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Iconic Brazil

Soak up the sun on an immersive tour of Brazil’s southern coast before an intrepid Amazon voyage.

Itinerary & Prices

11 Day / 10 Night - Iconic Brazil
itinerary map

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.

Meals (X)

Rio Beach with palm trees
Location
Rio de Janeiro
Day
1 / 11

Iconic Sugar Loaf and Corcovado

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.

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.

Meals (B)

Sugar Loaf with Cable Car
Location
Rio de Janeiro
Day
2 / 11

Rio's Atlantic Rainforest

Today, we head to the Tijuca Forest National Park, one of the largest urban forests in the world, and a rare strand of Atlantic rainforest which is now nearly extinct. The trip is done partly in a 4 x 4 vehicle and partly on foot. There are two ways of entering the park and we opt for the less well-known route as the better views can be found on this road. Our first stop is at a lookout known as the Vista Chinese due to the oriental-styled pagoda-like gazebo. From here we get spectacular panoramic views of the south of Rio de Janeiro before rejoining the more well-trodden path and arrive at the second entrance to the park.

Once past the Açude da Solidão, (the secondary entrance to the forest), we make a stop at the famous Tijuca Waterfall Cascatinha, a waterfall so beautiful it almost looks like it has been designed and admire the natural beauty of the water cascading down from the rock. After driving a bit further into the forest we begin a short trail of around 30 minutes which allows us to really appreciate the rarity of a jungle forest within the confines of a city! After finishing our trail we still have time for 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 day’s excursions with a short tour of the traditional Cinelândia Square and its historical buildings.

Meals (B)

Tijuca forest creek
Location
Rio de Janeiro
Day
3 / 11

Brazil's Beautiful Beaches

Today we pick you up at your hotel and transport you to the coastal town of Búzios. Armação dos Búzios often referred to as just Búzios, is a resort town and a municipality located in the state of Rio de Janeiro and to the east of the city of the same name. It is known as a sophisticated vacation destination with numerous beaches, the most famous of these being the Ferradura, a picture-perfect emerald horseshoe-shaped bay perfect for water sports, and Geribá, a popular surf spot.

At night explore the nearby village of Rua das Pedras a bustling town with restaurants, bars, and lively locals.

Meals (B)

Buzios coastline Brazil
Location
Rio de Janeiro to Buzios
Day
4 / 11

A Boat Tour of Buzios

Today we head off on a whistle-stop tour of the surrounding islands and beaches. In order to best take in all of the little beaches and island retreats, we take you on a catamaran trip. We head to the northern side of the peninsula and take in no less than 12 beautiful beaches. Whilst it would be impossible to stop at everyone, we do make three separate stops allowing you to bathe, snorkel and swim. All equipment is provided so all you need is your swimsuit! The order of the beaches is as follows and the stops are also highlighted: Armação Beach – Caboclo Island – Orla Bardot – Ossos Beach – Beach Azeda & Azedinha – João Fernandes Beach (stop 1) – João Fernandinho Beach – Ilha Branca – Ilha Feia (stop 2) – Tartaruga e Tartaruguinha Beach (stop 3) – Virgens Beach – Praia dos Amores and Praia do Canto.

Aside from the scheduled stops, you will also be able to take advantage of the two glass windows situated on either hull. These windows can be used to spot sea life as they give you a clear view of the bottom of the sea. Keep your eyes peeled for sea life as you flit between the islands that Brigitte Bardot made famous to European visitors. Known as the St. Tropez of South America, it is easy to see why with the beautiful bays, white sands, and warm aquamarine water.

Meals. (B)

Islands and atlantic ocean buzios
Location
Buzios
Day
5 / 11

From Buzios to Manaus

We pick you up from your hotel and transfer 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.

Meals (X)

blue water with boat buzios
Location
Buzios to Manaus
Day
6 / 11

Cruise Embarkation

AM: All aboard, we will make a brief meeting to explain the navigation procedures, as well as the itinerary to come. We begin to sail to the East, where we can see the coastal area of Manaus, the beach of Ponta Negra, the dome of the Amazonas Theater, the favelas, the Adolpho Lisboa Municipal Market, the colossal engineering work of the Floating Port, and more. We continue sailing through the Rio Negro and continue to the ecological reserve of Lake Janauari, where there are floating houses.

