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A rainforest expeditionary adventure, journeying through the heart of the Brazil Amazon aboard the M/Y Tucano, a nine cabin motor yacht.

A typical day includes several stops in wildlife-rich areas for rainforest walks and shoreline excursions in small motorized launches. Outings take place before and after breakfast, in the late afternoon and after nightfall. The vessel navigates the river during the heat of the day and through the night. Passengers may set their own pace, free to sit out any of the day’s expeditions on the observation deck with a cup of coffee.

Air-conditioned, wood-paneled guest cabins with large windows and private baths, an attentive, skilled crew and authoritative, bilingual naturalist-guides make this an unforgettable Amazon cruise. You’ll travel an idyllic stretch of the Amazon, starting in Manaus on the Rio Negro tributary, the world’s fifth largest river. Extraordinary sights include the 400 islands of the Anavilhanas Archipelago and the meeting of the rivers where the dark Rio Negro and the churning light-hued waters of the Rio Solimões meet, flowing side by side for several miles before mixing as the mighty Amazon. We also offer a nine-day version of this trip for travelers wishing to spend three more days in paradise with the disappearing wildlife of the world’s legendary Amazon Rainforest.

Itinerary
Day 1: Embark Manaus to Rio Negro & Anavilhanas Archipelago
This afternoon, at 4PM, we embark on the Motor Yacht Tucano in Manaus, Brasil. We depart on the Rio Negro and as the vessel glides upstream we will have our first talk about Amazon environments. By late afternoon we enter one of the world’s largest river island systems, the Anavilhanas Archipelago. The boat will weave along a winding channel with rainforest on both sides in a riot of brilliant vegetation. Weather permitting, we will go for a launch excursion in the gnarled and dense flooded forest known as the Igapó. Along the river bank we may see some Squirrel Monkeys and we may hear the other-worldly growls of Howler Monkeys echoing through the primitive rainforest. The Amazon has one of the greatest collection of birds in the world and we are sure to see some of these brightly colored jewels perched in the treetops. We return to the M/Y Tucano for hors d’oeuvres on the observation deck and a toast to the rainforest sunset. Following dinner we will embark in our launches in search of nocturnal creatures such as the Caiman, the Amazon’s crocodilians. We may also see one of the large night birds such as a Potoo with its bulging eyes and large mouth adapted to swallow the huge Mariposa Moths (B, D)
Day 2: Rio Negro
Shortly after sunrise this morning we explore the Anavilhanas Archipelago, a reserve that includes the world’s largest system of river islands and also areas of tall dense rainforest. Here we will see the strange environment called the Igapó, the black water flooded forest where dense forests grow right out of the dark water of the Rio Negro. Mid-morning we return to the vessel for a hearty Brasilian breakfast. After some time to relax, weather permitting we will disembark at mid-morning and will go for a walk in the type of rainforest known as the Terra Firme. Here we have a good chance to see the markings, if not the animals themselves, of some of the Amazon’s great mammals like peccaries (wild pigs) or even a jaguar. Around mid-day return to the vessel for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon we will explore in our launches along the edges of the dense forest and listen to the sunset chorus of birds, howler monkeys, and frogs. Weather permitting, tonight we will have an excursion to spot caiman (the Amazon’s crocodiles) and other nocturnal creatures. We very often see arboreal porcupines or sloths scrambling high in the limbs. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Rio Negro
This morning we awaken to another remote rainforest area where we will explore in our launches early in the morning, and walk in the forest in mid-morning. During the middle of the day the vessel will venture downstream to a small village on the east bank of the Rio Negro. Late this afternoon we will visit this community to learn how traditions help families survive in the remote interior. Later this evening our vessel will weigh anchor and we will voyage downstream through the night to the Xiborena Peninsula that divides the two of the world’s most storied rivers: the Rio Negro and the Amazon River. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Meeting of the Rivers - Rio Amazon
Rising early, we explore in the Lago Janauari Ecological Park, a dense forest that is flooded with the coffee colored water of the Amazon River. We explore a labyrinth of small channels overhung with gargantuan trees and vines. Listening to the chatter of creatures in the undergrowth we also keep our eyes open for monkeys, Three Toed Sloths, and the occasional Collared Anteater. By mid-morning we return to the M/Y Tucano for a hearty breakfast and some time to relax. Later this morning we foray off the vessel again to explore this environment rich in life. Following lunch we navigate to the “Encontra das Aguas”, the several mile long joining of two of the world’s greatest rivers, the Rio Negro and The Amazon. The dark and light waters run side by side for several miles without mixing. Often Pink River Dolphins and also Grey River Dolphins leap and cavort along this stark line of contrasting currents. We then will turn our bows upstream to cruise on the Amazon River until the late afternoon. On Brazilian maps this river is given the name Rio Solimões - but it is the same vast, turbulent, mighty river that we know of as the Amazon. At this point in its course it has truly become the most magnificent river on the planet and carries fully 20% of all the fresh water on Earth. Late afternoon we will have another launch excursion in a fascinating environment known as the Varzea where we may angle for piranhas or thrill at brightly colored birds that hunt in these the vast fields of waving grass. At sunset we slowly begin to ascend the Rio Negro, cruising along but not stopping at the Porto de Manaus, one of the world’s great ports. More than a thousand miles from the sea, Manaus is the major port for much of the entire Amazon. We will see boats of every imaginable shape and purpose that serve this continent sized forest. Tonight we will sample the national drink of Brasil, the Caipirinha and have a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Disembark Manaus and Return Home
Early this morning, at 7AM, after a hearty breakfast, you will disembark from the M/Y Tucano and be transferred to the airport for your international flight home, marking the end of your Amazon travel with Southern Explorations. You may wish to consider extending your travel to the Amazon with one of our Brazil tours to the country’s other beautiful regions. (B)

