degree views of the city, Christ the Redeemer statue and surrounding beaches. Then explore downtown Rio and its major cultural and colonial sights. See the Museum of Tomorrow, the Sao Bento Monastery, Kobra Mural and La Candelaria on the go. In the evening, you can head out to explore some more or stay in to relax.
Departing Rio, drive down the Costa Verde (Green Coast) of Brazil. In the morning sun, capture views of the Atlantic ocean and dense jungle stretching back miles from the coast. Disembark in Paraty, a beautiful colonial port town. Check into your hotel and set out to follow a local guide for brief orientation tour along cobbled streets and through 17th-century colonial houses. Beauty everywhere! This evening is yours to spend at your leisure. Alternatively, join in on an optional experience to dine at a local hand-picked restaurant.
The day is yours to explore as you wish - no schedule to speak of. As part of the Serra da Bocaina National park, Paraty is surrounded with steep valleys, beautiful mountain scenery, beaches, islands and waterfalls. Pure paradise for any nature-lover! You might want to take part in a 4X4 Jeep tour or a boat ride while there (optional excursions available). In the historical old town, gorgeous buildings, cobbled lanes and churches tell the stories of Portuguese colonialism. Wholeheartedly embrace this opportunity; mingle with the locals, get lost and take a dip in the Atlantic ocean. Definitely try a Jorge Amado cocktail! It's made with a rare type of Brazilian spirit, Cachaça, that one can only find here in Paraty.
This morning after breakfast we continue our journey to the mega city of São Paulo where we’ll spend one night. Welcome to Brazil’s most populous city and buzzing financial hub! Upon arrival, set out on a guided coach tour with a local guide to find out more about São Paulo. Also visit the famous Mercadão (a sprawling food market). If you like food, you’ll love this place! Spend some time browsing the fresh local products and other market foods like fruit juice and pastries, codfish and the well-known Mortadella sandwich. After a full day of exploring, settle in at the hotel early this evening. You have the option to have dinner at the hotel tonight.
Rise and shine! Take the shuttle to the Guarulhos Airport to board a flight to the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguacu. As soon as you arrive, head to the Iguaçu falls inside the Iguaçu National Park to explore! Iguaçu , Iguazu or Iguassu are all collective name for the waterfalls in the south of Brazil.
The word "Iguazú" is derived from the name the falls was once given by the native Guarani tribe. If translated 'I' means "water" and 'ûasú' means "big". This is the largest waterfall system in the world. Once inside (entry is included) you get the most incredible panoramic views of the waterfalls. There is even a pathway with viewpoints that take you to the very foot of the falls. After the tour, head back to the hotel. This evening includes a group dinner with Brazilian barbecue on the menu!
If you wish, spend today at your leisure in Foz do Iguacu. You can choose to book a thrilling helicopter flight over the falls, or visit to the bird park in Foz do Iguaçu. Parque das Aves is home to 150 species of birds, including owls, toucans, flamingoes and macaws. Alternatively, join your tour leader and a local guide on a day trip to Paraguay. Departing after breakfast, cross the Ponte Internacional da Amizade (‘International Bridge of Friendship’) over the Paraná River to enter Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. Explore a new city and country on foot as you visit the many shops and markets around. As part of the trip, visit the Itaipú Dam, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant. Also see the Monday Waterfall (Saltos del Monday) inside the lush Monday Municipal Park. The trip to Paraguay ends late in the afternoon before heading back to the Brazil side of the falls for the rest of the evening. Tonight you can choose to partake in a spectacular, world-famous Rafain show and dinner experience.
One more day in the Iguazu falls region! You have the option to join a guided tour to the Argentinian side of the Iguazu falls. This side of the border offers the incredible opportunity to see the falls up close and walk the walkways surrounding by the untamed beauty of nature. The tour includes a chance to explore the very essence of the Iguazu National park and explore the waterfalls and forest. Expect train rides (on a train powered by natural gas), as well as walks on the various wooden walkways: the Lower Trail, Upper Trail, and Devil’s Throat. It's an experience you can't quite get enough of: to marvel at the falls, hear the roar of the surging water and feel the mist on your skin. To see the most dramatic part of the falls you can join the Great Adventure optional that takes you to the foot of the great San Martin waterfall. Back in Foz do Iguacu this evening, you have the option to join in on an authentic Brazilian dining experience.
The Brazil & Iguazu Highlights tour comes to an end after breakfast this morning in Foz do Iguacu. We hope you have enjoyed your 10 day Brazilian tour. Tchau!
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