This 10-day luxury ‘Amazon Rainforest Rio De Janeiro private tour’ includes a helicopter ride over Rio and an Amazon cruise. Starting in Rio, visit the statue of Christ the Redeemer, take a cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain, board a helicopter for a unique perspective of Rio from the air; stroll through the Botanical Garden, and see the highlights of the city. Then head to the Amazon and explore the historical jungle city of Manaus. Cruise through the Anavilhanas archipelago and the rivers of the watery forest, spot exotic wildlife in the jungle, meet an indigenous community, and swim with pink river dolphins. This tour is an experience you will never forget.
Rio City Tour
Your Rio de Janeiro private tour begins with a ride on the historic train, up to the 2329-foot peak of Corcovado mountain for a close-up experience of the colossal statue of Christ the Redeemer, which not only stands tall as the iconic image of Brazil but is also counted among the seven man-made miracles of the world. Be blown away by the incredible view.
Hang out and watch the people and the action on the famous Copacabana Beach, and visit the Maracanã, the most iconic football stadium in the Americas and a place steeped in sporting history. Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral and the world-famous Selaron Steps, the vibrant colors of which have transformed this area of Rio into an artistic masterpiece. Enjoy a short tour of the traditional Cinelândia Square and its historical buildings.
Helicopter Ride and Botanical Garden
Take the exciting cable car ride to the famous Sugarloaf Mountain, and board a helicopter for a scenic flight over Guanabara Bay with views of the Corcovado & Christ the Redeemer statue and the famous beaches. Finally, spend a few hours walking through Rio’s incredible Botanical Garden, a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve and a true ecological sanctuary. Learn about its history and mission. See exotic flowers and plants such as the giant Amazonian water lilies, as well as animals and birds, including monkeys and toucans.
Transfer to the historic jungle city of Manaus and learn about its rise and fall during the rubber boom era. Visit the Amazonas Theater, which is lauded as one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world. See the Largo de São Sebastião, one of the city’s main squares, the Provincial Palace and the State of Amazonas Art Gallery. Explore the Municipal Market, the colonial architecture of the city, the Rubber Museum, the floating port area of Manaus, and the Rio Negro Palace.
Your Amazon Cruise
Step aboard your eco-friendly boutique houseboat for your wonderful Amazon cruise that will take you up the Rio Negro and into the heart of the Anavilhanas nature reserve, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, blue aras, macaws, and sloths. Head out in the dinghy to get closer to the surroundings, meet the “caboclos” who cultivate manioc.
Trek through the jungle and learn the secrets of medicinal Amazonian plants. Enjoy a magical and refreshing dip in one of the astonishing cascades, and swim with pink river dolphins.
Please note all of the featured excursions, activities, and accommodations on this luxury tour can be tailored to suit your taste and time availability in accordance with your personal wishes. All are private tours and transport with a private guide, with the exception of the cruise portion, which is on a shared basis with other passengers unless you wish to charter the whole boat.
Itinerary & Prices
Welcome to Rio
We arrive in Rio in the form of a private transfer and straight into the beating heart of the samba rhythm of Brazilian life. Rio is known for its warm, friendly people, its beaches, and Carnival, but the city is rich in myriad ways and any trip to Brazil requires Rio to form a strong part of the itinerary.
Situated along the coast and with a string of beautiful beaches (the most famous being the Copacabana) this seaside city has sun, art, culture, and no shortage of fantastic visitor attractions. Although often thought of as the capital city, Rio has not been the de jure title holder of that honor since 1960, but it is very much the de facto hub of Brazil as far as tourism and outright beauty are concerned. Rio is home to dozens of beaches, all set along the spectacularly lush coast which is home to dozens of tall islands that dot the sea.
When in Rio we recommend visiting some of, and if not all of the following places: Sugar Loaf, Corcodova, Tijuca Forest, the city center, and last but by no means least, a traditional Brazilian steakhouse, or Rodizio.
