BR2 Brazil


Amazon adventures; Canoe trips & jungle walks; The Pantanal-South America's wildlife marvel; Rio de Janeiro-'the marvelous city'

Full Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Manaus
Today we arrive in Manaus, gateway to the Amazon.

Amazonas is by far the largest of Brazil's states, covering an area that is almost a quarter of the national territory. Half of the Amazon River's 6275 km (4,000 mile) length is in Brazil with some 100-plus tributaries. Standing on the shores of the Rio Negro, 1500 km (900 miles) upriver from Belem and the point where the Amazon reaches the Atlantic, Manaus was originally a Portuguese settlement where a fort was built in 1669. The name of the city comes from the Manaos Indian tribe that inhabits the area.

PLEASE NOTE: This tour is based on a TAM Brazilian Airlines pass that MUST be booked by Adventures Abroad in conjunction with TAM international air tickets. If you intend to secure your own international air a SURCHARGE (approx $500) will apply.

Overnight in Manaus.
Meal plan: dinner

Day 2 Manaus - Amazon: Canoe Trip
Today we transfer by road to our Amazon lodge.

The very mention of the name Amazon conjures images of adventure and mystery. Designated the world's largest rainforest and one of the world's largest rivers, Amazon defines the word "exotic". The term "rainforest" describes forests that grow in constant humid conditions. They can occur whenever the annual rainfall is above 2000 mm (80 inches) per year, and high temperatures favour plant development.

The Amazon River is almost 6440 km (4,000 miles) long, with a volume of water equal to 11 times the volume of the Mississippi River. Amazonia, consisting mainly of forest, forms more than 50% of Brazil's area, though only 7% of its total population. Most of the Amazon's inhabitants live in and around a few cities including Manaus, a thousand miles from the ocean.

Using a comfortable lodge as a base, we will explore the Amazon's maze of forest and mysterious waters. We hope to observe exotic birds such as parrots, toucans, and macaws. You may see "boto", a kind of river dolphin. We will visit a caboclo village, home to the local people whose ancestors are half Indian and half Portuguese.

This afternoon we enjoy a canoe trip* in smaller creeks to see life on the flood plains: jute, market-garden produce, rubber trees, as well as flood plain forest and lakes with giant water lilies (in season).

* NOTE: Our activities in the Amazon may vary depending upon seasonality, weather, and other considerations, at the discretion of your Tour Leader and local guides.

Overnight at an Amazon lodge.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 3 Amazon: Bird Watching & Forest Walks
We have an early morning canoe trip for bird watching. There are good chances of seeing large flocks of egrets and cormorants. We visit the human inhabitants of the lake area who make a living on manioc plantations, fishing, diverse fruit trees, rubber, Brazil-nut trees, wood and other extractive products. We walk in the forest with commentaries by our local guide. A night trip enables us to see nocturnal animals, sometimes including nighthawks, snakes, toro-rats, sloths and frogs.

SEASONALITY: in the rainy season, which roughly runs from mid-December to mid-May, the temperature is a bit cooler than the June-December dry season. The average daytime temperature in the rainy season is usually in the mid-20's C (80's F) with nighttime lows in the mid teens C (70's to high 60's). In the dry season the daytime temperature can go up to the mid-30's C (90's) though there is much variability and cool days are common. Nighttime temperatures during the dry season are usually in the mid-20's (70's), though there are also some very cool nights.

Is it desirable to travel to the Amazon in the rainy season? Yes! Even though it does rain more this time of year, it is also true that many plants have evolved to fruit and flower during the rainy season which attracts birds and primates to the water's edge for us to observe. The gigantic thunderstorms are a great pleasure to observe.

Overnight at an Amazon lodge.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 4 Amazon - Manaus - Brasilia
We have another early morning excursion on nearby waterways.

We return to Manaus from where we fly to Brasilia, Brazil's modern, purpose-built capital.
It was as far back as the early 1800's that the idea of an inland capital for Brazil was first discussed. A Salesian priest from Italy dreamed that a new, economically powerful civilization would rise up at the geographical centre of Brazil. It would take almost a century and a half before the dream was realized in 1960 by then President Juscelino Kubitschek.

Overnight in Brasilia.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 5 Brasilia - Campo Grande - Pantanal
This morning we have a tour of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.

Our tour includes the chapel of Our Lady of Fatima; Dom Bosco's Church, one of the most beautiful building of the city; the TV Tower, with a lovely view of the city from its observatory platform; the memorial for Juscelino Kubitschek, the builder and founder of Brasilia and former President of Brazil; the cathedral, and the Three Power Square where we will visit a historical museum. Here we will see the Congress Building, Planalto Palace (the office of the President and supreme court).

