- Embark on boat tours up the Amazon River
- Go piranha fishing and visit local Indigenous communities
- Learn to surf in Jericoacoara and swim in its freshwater lagoons
- Hit the highlights of São Paulo, one of the biggest cities in Brazil
|Day 1||Arrive in Manaus||Manaus|
|Day 2||Manaus Boat Tour & Indigenous Tribe Experience||Manaus|
|Day 3||Manaus to Anavilhanas National Park||Anavilhanas National Park|
|Day 4||Canoe Tour in Anavilhanas, Visit Caboclo Community||Anavilhanas National Park|
|Day 5||Anavilhanas Forest Hike, Pink River Dolphin Tour||Anavilhanas National Park|
|Day 6||Fishing Trip in Anavilhanas, Transfer to Manaus||Manaus|
|Day 7||Manaus to Jericoacoara||Jericoacoara|
|Day 8||Explore Jericoacoara's Beaches||Jericoacoara|
|Day 9||Private Buggy Tour||Jericoacoara|
|Day 10||Surf Lesson in Jericoacoara||Jericoacoara|
|Days 11-12||Free Days in Jericoacoara||Jericoacoara|
|Day 13||Transfer From Jericoacoara to São Paulo||São Paulo|
|Day 14||Depart São Paulo|
Day 1: Arrive in Manaus
Welcome to Manaus, the capital of Brazil's state of Amazonas! Sitting on the banks of the Negro River where it meets the Amazon, this is the major hub in north-central Brazil for trips and expeditions into the rainforest. After transferring from the airport and settling in at your hotel, you'll have the rest of the day free to explore this city on your own.
There are many highlight architectural landmarks in Manaus. Head to the city center to see the early-20th-century Black River Palace, the 19th-century Customs House, the neoclassical Palace of Justice, and the incredible Amazon Theater. This opera house, with its elegant pink facade and colorful dome, was built in 1896 during the rubber boom.
To learn more about the original inhabitants of the Amazon, you can stop at the Museu do Índio (Indian Museum), which promotes the cultural heritage, history, and traditions of Indigenous peoples in Brazil. For some local color and to do some shopping, head to the historic Mercado Adolpho, a waterfront marketplace that dates to the 19th century and sells everything from artisanal crafts to fresh produce.
Day 2: Manaus Boat Tour & Indigenous Tribe Experience
This morning you'll transfer from your hotel to the harbor, where you'll board a boat and head down the Negro River on a full-day tour. A little ways from Manaus, the boat will stop where the dark waters of the Negro River meet the sandy light waters of the Amazon. This natural phenomenon is incredible in that there is a distinct line separating two color tones in what appears to be a single waterway.
Then, continue down the Rio Negro to Parque Ecologico Janauari. This ecological park is spread over 22,239 acres (9,000 ha) of dry land and igapós (flooded forests). There are many fun ecotourism activities to enjoy here, such as canoe rides through igapós and nature walks in the jungle. The lake at Janauari is also home to one of the most iconic species of flora in the Amazon: Victoria amazonica. These giant lily pads measure up to 6 feet (1.8 m) in diameter and produce colorful flowering plants.
After touring the ecological park, you'll enjoy a memorable lunch at a floating restaurant followed by a visit to local craft shops to pick up souvenirs. Upon returning to the boat, you'll proceed to an Indigenous village and spend time with a local tribe. They'll even welcome you with a traditional ceremony performed by a pajé (shaman). Capping this incredible day is a trip to view pink river dolphins frolicking in the water. After snapping plenty of photos of these friendly creatures, you'll return to Manaus in the afternoon.
Day 3: Manaus to Anavilhanas National ParkWake up early and enjoy the unforgettable experience of watching the first rays of morning sunlight gild the glassy waters of the river. Later, a group transfer will pick you up at your hotel in Manaus and take you to the port, where you'll take a boat three hours west along the Amazon River. Your destination is Anavilhanas National Park, where you'll check in to your rainforest lodge.
Day 4: Canoe Tour in Anavilhanas, Visit Caboclo Community
In the morning, you'll explore the waterways of Anavilhanas on a canoe tour. As you paddle along in your two-seater vessel, you can spot exotic birds like flycatchers, hummingbirds, herons, hawks, and more. Other animals you might see include giant anteaters, pink dolphins, river otters, and manatees. You might also spot jungle cats like margays and jaguars.
After the canoe ride, you'll continue down the Rio Negro to a local caboclo community. Caboclo, in Brazilian Portuguese, refers to a person of mixed Indigenous and European descent. Due to its location in the heart of the Amazon, Anavilhanas National Park is home to many caboclo villages. During this guided tour, you'll visit one such community and learn about the culture and agricultural practices of these long-standing residents of the Amazon.
Day 5: Anavilhanas Forest Hike, Pink River Dolphin Tour
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
Today's half-day tour is a chance to venture beyond the waterways in Anavilhanas National Park and explore the dryland forest. A local guide will lead you on this nature hike, where you'll learn about the Amazon's extensive flora and fauna. This ecosystem is home to more species of plants and animals than any other ecosystem on earth—in fact, one in 10 known species on the planet lives within this area.
