Brazil is definitely one of the most attractive, enticing and exciting travel destinations in the world. It is a country delicately shaped by Mother Nature, known for its good-tempered and hospitable people, for the beauty and truly positive outlook on life of its inhabitants.
Larger than Europe and covering almost half of South America, just its Atlantic coastline is over 7,000km (4,500 miles) long, Brazil is a huge country of contrasting superlatives. Stretching from the Tropical Rain Forests of the Amazon in the North to the "Pampas" in the South, the natural wonders of this land are clearly spectacular.
From the awesome Iguassu Waterfalls to the Amazon basin, Brazil's natural beauty and magic continually overwhelm the traveler.
Brazil is not only filled with rich natural abundance, it is also a country of great cultural plenitude and its people are a joyous, exuberant mixture of all races and origins. In the capital Brasilia, ultra modern architecture dazzles the eye, while the baroque classics Salvador da Bahia , Recife, Olinda and the historical Ouro Preto are a link to past glory.
The modern metropolis of Brazil often seems like islands in a huge sea of almost untouched natural beauty. Especially Rio de Janeiro, this pulsating international melting pot of cultures which provides a spectacular contrast to the surrounding natural beauty.
Day 01-Arrive Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Arrive Rio de Janeiro. Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, you are met and transferred to your hotel for check-in.
Rio - sensuous, chaotic, sophisticated, open and friendly is one of South America's gems. The Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City,) as Brazilians call it, displays a unique blend of contrasts: old and new, tremendous wealth amid crushing poverty, an urban metropolis nestled around mountains and a huge forest. All of this is symbolically embraced in the outstretched arms of Cristo Redentor, the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain.
Enjoying a superb position overlooking the white sands of Copacabana Beach, The Rio Othon Palace is a modern, luxury hotel ideally placed just a few minutes from downtown Rio. Towering above the surrounding buildings, the hotel's views are unrivalled. Arranged over 30 floors, the 586 rooms and suites all have vast picture windows and balconies giving spectacular views over the sea, Copacabana Beach and Sugar Loaf Mountain. The hotel has recently undergone a major refurbishment program with all 150 Deluxe Rooms totally renovated. Spend your leisure time relaxing on the beach or soaking up the sun on the hotel's spectacular rooftop terrace. Here you can take a dip in the outdoor heated pool, submit to a relaxing massage, or just take in the amazing view with a sunset cocktail from the rooftop bar.
Depart the hotel and drive through the residential areas of Rio to reach the Urca district, where a cable car ascent is made in two stages to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. The first stage of the ride goes to Urca Hill, where there are gardens and lookout points; for those who wish to venture even higher, the second cable car goes to the very top of Sugar Loaf itself - 1200 feet above the sea level - for breathtaking views of the sunset, city, harbor, and beaches.
After descending, proceed to a barbecue restaurant (churrascaria - Brazilian steakhouse) for dinner.
Rio Othon Palace Hotel
Day 02 -Rio de Janeiro
Drive through residential areas to Cosme Velho to board the funicular railway for a 20-minute climb through Tijuca Forest. As the train climbs Corcovado (hunchback) Mountain, enjoy spectacular views of Rio and the Bay peeking through the dense vegetation. At the top of Corcovado, 2400 feet above sea level, is the majestic, 120-foot high statue of Christ with outstretched arms. The panoramic view is breathtaking.
Descend by train again and return to the hotel via Rio's famous beaches.
Rio Othon Palace Hotel
Day 03 -Rio de Janeiro- Petropolis- Rio de Janeiro
A trip to the imperial town of Petrópolis offers a nice respite from hectic Rio. Drive 40 miles north into the Organ Mountains along a winding road through dramatic scenery, with forested slopes and cloud-shrouded mountains; the drive itself is a dramatic experience.
Arrive Petrópolis, enjoy an introduction to this pretty resort town with its mansions and alpine chalets and visit the neo-Gothic Cathedral São Pedro de Alcântara. Inside are the tombs of Dom Pedro, the Princess Regent Dona Isabel and several other royal personages. Also visit the Imperial Museum, which is housed in the former royal residence and stands in beautifully maintained gardens. The exhibits are on two levels and include a fascinating collection of the royal family's odds and ends.
Lunch today will be at the Chale Market Restaurant (or similar), a Portuguese Colonial style house, dated from the end of the 19th century.
Note: The Imperial museum is closed on Mondays.
This evening, depart the hotel to the Botafogo District and enjoy a three-course dinner at Real Astoria Restaurant (or similar). Following dinner continue to Plataforma nightclub, for an exciting samba and folkloric show. If you have never experienced Carnival in Rio, this show will offer a glimpse of what the excitement is all about. The hypnotic sounds, along with the lavish, feathered and sequined gowns, are the very essence of a samba show. During the approx. 1 ½ hour performance, feel the exuberance of Brazilian joie de vivre. Return to the hotel shortly after midnight.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Rio Othon Palace Hotel
Day 04 -Rio de Janeiro- Iguassu Falls
Transfer to the airport for your flight (not included) to Iguassu Falls. You will be met outside baggage claim and transferred to your hotel.
Located between the airport and downtown Foz do Iguaçu, the resort is midway to all these wonderful natural and man made attractions, ecology and adventure tours, shows and performances. At the Mabu Thermas and Resort, comfort involves a universe of sensations, offering a range of carefully designed facilities.
The name Iguaçu (Iguazú or Iguassu) means "Great Waters" in Guarani, which hardly seems to do this natural masterpiece justice. Taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide, this wonder combines 275 falls in a massive, magnificent cascade stretching for nearly 1.7 miles. Situated on the border between Argentina and Brazil, its waters pass over luscious sub-tropical greenery.
