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Discover Brazil: Rio de Janeiro to the Amazon Rainforest

14 days Nature & Wildlife
From the wetlands and rainforests that teem with life to the bustling city streets, experience Brazil from all sides. Over the course of two weeks, alternate between carnival-colored cities and peaceful retreats surrounded by stunning, wild landscapes.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 15 - 30 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 3.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including paved roads, cobblestone streets and slippery walkways, with some hills.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 12 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 8 three-course dinners with beer

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Tour of Brazil

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Rio de Janeiro today.

Rio de Janeiro 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Rio de Janeiro

  Included meals: Dinner

Land in Rio this morning, then meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Rio de Janeiro

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, enjoy a cable car ride up Rio’s Sugarloaf Mountain, then get to know Rio de Janeiro on a guided tour.

• Halfway up the mountain, stop to take in scenic vistas of the Rio Yacht Club and Botafogo Bay

• Continue to the top of the mountain, soaking in panoramic views of the city, beaches and Atlantic ocean 

• Return to Rio to admire the city’s colonial architecture, including Carioca and Marchal Floriano Square, and visit the Metropolitan Cathedral 

Later, go behind the scenes of Rio’s biggest celebration, Carnival. 

• Visit a samba school to see where performers perfect their routines

• Head to the barracão, a workshop where artisans craft parade floats and decorations

• Enter the Sambadrome, the stadium built to house the procession of samba schools

Afterward, enjoy a free evening in Rio or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Rio by Night: Carnival Cultural Show & Dinner $139pp* Details

Indulge at the traditional Brazilian barbecue, a meat-lover’s paradise known as the churrascaria. Here, waiters make the rounds through the dining room, offering up endless skewers of freshly grilled chicken, beef and more. Authentic carioca side dishes complete the meal, meaning there are plenty options for herbivores, too. Then, feel the rhythm of the Plataforma folklore show as performers take you on a journey through Brazil’s most popular music. African percussion mixes with samba sounds as dancers perform capoeira and showcase lavish carnival dress in a grand finale parade.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $149)

Day 4: Corcovado

  Included meals: Breakfast

Head to the top of Corcovado Mountain for a guided tour of the iconic peak.

• Hop aboard the cogwheel train, taking in the rainforest landscape of Tijuca National Park as you ride up the mountain 

• See the iconic Christ the Redeemer, a colossal Art Deco statue atop the summit

• Pass Rio’s white-sand beaches, including Ipanema and Copacabana 

• Back in Rio, get a taste of Brazilian cuisine with lunch at a local restaurant

Afterward, enjoy a free afternoon and evening in the “Majestic City.”

The Pantanal 3 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Transfer to the Pantanal

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hop a morning flight to the world’s largest continuous wetland, the Pantanal.

• Journey through the expansive Brazilian savanna

• Make stops for photos and animal sightings

Arrive at your eco lodge in time for an included dinner, followed by an evening stargazing walk.

Day 6: The Pantanal wetlands

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Explore the Pantanal on horseback or in a canoe with a local guide.

• Keep watch for anacondas, jaguars, capybaras, caimans, deer and anteaters

• Join a wildlife guide on a bird-watching walk, where you’ll learn about the area’s 1,000 species

Back at the eco lodge, enjoy a relaxing dinner.

Day 7: The Clarinho River

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hop aboard a canoe for a guided tour of the Clarinho River.

• Scan the riverbanks for families of giant otters

• Try your hand at fishing for piranha

• Savor a freshly caught lunch in the Pantanal

Salvador 3 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Flight to Salvador

  Included meals: Breakfast

Catch the sunrise from the top of Heron’s Tower before flying to the city of Salvador, located in the state of Bahia. 

Later, enjoy a free evening in Salvador or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Salvador By Night: Folklore Show & Dinner $109pp* Details

Experience the brilliant nightlife of Bahia, one of Brazil’s most fascinating regions, over a delicious dinner of local cuisine. Savor Bahian flavors like coconut cream, ginger, coriander, cilantro and spicy peppers. Then, witness the deep African tradition in a folklore show that features iconic samba sounds, an acrobatic capoeira performance and a lively circle dance called maculelê.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Salvador

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Get to know Salvador on a sightseeing tour of the city. 

