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Best of Brazil: Iguazu + Pantanal + Salvador + Rio


JRG12R
12 NIGHTS
FROM £2,595
International flights quoted separately
Explore the best of Brazil starting with the amazing birdlife of the thundering Iguaza Falls. Enjoy the varied wildlife of the Pantanal Wetlands, where you can search for the endangered jaguar and other species. Visit the spectacular city of Rio de Janeiro, before ending your holiday relaxing on the emerald beaches of Buzios. All transfers included.
Jaguars Pantanal Wetlands Brazil
• 
Iguassu Falls
• 
Rainforests
• 
Pantanal Wetlands
• 
Birding
• 
Jaguar Safari
• 
Rio de Janiero
• 
Christ the Redeemer
• 
Sugarloaf Mountain
• 
Copacabana & Ipanema
• 
Buzios Beach
• 
Iguassu Falls
• 
Rainforests
• 
Pantanal Wetlands
• 
Birding
• 
Jaguar Safari
• 
Rio de Janiero
• 
Christ the Redeemer
• 
Sugarloaf Mountain
• 
Copacabana & Ipanema
• 
Buzios Beach
Day 1
You will be met at Foz do Iguacu Airport and transferred to your hotel near one of the greatest waterfalls in the world and regarded as one of Latin America's most awe-inspiring sights.
 
The mighty Iguassu Falls, whose name means "Great Waters", straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil - although almost 80% of the falls are on the Argentinian side. It is situated in a huge tropical rainforest that has been declared a World Heritage site, with countless flora and fauna species.
Day 2
Today enjoy a half day tour of the Brazilian side of the incredible Iguassu Falls, with panoramic views of the nearly 2-mile (3 km) cliff edge. We take an elevator down to the base of the waterfalls and stop at different viewing points.
 
The volume of water flowing over the falls varies greatly by season, depending on the rainfall. The heaviest rains are from December to February, when the flow of water is at its greatest, but many trails are closed then due to the rains. The shoulder seasons of March/April and August/September are generally regarded as the best time to visit, but the falls are a spectacular sight at any time of year.
Day 3
Today enjoy a half day tour of the Argentinian side of the incredible Iguassu Falls.
 
Comprising approximately 275 separate cascades, the falls form a curtain of foaming water that crashes over a vast granite amphitheatre and into the jungle below. Resembling a reversed letter "J", most of the Iguazu River plunges down through an area known as The Devil’s Throat, with the rest spreading out over a wide shelf that splits into hundreds of different waterfalls.
 
There are a series of walkways that lead above, below and behind the falls, with breath-taking views. You can also hope to see monkeys, toucans, parakeets and other wildlife in the rainforest.
Day 4
Transfer to Iguasso Airport for your flight to Sao Paulo and connecting flight to Cuiaba.
 
You will be met at Cuiaba Airport and transferred to your hotel in this capital city of Mato Grosso state, situated in the exact centre of South America.
Day 5
Today you will be transferred 3.5-hours from Cuiaba to your lodge in the northern Pantanal Wetlands.
 
This is the world's largest tropical wetland located mainly in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, but also extending into Bolivia and Paraguay. Check into your lodge and enjoy a late afternoon walk to an observation tower and a spectacular sunset, before relaxing under the clear night skies of the southern hemisphere.
Days 6 To 7
Today is devoted to exploring the wildlife of the Pantanal Wetlands - one of the last untouched wildlife sanctuaries in the world, stretching over 75,000 square miles (195.000 sq km).
 
These vast seasonal tropical flood plains and their surrounding eco-system, which varies from Amazonian rainforest to semi-arid woodland and savanna, are home to an amazing diversity of wildlife. This includes the Brazilian tapir, one of the largest mammals in South America with a strange trunk-like nose, the crab-eating raccoon and the South American coati (nicknamed the hog-nosed raccoon because of its pig-like snout). You can also hope to see the crab-eating fox, giant otter, collared anteater, giant anteater, black-striped capuchin monkey and ocelot - a spectacular wild cat also known as the dwarf leopard.
  
