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These Brazil tours are filled with one-of-a-kind nature adventures starting in the magnificent seaside setting of cosmopolitan Rio de Janeiro. You’ll spend enough time here to experience what makes this city famous, its white sand beaches, cuisine, cultural heritage and a vibrant nightlife. Next you’ll travel on to the exquisite Pantanal, a destination that nature-loving adventure travelers consider the place to see rare rainforest mammals and large colorful bird species. You’ll spend four unforgettable days here in the world’s largest wetlands where species may be seen that elude observation in more dense habitats such as the Amazon. The perfect ending to your Brazil travel is Bonito, a destination that has escaped the attention of most international eco-tourists. The highlands of Bonito, south of the Pantanal, are a wonderland of crystal clear lakes and rivers with many caves and waterfalls, an area best known for its exotic drift-snorkeling excursions, traveling along the aquamarine river currents, viewing vivid underwater hues. You’ll want to pack a watercolor set along with your camera for this scenic travel to Brazil.


 

Itinerary
Day 1 ARRIVE RIO – NEIGHBORHOOD WALKING TOUR
Today, upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel where you can drop off your luggage then continue on with your guide for a one-hour walking tour of your new neighborhood. 
Day 2 TIJUCA RAINFOREST - CORCOVADO MOUNTAIN
Today, after breakfast, you will head into the Tijuca Rainforest, the largest urban forest in the world at 12.5 square miles. The Tijuca Forest was the result of a successful reforestation project in the late 1800s and is now home to hundreds of species of plants and animals that are only found in the Atlantic Rainforest. You will explore this beautiful mountainous park by car before being taken to Rio de Janeiro’s most famous attraction, the massive statue of Christ the Redeemer that stands with arms outstretched atop Corcovado Mountain. For lunch, you’ll be dropped off at a pleasant spot and have the day and early evening to unwind and start getting acquainted with this mesmerizing city on your own. Return to your hotel for another overnight at your Rio hotel. (B)
 
Active Rio Options - For those who desire a more active itinerary option, we offer Active Rio which substitutes walking and hiking during some segments of your Rio de Janeiro tours.
 
Active Option: TIJUCA RAINFOREST HIKE – CORCOVADO MOUNTAIN
You’ll start with a 2½-hour hike accompanied by your bilingual guide to the top of Rio’s highest peak, ascending 3,350-ft Tijuca Peak. Tijuca National Park comprises the world’s largest urban forest, a restored mountainous landscape of lush Atlantic forest. After passing 100-ft Tounay waterfall and stunning viewpoints, you’ll reach the summit where spectacular views of the city and the coastline await. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is located on the far edge of the park, a short car ride away. To reach the base, visitors may go by conveyance or walk up the 222 steps. Afterwards, you may choose to have an optional lunch in the artsy Santa Teresa neighborhood or be dropped off in the Ipanema neighborhood for lunch on your own. Return to your hotel for another overnight at your Rio hotel
Day 3 SUGAR LOAF
After a free morning and lunch on your own, you’ll travel to famous Sugar Loaf Mountain with your bilingual guide.  On the way, you’ll drive through the shoreline neighborhood of Urca.  You’ll take an aerial cable car to the summit for some memorable views of Guanabara Bay and Rio.  After taking in the scenery, a cable car will transport you back to your starting point before being returned to your hotel.  (B)
 
Active Option: SUGAR LOAF HIKING
Today you’ll have until 2 PM for Rio de Janeiro tours of your own making or to take it easy at the beach.  You’ll spend today’s official Brazil tours accompanied by your English-speaking guide, traveling through the shoreline Urca neighborhood to reach the destination on everyone’s list of must-see destinations during their travel to Brazil.  Most tourists arrive at the summit en masse by aerial cable car, but you’ll begin the journey on foot.  You’ll hike for about forty-five minutes up to the top of the lower mountain, Morro da Urca, where you then catch the cable car to reach the top of Sugar Loaf.  After taking in the scenery, you’ll take the cable car back to Urca Mountain and hike downhill the last thirty minutes before being returned to your hotel.  (B)
Day 4 RIO - CAMPO GRANDE – PANTANAL

After breakfast you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Campo Grande, the beginning of your Pantanal travel. Your driver will be waiting with an air-conditioned vehicle for the four-hour journey deep into the region where your comfortable lodgings at the Caiman Ecologic Refuge are located.  The Pantanal lowlands provide habitat to over 100 mammal species including giant anteaters, tapirs, capybaras and a large population of jaguars, and over 600 bird species such as the jabiru stork, pink flamingo, snowy egret, tiger heron, and the magnificent hyacinth macaw, plus 1,000 butterfly species and a wide array of reptile and amphibian species.  This vast region, covering almost 103,000 sq miles, is dissected by 175 rivers and is comprised mostly of organic cattle ranches with large private reserves.  It flanks the western border of Brazil, stretching into Bolivia and Paraguay.  After checking in, you’ll be able to relax in the lodge and get acquainted with your surroundings before beginning your Brazil tours of the Pantanal.  Overnight at the peaceful Caiman Ecologic Refuge.  (B,D)

