With Victor Romagnoli


Amazon cruise; The Pantanal - South America's wildlife marvel; Rio de Janeiro - 'the marvelous city'; Colonial elegance, Baroque churches, sacred art; Thundering Iguacu Falls


Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (see note below, if applicable) - All pricing reflects twin-sharing, per-person pricing for the TOUR AND INTERNAL FLIGHTS ONLY; however, we can book flights from your home airport to join the tour for an added cost. Contact us for a no obligation quote.

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Tue 13 Feb 2018Tue 06 Mar 2018 $9480 USD FULL: Wait-list Only

Due to the nature of internal flights that need to be booked/paid for far in advance, this tour requires a $2000 per person deposit.

Optional Single Supplement: $2660 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $2660, if twin-sharing accommodation is unavailable.

Tour Overview

This is a special tour conceived by, and to be led by, our senior Tour Leader, Victor Romagnoli. This is a big trip, more comprehensive than our regularly-scheduled Brazil programs, comprising all the breathtaking diversity of this huge country.

Regions visited: South America
Countries visited: Brazil

Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrival 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.

Overnight in Manaus.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Manaus - Amazon Cruise
While in Manaus we will have time to do a walking tour and see some of the town's principal sites, including the Opera House.

Today we board our Amazon Cruise vessel, and depart at about 14:30 hrs. NOTE - The following itinerary description for days 2-5 is provided by the cruise operators:

Presentation on board of staff, route and facilities. Boarding and depart upstream on the Rio Negro while we drink a fresh fruit juice and listen to the information about facilities. After a snack we meet us in the leisure room for lectures about Amazon where we will get a good start on understanding Amazon preservation and ecology. After dinner we will explore little creeks in our canoes and listen to the sounds of nocturnal animals with the possibility of observing birds, frogs, snakes and caimans.

VESSEL DESCRIPTION: Luxury River Boat; unique style: At 32m (106 feet) long, with a beam of 9m (30 feet), the PREMIUM hosts 32 guests in 16 spacious all-outside cabins, with lower beds, private bathroom facilities with hot shower, individual air-conditioning and safety box. Unique on the PREMIUM is a spacious observation and sundeck with a fantastic 360° panoramic view. The window-lined dining room seats all passengers leisurely at same time. The entertainment deck offers a large air-conditioned lecture room with library/video facilities, a bar with plenty of comfortable seating, as well as a large covered area for outdoor sightseeing.

"We reserve the right to change itineraries without consulting participants, depending on prevailing natural conditions. If the vessel's arrival or departure times are changed due to force majeure, we are not responsible for missed flights or connections, nor for extra expenses incurred there on."

For more info and pictures go to www.amazonclipper.com.br.

Overnight Amazon Premium Cruise.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Amazon Cruise
Early morning we explore the surroundings along the waters edge in our canoes while we mainly find fruit eating birds like parrots and toucans. After breakfast we go for a jungle walk, we discover many surprising fragrances in leaves, fruits, woods and animals. Around midday we return and we may go for a swim, before lunch. In the afternoon we navigate through the Anavilhanas National Park, one of the world's largest fresh water archipelagos, a labyrinth of waterways. In the late afternoon we embark in the canoes and learn more about this wonderful nature park.

Overnight Amazon Premium Cruise.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 Amazon Cruise
Early this morning we spend a little time fishing for piranhas and other fish. After breakfast we visit an indigenous community where we find many of the typical Amazonian fruits like Cupuaçu and Tapereba, palm trees like Açaí, Tucumã and Pupunha. We learn about the preparation of manioc flour and the health and education situation of the children. After lunch we are landing on ne of the white sandy beaches to swim in the dark water and enjoy the Pink River Dolphins. Exploring by canoe and scout for wildlife in the late afternoon. On the way toward the Amazon River will be served dinner.

Overnight on Amazon Premium Cruise.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 Amazon Cruise - Manaus - Fly to Brasilia
Early this morning we explore the Lago Janauary Ecological Park. This area is usually a very good place to observe wildlife and chances to see the “Victoria Regia” the giant water lilies. While we have breakfast we navigate to the "Meeting of the Waters", the confluence of the world's two largest rivers, the Amazon and the Negro. Arrival at 11:30 and disembarkation.