• Explore modern suburb of Barra, home of the continent’s oldest lighthouse

• Discover the “lower” area of Salvador and take in views of the Itapagipe Peninsula

• Stop in the Pelourinho, Salvador’s UNESCO-recognized historic center

• View the Rio Branco Palace in Tomé de Souza Square and the Sao Francis Church

• Visit the DiDá Project, an organization devoted to the development of young women through dance and cultural performance

Day 10: Cachoeira & Bahia Hinterlands

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel to the Afro-Brazilian communities in the areas of Bahia outside of Salvador.

• Begin with a visit to the farming hinterlands of Bahia, passing sugar cane plantations, colonial villages and bustling markets

• Stop in the city of Santo Amaro to admire the Church of Our Lady of Purification and the town square

• Visit a settlement for rural farmers, where you’ll learn about the history of the Landless Workers Movement

• Continue to UNESCO-protected Cachoeira, once one of colonial Brazil’s wealthiest cities. Enjoy lunch at a hacienda and a visit to cigar factory that’s been in operation since 1873

This evening, enjoy dinner with your group in Salvador. Be sure to pack an overnight bag for your adventure in the Amazon.

The Amazon 3 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Travel to the Amazon

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Manaus and continue by speedboat on a journey into the Amazon.

• See the amazing Meeting of the Waters, where the muddy Solimões River and the shadowy Negro River form the Amazon River

• Keep your eye out for pink dolphins and rainforest wildlife as you make your way to the Juma Amazon Lodge. 

• Board a canoe to observe the rainforest populations that become active at night

Day 12: The Amazon

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Set out on a jungle walk with a local wildlife guide.

• Learn about the edible and medicinal plants of the region 

• Tour the Juma Amazon Lodge to see the buildings set high atop stilts 

• Show off your piranha fishing skills and learn about local fish on a motorboat excursion

Later, your catch is served up as part of an included dinner. After dinner, take part in a discussion about Amazon wildlife with a local guide.

Day 13: The Amazon

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wake before the sun to witness wildlife on an early morning canoe excursion. 

• See the sky and landscapes change with the light, and spot local bird species with the help of your guide 

Return to the lodge for breakfast before setting out on a jungle excursion. 

• Head out on a canoe ride with a local wildlife guide, catching sight of birds and monkeys along the riverbanks 

• Stop to enjoy a lunch of regional cuisine cooked over a fire

• Visit the home of a native family to learn about local culture, with an emphasis on medicinal plants and the production of manioc flour

• Learn how latex is extracted from rubber trees

Later, head back to the lodge and say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

Day 14: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast

Ride a speedboat back to Manaus. Take the afternoon to relax before continuing on to the airport to board your plane home.

(Please note: Depending on your final destination, you may spend the night in Miami and arrive home on day 15.)

Add Iguassu Falls Starting from $999 pp

The thundering Iguassu Falls is one of South America’s most awe-inspiring natural attractions. Witness the epic splash of 275 cascades surrounded entirely by subtropical paradise.

Overnight Flight 1 night Hotel info

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Iguassu Falls today.

Iguassu Falls 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Iguassu Falls

  Included meals: Dinner

After landing in Iguassu, you may have time to visit the falls, or just relax until it’s time for your included Brazilian barbecue dinner.

Day 3: Iguassu Falls

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set off for Iguassu National Park, home of the spectacular Iguassu Falls. 

• Walk through tropical paradise to the observation deck for panoramic views

• Hop aboard an inflatable boat for a ride through Macuco Falls Canyon

• Marvel at the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the falls from your boat

Day 4: Free day in Iguassu

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Iguassu Falls on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Itaipu Dam & Tropical Bird Sanctuary $79pp* Details

Often described as an engineering marvel, the Itaipu Dam was a joint construction project between Brazil and Paraguay. The scope of the structure has to be seen to be believed—construction required the movement of 50 million tons of earth and as much iron and steel as could build 380 Eiffel Towers. Then, experience some of Brazil’s natural splendor on a walk through the Iguassu Falls Bird Park, 12 acres of subtropical forest that is home to over 150 distinct species of birds. As you walk through the sanctuary’s many aviaries full of toucans, macaws and more, you’ll learn about local conservation efforts.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Rio de Janeiro for a day

Day 5: Flight to Rio de Janeiro

  Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, transfer to the Iguassu Falls airport for your flight to Rio de Janeiro, where you’ll meet up with the rest of your tour group on day 2 of the main tour.