This afternoon enjoy a tour of the falls from the peaceful Brazilian side. Set back from the falls themselves, it offers a panoramic view of the immense gulf and its seemingly endless series of cascades. Once at the falls, the tour takes you over an easy walking path of approx. 1.200 meters. Take the trail through the subtropical rainforest that surrounds the falls within Iguassu National Park, as toucans and cobalt blue butterflies sail overhead and a sleek coatimundi may cross your path.
Mabu Thermas and Resort
Day 05- Iguassu- Salvador
The Argentine side of the falls is your destination today. Arriving at the Iguazú National Park, board an ecological train shuttle to the Cataratas Station where you will disembark to walk through paths that lead along and above the spectacular Falls. Beautiful flowers, ferns, tropical plants, butterflies and exotic birds add to the exciting experience of close contact with nature. You will then board another train shuttle to "Devil's Throat" station," where you can walk onto a catwalk that extends 1100 meters over the lush tropical basin of Devil's Gorge.
Enjoy a buffet lunch at La Selva Restaurant (or similar) located inside the Park. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your flight (not included) to Salvador via Manaus. You are met outside baggage claim and transferred to the hotel.
This striking city, Brazil's former colonial capital, lies on the beautiful Bay of All Saints (Bahia de Todos os Santos), the second largest bay in the country. A strong African influence derives from the slaves brought to work in the sugarcane fields more than 400 years ago.
Deville Salvador Hotel
Day 06 -Salvador
Half-day city tour with private guide. This morning head towards the Cidade Alta (uptown.) On the way stop at the Farol da Barra (Barra Lighthouse) for a panoramic view of the entrance to Baía de Todos os Santos (All Saints Bay.) Continue along the Vitoria Corridor for a look at some imposingly large houses. Arrive in the historical section - the Pelourinho. From a lookout you can observe the lower city and port, the Mercado Modelo and the Lacerda Elevator, connecting the 2 parts of the city. From this point, the rest of the visit is on foot. Crossing Terreiro de Jesus square, visit the Church of Saint Francis (1713), considered to be the best example of Portuguese baroque style and the most magnificent in Brazil.
Continue to the famous Mercado Modelo, considered to be the best handicraft market in the city. Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before returning to the hotel.
Deville Salvador Hotel
Day 07 - Salvador
Full-day Praia do Forte tour with private guide. This morning depart along the Estrada do Côco ("Coconut Highway.") towards Praia do Forte. This region of the Northern coast of Bahia is considered to be the country's principal area for coconut trees. En route, stop for a swim at Praia de Guarajuba. Return to the road and arrive at the fishermen's village of Praia do Forte. Visit the Tamar Project - the preservation center for marine turtles. With its 12km of beaches, this village is the ideal place for a sea swim in natural pools.
Enjoy a seafood lunch and enjoy some leisure time to look around the village or relax on the beach. Return to Salvador this afternoon.
This evening dinner will be a typical dinner or barbeque followed by a Bahian Folk show with an introduction to the Orixás, the principal divinities of Candomblé. Through the dances and chanting you can recognize the Yorubá Gods by their colorful costumes. The show continues with the songs of the fishermen and the maculelê, a warrior dance that came from Africa. Most of the show is devoted to a demonstration of capoeira, a fighting style introduced to Brazil by the African slaves as a means of defense. The "capoeira" is a kind of fight combined with acrobatic dance, whose rhythm is given by the "berimbau", a stringed musical instrument with an incomparable sound.
After the show, return to the hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Deville Salvador Hotel
Day 08 - Day of Departure
Transfer to the Salvador airport for flight (not included) to Rio de Janeiro International Airport and onward connecting flights.
Depart any day! Contact an iExplore Adventure Consultant for details.
January to June, 2011 Prices*:
$3,439 per person double occupancy.
$3,099 per person double occupancy, based on four persons traveling together.
$5,929 Solo traveler.
* Prices are not valid over New Year's, Carnival (Feb. 12-17, 2010), and other holidays. Please contact iExplore for an exact quote over these periods.
Prices for your dates of travel may vary- please contact iExplore for an exact quote. Quoted prices are based on current rates of exchange, tariffs and taxes as of November, 2010. iExplore reserves the right to increase tour prices to cover increased costs, tariffs and taxes received after prices are published, and to reflect fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. iExplore is under no obligation to give breakdown costs involved in any package.
Airport meet & assist
Airport/hotel transfers in private deluxe air-conditioned vehicles
Hotel accommodations as indicated, in superior double rooms
Meals as indicated (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) including mineral water and/or soft drinks with your meals (venues are subject to change)
Sightseeing as indicated on a private basis with local English-speaking guides (except where indicated)
Entrance fees to sights and shows as indicated
Taxes and service fees
International airfare and airport taxes
Domestic flights and taxes: Rio de Janeiro-Iguassu Falls-Manaus-Salvador-Rio de Janeiro
Meals, unless otherwise indicated
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities and porterage
Visas (if required)
Domestic flights: Rio de Janeiro-Iguassu Falls-Manaus-Salvador-Rio de Janeiro are not included in the above land prices. Brazil Airpass is the most practical and economical way to travel within Brazil. Available only to foreigners and Brazilians residing abroad holding a round trip ticket to Brazil. Reservations: 1(888) 2FLY-TAM.
Prices are subject to change to accommodate drastic currency fluctuations. Minimum stays, special deposits or cancellation penalties may apply over peak or holiday travel dates.
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.