Days 5-6 PANTANAL
Located in the southern part of the region, Pousada Caiman Ecologic Refuge is home to most of the Pantanal’s species.  The complex operates as a working ranch, research center and ecological preserve, making it the perfect setting for your Brazil travel in the Pantanal.  Though named for the abundance of crocodiles that inhabit the area, Pousada Caiman is best known for its work in restoring populations of the rare hyacinth macaw, found in only three locations in the world.  Here midst marshes, savannah and lush forests, you’ll take exotic nature safaris twice a day on foot and by jeep and canoe, led by young, university-trained bilingual guides who are native to the area and know the region’s fauna and flora well.  Scheduled to minimize disturbance to the wildlife, the Brazil tours here take place early in the morning, late afternoon and after dark when the weather is coolest and wildlife are most likely to be on the move.  All meals, consisting of regional cuisine, are enjoyed on-site during your stay.  Overnight at Pousada Caiman Ecologic Refuge. (B,L,D)
Day 7 PANTANAL - BONITO

After breakfast, you’ll take a four-hour drive south to Bonito. You’ll get your first glimpse of this magical world at scenic Ceita Core Farm, walking the forest trails, gazing at waterfalls and enjoying a relaxing lunch of delicious regional cuisine. You’ll arrive at your Bonito accommodations at day’s end. Overnight at your Bonito lodgings. (B)

Day 8 BONITO (Gruta do Lago Azul & Sucuri River)

You’ll be picked up after breakfast at your hotel for an excursion to the much photographed Gruta do Lago Azul (Blue Lake Grotto), a huge cavern with an intensely blue lake.  You’ll have time to photograph and explore this cavern and underground lake while your guide explains the geologic formations and fossils of extinct Pleistocene megafauna such as the saber-tooth tiger and giant sloth found in the lake. You’ll then have lunch and spend an afternoon of unforgettable snorkeling in the Rio Sucuri, some of the clearest waters in the world, where you’ll float downstream with the river currents. Surrounded by lush forest on the river’s edge you will swim with large freshwater fish like the Golden Dorado and Piraputanga. You will be returned to the hotel for another relaxing evening.  Overnight in your peaceful Bonito accommodations. (B, L)

Day 9 BONITO (Prata River Ecological Refuge)

After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll head out for a day of forest exploration and river snorkeling at the Rio Prata Ecological Refuge. Upon arrival at the refuge you will take a pleasant hike through the protested forest leading to the Olho D’agua River. This “gallery forest” offers an excellent exploration of the native flora. When you reach the river there will be a quick orientation before donning a wetsuit and setting off down-stream starting from the spring of the river. Snorkel downriver for nearly 1.5 miles surrounded by countless species of fish and aquatic plants in these crystal clear waters. Return to the main house for a lunch of regional cuisine and short siesta. You’ll end this day of Brazil travel with a contemplative walk to the very deep Buraco das Araras cavern, one of the largest sinkholes in South America and a nesting place for red macaws. The birdlife is very active and two large platforms allow excellent viewing. Return to your hotel for another relaxing evening.  (B,L)

Day 10 BONITO TO CAMPO GRANDE

After breakfast, you will be returned to the airport at Campo Grande to make your connecting flight to another airport for your international departure. (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

Water Paradises of Brasil

Pricing
Per Person
$5,295

Domestic Airfare (Rio/Campo Grande/Rio) – $250, Subject to Change

* The price is not valid for national holidays: Carnival (from Feb 24 to March 1st); Easter (from April 14 to 16); Tiradentes (from April 21 to 23); Labor Day (from April 28 to May 1st); Corpus Christi (from 15 to 18); Winter holiday (from July 14 to 30); Independence Day (from Sept 07 to 10); Children’s Day (from Oct 11 to 15); Finados (from Nov 02 to 05); December holiday (from Dec 15 to 20); Christmas (from Dec 21 to 26) and New Years (from Dec 27 to Jan 1st).

Included in tour cost
  • Nightlife guide
  • Snorkeling gear
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • 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
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear
  • Visa fee

Water Paradises of Brasil

Trip Dates
Can’t find a date that works for you in the list below? Southern Explorations can arrange a private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details.
Thursday, June 15, 2017 to Saturday, June 24, 2017
Available
Saturday, July 1, 2017 to Monday, July 10, 2017
Available
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 to Friday, August 18, 2017
Available
Friday, September 1, 2017 to Sunday, September 10, 2017
Available
Thursday, October 12, 2017 to Saturday, October 21, 2017
Available
Thursday, November 16, 2017 to Saturday, November 25, 2017
Available
Thursday, December 21, 2017 to Saturday, December 30, 2017
Available
Friday, January 5, 2018 to Sunday, January 14, 2018
Available
Friday, February 23, 2018 to Monday, March 5, 2018
Available
Friday, April 6, 2018 to Sunday, April 15, 2018
Available
Friday, May 11, 2018 to Sunday, May 20, 2018
Available
Friday, November 9, 2018 to Sunday, November 18, 2018
Available
Friday, December 7, 2018 to Sunday, December 16, 2018
Available
Bonito
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
  • 3 Star
     Included Hotel (subject to availability) 
Pantanal
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Rio de Janiero
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
"I have already recommended Southern Explorations to my friends. The phone calls at the hotel from you guys were very much appreciated. Checking up on me and making sure everything was good was very comforting in a foreign place. I trust Southern Explorations and will use them again. Thank you for a trip of a lifetime. My only complaint was that it was not long enough but I'm thankful for experiencing a little bit of So. America." - Debra Giancola, USA (Rio de Janeiro & Iguazu)

Southern Explorations has arranged 3 very successful trips for us. We appreciate all the help with details and suggestions. We loved the Pantanal. The Cordilhiera Lodge was wonderful. Beautiful views. Guides and other personal at the lodge were very friendly and knowledgable. The activities during the day were great, saw many animals and birds. 
- Leslie Williams, USA (Custom Amazon & Pantanal Tour)

 

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.