After arriving at Manuas from our cruise, we have some free time before transferring to the airport for our flight to the capital.

Overnight in Brasilia.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Brasilia: City Tour
After breakfast, we'll have a guided visit of this fabulous modern city.

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.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Brasilia - Recife - Olinda
Today we fly from Brasilia to Recife and transfer to our hotel in the nearby UNESCO World Heritage designated colonial town of Olinda, a small and relatively sedate place brimming with beautiful 17th and 18th century architecture spread over several hills lush with vegetation, overlooking the tropical sea.

Overnight in Olinda.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Olinda Tour
During our time in Olinda we will visit its sights on foot, including the Convent of Saint Francis. We will walk up to the Cathedral Heights for great views over the town in its verdant, tropical setting with the warm South Atlantic nearby. In the near distance to the south, we can see the modern highrises of Recife. Although close-by, little Olinda feels entirely separate from her large neighbour. The wood carving in the 16th century Saint Benedict Monastery is worth seeing, as is the little museum in the Casa do Bonecos. The Mercado da Ribeira is an attractive 18th century arcade where you can find souvenir shops and art galleries.

Overnight in Olinda.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Olinda - Fernando do Noronha
Today we take a short flight from Recife to the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha found in the South Atlantic, 500 kilometres (300 miles) to the northeast of Recife.

Fernando de Noronha consist of 20 small islands adding up to a total land area of only 25 square kilometres (16 square miles). The population of about 2,000 resides on the largest of the islands where we will be staying. There are only seven kilometres (four miles) of paved roads and a number of sandy tracks, negotiable only by dune buggy. It is a special place where tourist numbers are strictly limited. The archipelago was discovered by a Spaniard who had been
Columbus's pilot on the 1492 trans-Atlantic voyage. The king of Portugal later gave it to a Portuguese aristocrat by the name of Fernao de Noronha who never actually saw the islands that today bear his name. In 1988 it was turned into a National Marine Park to protect the many species of marine birds that nest here, as well as the teeming underwater life of its extensive reef system.

Overnight in Fernando de Noronha.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Fernando do Noronha Archipelago
This morning we set out to experience the natural beauty of this protected biosphere. Today's activities will include a nature walk in the tropical forests of the national park. We may see tropic birds and boobies. A boat trip along the coast gives us an excellent overview of the islands as we motor past the densely forested Morro do Pico, which at 320 metres (1100 feet) is the main island's highest point. Fernando de Noronha is the top of an extinct volcano. Our boat arrives at the Baia do Sancho where there is a beautiful, isolated beach where we have time to swim in the warm sea. There will also be the possibility to snorkel in the pristine waters of the marine park that surrounds the island.

Later today we will visit the tiny colonial centre of village of Vila do Remedios.

Overnight in Fernando de Noronha.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Fernando do Noronha Archipelago - Belo Horizonte
Today we fly to Belo Horizonte (via Recife), the capital of the state of Minas Gerais and Brazil's third largest city. The state of Minas Gerais ("General Mines"), takes its name from the area's Gold Boom in the 18th century that gave rise to some fabulous baroque colonial towns.

Overnight in Belo Horizonte.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12 Belo Horizonte - Ouro Preto
Today we travel by road to Ouro Preto, a relatively small town that was once the Portuguese base during a war between the Portuguese and the Paulista bandeirantes. Later the town became the capital of the gold-producing area of Minas, and today it is rich with 18th century churches.

Overnight in Ouro Preto.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Ouro Preto Tour
Today we explore this jewel of a colonial town, walking its narrow cobbled streets to the Escola de Minas in the old governor's palace. This building contains a interesting museum of mining and minerology. We continue on to the Church of Our Lady of Carmo, with its facade by the local 18th century artist, Aleijandinho.

We will see plenty of sculptures by this remarkable man today. He was the son of a Portuguese architect and a slave who lost the use of his hands and legs when he was 30. Nonetheless, he created beautiful pieces of religious sculpture with tools strapped to his arms. Aleijandinho is buried in the parish church of Antonio Dias. There is a good little museum of his works nearby.