Weather

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Visitors may find one of several distinct climates in Brazil, depending on where they travel. Along Brazil’s northeastern coast, temperatures are mild year-round, rarely dipping below 75F. The summer rains, usually lasting three to four months, arrive as early as April here, consisting mostly of quick showers. Rio de Janeiro is pleasant year-round with slightly cooler winters than summers. Rio’s rainy season begins as late as October though rains can occur anytime of the year. Further down the coast, temperatures are more variable. Visitors will experience the most temperature variation between seasons in the south, with hot humid summers December to March and cooler temperatures in the evenings and during winter from June to August. In the country’s interior, the hottest, wettest weather occurs from December to March.

So vast is the Amazon Rainforest that its climate varies by sub-region. The north is rainy most of the time with a little less rain from June to December. In Amazon areas further south, especially around the largest population centers where there are fewer trees, temperatures are more variable with distinctly drier months between August and October.
 

RIO DE JANEIRO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN75-824.7
FEB75-824.7
MAR73-825.1
APR72-814.3
MAY68-773.1
JUN50-752.0
JUL63-751.6
AUG64-751.8
SEP64-772.6
OCT68-773.1
NOV68-793.9
DEC72-825.5

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**The summer high season in Rio is December to March. Off-season (May-October) is also a good option since Rio’s winter temperatures stay around the 70sº F/20sº C, dipping occasionally below 60ºF/15ºC. Rainy days are unpredictable andcan happen even in the high season.
 

MANAUS

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN75-889.8
FEB75-889.1
MAR73-8810
APR75-888.7
MAY75-886.7
JUN75-903.3
JUL75-902.4
AUG75-911.6
SEP75-911.8
OCT75-914.1
NOV75-915.6
DEC75-907.9

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**For the central Amazon region (Manaus) the average daytime temperature in the rainy season is in the mid-80º F (30º C), with a fall of 10 to 20º F (7 to 12º C) at night. In the dry season the average temperatures are 5º F (2-3º C) higher. Although recipitation varies significantly within the Amazon due to various factors (e.g. altitude) it is usual to consider two distinct periods: the rainy season, and the dry season. In the central zone (Manaus) the rainy season begins in December and lasts until mid-May.
 

PANTANAL

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN63-8812
FEB63-909.8
MAR63-9010
APR63-914.6
MAY63-910.4
JUN55-900.3
JUL55-900.0
AUG59-930.3
SEP63-932.4
OCT63-935.3
NOV63-909.4
DEC63-909.4

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**The rainy season lasts from December to March. The intermediary seasons are April-June and October-November. During the rainy season rain storms can be intense, the temperature is high and the Pantanal is subject to flooding. This isn’t the best period to visit Pantanal, particularly January and February. It’s much better to visit the Pantanal in the dry and intermediary seasons.
 

