This 11-day adventure will take you through some of Brazil's most spectacular highlights using various transportation methods—many of which are sustainable. Start by exploring the Brazilian and Argentine sides of the Iguaçu Falls, then fly to the "Gateway to the Amazon." After a canoe tour, stay two nights at an eco-friendly lodge in the rainforest before heading to Rio de Janeiro. There, you'll climb epic viewpoints, relax at famous beaches, and stroll through the botanical gardens to finish the trip.


  • See the majestic Foz do Iguaçu waterfalls in Brazil and Argentina
  • Take a walking tour of Manaus with a renowned opera house
  • Explore the Amazon rainforest and see its unique flora and fauna
  • Learn how to prepare local cuisine at a cooking class in Rio de Janeiro

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Foz do Iguaçu, Itaipu Dam Tour Foz do Iguaçu
Day 2 Explore the Iguaçu Falls (Brazil), Visit the Bird Park Foz do Iguaçu
Day 3 Explore the Iguaçu Falls (Argentina), Gran Aventura Boat Tour Foz do Iguaçu
Day 4 Fly to Manaus, City Tour Manaus
Day 5 Transfer to the Amazon, Canoe Tour The Amazon
Day 6 Wildlife Activities in the Amazon The Amazon
Day 7 Transfer to Manaus, Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Explore Rio de Janeiro
Day 8 Visit the Christ the Redeemer Statue, City Tour Rio de Janeiro
Day 9 Brazilian Cooking Class Rio de Janeiro
Day 10 Boat Tour of Guanabara Bay, Free Time Rio de Janeiro
Day 11 Botanical Garden Tour, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Foz do Iguaçu, Itaipu Dam Tour

Take a half-day tour of the Itaipu Dam and learn about hydroelectricity

Welcome to Brazil! After arriving at the airport in Foz do Iguaçu, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel in the city. Then, prepare to embark on a four-hour adventure to the Itaipu Dam, the world's largest functioning hydroelectric power plant. Your visit will begin with an informative 10-minute video at the visitor center.

Afterward, journey by bus through the reservoir, making several stops for panoramic views and to visit the edge of the dam. Explore the natural surroundings within the Touristic Itaipu Complex, and conclude the excursion with a stunning view of Itaipu Lake before returning to your hotel for a good night's rest.

Day 2: Explore the Iguaçu Falls (Brazilian Side), Visit the Bird Park

Start your Iguaçu exploration on the Brazilian side of the falls

Spend today exploring the Brazilian side of the Iguaçu Falls, part of the Iguaçu National Park, which boasts the largest amount of preserved Atlantic forest in southern Brazil. The total length of the walkways here is 3,937 feet (1,200 m), from which you'll get a spectacular panoramic view of the 275 waterfalls that make up the Iguaçu Falls. The four most important waterfalls on the Brazilian side are Floriano, Deodoro da Fonseca, Benjamin Constant, and Salto União

In the afternoon, visit the Parque das Aves, or Bird Park, where you can see more than 1,320 birds covering about 143 different species, many of which are endangered. The 41 acres (16.5 ha) of Atlantic forest here are maintained to form the best habitat for animals. Keep an eye out for vibrant araras (macaws), as well as toucans. Afterward, you can enjoy an optional helicopter tour to appreciate a magnificent view of the waterfalls and the surrounding region. 

Day 3: Explore the Iguaçu Falls (Argentine Side), Gran Aventura Boat Tour

Head across the border to the Argentine side of the Iguaçu Falls

On today's easy hike, follow a scenic route along various trails and boardwalks that lead to lookout points offering stunning views of Iguaçu. The lower circuit keeps you close to nature, while the upper boardwalks take you along the sheer face of the falls, its river islands, and the famous Garganta do Diabo (Devil's Throat) cascade. This one section comprises a third of Iguaçu and is made up of a confluence of three massive waterfalls plunging 262 feet (80 m) into a gorge. You'll have a full five hours to explore these trails and snap photos, with time to enjoy a nice lunch in the park.

After lunch, continue to explore the area on the two-hour Gran Aventura safari and boat excursion. This group tour begins with an off-road trip in a 4WD vehicle along dirt tracks through the jungle to the Puerto Macuco forest base. There, you'll board a boat and head 4 miles (6 km) down the lower Iguaçu River Canyon toward the falls. Continue to the Salto Tres Mosqueteros, then visit Salto San Martín, the second-largest waterfall in Iguaçu that's reachable by boat. The tour ends at San Martin Island, where you'll return to the Brazilian side of the falls via the lower circuit walkway.

Day 4: Fly to Manaus, City Tour

Theater Amazonas in Manaus
Visit key sites in Manaus, like the opera house with its colorful dome

Today you'll transfer to Iguaçu's airport and board a domestic flight to Manaus, the gateway city to Brazil's Amazon rainforest. Your driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall to take you to your hotel. Then prepare to embark on a memorable journey through Manaus with a local expert.

Begin with a visit to the 20th-century Black River Palace, followed by a stop at the Museu do Índio to learn about Brazil's Indigenous cultural heritage. Explore the 19th-century Customs House and the neoclassical Palace of Justice before concluding your adventure at the iconic Amazon Theater. This magnificent opera house, adorned with a beautiful pink facade and colorful dome, was built in 1896 during the height of the rubber boom.

