and Argentina # 6
21 Days / 20 Nights
Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, The Pantanal, Iguassu Falls, Yacutinga Nature
Reserve and Buenos Aires
1 - Arrival in Rio de Janeiro
Upon arrival at the airport a host will meet and assist you in transferring
to the hotel and in registering. The Rio natives or carioca will make
you feel welcome through their uncanny good humor and contagious happiness.
They boast Rio de Janeiro to be, "The most beautiful city of the world"
as it hosts a turquoise sea, stunning lagoons, awesome mountains and gorgeous
Dinner and Samba Show at Plataforma 1 - Rio's nightlife offers
something for everyone and can be compared to any other major city's nightlife
in the world. Enjoy a welcome dinner at a typical churrascaria, followed
by the allegoric Samba Show of Brazilian music and folklore at the famous
"Plataforma 1". (AB).
Day 2 - Sugar Loaf Mountain and Downtown Rio
Start your morning with a tour of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Guanabara Bay.
Ascend the mountain by cable car for breathtaking panoramic views. Next,
proceed to downtown Rio. In season (October-February) take the optional
"Carnival Behind the Scenes" tour to meet the artists of the Carnival
and to get a special preview of work in progress on the carnival floats
and costumes. The rest of the year the optional tour will feature the
"Secrets of Old Rio", a walking tour through the historic avenues, squares
and back streets of Rio. The balance of the day is free. (AB).
Day 3 - Excursion to Corcovado and Tijuca Forest
The mountain drive to Corcovado (2,400 ft. elevation) is a succession
of superb view sites from heavily forested heights of Tijuca - Chinese
View (1,300 ft.) and Emperor's Table (1,500 ft.) are particularly sublime.
The exhilarating ascent culminates at Rio's highest peak, the Corcovado
(Hunchback) with its majestic 125 ft. high statue of Christ the Redeemer
looking out over the entire city. There is a stiff climb (225 steps -
3 flights of stairs) from the lower level to the statue base and viewing
platform, so comfortable shoes should be worn. Return is via the Tijuca
Rain Forest, with its brilliant tropical flowers and lush foliage, and
to nearby Tawnay waterfalls, passing Niemeyer palisades on return. (AB).
Day 4 - Flight to Bahia
Transfer to the airport and fly to Salvador, Bahia in Northeastern
Brazil. Transfer to your selected hotel. Bahia is the cultural heartland
of Brazil where African, Portuguese and Indian cultures began the mixture
that spawned the Brazilian identity.
Bahia By Night - A festive dance production will take place in
the 18th century colonial complex Solar do União which had its own church,
manor house and slaves quarters, in the old stockrooms and showcases the
Candomble. You will be stunned by a series of dances, including the manculelê,
a stick and sword dance from the cane fields, the caboclo, an Amerindian
hunting dance, the capoeira, a martial art/dance of Angolan origin, and
the samba de roda, a spinning, swirling version of this exuberant national
Day 5 - City Tour of Salvador
Starting at the mouth of the Bay with its famous lighthouse, we go
to the old historical section of town, the Pelourinho area. We visit the
church of São Francisco with its exuberant gold-leafed Baroque interior.
Day 6 - Island Schooner Cruise
After our transfer from the hotel, we board a schooner and cruise
to two of the 36 islands in this sparkling bay. We take our cruise to
the larger Itaparica Island for lunch. After lunch we take a walking tour
of the colonial town of Itaparica and visit the mineral water springs
with its legendary rejuvenating properties. (AB,L).
Day 7 - Flight to Campo Grande
Transfer to airport and flight to Campo Grande. Upon arrival transfer
to your hotel. (B,D).
