This journey is ideal for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and culture enthusiasts. Start in Rio de Janeiro where you'll visit city highlights such as Sugarloaf and Corcovado peaks, and learn what the “Carioca lifestyle” is all about. Impressive architecture and delicious food await you in a joyful atmosphere, followed by the magic of Iguaçu Falls—the most extensive waterfall system in the world. Then it is off to Manaus, gateway to the Amazon, where you will visit the jungle and observe wildlife.

Highlights

  • Experience Rio de Janeiro's Carnival Scene & Dance in a parade
  • Hike to Christ the Redeemer & Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Explore Iguaçu Falls from the Brazilian and Argentinian side
  • Embark on an evening expedition in the Amazon Jungle during the dark
  • Go on a boat tour and explore the Amazon Rainforest

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Airport arrival in Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 Carioca Lifestyle and Carnival Culture Rio de Janeiro
Day 3 Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 Rio de Janeiro to Foz do Iguaçu & Visit Brazilian Side Falls Foz do Iguaçu
Day 5 Adventure on the Argentinean Side Falls Foz do Iguaçu
Day 6 Foz do Iguaçu to Manaus & City Tour of Manaus Manaus
Day 7 Transfer & Immersion at the rainforest Anavilhanas National Park
Day 8 Amazon Jungle Adventure Anavilhanas National Park
Day 9 Adventures in the Jungle Lodge Anavilhanas National Park
Day 10 Departure to Manaus airport Foz do Iguaçu

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Airport arrival in Rio de Janeiro.

Copacabana Boardwalk
Copacabana Boardwalk

Welcome to the 'Marvelous City'! On arrival in Rio de Janeiro, your guide will greet you and take you to your hotel in Copacabana. Rio has been referred to as the marvelous city for over a century now, and it is understandable why. The city's unique beauty, vibrant cultural scene, and geographical diversity of mountains, tropical forest, and stunning beaches have long inspired artists and composers from all over the world.

It is the perfect setting, not only for creatives, but also for adventure travelers, nature lovers, and culture enthusiasts. It is difficult to get enough of the city once you have arrived. The "Carioca city," as it is also referred to by locals, offers a wide range of tourist attractions and leisure activities to explore the local culture, be active, taste the local cuisine, and experience the arts.

Day 2: Carioca Lifestyle and Carnival Culture

Carnival fun in Rio de Janeiro

On today's tour, along with a local guide, you will contemplate the local lifestyle of the Cariocas—a charming nickname given to people from the city of Rio de Janeiro. The tour starts on foot to the nearest subway station, with a 15-minute ride to the commercial and historic center of Rio. From here, you'll explore the highlights on foot, including the Metropolitan Cathedral of São Sebastião and the Saara neighborhood. You will have the opportunity to see the customs, commerce, and joy of the Carioca people.

Next up is some delicious natural juice tasting made from fresh tropical fruits, and at the end of the tour, you will have lunch at Confeitaria Colombo—one of the oldest and most historic restaurants in Brazil. After lunch, you'll return to the subway station and then ride back to the nearest stop to your hotel, and enjoy a walk the rest of the way. Then it is time to live the Carnival Experience!

There is nothing more representative of Brazil than the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro—a world-known event that takes place once a year and attracts people from all over the world. Colors, music, and costumes will parade before your eyes, radiating the joy and warmth of the Brazilian people. You will also visit the Cidade do the Samba (Samba City), which is a special place that concentrates warehouses of the different samba schools. It is here that their allegories develop.

A local guide will introduce and lead you on a tour of the Pimpolhos of Grande Rio project—a social project that seeks to transform the community by training professionals in dance, production, music, and arts. You will learn about the history of samba and get to dance in the carnival parades. There will be an opportunity to try on some costumes and take pictures while learning a little bit of percussion and samba to feel the carnival atmosphere for yourself. Finally, after all that dancing, you will be rewarded with a delicious caipirinha—it's just the Brazilian hospitality. 

Day 3: Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer

Ride to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro
Ride to Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro

Today you'll visit the famous Mirante de Pão de AçúcarSugarloaf Mountain. The tour starts by driving to Praia Vermelha in the Urca neighborhood, where the cable car station to the Pão de Açúcar is. From here, along with your local guide, you will walk along the Claudio Coutinho track, also known as the Bem Te Vi trail. The hike takes approximately 45 minutes and is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the woods, sounds, and view animals such as marmosets and numerous birds.

