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Rio & Brazilian Wildlife Highlights (Amazon / Pantanal)

Itinerary in Brief:  Experience Brazil’s Amazing Wildlife in the Pantanal and Amazon

  • 3 nights in Rio on beautiful Ipanema Beach
  • One of the world’s most beautiful cities, a sparkling coastal gem
  • Stay in a unique, award-winning Amazon lodge
  • Exceptional biodiversity in two distinct natural areas
  • 3 nights in the Pantanal, one of the best places in South America for wildlife viewing
  • Top quality boutique hotels, truly outstanding local English-speaking private guides
  • All of our itineraries can be customized to your interests, dates, and budget!

Day by Day Itinerary

Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)

Day 1        Arrive Rio de Janeiro

Arrive to Rio de Janeiro. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport by an English speaking guide who will welcome you to the country, transfer you to your hotel, and be there to assist you with any questions you have. Your hotel is located on Ipanema beach, the best place in Rio de Janeiro to be based for seeing what the city has to offer. The beachfront is one of the most beautiful in the world, and the area is both a great place to spend time on the beach and to stroll through the streets. Many of Rio’s best restaurants, boutiques, and cafes are located in Ipanema and neighboring Leblon. (If for any reason you prefer a different hotel in Rio, for example the Copacabana Palace, just let us know.)
Marina All Suites Hotel

Day 2       Rio de Janeiro: Corcovado mountain / Santa Teresa

Your first full day in Rio starts with a visit to the top of the Corcovado mountain to the Cristo Redentor statue, where you can take in the view out over all of Rio…. it has to be one of the best views in the world. Afterwards, you’ll do a drive through the historic Santa Teresa neighborhood, filled with mansions dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and get a chance to see Rio’s bustling downtown. You have the end of the day free to explore on your own.
Marina All Suites Hotel (B)

Day 3       Free day in Rio for other activities

This is a free day in Rio to explore on your own or take another excursion. We can assist you with a range of additional activities, including active excursions such as half day sea kayaking trips, hiking excursions of varying difficulty in Tijuca National Park (where you can see a wide range of tropcial wildlife, including several species of monkeys and numerous species of tropical birds), and full day excursions out to nearby cities such as Petropolis, Buzios, or other locations. Excursions up to the top of the Sugarloaf mountain for another superb view of Rio can also be arranged. Please inquire if interested.
Marina All Suites Hotel (B)

Day 4       Amazon / Alta Floresta

The wildlife and ecotourism part of your trip starts with a flight to Cuiaba from Rio… in Cuiaba you connect with a short flight north to the remote town of Alta Floresta. Floresta sits at the southern edge of a massive expanse of pristine Amazon rainforest. The Cristalino Jungle Lodge was a winner of the Conde Naste Traveler World Saver’s Awards for its pioneering efforts in preserving the southern Amazon rainforest in Brazil, an area under relentless threat of clearcutting by ranchers and loggers. The lodge is one of the best in the Amazon for viewing tropical birds (over 540 species on record) and wildlife, and has very comfortable facilities, top quality guides, and very good food. Due to flight schedules, your first night is spent at a hotel in the town of Alta Floresta that is owned by the same people who operate the Cristalino Jungle Lodge. This hotel is a high quality bird watching location in its own right and is a comfortable place to spend the first night of your foray into the Amazon.
Floresta Amazonica Lodge (B)

Day 5       Amazon / Cristalino Jungle Lodge

This morning you transfer to Cristalino Jungle Lodge by vehicle and by boat (about 3 hours total travel time). Upon arrival you will receive an orientation on how you will spend your next few days, and then start your explorations of the area around Cristalino Jungle Lodge with the guides from the lodge. The exact itinerary can vary, but you will make a series of excursions by foot, boat and canoe to spot wildlife and learn about the Amazon ecosystem. The abundance of life is astonishing, and the view from the top of the 50 meter observation tower is one you will probably never forget.
Cristalino Jungle Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6       Amazon / Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Excursions around Cristalino Jungle Lodge as above.
Cristalino Jungle Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 7       Amazon / Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Excursions around Cristalino Jungle Lodge as above.
Cristalino Jungle Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 8       Pantanal / Rio Mutum Lodge

Your trip finishes with a journey to what is arguably the best place in South America for viewing wildlife: the Pantanal. You transfer back to Alta Floresta, and then south to the Pantanal gateway city of Cuiaba. The “transpantaneira” highway (a narrow 2 lane dirt road) takes you for 2.5 hours into the heart of the Pantanal, the world’s largest alluvial flood plain, where the abundance of bird and animal life will amaze any visitor. Because there is far less tree cover than in the Amazon to the north, the animals are far easier to see… monkeys, toucans, macaws, giant anteaters, tapir, and countless other species of birds and animals can be seen over the course of a 3 night stay. For those interested in wildlife, a trip to the Pantanal offers tremendous rewards. Your lodge is considered among the very best and most comfortable in the area, situated on the Mutum River, with excellent tours and outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities.
Rio Mutum Lodge (B,D)

Day 9       Pantanal

Exploring the Pantanal. The exact itinerary at the Rio Mutum Lodge can vary, but you will make excursions into the surrounding area by foot, horseback, and boat (depending on the season).
Rio Mutum Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 10      Pantanal 

Exploring the Pantanal as above.
Rio Mutum Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 11      Depart for home

Today you transfer to the airport in Cuiaba to start your return flight home. (We can also arrange any extensions or customize this itinerary in any way you would like.) (B)