PM: Lunch will be at a floating restaurant, where you can enjoy Amazonian cuisine and local handicrafts. After lunch, we will walk along a suspended walkway, from where it is possible to play with the wild monkeys and observe various other species of animals and plants, including Victoria Amazonica, the famous Victoria Regis. The climax of the day is still to come. It is when we follow the spectacular natural phenomenon, unique in the world, the Meeting of the Waters. Miles of waters of two rivers, Negro and Solimões, running side by side without mingling. A real natural spectacle! But the day is not over yet, and we will still visit a floating house where there is a creation of the Giant Pirarucu, an icon fish of the Amazon. Back on board, we will go up the Rio Negro towards the West, watching the setting sun. At dusk, we will arrive at the Reserve Palmeiral, the gateway to the National Park of the Anavilhanas Archipelago. There, we’ll settle down for the night.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Acqua boat navigating brazil
Location
Manaus to Acqua Amazon Cruise
Day
7 / 11

Reserve Palmeiral, Tucano Village & Ariaú River

AM: The first activity of the second day is an adventure on land. The walk in the forest at the Palmeiral site is an excellent opportunity to get to know up close the life that exists inside the Amazon forest. We will enter the forest, learn about the species of plants and large trees that live there, as well as insects and special animals of that forest. We will discover the Rubber Tree, from which latex and rubber are extracted. This product is responsible for much of the economic and social development of Brazil during the rubber boom. While walking through the forest, accompanied by an experienced forest guide, you will also be presented with some survival techniques for the jungle.

PM: Our next stop is Aldeia Tucano, where you will meet an indigenous tribe native to the region and learn more about their customs and rituals. To feel the Amazonian welcome, the Pajé, chief of the tribe, will welcome us with a presentation to the sound of tribal flutes and dances with the participation of the Indians men and women of the tribe. After the warm reception, to refresh ourselves, we can go to Lake Acajatuba to take a shower with the Pink Dolphin. These friendly dolphins live in freedom in nature and are familiar with human presence, approaching when they offer them fish. The tour continues towards the Ariaú River, where the film Anaconda was recorded. In this area, it is common to observe animals such as spider monkeys, sloths, fisher-birds, parrots, among others. In case of night, a motorboat trip can be made, focusing with a lantern in search of animals like hunting eagles, herons, gypsy-birds, alligators, among others.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Location
Acqua Amazon Cruise
Day
8 / 11

Ariaú River & Tucumã Lake

AM: Dawn of the day on the Ariaú River, enjoying the beauty and the aspect of nature at dawn. During this period, it is possible to observe some species of animals that are more active at the beginning of the day. We leave for a ride on a motorboat to observe the typical fauna and flora. Among some common animals to watch are the monkeys, the sloth, the monkeys, parrots, herons, fishermen, gypsies, among others. On the banks of this river, one can also enjoy the view of the largest tree in the forest, the giant Samaúma.

PM: We continue towards the National Park of the Anavilhanas Archipelago, an area of 350,000 hectares with more than 650 groups of islands. In the dry season, it is possible to enjoy groups of islands. In the dry season, it is possible to enjoy the white sandy beaches and cool off here. Before the end of the day, we will still explore the archipelago region in the motorboat.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Blue and Gold Macaws
Location
Acqua Amazon Cruise
Day
9 / 11

Tucumã Lake & Mucuras River

AM: Let’s start the day with a walk in the forest, near Lake Tucumã, to observe the flora and fauna of the Negro River region. In the course of the trail, we will arrive at a stream with a small waterfall. A charming place where you can take a bath and cool off in those delicious waters. In the end, we will return to the boat and head towards the Mucuras River. Depending on the water level, it is possible to stop and bathe on the white sandy beaches that appear in the dry season in the Anavilhanas archipelago.

PM: Arriving in the Mucuras River, we will do a canoe trip, to observe the fauna and flora of the magical igapó. This immense igapó (flooded forest), unites the basins of the Mucuras and Cuieras River. The place is little frequented, being the scene of some local legends and also the habitat of the feared electric eel. Let us observe wild animals from land and air, like some very beautiful birds, toucans, and macaws. At night, we can continue the canoe trip to hear the sounds of nature.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Orchid in bloom
Location
Acqua Amazon Cruise
Day
10 / 11

Disembarkation

AM: Early morning to enjoy the sunrise. The experience of seeing the day brightening, within the Amazon Rainforest, is a unique sensation of peace. We will start the navigation back to Manaus. Depending on the level of the water, we can make a stop to take a bath on some beach or in the Arara waterfall.

We will return to the boat to collect the bags. A speedboat will take us to the land, where a car will be waiting for the transfer to Manaus.

Meals: (B)

Location
Return Home
Day
11 / 11
1 / 11

Accommodations

Hotel Options

5 Star

Sheraton Grand Rio

Rio de Janeiro
Boutique

Vila da Santa

Búzios
5 Star

Juma Opera

Manaus
Pool overlooking the Amazon river