At the end of the trail, you'll take the cable car to the top of Pão de Açúcar. The descent will also be via cable car, and finally, you will return to the vehicle and then your hotel. The afternoon offers a visit to Corcovado Peak and the Christ the Redeemer statue. Your guide will meet you at your hotel, and together you'll drive to the base of the mountain, where you will take a train through the beautiful and lush Tijuca Forest to the top of the Corcovado Peak.

The peak is 2330 feet (710 m) high and one of the most famous places in the world for its Christ the Redeemer statue—a 125-foot (38 m) tall statue, and one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Here you will have a fantastic panoramic view of the city. Then you will return to the train and the base, and continue back to your hotel, enjoying a scenic tour of Rio de Janeiro's south beaches along the way.

Day 4: Rio de Janeiro to Foz do Iguaçu & Visit Brazilian Side Falls

A visit to the Iguaçu Falls on the Brazilian side
Iguaçu Falls on the Brazilian side

On arrival in Foz do Iguaçu, you'll transfer to your hotel. An exciting day awaits, where you'll get to experience Brazil differently. After checking into your hotel, it will be time to explore the Brazilian side falls by bike! Your guide will meet up with you, and you will leave together by car to the Victoria Falls National Park’s visitor center, where bicycles, safety helmets, and a bottle of water will be waiting for you.

Accompanied by an instructor and your guide, you will pedal about six miles (10 km) to the beginning of the Brazilian side falls trails. The total length of this road is 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) to the beginning of where you will begin to observe the incredible 275 waterfalls that make up the Iguaçu Falls. The essential falls on the Brazilian side are: Floriano, Deodoro da Fonseca, Benjamin Constant, and Salto Uniao or Garganta do Diabo.

You will park the bicycle in front of the first viewpoint and start the observation trail on foot. This trail provides beautiful landscapes and different views of the falls. At the end of the trail, you'll have the choice of either returning to the visitor center by bike or taking the park bus if you are tired. An optional activity to appreciate the true grandeur of the falls, magnificent views of the region, and gain another perspective of this force of nature is a helicopter ride, making the experience of visiting the falls even more exciting and unforgettable!

Day 5: Adventure on the Argentinean Side Falls

A visit to the Iguaçu Falls on the Argentinian side
A visit to the Iguaçu Falls on the Argentinian side

Today, after breakfast, it's time to visit the Iguaçu Falls—recognized among the seven natural wonders of the world, from the Argentinean side. The Iguaçu Falls is the most visited natural attraction in the province of Misiones and one of Argentina's most impressive. Walking paths with different gateways offered by the park provide different views of the falls and their fantastic scenery.

The lower circuit offers more contact with nature. In contrast, the upper course provides an overview of all the drops and delta islands, as well as an impressive view of the Garganta del Diablo, where you can feel the fury of water falling in many horseshoe shaped falls. You will have five hours to explore these trails, including the time to enjoy a nice lunch in the park (not included. Your guide will suggest the best routes, based on your interests, as well as places to stop for lunch. 

You will explore the jungle and falls together with the Gran Aventura Group Safari and boat tour. A separate tour guide will lead the group, and your private guide will also accompany you along the tour, which is roughly two hours long. The journey begins in a land vehicle through the jungle along the Yacaratiá narrow track designed for this particular environment, and your guide will provide information about the natural and cultural richness of this area. This 3-mile (5 km) ride ends at the Puerto Macuco forest base.

Descending 328 feet (100 m) to the dock, a boat will be waiting for you to take you 3,7 miles (6 km) through the lower Iguaçu River canyon towards the waterfalls, enjoying small rapids along the way. The boat tour continues to the base of Salto Tres Mosqueteros, where you can view sets of both the Brazilian and Argentine side falls, with the Garganta do Diabo obscuring the canyon’s view.

Next, you will reach the peak of emotion when facing the incomparable Salto San Martín, the second-largest in scale, and the largest waterfall approachable by boat. Finally, you will arrive back at the dock in front of San Martin Island, where you will return to the walkway system through the lower circuit until returning to the private vehicle that will take you back to your hotel on the Brazilian side of the falls.

Day 6: Foz do Iguaçu to Manaus & City Tour of Manaus

Interior of Amazonas Theatre in Manaus
Interior of the Amazonas Theatre in Manaus, Brazil

At the proper time, you'll depart to the Foz do Iguaçu airport to proceed to your next destination, Manausthe capital of the Brazilian Amazon, and the central point to start all excursions into the Amazon jungle. After getting checked-in to your hotel, there will be a city tour of Manaus for you to enjoy.