We will also visit the Museum of the Inconfidencia in the attractive 18th century building that was formerly the town jail and municipal seat. This museum relates to the period of rebellion in Minas Gerais that resulted from the onerous, and ever-increasing gold taxes imposed by the Portuguese Crown in the late 18th century. One of the intellectuals involved in the uprising was Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier, whose nickname was Tiradentes, or "Tooth Puller". The uprising was put down quickly and Tiradentes was hung, drawn, and quartered.

Overnight in Ouro Preto.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 Ouro Preto - Rio de Janeiro
Today we drive to Rio de Janeiro.

What can be said about this city, the "Cidade Maravilhosa", except that it lives up to its nickname? It is certainly one of the most beautiful and dramatically situated cities on the planet. We will stay at its heart, near Ipanema Beach. In Rio there is no getting away from the sand and the sea; the city is built almost entirely along beaches and bays with forest-clad mountains as its backdrop.

This afternoon we will take a stroll along part of Copacabana Beach, which is about 4.5 km long (almost 3 miles). Here you can practise your Brazilian Portuguese a bit with the laid-back Cariocas, as the citizens of Rio are known: "Tudo bem?" "Tudo bom!"

Overnight in Rio.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 Rio: City Tour
In January 1502, a Portuguese mariner entered the bay here which he mistook for a river mouth. Hence the name of the city, which translates as "January River". Because of its outstanding harbour and hinterlands well-suited for sugarcane production, which was central to the Portuguese colonial economy in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, Rio became, after Salvador de Bahia and Recife-Olinda, the third most important centre of settlement in Brazil. The Gold Rush in the mountainous area just north of Rio had an indelible influence in the 18th century, when Rio became a Gold Rush port. In 1763 the city replaced Salvador de Bahia as the colony's capital. In 1808, Rio was even the refuge of the Portuguese king and his court, when they narrowly escaped Napoleon's invasion of Lisbon that year. It was then that Portugal briefly became the only European nation to be ruled from one of its colonies.

Today's visits will include the Metropolitan Cathedral, with its beautiful stained-glass windows, as well as two different viewpoints above the city: the highest one on Corcovado with an extraordinary panorama of the whole city and its environs at a height of 710 metres (2,300 feet), near the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer; the other being the stunning Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf). We will take two cable cars to reach its summit at just under 400 m (1,300 feet).
The views of the city are amazing.

This evening you can go to a nightclub in the Ipanema area to hear some Bossa Nova music. The most famous song of this genre is, of course, "The Girl from Ipanema."

Overnight in Rio de Janiero.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 16 Rio - Campo Grande - Pantanal
Today we fly to Campo Grande and continue by road to the Panatanal.

This enormous wetland lies at the geographical centre of South America. The name Pantanal means marshlands; this is the largest wetland on earth. It extends beyond Brazil's borders into Bolivia and Paraguay, and some say that the wildlife viewing is better here than in the Amazon.

In the Pantanal one finds more than just marshland; however, there are, variously, forests an meadows, savannahs and rivers, as well as a number of cattle ranches. We will stay on one such, which will be our comfortable base of exploration for three nights.

In its two distinct seasons, the Pantanal presents a constant, unequaled spectacle. From November 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 the period of Pantaneira flora, the green explodes and gives breeding ground for flora and water-loving fauna. Excursions at this time of year usually involve exploration by boat/canoe for at least part of the

In the Dry Season, April to September, the water recedes from the broad flat savanna. Mammals follow the receding water and congregate at the edges of rivers. Fish are concentrated into small water courses and fishing birds fly in to feast. Plants that once filled the flooded plains enter a state of hibernation, where they will stay until the rains return. What was a huge flooded garden is transformed into a vast field of native grass. Small plants and flowers cover the ground. Shallow lakes form inland and they become feeding centers for animals that dine on the fish and other aquatic creatures that are isolated from the rivers. The months of July through the end of December the savanna is dry enough for vehicles to drive out into the bush. The average temperature is about 24 C (75º F).