Later we fly to Campo Grande, gateway to the Pantanal, home to the highest concentration of wildlife in South America. On arrival we transfer by road to the Pousada Aguape, situated 160 km (100 miles) from Campo Grande. The Aguape Ranch was founded 150 years ago and is still owned by the same family. Through the years the farm activities have diversified. The Ranch is home for a school, a regional horse breeder, and a Hyacinth Macaw project, cattle ranching, and now a tourism area with a large variety and quantity of wildlife.

The Pousada Aguape is equipped with 14 apartments with air-conditioning and ceiling fans. The pousada has a swimming pool, and a restaurant.

The great diversity of animal species in the region arises from vast differences in habitat. Savannah flood plains, dry forests and humid, temperate zones co-exist with grassy plains and scrubby vegetation. A total of 80 mammal, 50 reptile, and 650 bird species have been identified here -- however, none of them are indigenous to the area. Among the residents are 13 endangered species -- among them jaguar, otter and anteater.

Overnight in Pantanal region.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 6 Pantanal: Exploration
This morning we embark on a full-day safari-style exploration of this remarkable region.

In its two distinct seasons, the Pantanal presents a constant, unequaled spectacle. From December to April is the flood season when the rivers overflow and spread themselves for miles uniting with the bays and creeks creating a true ocean of sweet water. This is a beautiful period of Pantaneira flora -- the green explodes and provides breeding ground for flora and water-loving fauna. Excursions at this time of year usually involve exciting exploration by boat/canoe for at least part of the time.

RAINY season (Dec through Apr): due to the intense rain, the Pantanal gets flooded. The vegetation is exuberant and the temperature is high. Mammals seek refuge on higher ground with tall trees known as "Cordilheiras". This is the nesting time for many species of birds.

DRY season (Jul through Sep): This is the best time for wildlife observation. The dry fields make good grazing areas. From August on most of the trees are blooming. Overnight temperatures can approach freezing.

Overnight in Pantanal region.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 7 Pantanal: Full Day
Our final full day in the Pantanal.

Our wilderness adventure continues today. The Pantanal is renowned for it spectacled caimans -- a crocodile species which grow up to 3m (10 feet) in length. Once nearly endangered, today there are nearly 10 million in existence in the Pantanal. In addition, the area's waterways are filled with brightly coloured kingfisher and teem with the infamous piranha. Birds abound in the Pantanal and are more numerous than anywhere else in South America. Look out for eagle, stork, nandu, jabiru, macaw and ibis.

Overnight in Pantanal region.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 8 Pantanal - Campo Grande - Rio de Janeiro
Today we travel to Campo Grande from where we fly to Rio de Janeiro, the Ciudade Marvailhosa (marvelous city).

Seven million Cariocas, as the inhabitants are called, are jammed into one of the world's most beautiful city setting -- between ocean and escarpment. This makes Rio one of the most densely populated places on earth. Cariocas pursue pleasures like no other people: beaches and the body beautiful, samba and football; cerveja (beer); and cachaca (sugar-cane rum). In Rio everything ends with samba -- football games, weddings, work, political demonstrations and, of course, a day at the beach. There's a lust for life, and a love of romance, music, dance and a talk that distinguishes the Cariocas from everyone else.

Overnight in Rio de Janeiro.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 9 Rio de Janeiro: City Tour
Today we have a tour of Rio. The city is divided into a zona norte (north zone) and a zona sul (south zone) by the Serra da Carioca, steep mountains that are part of the Parque Nacional da Tijuca. These mountains descend to the edge of the city centre, where the zonas norte and sul meet. Corcovado, one of these mountain peaks, offers the best way to become familiar with the city's geography -- from it you have views of both zones. The statue Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), with his outstretched arms, gazes down on the Bahia da Guanabara and the landmark Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf). His left arm points toward the zona norte, and his right toward the zona sul suburbs of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and beyond. We will go to the foot of the mountain from where we travel by cable car to the top.

We enjoy a sightseeing ride along Rio's beaches -- Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana. One of the world's most famous beaches runs 4.5 km (3 miles) in front of one of the world's most densely populated residential areas. There is always something happening on the beach during the day and along the footpaths at night: drinking, singing, eating and all kinds of people checking out the scene; tourists watching Brazilians.

From the scalloped beach you can see the granite slabs that surround the entrance to the bay -- a magnificent meeting of land and sea. Different parts of the beach attract different crowds.

We take cable cars to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. From the top of this celebrated peak, the city, Baia de Guanabara, and the winding coastline are stretched out dazzling below. To reach the summit at a lofty 400 m (1,325 feet) it is necessary to take two cable cars. A clear day will supply the most spectacular of views: the uncurling arch of the Praia de Copacabana, its miles of tiles glistening in the sun's last rays. From the top you'll see Corcovado Mountain, with the massive statue of Cristo Redemtor (Christ the Redeemer), his arms extended in mercy and blessing.

Overnight in Rio de Janeiro.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 10 Departure
Departure from Rio de Janeiro.

Meal plan: breakfast




TOUR ENDRio de Janeiro