On the waterways you can hope to see many caiman (similar to alligators), capybara (a very large rodent) and, if you are fortunate, an anaconda or a group of giant otters - as well as many other mammals and birds. If you are very fortunate, you may even see a jaguar, one of the most powerful of the big cats and the third largest after the tiger and lion. July to October are the best months to see jaguars, but sightings of these magnificent creatures in the wild are rare and never guaranteed.  
 
Bird watching is also outstanding and you can hope to see the Jabiru stork, Roseate spoonbill, Southern screamer as well as several species of ibis, egret and heron. Also many hawks and other birds of prey. The flora is also astonishing, with over 3,500 different species including many aquatic plants, as over 80% of the wetlands are submerged during the wet season. In the evening enjoy star gazing in the clear night skies of the Southern Hemisphere.
 
Note: All regular wildlife activities, boating and walking trails are included. Many lodges also offer included horse riding.
Day 8
Transfer 3-hours to Cuiaba Airport for your flight to Brasilia and connecting flight to Salvador.
 
You will be met at Salvador Airport and transferred to your hotel in this strongly African influenced city, whose bare-chested street performers dance to the beat of the samba drums. Check in and relax in this city known for its vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture, beautiful Portuguese architecture and splendid beaches.
Day 9
This morning enjoy a half day tour of vibrant Salvador, the first colonial capital of Brazil.
 
The historic Old Town with its cobbled streets, wrought iron balconies and slightly shabby pastel-hued buildings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The colourful Pelourinho neighborhood is at its heart, with narrow alleys opening onto large squares and wonderful baroque churches such as São Francisco, with its outstanding gilt woodwork.
 
With over 365 churches, religious celebrations play a prominent role in the local culture. Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary is accompanied by African drums, and worshippers tie ribbons to the railings to make a wish before being blessed by the Catholic priest. You can also see traditional Capoeira dancing that combines music, dance and martial arts - developed by African plantation slaves as a means of hiding their combat training. Olodum drummers also perform on the winding streets.
 
Your afternoon is free to explore the streets and markets of Salvador da Bahia independently.
Day 10
Transfer to Salvador Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Rio de Janiero Airport and transferred to your hotel in this iconic city - famous for its magnificent setting and enormous statue of Christ the Redeemer looking down from Corcovado Mountain - one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
 
Check into your hotel in the city that is renowned for its fabulous samba and bossa nova dancing, exciting carnivals and music festivals. Rio is also home to the magnificent beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Barra da Tijuca.
Day 11
Today enjoy a half day tour to one of the world’s most famous landmarks.
 
We start by boarding the cog train from Cosme Velho Station to Corcovado Mountain. Enjoy the steep 20-minutes train journey through the dense Atlantic rainforest of Tijuca, with wonderful views of the lush tropical vegetation, and scenic landscapes of the city and its beaches below. Disembark and climb the steps or take the escalators to the base of the towering statue of Christ the Redeemer - one of the 7 wonders of the modern world - and enjoy its spectacular 360 degree panoramas.
 
Afterwards we descend by cog train and drive back along Rio's world class beaches of Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana, before returning to your hotel with afternoon at leisure.
 
Day 12
Today enjoy a half day tour of the exciting city of Rio de Janiero.
 
We visit the vast Sambodrome exhibition space, where the famous Rio Carnival is held, and view the huge Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, built in the form of an ancient Mayan pyramid. We see Cinelândia Square with its historical buildings, including the Municipal Theater, the National Library and Museum of Fine Arts, and the enormous Maracana, one of the largest football stadiums in the world and the venue for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics. We also visit the colourful Selaron Steps.
 
Afterwards our tour continues as we drive past Flamengo Park, the largest public park in Rio, to one of the most famous symbols of the city - Sugarloaf Mountain. Here we travel all the way to the top, in two cable cars. The first cable car takes us to Urca Hill, a vantage point with beautiful views of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niterói Bridge and Corcovado Mountain. The second cable car takes us all the way to the top, with wonderful views of Copacabana beach, Santa Cruz fortress and the beaches of Niterói.
 
We return by cable car and transfer back to your hotel, with afternoon at leisure.
Day 13
Transfer to Rio de Janiero Airport for your flight home.

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