The tour starts with a stroll through typical neighborhoods toward the Manaus floating dock, located in the city center. Here you will have a shortstop in the municipal market to check out the banana fair and fish market. The municipal market was built between 1880 and 1883 and is a faithful copy of the old (now demolished) Les Halles Market in Paris.

You will pass stroll by Rio Negro Palace, home to the state government, followed by an external visit of the Palace of Justice. Finally, you will make an internal visit to the Amazonas Theatre—one of the main tourist attractions in Manaus before returning to your hotel.

Day 7: Transfer & Immersion at the rainforest

Evening Expedition Amazon Jungle

Today, you'll depart to your lodge early in the morning. The journey takes a total of three hours and is divided into three parts—a speed boat ride, then on paved road in a van, and then another speed boat. En route to Juma, you will stop to observe the magnificent Meeting of Waters, where the muddy waters of the Solimões River meet, but never mix, with the black waters of the Negro River, and run side by side for 3,7 miles (6 km). You will feel the difference in temperature between the two distinct rivers.

Upon arrival at the lodge, you'll enjoy a warm greeting and with a welcome drink of exotic fruits. Then, your first lunch at the lodge will be served, comprised of both regional and international cuisine. Following lunch, you will depart on a canoe trip. The canoe tour provides an in-depth exploration of the igarapés (Amazonian creeks) and igapós (flooded forest—an experience made possible only by canoes. During the excursion, you’ll be encouraged to swim and may encounter some of the river’s most majestic creatures—the pink dolphins.
 
After this exciting experience, you'll head back to your lodge for dinner. After the meal, you will embark on an evening expedition to observe frogs, birds, and most importantly, caymans. Your guide will use a flashlight to help spot the caymans. With this light, it is possible to spot the cayman's eyes, which reflects as a bright red dot, as the animals remain still and visible. After a full day of adventure, it will be time to return to the lodge and say goodnight. 

Day 8: Amazon Jungle Adventure

Beautiful sunset in Manaus, Amazon Jungle
Beautiful sunset in Manaus, Amazon Jungle

Early in the morning, you'll enjoy a sunrise excursion where you will be able to witness the stunning sky transformation and listen to the sounds of the waking birds. Guides are equipped with binoculars to complement this experience with bird watching. After this excursion, you will return to the lodge and enjoy a breakfast of typical fruits and regional food.

Next, you will depart on a jungle hike. In this educational jungle walk, an expert guide will introduce you to the wildlife of the Amazon. The guide will show you plants and describe their uses. Many are edible or medicinal. The paths used for exploration walks are changed continuously to avoid damaging the forest from overuse. Next, you will return to the lodge for a delicious lunch of regional and international cuisine.
 
Later on this afternoon, you will board a motorboat with your guide to fish and learn about Amazonian fish native to the river. On the way back to your lodge, you will be able to appreciate a beautiful sunset from the boat. Today's dinner will be provided from the fish you caught earlier in the afternoon. Following dinner, a native guide will offer an informal lecture about everyday life in the Amazon, and tell you about the legends, traditions, and culture of the region.

Day 9: Adventures in the Jungle Lodge

Walking tour in Amazon Jungle, Brazil

Your Amazon adventure today is unique and begins right after breakfast. You will depart for a hike, followed by a stop in a captivating area of the forest to eat a special lunch (regional cuisine baked over a fire) and subsequently rest in hammocks, as the natives do.

In the afternoon, you'll get the chance to visit a local native's home to learn from the inhabitant about their fascinating culture. A native will share their knowledge of the traditional medicinal plants and demonstrate how to prepare manioc flour, one of the region’s primary economic resources. Finally, you will return to the lodge and enjoy a delicious dinner of regional and international cuisine.

Day 10: Departure to Manaus airport

Sunset in the Amazon, Brazil

It's time to transfer to the airport in Manaus for departure and say goodbye to the Amazon jungle. You've seen some of the true wonders of the world and learned the Brazilian way of life. Now it's up to you where to next. Tchau!

Map

Map of Brazil Highlights: Rio de Janeiro, Iguaçu Falls & Amazon Rainforest - 10 Days
Map of Brazil Highlights: Rio de Janeiro, Iguaçu Falls & Amazon Rainforest - 10 Days