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Iguazu Falls, Rio de Janeiro, and Pantanal Wildlife: Combine the world's most powerful waterfall, cosmopolitan Rio, and one of South America's best kept wildlife secrets

Days: 9 | From: $4,550/per person

Marvel at the thundering power of Iguazu Falls, then head to the captivating metropolis of Rio de Janeiro. Finish by exploring the Pantanal, one of South America's premier wildlife destinations.

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
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We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

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At a glance

  • Iguazu Falls
    2 nights: the world's most powerful waterfall, in the middle of verdant subtropical forest
  • Rio de Janeiro
    3 nights: explore one of the world's most mesmerizing cities
  • Pantanal
    3 nights: the best place in South America to spot wildlife

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

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Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to Foz do Iguaçu

Iguazu Falls

Fly into Foz do Iguaçu, home to the magnificent Iguazu Falls, where your private guide will welcome you to the country and take you to your hotel. Enjoy a private walking tour of the Brazilian side, exploring the trails and catwalks around the falls. Guests upgrading to the Belmond Das Cataratas also have the unique privilege of being able to see the falls at close range after the park closes as it is the only one located within the Iguazu National Park on the Brazilian side.

Accommodations: Loi Suites Iguazu

Tucked away in the subtropical jungle of Iryapu, Loi Suites is remote yet luxurious, offering up-close views of the jungle and a tranquil ambiance. The hotel, located fifteen minutes from the Iguazu Falls, was designed with the idea of preserving native trees and incorporating them into the exterior area. On-site amenities include a restaurant and snack bar, spa, fitness center, and several outdoor pools alongside a Tiki bar.

Upgrade available: Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, for those who prefer to stay on the Brazilian side or in a boutique jungle lodge
Day 2:

Iguazu Falls: Another Perspective

Iguazu Falls

Enjoy a trip to the Argentine side of the falls, getting a different perspective on this magnificent site. The majority of the trails and walkways are on the Argentine side of the falls, and most boat tours that take you up close to the falls also start on this side.

Accommodations: Loi Suites Iguazu

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 3:

Fly to Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro Mountain View

After one last breakfast overlooking the falls, you will be transferred to the airport where you will fly to Rio, a coastal metropolis, where your private guide will take you to your hotel on Copacabana Beach. This is one of the best locations in the city; many of Rio’s best restaurants, boutiques, and cafes are located here and in neighboring Ipanema and Leblon.

Accommodations: Porto Bay Rio

With panoramic views of the Sugarloaf, Corcovado and the Copacabana beachfront, and a bar with live bossa nova music, Porto Bay offers everything you'd want in a Rio hotel. Guests enjoy buffet breakfasts, late afternoon tropical cocktails, and international cuisine at the hotel restaurant. For your beach time, the hotel management provides towels, umbrellas and beach chairs. Treat yourself to a late afternoon tropical cocktail at the hotel bar, then take a short walk to Rio's famous clubs, shops and restaurants.

*Includes: Breakfast

Upgrade available: Belmond Copacabana Palace, 5 star luxury
Day 4:

Christ Statue and Historic Santa Teresa

Brazil - Rio de Janeiro - Cristo Rendentor

Get to know beautiful Rio with your private local guide. Head to the top of Corcovado Mountain to the iconic Cristo Redentor statue, where you can take in one of the best views in the world. Afterward, visit the Tijuca Forest National Park, the largest urban forest in the world. Drive through the historic Santa Teresa neighborhood, filled with mansions dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and see Rio’s bustling downtown.

Accommodations: Porto Bay Rio

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 5:

Time to Relax and Explore Rio; Cable Ride up Sugar Loaf Mountain

Brazil - Rio de Janeiro - Suguarloaf Mountain

After a relaxed morning on your own, head up Sugar Loaf Mountain on a cable car for privileged views of Guanabara Bay, Corcovado, Rio-Niteroi Bridge, Santa Cruz Fortress, and the glittering scenery of Rio.

Accommodations: Porto Bay Rio

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 6:

Head to the World’s Largest Continuous Wetland

Amazon Wildlife - Caiman

In the morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Campo Grande. Your private guide will meet you and drive you into the Pantanal, to your lodge at the Refugio da Ilha. Here you will have a briefing with your guides to learn about your activity options for the coming days.

Accommodations: Refugio da Ilha Lodge

The accommodations at Refugio da Ilha Lodge retain the simplicity, rusticity and comfort of rural Brazil with much style, but surrounded by wild nature in the heart of the Salobra River Delta Pantanal. The property consists of 8 cozy apartments with air conditioning and private bathrooms. Excursions from the lodge include boat tours, jeep tours, canoeing, horseback riding, and hiking.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Upgrade available: Caiman Ecological Refuge
Days 7-8:

Go in Search of Monkeys, Toucans, Macaws, Giant Anteaters, Tapir, and More

Amazon Wildlife - Blue & Gold Macaw

Your exact activities will vary, but your lodge offers a variety of excursions to explore this natural ecosystem: trail walks, caiman tours, photo safaris, canoeing, and more. The Pantanal is one of the best places in South America for wildlife viewing, and your guides will help you spot the local species and make the most of your time.

Accommodations: Refugio da Ilha Lodge

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9:

Depart for Home or Your Next Destination

Today you will say goodbye to your local guide and head to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

*Includes: Breakfast

More Photos From This Trip

Hotel das Cataratas Aerial ViewHotel das Cataratas - view of the fallsIguazu Falls - Grass on river rocksAerial view of famous Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilRio de Janiero - CoastlineCopacabana Palace PoolPantanal Sunset

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Visit the Itaipu Hydroelectic Dam, one of the world’s largest operating hydroelectric facilities, at Iguazu.

  • Take in a samba show in Rio; we’ll arrange an evening at one of our local favorites, an intimate and authentic venue.

  • Hike with your private guide up Tijuca Peak, the highest peak in Rio, for rewarding views of the city and coastline.

  • Enjoy a private tour of Rio’s street art, learning about the history and politics of this unique art form.

  • Include some downtime for rest and relaxation! Some free time to unwind or have a massage will allow you to feel refreshed and ready for the remainder of your trip. Many of our properties include excellent spas or wellness centers. We can help arrange these services or include properties that offer health & wellness amenities.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1-(800)-342-1796

Inquire About This Trip

Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

South America is the only place we do trips, and no one knows our destinations better. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former U.S. expatriates with years of experience in the region.

Uplifting service

From the first phone call to after you get back, we’re here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

Thoughtful, respectful travel

Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.