SALVADOR

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN77-862.2
FEB77-863.1
MAR75-866.3
APR75-848.7
MAY73-829.8
JUN73-8211
JUL72-829.8
AUG72-815.9
SEP73-822.6
OCT75-841.0
NOV75-841.0
DEC77-841.2

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**Salvador, Fortaleza, Recife and nearby resorts (Praia do Forte, Porto Galinhas, Natal, etc.) have agreeable temperatures all year round, rarely dipping below 25ºC (77ºF) and there are very few days hotter than 32 or 33ºC (90ºF). Winter temperatures are just 3-4ºC degrees below the summer averages. In Salvador and Recife the rainy season begins around the beginning of April and lasts three months. At Fortaleza the rain begins a little later. Rain showers usually don’t last enough to spoil your visit to these year-round beach resorts.
 

IGUAZU

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN68-883.5
FEB68-883.1
MAR64-843.9
APR59-794.1
MAY54-824.5
JUN48-665.1
JUL48-664.5
AUG50-705.1
SEP54-705.1
OCT57-733.4
NOV59-813.1
DEC64-843.5

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**March-November could be considered the best time to visit Iguazu Falls but there really isn’t a 'best time'. The high season is in January and February, when most Brazilians and Argentineans are on vacation. It’s a good period to visit Iguazu Falls. But there are downsides, the humidity and the heat are also at their peaks and this is also a crowded period which you might prefer to avoid. If you want to avoid busy periods then avoid Easter time also. May and July are rainy months, though the rain is rarely a problem and the volume of the falls is at its highest.

 

FLORIANOPOLIS

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN70-806.8
FEB69-817.4
MAR69-817.1
APR64-773.7
MAY58-723.7
JUN56-692.9
JUL56-673.5
AUG53-703.3
SEP55-694.9
OCT61-724.9
NOV64-765.1
DEC67-795.7

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
**The coastal city of Florianópolis enjoys a semi-tropical climate, without extreme variations in climate so any time of year is a good time to visit. It just depends upon your preferences. Winters are mild and summers hot with an average of 80% humidity. Rains should be expected from September through March. Mid-winter (June to August) is drier than summer, but anticipate cooler temperatures then as well. That said, even the coldest temperatures brought in by southerly wind will rarely drop below 50 Fahrenheit. The windiest days are most likely during the spring months of September and October for those interested in trying their hand at kiteboarding. The busiest time on the Island is in the summer months from December through mid-March, so those looking for a more peaceful trip should travel during the winter months.

Maps

Specials >> Amazon

Enjoy these Fall travel promotions in Ecuador and the Galapagos during September, October and the...

Tucano Amazon River Cruise

Pricing
Per Person
$1,830
Upgrade to Yellow Cabin: +$850

Prices increase during Brazilian holidays.  Daily schedule in the itinerary is approximate and may need to be altered due to navigational and other scheduling considerations.
Included in tour cost
  • Kayaking
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Visa fee

Tucano Amazon River Cruise

Trip Dates
Available
Amazon
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
amazon rainforest waterfall
Our trip was rather complex with three different sections (Amazon, Galapagos, and Machu Picchu (Peru)).  There were a number of internal flights as well as trains, boats, and more.  We also had coordination of people joining us part way through, special guides, and special activities for some people.  I was very impressed that all of the transfers, activities, and connections occurred without a hitch.  There were ample opportunities for things to go wrong, but the whole trip went exceptionally smoothly.  All of the guides were outstanding - knowledgeable, personable, with good communication skills, and a good sense of humor.  I appreciated the very small groups, which afforded just the right balance.  We were able to see more than expected. It couldn’t have been better. - Linda Tredupp, Wisconsin (Amazon, Galapagos Island Cruise & Peru)
 

I was very impressed with the organization of our trip.  Everything Southern Explorations was responsible for went smoothly and everything was on schedule.  The Manatee on the Amazon had some initial trouble but it could not have been known or anticipated by SE.  Once again I would like to compliment Jorge on his work.  He made our comings and goings to and from Quito very easy.  If I go to South America again my first call will be to Southern Explorations.  Thank you. - Peter Tuck, CA (Corals & Manatee)

I have traveled many places in the world but the trip put together by Southern Explorations may well be the best. The amazing biology we saw on the Galapagos and in the Amazon, wonderful guides both on the Eclipse and at Sacha lodge, excellent food, and great coordination of the different parts of the trip made for an incredible journey.   -Marilyn Parsons, USA (Galapagos Island Cruise & Amazon)