It's no surprise, then, that there's a staggering diversity of plants and animals in Anavilhanas. These include various orchids and bromeliads, hundreds of species of birds, and an array of exotic mammals. Keep an eye out because on this walking tour, you can spot monkeys, toucans, giant anteaters, macaws, and, occasionally, the rarely-seen jaguar. Your guide will also point out sacred trees and various medicinal herbs and plants that have been utilized by Indigenous residents for centuries.Next, you'll set out on a river boat to search for the famous pink river dolphin as well as the tucuxi, another species of freshwater dolphin. While tucuxi dolphins are bluish gray and look similar to bottlenose dolphins, pink river dolphins are known for their tell-tale rose color, curious natures, and aquatic acrobatics. Depending on the weather, you'll also have the chance to go ashore on an island and enjoy another walk through the forest.
Day 6: Fishing Trip in Anavilhanas, Transfer to Manaus
Head back out on the water today for a fishing trip—Amazon-style. In a wooden canoe, you'll visit ideal fishing spots within Anavilhanas and, once there, cast a line and see if you can reel in piranhas. If you do catch one of these carnivorous fish, not to worry, as your expert guide will handle it safely once it's on the line. You can even cook it up later, as piranha is a very tasty river fish and is used in many Amazonian dishes.
Then, in the early afternoon, you'll depart your lodge in Anavilhanas National Park for the return trip to Manaus. Upon arrival, you'll check in to your hotel in the city.
Day 7: Manaus to JericoacoaraAt the appropriate time, you'll transfer to the airport in Manaus and catch a 3.5-hour flight to the city of Fortaleza, on Brazil's northeast coast. Upon arrival, you'll hop in a private 4WD vehicle and transfer northwest to the remote fishing village and beach community of Jericoacoara (or "Jeri," as it's known to locals). It's a scenic ride that passes coastal dunes through incredible desert landscapes until you arrive at Jeri and your pousada (guesthouse).
Day 8: Explore Jericoacoara's Beaches
Today is yours to enjoy the long beaches and sand cliffs of this special fishing village. Just know that Jeri moves at a relaxed pace. Up until a couple of decades ago, phones and electricity didn't even exist in this tranquil beach town. Even today, Jeri is still relatively removed from the modern world, with streets paved with sand and most places closing relatively early (except on weekends).
For these reasons, the best activities to engage in here are of the R&R variety. Enjoy a morning yoga session on the beach, or head to Paradise Lagoon and stake out a hammock in the crystalline waters at the shoreline. You definitely won't want to miss the romantic rock formation Pedra Furada. When lunchtime rolls around, be sure to try seafood so fresh that it was likely swimming in the ocean that very morning.
Day 9: Private Buggy TourIn the morning, you'll hop in a dune buggy and venture south out of town further into Jericoacoara National Park, which spans 21,900 acres (8,850 ha) of this desert coastal region. Dotted throughout the park are incredible freshwater lagoons perfect for swimming. You'll drive to two of these stunning bodies of water: Lagoa do Paraíso and Lagoa Azul. Here, you can lay out on the sand, swim in the water, or spend time relaxing in a hammock. You'll return to Jericoacoara in the late afternoon, just in time for the beautiful sunset.
Day 10: Surf Lesson in JericoacoaraBesides great sunsets, the coast at Jericoacoara is renowned for its ideal surfing conditions. Today, you'll meet your instructor, grab a longboard, and hit the waves. First, you'll learn some water safety rules, such as proper wave descent, the correct way to fall, and proper social etiquette (so you don't ruffle the locals' feathers). You'll also learn basic surf techniques like how to paddle out, push through waves, and of course, how to catch waves and stand up on the board. After 20-30 minutes of practicing on the sand, it will be time to hit the water.
Days 11-12: Free Days in Jericoacoara
The next two days are free to enjoy Jericoacoara on your own schedule. You can hit the waves again on a surfboard, go buggy riding, try your hand at kite surfing, or head to the lagoons and laze the day away in a hammock. Whatever you decide to do, know that the day will be free of crowds, chaos, and stress. That's because, since 1984, the area around Jericoacoara has been an environmentally protected area, and it officially became a national park in 2002. This brought many building restrictions and controls to help preserve the area and keep it free of mass tourism.
Make sure you don't miss Jeri's famous sunsets in the evenings. Every day around 5 pm, locals and visitors make the pilgrimage atop Sunset Dune to watch the last light of the golden sun dip behind the horizon. Afterward, head down to the beach to watch capoeiristas practice their impressive blend of dance and martial arts.
Day 13: Transfer From Jericoacoara to São Paulo
It's time to bid Jericoacoara farewell as you transfer to the airport for the flight to São Paulo, one of Brazil's largest and most dynamic cities. Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will meet you and take you to your hotel. If you have the energy, you can then head out and explore.
To see the most in a short time, head right to Avenida Paulista, a central thoroughfare abuzz with restaurants, bars, markets, shopping centers, galleries, and museums. For Afro-Brazilian history and culture, you can visit the Museu Afro Brasil, while the Museu de Arte de São Paulo houses a vast collection of international artworks considered the largest in Latin America.