Many travelers want just a taste of the Amazon on their way to somewhere else. This eight-day trip is a true expeditionary adventure for those who wish to explore more of the legendary river and its rainforest. You’ll journey to the heart of the Brazilian Amazon aboard the Tucano, a 9-cabin motor yacht. A typical day includes several stops in wildlife-rich areas to walk in the rainforest and observe wildlife in streams and lagoons from small motorized launches. Outings take place at sunrise, following breakfast, in the late afternoon and after dark.

Your vessel will navigate the river during the heat of the day and through the night. Passengers set their own pace and are 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, a skilled, attentive crew and authoritative, bilingual naturalist-guides make this the Amazon cruise of a lifetime. You’ll travel an idyllic stretch of the Amazon, starting in Manaus on the Rio Negro tributary, the fifth largest river in the world. Among the many memorable sights are 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.

On arrival at the Manaus International Airport, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel. If you wish to start your Brazil Amazon tours from Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo instead, please contact us to discuss these options.
Early this morning you will walk from your hotel down to the pier to get settled aboard the M/Y Tucano before departing upstream on the Rio Negro. The first destination is the world’s largest river island system, the Anavilhanas Archipelago, where you’ll scan the magnificent tangle of vegetation for wildlife from the observation deck. By mid-afternoon you reach a wilderness area with shores covered by dense rainforest. One can never predict what wildlife may be observed here, but it is an area inhabited by pink river dolphins and many tropical birds. In the late afternoon you will travel by launch to search for wildlife and perhaps go for a swim in some of the cleanest and most refreshing water you’ll find on Earth. (B,L,D)
Early this morning you explore the rainforest along the water’s edge from a launch. You may hear and perhaps see howler monkeys as well as be serenaded by some toucans. The forest walk after breakfast provides an introduction to Amazon ecology. Around midday you’ll return for lunch as the vessel gets underway, perhaps stopping at a beach to swim. In the late afternoon you will again explore the forest by launch, serenaded by a sunset chorus of birds and frogs. (B,L,D)
This morning’s early exploration of the waking forest is a good opportunity to view monkeys, which are observed on most trips. A second excursion, either on foot or by launch, follows breakfast. The vessel will travel further downstream through the middle of the day and stop in the afternoon for another excursion. Lit by a night sky crowded with stars, the vessel may journey downstream a bit further tonight. (B,L,D)
After two morning excursions, the M/Y Tucano will navigate along the heavily forested shore, scouting for wildlife. You might stop to visit a settler’s home carved out of the rainforest. In the early afternoon the vessel nears the extraordinary Rio Jaueperi. Here you will enter an intermittently-flooded varzea forest to search along the shore for creatures found only in this unique environment. Weather permitting, a rainforest excursion will take place after dinner. (B,L,D)
The vessel leaves the Rio Jaueperi to head further downstream on the Rio Negro, exploring a new array of rainforest habitats along the west bank. You will continue looking for Amazon wildlife from your launch and on forest trails with an evening excursion to seek out nocturnal species. (B,L,D)
This morning you will explore Lago Janauari Ecological Park where dark river waters flow swiftly through the forest. This area is usually a very good place to observe wildlife. Around midday the vessel will reach the Encontra das Aguas where the dark Rio Negro flows beside the milky brown waters of the Solimões. This stark line continues until the two rivers join. In the afternoon you’ll scout one of the area’s hidden streams in hopes of observing more of the bizarre creatures that inhabit the rainforest. Tonight you’ll take one last excursion in search of Amazon wildlife species. (B,L,D)
Back in Manaus, you will disembark from the M/Y Tucano after a hearty breakfast and be transferred to the airport for your international flight home, marking the end of your Amazon tours with Southern Explorations. It is possible to extend your Brazil vacation adventure with tours to other of the country’s beautiful regions. (B)


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.


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**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.


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**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.


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**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.


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**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.


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**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.



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**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.


Specials >> Amazon

Book the Aria Amazon Cruise and travel within 90 days and enjoy the following exclusive benefits...

Brazil Amazon Cruise

Per Person
Upgrade to Yellow Cabin: +$490

Weekly departures. Please contact us to arrange Private Departures and for information about Single Supplement fees. Single Supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy. We will match you with another same gender traveler unless you request single accommodations.

Please note that the exact itinerary may need to be altered due to navigational and other scheduling considerations, and contact us for increases in pricing during Brazilian holidays.
Included in tour cost
  • 1 night hotel Manaus, Brazil
  • 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

Brazil Amazon Cruise

Trip Dates
Departs every other week. Please contact us for departure dates.
Monday, January 1, 2018 to Monday, December 31, 2018
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 to Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

  • World’s largest river island system, the Anavilhanas Archipelago
    Amazon River and Rio Negro
    Lago Janauari Ecological Park
    Pink and Grey River Dolphins and other Jungle Wildlife
  • Home of the samba, the jet-set capital of Brazil is a smorgasbord of experiences for first time visitors and veteran travelers alike. . . spend a few days here on your way to or from your South America tour


Green Category (standard): The four cabins in this category (1, 2, 7 and 8) have bunk beds with single sized mattresses. These cabins are significantly smaller than the Yellow cabins but they are comfortable with large windows, private bathrooms, and air-conditioning. Cabins average 87 square feet.

Yellow Category (upgrade): Four cabins in this category (3, 4, 5 and 6) are large and have twin beds side by side. Cabin “0” has a queen size bed beside a single bed. All of these cabins have large windows, private bathrooms and air-conditioning. Cabins average 108 square feet.


Boat Details

  • Length: 82 feet
  • Maximum Width: 22 feet
  • Maximum Passengers: 18
  • Crew: 8
  • Cruising Range: 1000 miles
  • Air-conditioning: Cabins / Salon
  • Electricity: 110 v / 60 cycle
  • Communications: VHF, Emergency SAT Phone
DECK PLAN (click for enlargement)

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.