How's the weather?

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Pocone, Mato Grosso
  • Salvador, Brazil
  • Autazes, Brazil
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Brazil, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the reentry date. Additionally, U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in advance in order to enter Brazil. You may choose to obtain your individual visa by applying directly to the Brazilian consulate or by using a visa provider, such as our partner company, VisaCentral. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.  Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

Your itinerary focuses on the outdoors, so your clothing should be casual and appropriate for outdoor wear. Loose-fitting, layered clothing that can accommodate varying temperatures will be most comfortable. A sun hat, sunglasses and a bathing suit are recommended, as well as walking shoes or hiking boots. Occasional rain showers are common in the areas you’ll be visiting, so pack lightweight rainwear and a waterproof bag for your electronics. Binoculars are very useful for bird- and animal-watching, along with a field guide if you’re particularly interested in the different species you’ll spot. Insect repellent is highly recommended for visits to the rainforests. The sun can be especially strong, so you’ll want to carry sunscreen at all times. If you plan to visit an elegant restaurant in Rio or Salvador, remember to bring something more formal to wear. Also, it is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis). You will need a small overnight bag to bring to the Amazon for days 11 through 13 as most luggage will need to be stored in Manaus.

Walking on Tour

This is an active tour, and travelers should be prepared to walk on some uneven terrain.


Be sure to take proper care for sun exposure. There‘s also some risk of mosquito-born diseases, especially in the rainforests and national parks. Additionally, there are several boat transfers on your tour which may pose problems if you’re prone to motion sickness. Consult your healthcare provider at least eight weeks prior to departure about possible preventive measures and personal travel requirements.


Brazil consists of several distinct climate zones, varying from the tropical north around the Equator to the more temperate southern regions. The coastal cities of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador can get very hot during the dry season between May and November. Despite its steamy reputation, temperatures around the Amazon Rainforest average in the low- to high-70s, year-round.


As Brazil is the largest country in South America, cuisine varies from region to region, pulling influence from European and African  tradition. Some staples, like beans, coconut, dende oil, codfish and shrimp, can be found throughout. The churrasco, or Brazilian barbecue, nods to the country’s large livestock population. Another favorite throughout the country is the caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, made with cachaça (distilled from sugar cane, like rum), sugar and lime.


Round-trip flights arrive in Rio de Janeiro (or Iguassu Falls on the pre-tour extension) and depart from Manaus. Internal flights are between Rio de Janeiro and Cuiabá, Cuiabá and Salvador, and Salvador and Manaus. Included transportation on this tour is by plane, private motor coach and speedboat. Travelers joining the pre-tour extension will also fly between Iguassu and Rio de Janeiro. 


Brazil operates on 110 volts, the U.S. standard.

Time Zones

Brazil is six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and does not observe daylight saving time. Therefore, they are one hour ahead of New York from October to April, and on the same time as New York from April to October.


The Brazilian real is the currency you will use on your tour. ATMs, which are widely available in major cities (mostly on the Visa and Plus international networks), are the most cost-effective way to get cash. We also recommend that you take credit cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.


At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/30/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NM

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Terrific Itinerary

We loved our trip to Brazil. The tour took us to four very different parts of the country -- It was fabulous. Our hotel in Rio was right on Copacabana Beach. Its rooftop pool had a great view of the entire beach. The Pantanal provided us with an educational view of Brazilian ranch lands. Salvador had Old World charm, with its restored buildings and market. The Amazon was amazing. We stayed in an eco-lodge with our rooms on stilts above the river. The ultimate site in Brazil was the Ignassu Falls! The government made it safe and easily accessible to see the falls up-close. Although we had heard concerns about traveling in Brazil, we felt safe the whole time. With our bug spray in hand, we had NO PROBLEMS with mosquitoes! Our tour director, Eduardo, and all the local guides were extremely knowledgeable and prepared us for each leg of the tour (e.g., best places to do laundry, to access ATM machines, to find quality restaurants). .They each were eager to go the extra mile to make our tour fun-tilled and easy. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Brazilian tour!!.