Day 8 - Transfer to Refúgio Ecológico Caiman
Transfer on a 4 hour overland journey to the REFUGIO ECOLOGICO CAIMAN
to begin your five day / four night Pantanal adventure. Explore the natural
world of the Southern Pantanal! The Refúgio Ecológico Caiman is settled
on a cattle ranch and the development combines cattle breeding, ecotourism,
and nature conservation. The opportunites for encounters with the natural
world are endless! (B,L,D)
Day 9, Day 10, Day 11 - Endless Activities
Enjoy the many activities offered at Caiman, arguably the finest ecologically
oriented lodge in all of South America. Two daily activities are offered
being one in the morning and the second in the afternoon, plus either
a slide show or a video presentation in the evening. All activities are
Photo Safari: A tour in an open vehicle is the best way to reach places
far from the farm. Crossing fields and stretches of jungle, this tour
broadens opportunities to observe and photograph the wild life. At night
guests go out to do "night spotting": to observe, with the help of flashlights,
nocturnal animals, such as alligators, capybaras, anteaters and small
wolves. Horseback rides: This is one of the best ways to explore the Pantanal,
allowing for visits to areas which are inaccessible by other means, like
local flooded areas, where the water is too deep for motorized vehicles
or too shallow for other boats. The horses in the Pantanal are trained
for inexperienced riders, making it easy for everyone to observe different
environments in the Pantanal, from flooded fields to open vegetation and
even forests with large trees.
Hikes: Taking place mainly on trails through heavy bush, the hikes make
it easy to observe forest vegetation and the animals that live there,
such as "quatis" (raccoon-like mammals) and monkeys.
Row boat outing / Motor boat ride: on Sede and Baiazinha lakes. Row boat
rides are very peaceful and one can enjoy the sounds of Nature. Motor
boat rides allow the observation of flocks of birds at sunset.
Slides and video shows: lecture on the Pantanal ecosystem.
All meals are included. (B,L,D)
Day 12 - Flight to Iguassu
Transfer from hotel to the airport for departure. Flight to Iguassu. Upon
arrival transfer to hotel. (AB)
Iguassu Falls: The most spectacular falls in the world. The Iguazu
river throws an average of 1700 cubic meters of water per second down
275 falls spread in a half moon shape 2.7 kilometers (4.32 miles) wide
and 70m (210 feet) high. Most of the falls are located on the Argentinean
side, but in order to get a good view the visitor must cross over to the
Brazilian side for at least a few hours. You will have a close look at
the flora and fauna while walking through the Argentinean catwalks in
between the falls at the lower level or upper level. Here you will discover
the amazing varieties of ferns, begonias, orchids, birds, and butterflies.
In order to get to the main attraction, Devil's Throat, you will be transferred
to Puerto Canoas. From there you will approach Devil's Throat by boat,
allowing you to enjoy the refreshing spray from the falls.
Day 13 - Guided tour of the Brazilian and Argentinean side of the Iguazu
As the Das Cataratas Hotel is conveniently located inside the Iguassu
National Park property, you will embark on a guided walking tour of the
falls, considered to be one of the wonders of the world. Here you will
see the waters of the Paraná River plunge in 32 separate falls over a
200-foot precipice two and a half miles wide. These colossal waterfalls
make the Niagara look miniscule. For those staying at a different hotel,
transfers to and from the falls are included.
Guided excursion of the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls - After enjoying
the Brazilian side of the Falls, another perspective of the beauty of
Iguazu can be gained from the Argentinean side of the Falls. They are
located inside Iguazu National Park, one of the first protected natural
areas in South America, declared Natural Patrimony of Humankind by Unesco.
We will walk through the Inferior and Superior paths admiring the breathtaking
275 cascades, which spread across a gulf of nearly 2 miles and pour past
lush tropical vines as they crash into the waters below. After the walk
we will drive to Puerto Canoas and take a boat ride to the Devil's throat
observation deck to enjoy the most impressive view of the very heart of
the falls. (AB)
Optional Nautical Adventure Boat Excursion - Boat excursion to
the Argentinean and Brazilian side of the Falls, to admire the falls from
the bottom. Take a short walk down from the Inferior Path to board your
speed boat to San Martin Island. You will have a view of the Brazilian
side of the falls, and you will navigate along the island shore for a
view of the Argentinean side of the falls.
Day 14 - San Ignacio Ruins
Today we will visit San Ignacio, the most important archaeological complex
of Jesuits ruins, a Unesco World Heritage Site. This tour will take you
back in time to the 17th century when the Catholic priests decided to
convert the Guarani Indians to Christianity and started their settlements
in the jungle. We will see the imposing remains of the temple, the main
square and the Indian houses that surround it. We will admire their urban
layout and the artistic works of the Indians. Return to the hotel. On
the way back we will visit Minas de Wanda, a semi precious stone mine.