Corcovado Tour & Maracanã Stadium Visit
After breakfast, we embark on a trip to visit Corcovado Mountain. We take the cable car from Cosme Velho Station and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. Our journey takes us through the dense Atlantic rain forest of Tijuca and offers us a wonderful opportunity for a closer look at the forest’s lush tropical vegetation and to enjoy the scenic landscapes of the beaches and city. Perched on top of the 2,300-foot high granite peak of the aforementioned Corcovado, the Cristo Redentor is as famous a landmark as there is globally. While everyone will be familiar with it, not everyone has the chance to visit it up close and personal and appreciate just exactly how immense and imposing it is. Built between 1922 and 1931 in the art-deco style of the era, the statue is an enormous 100 feet high and the outstretched arms are only a few feet shorter.
From there we wind down with a trip to one of Rio’s most famous beaches and a stroll along the seafront. We take you to the world-famous Copacabana beach and enjoy a spot of every Brazilian’s favorite beach pastime: People-watching. Here you get a chance to watch the hive of activity that is the Copacabana with people swimming, bodyboarding, sunning themselves, playing volleyball, footvolley or beach soccer.
Lastly, ask any ardent futebol (pronounced fuchebol) fan which is the most iconic stadium in the Americas and they would instantly tell you it is the Maracanã. Originally built for the 1950 World Cup held in Brazil and completely renovated in 2013, the stadium has now a 75000-seat capacity and was the stage of the World Cup final in 2014. The Maracanã continues to attract football fans from across the globe and it is a place steeped in sporting history, from the footprints in the concrete of footballing legends to the grandstand, the very locker rooms used by none other than Pele to the museum of football
Meals (B, L)
Sugarloaf & Helicopter Flight
We begin today with a panoramic tour of downtown and a visit to the Metropolitan Cathedral which was built in a pyramidal form with an internal diameter of 96 meters and a height of 80 meters. We head on to the world-famous Escadaria Selarón, also known as the ‘Selaron Steps’, a wonderful colorful staircase comprising of some 215 individually mosaiced steps. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people”. We end our morning’s excursions with a short tour of the traditional Cinelândia Square and its historical buildings.
In the afternoon we head on to the Aterro do Flamengo and the neighborhood of Urca and the site of the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain. You will travel all the way to the top in two steps by cable car. The first cable car takes us to Urca Hill, a vantage point some 215m (nearly 700 feet) high, from where we can enjoy fantastic views of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niterói Bridge and Corcovado Mountain. The second leg of our cable car journey reaches the top of Sugar Loaf and from here we get a whole new set of views of such sights as Copacabana beach, the Santa Cruz fortress, and several beaches of Niterói.
In the afternoon, we board a helicopter and set off from the Sugar Loaf helipad to gain a unique view of the following attractions from the sky: The Red Beach with a view of the Sugar Loaf, Copacabana Beach, and Copacabana Fort, Pedra do Arpoador Rock, Ipanema Beach, and Leblon Beach.
Morning at leisure & Botanical Garden
It should come as no surprise that a country the size of Brazil, and one with the largest part of the Amazon rainforest within its borders should be home to one of the finest botanical gardens in the world. Here we have access to an immaculate collection of diverse Brazilian and foreign flora. There are around 6,500 species (some endangered) distributed throughout an area of 54 hectares (130 acres) as well as numerous greenhouses. The garden also houses monuments of historical, artistic, and archaeological significance. There is an important research center, which includes the most complete library in the country specializing in botany with over 32,000 volumes.
The first greenhouse at the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens was built in 1890. It was made of wood and was an octagonal shape. In the 1930s, the greenhouse was remodeled in glass and iron, more in the style of a traditional English glasshouse. Today the Orchidarium includes the glasshouse and the whole area that surrounds it, and it is home to, amongst other things, an orchid nursery with over 3000 plots of orchids. We have lunch here before transferring you back to your hotel to enjoy the rest of your evening.
Meals (B, L)
Into the Amazon
We pick you up from your hotel to take you to the airport for your flight to the jungle city of Manaus. Manaus is located right in the middle of the world’s largest rainforest and was founded when the Portuguese needed a base from which to defend their claim on the surrounding area from the Dutch who were based in what is now modern-day Suriname. Manaus became known worldwide as a city in the 19th Century with the Rubber Boom, and at the time was amongst the richest cities in the world.