Overnight at Pantanal Estancia (ranch).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 17 Pantanal Adventure
During the next two days we will explore the rivers, marshes, meadows, and forests surrounding the ranch where we are staying. Various activities during these two days will include a boat trip on the Aquidana River when we will do some birdwatching and look for the large aquatic mammals known as capybaras. We will also be on the lookout for jacares (caimans) and jaguars. You may want to try your hand at fishing for piranhas! There are a number of different species and not all of them are dangerous.

Other excursions will include nature walks. If we are lucky, we may encounter a giant anteater and/or some rheas (large flightless birds that resemble ostriches). For those who wish, we can embark on a horseback riding excursion through the forests and marshes. At the ranch itself there are plentiful opportunities for birdwatching; there are more than 600 bird species in the Pantanal so bring your binoculars. With luck we may see some flocks of the endangered and rare Hyacinth Macaw.

Overnight at Pantanal Estancia.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 18 Pantanal Adventure
Today we continue our exploration of the Pantanal with more nature walks and perhaps another boat trip.

For those who wish, there is a swimming pool on the ranch grounds where you can relax this afternoon.

Overnight at Pantanal Estancia.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 19 Pantanal - Campo Grande - Iguacu Falls
Today we return to Campo Grande from where we fly to Iguacu Falls.

Iguacu is at the meeting point of three countries: Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. The name Iguacu is from the native Guarani language (one of the official languages of Paraguay), meaning "Great Waters". In fact, the cataracts consist of more than 250 individual falls, some of which drop more than 80 metres (300 feet).

Overnight at Iguacu Falls.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 20 Iguacu Falls
Today we view the wonderful Iguacu Falls.

The views are truly magnificent; from here you get the clearest idea as to the size of the falls, though the area from which to view them is fairly limited. From spots all along the path there are excellent views, at first across the lower river at a point where it has narrowed to channel width. At the bottom of the path, where the river widens again, there's a catwalk leading out towards the falls themselves. Depending on the force of the river, the spray can be quite heavy so, if you have a camera, be sure to carry a plastic bag.

Overnight at Iguacu Falls.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 21 Iguacu/Iguazu Falls
Today we include a trip over to view the falls ("Iguazu" in Spanish) from the Argentine side*.

Voted as one of the 'Seven Natural Wonders of the World', Iguazu Falls is undoubtedly one of the most imposing natural attractions in Argentina and the world. On this side of the falls there are 2 circuits: an upper path and a lower path; on this excursion you will view the falls from both. The upper paths provide some stunning panoramic views, and the lower path leads to the base of the falls, where the spray dampens visitors. Located in the Northeastern tip of Argentina and bordering the Brazilian state of Parana to the north, Iguazú National Park, jointly with its sister park Iguacu in Brazil, is among the world's visually and acoustically most stunning natural sites for its massive waterfalls. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984.

(NOTE: Canadians will have to pay, in advance, the "reciprocity fee" required for entry into Argentina. See www.migraciones.gov.ar for details. American passports are currently exempt).

Return to Brazil (your visa is good for ten years).

Overnight at Iguacu Falls.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 22 Departure
Today we fly home from Iguacu, Brazil (airport IGU).


Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map

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*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.

Hotel List

The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.

Amazon Eco Park Lodge

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Manaus
Country: Brazil

Created and directed by the private sector in operation since 1991 .
As jungle ( " lodge" ) hotel ,
... been active since 1995.
It is located about 1 hour from the Manaus airport ( own shuttle van or bus and regional boat ) , Tarumã the River , a tributary of the Rio Negro.

The hotel offers 64 apartments spread between 20 and 01 wooden bungalows masonry (total 21 bungalows).

Each unit wooden bungalow offers 3 apartments with entrances , balconies and separate bathrooms , each with air conditioning, electric showers and screened windows.

The only fully brick bungalow has 04 rooms, also with air conditioning, electric showers and screened windows and is suitable for guests with special needs ( 02 apartments with ramp and bar in the bathrooms ) and families ( 02 apartments with 04 beds each , can be a double and 02 single ).

All bungalows , although rustic , have nice decor and comfort .