We will also view typical plantations of tea and "yerba mate". Lunch is
Day 15 - Transfer to Yacutinga Wildlife and Nature Reserve
We will take an afternoon drive through the Argentine Iguassu National
Park, during which the guide will explain some details and curiosities
of the rain forest. The drive will take us to port La Blanquita, at the
shore of the Iguassu River. You will navigate in jet boats through these
waters for about 15 minutes up the Port Yacutinga. Upon arrival embark
on a jeep transfer through the Yacutinga Wild Life Private Reserve to
the Lodge. The combination of various means of transportation provides
a great start, as this allows the visitor the opportunity to "melt" in
a comfortable way with the wonderful natural world of wild fauna. Check
in and receive a briefing about the place, the system of the Lodge and
activities. At dusk, participate in wild fauna observation. Enjoy a welcome
dinner and overnight. (AB,L,D)
Day 16 - San Francisco River Tour and Wild Life Excursion
Start your day with an early breakfast and short hike to the San Francisco
River. Embark on a floating tour of the river, ideal for photo safari.
This floating tour is very secure and simple, the water of the river is
gentle and it goes down current. The possibility of a close encounter
with the wild fauna is heightened, as fauna is more active in the early
morning. Return to the Lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, take an escorted
wild life excursion to the various observation trails. And in the early
evening visit of one of the observation towers for night games with scopes,
binoculars and strong spotlights. Return to the Lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 17 - Flight to Buenos Aires
After breakfast take time for track scouting, listing (complete checklist
of viewed fauna) , packing and relaxing at the pool area. Or take a self-guided
tour at the hanging "passarelle" and the "orchid's trail". Leave the lodge
after lunch to arrive at 1445 Puesto Tigre, 2 Km away from Puerto Iguazu
airport in Argentina. Transfer to airport. Flight to Buenos Aires. Upon
arrival at the airport a host will meet and assist you in transferring
to the hotel and in registering. Buenos Aires is the most elegant and
cosmopolitan city of South America. One is fascinated by the atmosphere
and the individual personality of each of its neighborhoods. (AB,L) Evening
Tango Show and Dinner.
Day 18 - Buenos Aires City Tour
In this tour of Argentina's cultural and political capital, you will get
a sampling glimpse of the diverse districts that make up this grand city.
Visit the colorful "Boca" district and the elegant North Quarter and Palermo
Park. See the government's "Casa Rosada" - pink house, the Colon Theater,
May Square and drive down the famous 9th of July Avenue. (AB)
19 - Estancia excursion and Fiesta Gaucha
This is the ideal opportunity to sample a bit of traditional Argentine
country life. Depart from the pier towards Cardales, only 90 km from downtown
Buenos Aires, to visit Santa Susana Estancia. Its 1200 hectares are devoted
mainly to agriculture and cattle breeding. A couple of years ago the Estancia
began holding gaucho parties for visitors. Upon arrival a welcome drink
with empanadas (meat pies) will be served at the Pulpería. Later, feast
on a typical Argentine barbecue accompanied by Argentine wine. As you
finish your lunch, enjoy a show with folk and tango music and dances.
Afterwards, see a cuadreras and ring races where gauchos exhibit their
skills as horsemen. Late in the afternoon, a snack consisting of home
made pastries and yerba mate will be served. Horses and carriages are
available for rides. (AB,L)
20 - Buenos Aires
Enjoy a free day in Buenos Aires to do as you please. (AB)
21 - Departure
Transfer from hotel to the airport for departure. You will arrive home
full of great memories of the passion of Tango, the wondrous Iguazu falls,
the wildlife at the Pantanal and Yacutinga, the rhythm of Samba and the
beauty of Rio de Janeiro. (AB)
End of our services**
Every Saturday to arrive in Rio on Sunday morning.
Prices available upon request.
Hotels to use: Sofitel Rio Palace in Rio, Fiesta Hotel in Salvador,
Refugio Ecologico Caiman in the Pantanal, Das Cataratas in Iguassu
Falls and Plaza Marriot in Buenos Aires
Airfare: We offer discounted net rates to all destinations
in Latin America.
All our tour packages include: Please