Start your adventure in Rio de Janeiro, known as the "Cidade Maravilhosa" (the Marvelous City). Explore the Floresta da Tijuca, the largest urban forest in the world, take a cable car to the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain and relax on Copacabana beach. Then head to the Amazon, where you will canoe through the watery forest of the Igapós, spot exotic wildlife in the jungle, and swim with pink dolphins.

Highlights

  • Take a cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Climb Mt. Corcovado and visit Copacabana & Ipanema beaches
  • Explore the biodiverse Igapós and Amazon rainforest
  • Swim with pink dolphins

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Rio Rio de Janiero
Day 2 Explore the Tijuca Forest and Mt. Corcovado Rio de Janiero
Day 3 Take a cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain Rio de Janiero
Day 4 Hike in Morro Dos Dois Irmaos  Rio de Janiero
Day 5 Fly to Manaus, gateway to the Amazon Manaus
Day 6 Stay in an Amazon lodge Amazon 
Day 7 Discover the Amazon Rainforest Amazon
Day 8 More Amazonian adventures Amazon
Day 9 Swim with pink dolphins and depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Rio

Christ the Redeemer on the summit of Mount Corcovado

Welcome to Rio de Janeiro. Today you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day exploring the city at your own pace.

Day 2: Explore the Tijuca Forest and Mt. Corcovado

The view of Rio and Sugarloaf Mountain from Pico da Tijuca

Today you will explore Tijuca National Park in the middle of Rio, the largest urban forest in the world (3,200 acres). Pass through the Vista Chinesa and Mesa do Imperador, both of which offer fantastic views of the city. If you are feeling energetic you can hike to the summit of Pico da Tijuca (2.5 hours), at 3,350 feet above sea level. In the afternoon, climb Mt. Corcovado (2,300 feet), where you will enjoy panoramic views of the "Marvelous City" from the top.

Day 3: Take a Cable Car to Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf Mountain

Travel by cable car to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain (1,312 feet), which guards the entrance to Guanabara Bay.  You will see views of the city and of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon beaches.  In the afternoon you are free to enjoy these famous beaches and soak up the culture. 

Day 4: Hike Morro Dos Dois Irmaos

Trek through the Atlantic Forest

Today your guide will take you a short distance by local bus along the beaches. From Ipanema, you will be able to see Morro Dois Irmãos, the famous "Two Brothers" rock formation. The bus will drop you at the foot of the mountain, at the entrance to the Vidigal Favela. From here, take a combi-taxi up the narrow and steep road into the heart of the community. At the top, leave the chaos of the favela behind as you head into the Atlantic Forest. You will see impressive views of the favela, Pedra da Gávea, and the beaches of São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca. At the top, take in the spectacular panoramic view of southern Rio. 

Hiking Time: 2.5 hours

Day 5: Fly to Manaus,  Gateway to the Amazon

The city of Manaus

Today you will take the short flight from Rio de Janeiro to Manaus, the capital of the largest Brazilian State, Amazonas. Manaus is located at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers, just before they converge to form the Amazon River. The Amazon is one of the most important reserves of biodiversity in the world, spreading over 2.98 million square miles and sheltering up to 10 million different plant and animal species.

Day 6: Stay at an Amazon Lodge

The Amazon rainforest
The Amazon rainforest, one of the most important reserves of biodiversity in the world

Today you will drive for approximately one hour, crossing the Rio Negro Bridge, to Iranduba village, where you will continue by boat (45 minutes, or 1.5 hours in the dry season) to your Amazon lodge. See flooded trees and pass through small water channels, home to the Ribeirinhos,  a traditional population in South America who live near rivers. Relax at the lodge before taking an afternoon canoe trip through the Igapós (flooded forest), in which you can see monkeys and sloths. In the evening, take a boat tour to spot alligators. High adrenaline and fun are guaranteed!

Day 7: Discover the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest
The Flooded Forest

This morning, try some new fruit as part of the traditional breakfast at the lodge. Today you will travel by canoe to the starting point of your jungle trek. Learn about the native plants and animals in this richly biodiverse jungle. Return to the lodge to rest during the hottest part of the day. In the late afternoon, go fishing on a powered canoe; you may see piranhas, famous for their avid hunger for flesh. 

Day 8: More Amazonian Adventures

Traditional flour making process

Today you will enter the jungle before dawn for a sunrise tour. Spot birds and exotic animals on the banks of the Rio Negro. Return to the lodge for breakfast before heading out again to visit a House of Flour, where you will learn how the native people make this essential food. You will have the opportunity to taste delicious tapioca with Brazil nuts. In the afternoon, visit the Nossa Senhora do Perétuo Socorro (or Vila Acajatuba), one of the native communities around the lodge. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner at the lodge.

Day 9: Swim with Pink Dolphins and Depart

Feeding pink dolphins in Brazil
The friendly pink dolphins

Today you will depart. But before you do, you will have the chance to swim with the bosa rosa, or pink dolphins. Being in the water and interacting with these creatures is an unforgettable experience. After your swim, you will ride back to your Amazonian lodge and be transferred to the airport at Manaus.