These riches prompted extravagant spending, and a series of one-upmanship from rubber barons left a legacy of marble-clad buildings and huge estates that soon fell into disrepair once the rubber boom ended. Modern-day Manaus is a testament to this fascinating period in South America, and any visit to the Amazon in Brazil should include a stay in Manaus in order to understand modern-day man’s impact and interaction with the surrounding rainforest.
History of Manaus & Rubber Boom
We begin with a visit to the Amazonas Theater, the best example of construction that encapsulates the extravagance and opulence of the rubber boom era. Better known in English as the Opera House, this astonishingly grandiose building fell into disrepair for many years, but now once again hosts operas from all over the world. Home of the Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra, it was listed by Vogue Magazine as one of the most beautiful Opera Houses in the world. From there, we take a short walk to visit the Largo de São Sebastião, one of the city’s main squares, followed by a tour through old Manaus and Paço da Liberdade.
The next stop on our trip is to the rubber museum, where we get to see firsthand where rubber is loaded onto boats and shipped around the world. At the Rubber Museum, we can visit the workshops and warehouses where rubber was collected, processed, and stored. Our next stop is the Provincial palace and the State of Amazonas art gallery, followed by a quick stop in a museum full of artifacts from the area. We take a slightly livelier turn next and visit the Municipal Market, named the “Adolpho Lisboa”, a building as colorful as the Amazonian fruits, spices, and souvenirs sold there. En route, we pass several fantastic examples of Colonial architecture, particularly the buildings of Alfândega and Guardamoria. We end our day by making a visit to the floating port area of Manaus and a visit to the Rio Negro Palace and a stroll back to our transport via the water’s edge.
AM: Enjoy breakfast in your hotel and spend the morning at your leisure, before meeting us this afternoon at the cruise port, for the beginning of your long-awaited Amazon cruise!
The Captain and his crew welcome you aboard where everything has been planned for your well-being, according to your preferences and choices as they have been previously discussed.
PM: Getting together for lunch (or a collation depending on your hour of arrival) with the Captain, you will learn about security guidelines, the journey program, planned stopovers, regional specificities… Then, next stop, the heart of Anavilhanas nature reserve, the “Três Bocas”, for your first boating day: cozily set up in a deck chair or a hammock, you observe the Rio Negro banks. Watch out for swimming dolphins, the elegant flight of blue aras, macaws, cute sloths, and other hosts with feathers, hair, or scales that inhabit this reserve. You will even get closer to them during a kayak ride or a swimming party in the river.
Depending on the season, the captain will drop anchor in an exclusive area that has been chosen for you (a desert beach or a peaceful bay according to the level of river water) for an enchanting evening under a magnificent starry sky.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Exploring Rio Cuieiras
AM/PM: After a charming breakfast listening to the song of aras, macaws, toucans, and all other singing birds of the forest, you will join the Rio Cuieiras. You will embark upon the dinghy for an even more intimate 1-to-1 with the surroundings, reaching out to “caboclos” that cultivate manioc, a precious staple food in Brazil.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Rio Negro, Jaraqui & Jungle Trek
AM/PM: You slowly sail down the Rio Negro to Jaraqui where natives will guide you through the jungle for a 1-hour educational trek during which the secrets of medicinal Amazonian plants will be revealed to you. On your way (depending on the possibilities offered by the season), you will be at one with the forest during a magical and refreshing swim in some astonishing cascades that are nestled within an island of luxuriant greenery.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Today we will go in search of the playful pink river dolphins. Probably the most loved of all Amazon river creatures, this is a unique species never joins the sea. You are free to swim with them, and these curious “botos” will welcome you in 30-degree water for a magical, unforgettable encounter. We’ll then visit a “Ribeirinha” community of Acajatuba to learn about their customs and lifestyle.
Afterward, you will disembark in Manaus, ready to head to the airport for your departure flight.
Meals: (B, L)