The Pantanal – Our Signature Journey
This signature journey is designed to combine culture, nature, relaxation, wildlife and adventure. After a few days exploring Rio de Janeiro you will spend time wildlife-spotting in the wetlands of the Pantanal and couple of days at the magnificent Iguassu Falls before ending with a stay in the lovely colonial town of Paraty on the southern coast.
Highlights: Rio de Janeiro – Iguassu Falls – Pantanal – Paraty
Number of Days: 15 Days
Accommodation: Choose value, mid-range, upper or premium accommodation according to preference and budget.
Costs: From £2,739 pp excluding transatlantic flights.
Days 1-4: Rio de Janeiro:
• Day 1: Arrival transfer to your hotel; 3 nights’ accommodation.
• Day 2: Excursions to Sugarloaf Mountain and to Corcovado Mountain.
• Day 3: Free day to explore Rio de Janeiro. Please contact us to arrange additional excursions.
• Day 4: Departure transfer to the airport in time for your flight to the Pantanal.
Rio de Janeiro has the most spectacular setting of all South American cities with an unbeatable combination of mountains, rainforests, lakes and miles of golden beaches. Rio de Janeiro is home to both samba and bossa nova and with their easy-going spirit and relaxed style you will find a warm welcome from locals, in true carioca style.
If you would like us to arrange other excursions or activities in Rio, such as a helicopter ride over the city, a tour of the Maracana stadium, a visit to a samba school to see rehearsals for carnivals, cooking lessons or a course on Brazilian cocktails please just let us know. During your stay we recommend a visit to the Museum of Tomorrow in the revitalized Docklands area of the city and to the Selaron Steps at Santa Teresa.
Days 4-6: Iguassu Falls:
• Day 4: Arrival transfer from the airport to your hotel; 2 nights’ accommodation.
• Recommended tour: Brazil side of the Falls.
• Day 5: Excursion to the Argentine side of the Falls.
• Day 6: Transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Cuiaba or Campo Grande (depending on which lodge you are staying at).
The Iguassu Falls are truly one of the spectacular wonders of the natural world. They consist of 275 separate falls and form the border between Argentina and Brazil. Iguassu National Park is home to tapirs and capybaras as well as more than 1,000 types of butterflies and over 300 species of birds, including green woodpeckers, birds of prey, toucans and egrets.
A stay of two nights allows plenty of time to see the falls from both sides. It is easy enough to arrange additional excursions such as a helicopter flight over the falls or a boat trip locally. As an alternative to visiting the markets in nearby Paraguay, we recommend a visit to the Itapu Dam which produces enough hydroelectricity to power southern Brazil (including the mega-city of Sao Paulo) as well as the whole of Paraguay.
Days 6-10: Pantanal:
• Day 6: Arrival transfer from Cuiaba or Campo Grande to your Pantanal Lodge;
3 nights’ accommodation, all meals at the lodge are included.
• Days 7-8: The Pantanal Lodges tend to include some excursions (usually early morning and evening).
• Additional excursions or special activities may incur extra costs locally.
• Day 9: Departure transfer from your Pantanal lodge to Cuiaba or Campo Grande.
• Overnight at a local hotel.
• Day 10: Transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Rio de Janeiro
The Pantanal is one of the world’s greatest wildernesses right in the centre of South America, and combines elements of Amazon rainforest, Brazilian savannah and the Paraguayan Chaco. The Pantanal offers fantastic wildlife-spotting including your best chance to sight jaguar as well as giant anteater, capybara, tapir and a myriad of bird species. Your gateway to the Pantanal will either be Campo Grande or Cuiaba, depending on which lodge you are staying at.
Days 10-15: Paraty:
• Day 10: Arrival transfer from Rio de Janeiro airport to Paraty.
• Day 11: Free day in Paraty.
• Day 12: Recommended excursion by boat in the bay of Ilha Grande.
• Day 13: Free day in Paraty.
• Day 14: Free day in Paraty.
• Day 15: Departure transfer to Rio de Janeiro airport in time for your flight home.
Paraty is a beautiful coastal town in the bay of Ilha Grande which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2019. Paraty is characterised by narrow streets, Portuguese colonial heritage, charming boutique hotels, fabulous restaurants and a wealth of art galleries. Vehicles are banned from the centre and passengers are advised to wear flat shoes to cope with the giant cobblestones. There are lovely beaches on nearby islands.
Please contact us to discuss extensions to the Amazon or to other places in Brazil such as Ouro Preto, Salvador, Olinda, Buzios and the coast.
Indicative Costs (excluding transatlantic flights):
Premium: From £4,297 pp
Upper: From £3,833 pp
Mid-range: From £3,071 pp
Value: From £2,739 pp
Indicative Costs are per person based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room.
Transatlantic flights are not included: we will book your transatlantic flights in economy, premium economy, business or first class according to your preference.
Domestic flights within Brazil are included in economy class. Please contact us to discuss upgrades.
Additional supplements apply for special events such as New Year, the Rio Carnival or Full Moon at the Iguassu Falls.
What’s included in the price:
All accommodation and meals as detailed; Local taxes & service charges associated with included accommodation – All transfers & sightseeing as detailed; various activities; ATOL protection; Research, sourcing, design and preparation of your tailor-made holiday itinerary and quote; booking admin and processing; The services of our local ground agent who will coordinate your stay and ensure that everything runs smoothly including access to a local English language 24/7 telephone help line.
What’s not included in the price:
Transatlantic flights; any national park entry fees which have to be paid locally; drinks, gratuities and items of a personal nature; meals and optional excursions not listed as included; personal travel insurance; passport and visa costs (e.g. costs associated with obtaining an American ESTA visa waiver, if flying via USA).
Please contact us for costs for families and parties of 3 or more passengers and for travel in 2021.
Seasons and Climate
Brazil is a year-round destination but the best time of the year for the Pantanal is the dry season, July – October. Some of the Pantanal lodges are closed in December/January when it is wettest. The Iguassu Falls will be at their fullest in March-April at the end of the wet season. Rio’s carnival takes place in the wet season (21-25 Feb 2020; 12-16 Feb 2021) with the Champion’s Parade a week later (29 Feb 2020; 20 Feb 2021). The wet season never stops a Brazilian from having fun, so don’t let it put you off either.
British nationals travelling on a full, valid British passport do not require a visa for entry to Brazil or Argentina. You should ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of arrival.
It is advisable to check your immunizations for Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A. If you have been to Africa within 3 months of arriving in South America you may need to provide proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever.
Costs in Latin America are subject to $/£ exchange rates. At present we are working on current exchange rates of 1.2932 (as at 09 January 2020) although this may be subject to change.