The complex also offers : " pier " for loading and unloading of guests , large reception area , bar , convenience store and crafts , 01 restaurant in the form of indigenous longhouse ( kitchen open to visitors ) , 01 air-conditioned hall for events , games room 01 or events ( not airconditioned ) , lectures and TV room (heated ) , resting hut with hammocks and lounge chairs , 04 pools and private beach . Have multiple streams with clear water , jungle trails with different types of vegetation , including virgin forests , natural savannas and flooded areas . A real opportunity for the visitor spotting birds of different species , giant trees , exotic orchids , medicinal herbs and more.

Read More.

Manhattan Plaza

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Brasilia
Country: Brazil

You will find spacious and comfortable rooms, efficient services and a delicious breakfast in a hotel with modern and practical
... that will make your stay even more pleasant in Brasília. Manhattan Plaza is the business hotel of our chain Plaza Brasília Hotels.

The 265 rooms of Manhattan Plaza measure approximately 50 square meters, including balcony and private bathroom. The rooms may have one, two or three beds. They are equipped with TV with cable channels, desk, air conditioning, minibar, hairdryer, personal safe and wireless internet.

For a good meal, the Manhattan Restaurant offers a varied menu with dishes from the international cuisine, not to mention the Brazilian options, such as the typical feijoada, served on Wednesdays, at lunchtime. In the pool area, the Madison Hall Bar offers snacks, drinks and loads of fun. If you prefer, we offer room service, which is available 24 hours everyday.

With a great location, the hotel is located at the Hotel Sector North, 15 minutes from the international airport Juscelino Kubitschek, next to three shopping malls – Conjunto Nacional, Liberty Mall and Brasília Shopping – and a few minutes away from the Esplanade of the Ministries and the National Stadium Mané Garrincha.

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Martinique Copa

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Rio de Janeiro
Country: Brazil

The Martinique Copa Hotel is situated on Sa Ferreira Street, within walking distance of Copacabana Beach, and approximately 20-minutes driving
... from the airport. Local attractions include Rio Sul Shopping Center, Sugarloaf. Hotel amenities include an outdoor pool with terrace. Guest rooms feature cable TVs, mini-bars, central A/C, telephone, hairdryers, make-up mirrors, and in-room safes.

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Pousada Aguape

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Pantanal
Country: Brazil

The farm has been run by the same family for some 150 years. Located in a rich area formed by
... wetland vegetation and open pastures with patches of stunted vegetation, lakes, lowlands, pond outlets and the Aquidauana River. The pousada is equipped with 14 apartments with air-conditioning, swimming pool, restaurant, thatched-roof kiosks to relax after meals.

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Hotel San Martin

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Iguacu Falls
Country: Brazil

San Martin Hotel is proud to offer its guests an environment in which every angle press out to be a
... "natural paradise".
Read More.

Trip Information

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Breakfast and dinner daily (hotels and local restaurants); other meals as per your tour itinerary. All accommodation, transport (including local flights), sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers.


Tour Leader gratuity, most lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), departure taxes, domestic and international air taxes (if applicable), visa fees. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, shopping, visas, and locally paid departure taxes.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour operates in the Austral summer (Feb) when short tropical rainstorms occur but they should not adversely affect travel plans.

AMAZON: 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-80's [F] with nighttime lows in the mid 70's to high 60's.

PANTANAL: This is the rainy season, which sounds negative, but it is actually a beautiful, green time of birds and excursions by boat or canoe.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Road transport by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Internal flights via scheduled local carriers. Numerous walking tours on uneven surfaces.

Our tour difficulty rating "2" reflects the ambitious nature of our program, some long travel days, and some start times that could be inconvenient (ie very early). We also have a few internal flights on this tour for which you will need to be independent with your luggage. We also visit some remote areas where our lodging could be more basic than in towns/cities. We will also encounter some heat which can cause fatigue.


Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than doubles. Porter service is usually available though you should be independent with your luggage.

Pantanal lodge: Private bathrooms, hot water, screened windows, ceiling fans, air- conditioning, 110 volt outlets.

Elsewhere: Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range (3 - 4.5 star) hotels with en suite toilet and bath throughout (probably shower only). For info on our amazon cruise, please go to www.amazonclipper.com.br and select "premier" 4 night cruise.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader, drivers, local naturalist guides.

Group Size

10-18 (plus Tour Leader)