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Rio, Paraty, and the Pantanal: Sparkling Beaches, An Idyllic Colonial Town & Amazing Wildlife

Days: 10 | From: $6,850/per person

Experience the beaches and mountain of Rio de Janeiro, then head to Paraty, a preserved colonial town. Finish your trip 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
  • Paraty
    3 nights: enjoy the pristine rainforest and beaches of this 17th century colonial town
  • 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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Day by day 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: Belmond Copacabana Palace

The Copacabana Palace opened its doors in 1923 and continues to be the grande dame of Rio hotels. The hotel's illustrious history is apparent from the minute you walk in the door and see the photos of the countless celebrities and political leaders that have stayed there. The hotel overlooks Copacabana Beach, and its grounds and facilities are exceptionally elegant. Operated by Belmond (formerly Orient Express), the service is impeccable.

Alternative lodging options: Marina All Suites Hotel, in the trendy Leblon area
Day 2:

The Best View in Rio 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. You have the end of the day free to explore on your own and experience Rio’s nightlife. We’ll recommend some top options for seeing great local music!

Accommodations: Belmond Copacabana Palace

*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: Belmond Copacabana Palace

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 4:

Journey to Paraty, a Small Town with Idyllic Beaches

Brazil - Paraty

Enjoy a scenic private transfer south to Paraty, a small town filled with beautifully preserved buildings dating from the 17th century. It is located along a pristine stretch of Atlantic rainforest and surrounded by idyllic beaches, many of which can only be accessed by boat.

Accommodations: Pousada da Marquesa

A restored colonial mansion on a cobblestone street in the center of Paratay houses Pousada da Marquesa. Original stone pillars and floor tiles, paired with dark wood furnishings, high beamed ceilings and a selection of antiques establish an ambiance of authenticity. The hotel, which serves breakfast each morning, has a pool and a courtyard. A variety of fine restaurants are within walking distance.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 5:

Take a Schooner Trip Around Paraty's Bay

Brazil - Paraty Boat

Navigate the bay surrounding Paraty in a schooner, stopping to visit secluded island beaches. A great introduction to the natural wonders and scenery of the place. You can eat lunch at a restaurant where they are pulling the fish right out of the sea.

Accommodations: Pousada da Marquesa

Day 6:

Relax and Explore Paraty

Brazil - Paraty - Facade

Enjoy a day at leisure in Paraty to explore on your own or just relax and soak up the local ambience. We can also arrange a variety of excursions for you, such as trips to nearby beaches or inland historical sites, a Jeep tour to the Serra da Bocaina National Park, visits to local cachaca distilleries, or a journey out to Juatinga Peninsular Eco-reserve, Brazil’s only tropical fjord, for a hike up Mamanguá Sugarloaf Peak.

Accommodations: Pousada da Marquesa

Day 7:

Head to the World’s Largest Continuous Wetland

Amazon Fauna - Lillies

Fly to Campo Grande, where your private guide will meet you and drive you into the Pantanal, to your lodge at the Caiman Ecological Refuge. Here you will have a briefing with your guides to learn about your activity options for the coming days. After dinner you’ll have your first excursion: a nighttime exploration to seek out nocturnal wildlife, including the resident caiman.

Accommodations: Caiman Ecological Refuge

The Caiman Ecological Refuge is located on a 53,000-hectare ranch in Brazil's Pantanal wetland. The refuge offers two lodging options, Cordilheira Lodge and Baiazinha Lodge, located about 14 miles apart. Both lodges offer daily excursions to explore the area, with two daylight tours and an evening activity. Some of the regular activities include photo safaris, walking tours, canoe tours, Jeep safaris, and night safaris to look for nocturnal wildlife.

The Baiazinha Lodge is cozy and homelike, decorated in traditional ranch style. It is located on the shores of a permanent lake and has six standard rooms with balconies overlooking a west-facing inlet of the lake. Common areas include a living room, dining room, and outdoor pool and deck with hammocks.

The Cordilheira Lodge has a more sophisticated air and sits between a seasonal lake and a wooded hillside. It offers five double suites, each with separate bedroom and living room plus a balcony. The lodge features a social area with living room, dining room, media and games room, and an outdoor deck pool with views of the Pantanal landscape.

*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Days 8-9:

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

Amazon Wildlife - Blue & Gold Macaw

Your exact activities will vary, but the Caiman Ecological Refuge 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: Caiman Ecological Refuge

The Caiman Ecological Refuge is located on a 53,000-hectare ranch in Brazil's Pantanal wetland. The refuge offers two lodging options, Cordilheira Lodge and Baiazinha Lodge, located about 14 miles apart. Both lodges offer daily excursions to explore the area, with two daylight tours and an evening activity. Some of the regular activities include photo safaris, walking tours, canoe tours, Jeep safaris, and night safaris to look for nocturnal wildlife.

The Baiazinha Lodge is cozy and homelike, decorated in traditional ranch style. It is located on the shores of a permanent lake and has six standard rooms with balconies overlooking a west-facing inlet of the lake. Common areas include a living room, dining room, and outdoor pool and deck with hammocks.

The Cordilheira Lodge has a more sophisticated air and sits between a seasonal lake and a wooded hillside. It offers five double suites, each with separate bedroom and living room plus a balcony. The lodge features a social area with living room, dining room, media and games room, and an outdoor deck pool with views of the Pantanal landscape.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10:

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, BrazilCopacabana Palace_pool and restaurantBrazil - Paraty - RiverAmazon Wildlife - CaimanPantanal Sunset

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Take a Jeep tour around Paraty, visiting the Serra da Bocaina National Park and hiking several local waterfalls. You will also have the opportunity to visit several local cachaca distilleries.

  • 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.

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1-(800)-342-1796

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Why Travel with Vaya?

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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.

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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.

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