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Rio de Janeiro & North Pantanal: Brazil's tropical metropolis combined with superb wildlife viewing

Days: 7 | From: $3,490/per person

Experience the rhythms and unique culture of Rio de Janeiro before exploring the Pantanal, one of the best places in South America for wildlife viewing.

  • 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

  • Rio de Janeiro
    3 nights: visit the beaches of this sparkling coastal metropolis
  • Pantanal
    3 nights: explore the world’s largest continuous wetland

  • 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 Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro Mountain View

Arrive to Rio de Janeiro, 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.

Upgrade available: Belmond Copacabana Palace 5 star luxury
Day 2:

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 3:

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 4:

Head to the World’s Largest Continuous Wetland

Amazon Fauna - Lillies

Fly to Cuiaba, where your private guide will meet you and drive you into the Pantanal, where you will arrive to your lodge. Here you will have a briefing with your guides to learn about your activity options for the coming days.

Accommodations: Araras Eco Lodge

Araras Eco Lodge is located in the Pantanal, the world's largest continuous wetland. The rustic lodge offers 19 air conditioned rooms, a restaurant and bar, swimming pool, large verandas with hammocks, and a reading room. The lodge is well-situated for a variety of excursions in the Pantanal, including trekking, canoeing, bird-watching, horseback riding, truck photo-safaris, night tours, and more.

*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Alternative lodging options: Pousada Rio Mutum: Pantanal Eco-Lodge, Caiman Ecological Refuge, Refugio da Ilha Lodge
Days 5-6:

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

Amazon Wildlife - Blue & Gold Macaw

Your exact activities will vary, but the Araras 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: Araras Eco Lodge

Araras Eco Lodge is located in the Pantanal, the world's largest continuous wetland. The rustic lodge offers 19 air conditioned rooms, a restaurant and bar, swimming pool, large verandas with hammocks, and a reading room. The lodge is well-situated for a variety of excursions in the Pantanal, including trekking, canoeing, bird-watching, horseback riding, truck photo-safaris, night tours, and more.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7:

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

Sunset behind mountains in Rio de Janeiro with water reflectionAerial view of famous Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilPorto Bay_Rooftop poolCopacabana Palace_pool and restaurantAmazon Wildlife - CaimanPantanal Sunset

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • 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.

  • Journey out to the Juatinga Peninsular Eco-reserve, Brazil’s only tropical fjord, to visit the the Saco do Mamanguá. This is a unique marine ecosystem in the Paraty region, and the area offers great hiking and beach swimming.

  • 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

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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.