Hi Diane! We’re thrilled you enjoyed your tour of Brazil. This itinerary touches upon distinctly different areas of the country, providing a well-rounded taste of the regional offerings. We agree that Iguassu is an incredible site to behold, and we’re so glad you were able to see it up close. It’s wonderful to know that you felt safe throughout your tour, as travel safety is always our top priority. We’re also pleased to know that your Tour Director and local guides went above and beyond to make your tour as enjoyable, safe, and seamless as possible. Thank you for recommending this tour, and we hope to welcome you on another soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 11, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/5/2015

Number of Past Tours: 18

From: CO

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

I LOVED THIS TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!

I am SO glad I took this trip. Rio was gorgeous with the mountains in the harbor and all. Lots of interesting information about their annual carnivale and the samba schools and how they make their floats, etc. Salvador seemed like such a charming, historical city with many African influences. But, I'm a nature nut so the Pantanal and Amazon jungle were my favorites....awesome, out in the middle of "no-wonderful-where" beautiful country. Our tour director was with us every step of the way, but the local guides for each of these places were fantastic! We rode horses through pastures in the Pantanal where giant snail shells lay on the ground; this from the annual flooding. I can't believe I had never heard of this place until I planned this trip. And birds! Juan made sure we saw thousands of birds, lots of animals, and tried his very best to find us a jaguar, alas to no avail. The food was wonderful, mostly served outside under a thatch-covered patio with birds around everywhere. My dream of many years was the lodge at Juma. Even the name is great! It's built on stilts because of the annual Amazon jungle flooding, with elevated walkways that take you to breakfast or reception or other rooms. The thatched-roof rooms and windows with no glass, only screen, just adds to the charm. I would recommend this trip for any nature lovers, bird lovers, or anyone wanting to be "away from it all." Our guide, Leon, was if not the best, in the top of all guides, seeing to the every want of our small 9-person group, going way beyond the call of duty at times. I thought the small group was one of the best parts of this trip. I think logistics of trying to fit large groups into these small lodges would be a nightmare! No TVs in the country, but had some Wi-Fi at Araras, which I used only to brag to home folks about my location. I could go on, and on, and on...............

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful tour

Had a great time. The tour directors go out of their way to make the experience wonderful.


Hi Carolyn! Thank you for your review. We are so glad you had a great time on tour! We look forward to welcoming you on another tour soon.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | March 08, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Tour Really Covered Brazil!

We took the Iguazu Falls (pre-) extension and highly recommend it! Our guide in this section of the trip, Luis, was sensitive to the needs and pace of the group. He offered up the option of taking a helicopter ride over the Falls, and that was one of the most exciting parts of this segment of the trip. Seeing the Falls from above really oriented us to what we could expect when we walked along the Brazilian side of the Falls. Our group of nine (for the whole trip) was the best size for an tour of this type. It was a lot easier to keep the group together and, as a result, I think we got to see more. In addition, I think we got to know one another better. Rio de Janiero was a nice contrast to the Falls– man-made sights (Cristo Redentor and Sugarloaf Mountain) as opposed to the natural Falls. I wasn't sure that I would enjoy the behind the scenes look at Carnaval, but one of the most fun parts of the trip was getting to put on Carnaval costumes and pose for a group photo! It was interesting to hear about the background of Carnaval and see the parade floats and hear how themes are developed for the celebration. We really enjoyed flying to the Pantanal and stopping to see and take photos of the many birds along the way to our lodge. The birds around the lodge were delightful, especially at breakfast time, when we ate outdoors. I was disappointed not to see a jaguar on our walks or on evening trips by vehicle. It was interesting to hear the history of Salvador and to see the historic buildings in the old part of town. My husband and I visited the DiDá Project and were interested to hear what this organization does to help young women in the community. We were treated to a drum lesson. We had a blast, but I'm sure the ladies who were teaching us thought we have no sense of ryhthym! (That's true. . .) I was somewhat disappointed not to be able to stop somewhere to take a photo of the picturesque lighthouse. We were pleasantly surprised to find the Juma Amazon Lodge, an oasis in the Amazon. Although there was no air-conditioning, the individual rooms were pleasantly furnished and, with the window shades open at night, we had no difficulty sleeping comfortably. We enjoyed the amenities at the Lodge– the river to swim in, the delicious Caipirinhas at the bar, and the raised boardwalks that had lights with motion-sensitive detectors to turn them on when you were approaching in the dark. Overall, this trip provided an excellent overview of Brazil, touching on the things that I really wanted to see on a trip there and giving us an opportunity to sample some of the local culture. One of the most enjoyable things was the small group size and the sympatico nature of my fellow travelers.