Please consider strongly using Southern Explorations to book your trip to South America. These folks are well organized and provided excellent preparation materials. The two tours that I took (Galapagos Islands and the Amazon) were outstanding, in part due to the people working with Southern Explorations. There was excellent communication between Southern Explorations staff and myself which helped markedly in planning the trip, the exact locations to be visited, and the accommodations. Do not miss this opportunity to work with this wonderful group! - Renée Leboeuf (Galapagos Island Cruise & Amazon)

Thank-you for the trip of a life time and I have already recommended you to everyone who asks! - Wendy Williams, Canada (Amazon, Machu Picchu & Galapagos Island Cruise)

Southern Explorations did a superb job creating an individual guided trip for us to the Amazon, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The guides were terrific - well-informed, friendly and flexible. The accommodations were excellent. The trip was a thrilling experience for us - exceeded our expectations at all of the locations. Thank you!! - David Bergen & Rhea Feldman, USA (Amazon & Peru)

We had an outstanding time on our Galapagos Adventure + stay at the Sacha Lodge. Everything ran seamlessly and our guides were fun and knowledgeable. It was the perfect mix of activity, education, and relaxation! We also highly recommend the Sacha Lodge. - Eric & Leah Monson, USA (Galapagos Island Land & Amazon) 

Brazil - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer both active and cultural tours that visit the incomparable Rio de Janeiro, the Amazon, massive waterfalls, the epicenter of Afro-Brazilian culture, and seemingly endless beaches. These itineraries vary in length and level of accommodation. Our Adventure Travel Coordinators would be happy to chat with you to help you find the itinerary that best meets your needs and interests.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to put together a custom Brazil tour for you if our current itineraries are not quite what you are looking for. We can also add extensions onto any of our existing tours.
Q: When is the best time to go to Brazil?
A: Brazil is a year-round destination. High season runs from December through April, which is also generally the warmest time of year.
Q: What is the weather like?
A: You will find several distinct climates in Brazil, depending on where you travel. Along Brazil’s northeastern coast, temperatures are mild year-round, rarely dipping below 75F. The summer rains, usually lasting three to four months, arrive as early as April, consisting mostly of quick showers. Rio de Janeiro is pleasant year-round, with slightly cooler winters than summers. Rio’s rainy season begins as late as October, though rains can occur anytime of the year. You will experience the most temperature variation between seasons in the south, with hot humid summers from December to March and cooler temperatures during winter, which runs from June to August. In the country’s interior, such as the Pantanal and Bonito, the hottest, wettest weather occurs from December to March.
Q: What is a typical day like on a Brazil tour?
A: A typical day in Brazil will vary from tour to tour, but you can generally expect to start your excursions right after breakfast, with a full day of scheduled activities or sightseeing. A lunch break is included and you’ll retire to your accommodations in the late afternoon, with evenings free.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Brazil?
A: Our Brazil trips vary in level of activity, so the requirements differ based on itinerary. Please check our physical ratings for each itinerary to see what may be required of you when assessing your ability to enjoy a trip. If you have any specific questions, please contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator. We have personal experience with these activities and can help you decide whether a trip is right for you.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Brazil?
A: Most of our Brazil trips are between one and two weeks, depending on how much of the country you would like to see.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: For the best guide availability and selection in hotels, we recommend booking three to six months in advance. December through April are especially popular times for Brazil travel, so more advance planning is ideal. For the Christmas holiday season, Carnival and the week prior to Easter, we recommend booking a year in advance.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: Our guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, professionalism, experience and ability to effectively manage groups with finesse. We only hire guides who are native to the destination and licensed or certified in accordance with the government regulations of their country. All are fluent in Spanish and English. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, native culture or other related field. All guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: In major cities we offer a variety of hotels including boutique properties and larger business-style hotels. Throughout the rest of the country we work with a combination of pousadas, small traditional hotels, and remote lodges. The majority of the properties are family-run or locally owned. All of our accommodations are clean and comfortable, with private bathrooms and hot water. We offer basic or luxury options in many locations, depending on taste and budget.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: Travelers are responsible for their own international airfare. Internal flights are quoted separately from our base trip costs. We will include any necessary internal flight pricing in your quote.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Eight travelers is the maximum for our Brazil trips, but the majority of our departures are private.
Q: Do I need a visa to enter Brazil?
A: Yes, Brazil requires tourist visas for travelers from most nations. Please contact your nearest Brazilian consulate for more information or a third-party visa specialist such as VisaHQ.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal, which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary. This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.