Day 5: Transfer to the Amazon, Canoe Tour

Check into your lodge and take an afternoon canoe trip

You'll be picked up this morning at your hotel in Manaus and driven to the Ceasa Port, a journey of 20-30 minutes. This is where you'll journey by speedboat via the Meeting of the Waters—with a 30-minute stop for an explanation and photos—to get to the village of Careiro. Then, transfer from Careiro to Rio Tupana, a 2.5-hour journey where you'll have the opportunity to observe and photograph water lilies. From there, board a motorized canoe and travel for 20 minutes to the eco-friendly Amazon Tupana Lodge.

Upon arrival, enjoy a warm greeting and a welcome drink. You'll then have your first lunch at the lodge before departing on a canoe trip. The canoeing tour will provide an in-depth exploration of the igarapés (Amazonian creeks) and igapós (flooded forest). Return to the lodge for dinner, then embark on an evening expedition to observe frogs, birds, and caimans. Your guide will also use a flashlight to help you spot caimans. With this light, you'll be able to see the caiman's eyes, which reflect a bright red dot, as the animal remains still and clearly visible.

Day 6: Wildlife Activities in the Amazon

Learn about Amazonian fish species like the piranha

Wake up early to the sounds of the jungle and depart for a sunrise excursion. As you watch the transformation of the colorful sky and listen to the sound of birdsong, grab your binoculars and prepare for some bird-watching. After a breakfast of fruit and regional foods, head off on a jungle hike. During this educational walk, your expert guide will introduce you to the Amazon's wildlife, as well as edible and medicinal plants. The route for this walk will vary to avoid damaging the forest through overuse of the paths.

Return to the lodge for lunch and then board a motorboat with one of your guides to fish and learn more about the infamous piranha, as well as other Amazonian fish native to the river. While enjoying the sunset from the boat, return to the lodge. The fish you caught earlier in the afternoon will be your dinner. Then, listen to an informal lecture from a local guide about everyday life in the Amazon, including the legends, traditions, and culture of the region.

Plan your trip to Brazil
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 7: Transfer to Manaus, Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Explore

Relax at Rio de Janeiro's famous beaches, like Ipanema

Return to Manaus this morning, stopping at the Pirarucu Floating Dock to see the giant pirarucu fish (also known as arapaima), which can reach up to 10 feet (3 m) high and can weigh up to 440 pounds (200 kg). From the Floating Dock, you can feed the fish and observe their impressive strength. Then continue on to Manaus, arriving around midday. At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport to board your domestic flight to Rio de Janeiro, where you'll settle into your hotel and then head out to explore in the evening.

It's not hard to understand why Rio de Janeiro has been referred to as the "Marvelous City" for over a century. The city's unique beauty and rich cultural scene, as well as its geographical diversity of mountains, tropical forests, and stunning coastline, provide the perfect setting for adventure travelers. The most popular beaches—Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon—are famous for their black-and-white tiled promenades. Pick one and relax at an open-air café serving refreshing coconut water, freshly squeezed juices, and other drinks. 

Day 8: Visit the Christ the Redeemer Statue, City Tour

Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)
Start your day by enjoying epic views of Rio de Janeiro

A trip to Rio is not complete without a visit to its most iconic landmark: the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Your tour of this century-old landmark begins with a morning transfer from your hotel to Tijuca National Park, which at 8,300 acres (3,359 ha), is the largest urban park in the world. Once you reach the base of Corcovado, a train will take you up through the lush forest to the peak. After the visit, explore the National Historical Museum, a great way to learn about Brazil's rich history and cultural heritage.

Follow this up with a very special lunch at Zazá Bistro, a charming restaurant in Ipanema that combines healthy and fresh recipes with selected flavors from around the world. Later, visit the Pão de Açúcar lookout, which offers amazing views of the city, and enjoy a city tour. You'll pass by the Maracana, the most popular soccer stadium in the world, the Sambadrome, an area specially built for the parade of samba schools that participate in Carnival every year, the famous Cathedral of San Sebastian, and the Municipal Theater.

Day 9: Brazilian Cooking Class

Fish Moqueca preparation
Learn how to prepare a local fish stew called moqueca
Today's adventure includes a cooking excursion, which begins with a walk to the nearest subway station. After a 10-minute ride and a 15-minute walk, you'll arrive at the cooking class venue, where you'll learn to cook several Brazilian recipes during a guided gastronomic experience. During the class, a chef will lead you through the recipe while explaining the origins and nutritional benefits of the local ingredients you are using. At the end of the lesson, discover new flavors as you savor the dishes you cooked, such as moqueca (fish stew) or feijoada (bean stew). 

Day 10: Boat Tour of Guanabara Bay, Free Time

Visit different sites around Guanabara Bay
After breakfast, make your way to Rio's pier at Guanabara Bay, where you'll board a yacht. On this scenic excursion, you'll have the chance to enjoy views of the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), more of the city's pretty beaches, such as Adão e Eva, Jurujuba, and Charitas, and city landmarks such as the Contemporary Art Museum, Rio-Niterói Bridge, and Cobras Island. Following the tour, you'll have free time to enjoy your last afternoon and evening in Brazil however you wish!

Day 11: Botanical Garden Tour, Depart 

Spend a few hours at Rio's botanical gardens before departure

It's time to say goodbye to Brazil! But first, you'll visit the city's Botanical Garden, which is over 200 years old and features a 2,461-foot (750 m) avenue of 134 impressive royal palms and more than 7,000 types of plants. In this magnificent 338-acre (137 ha) space, you can see orchids, bromeliads, cacti, bamboo, and carnivorous plants, among many other types of flora. The giant Victoria waterlilies here are large enough to hold a five-year-old child! During your visit, keep an eye out for monkeys and a variety of birdlife, including toucans.

When you're done visiting the garden, return to your hotel. Then, prepare to transfer to the international airport for your flight home. Boa viagem! 

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