This fun-filled family adventure offers up the best of Brazil, with plenty of outdoor excursions, natural wonders, and wildlife encounters. Start in Rio de Janeiro, where you'll visit the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and take a high-flying helicopter ride across the city. Then, depart for Foz do Iguaçu to see Iguaçu Falls from the Brazilian and Argentine borders. Fish for piranha and seek out nocturnal wildlife in South Pantanal, ending with the mystical caverns of Bonito's Lago Azul and Abismo Anhumas.


  • Ascend via cable car up Rio de Janeiro's Sugarloaf Mountain for endless views
  • Zipline across the dense greenery of the Brazilian forest at Parque Catacumbas 
  • See colorful toucans and raucous macaws at the aviaries of Parque das Aves
  • Descend into the otherworldly caverns and shimmering lakes of Abismo Anhumas

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Explore Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 Christ the Redeemer Statue & Sugarloaf Mountain Tour Rio de Janeiro
Day 3 Rainforests of Floresta da Tijuca, Family Beach Time Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 Parque Catacumbas Ziplining & Canopy Tour, Rio by Helicopter Rio de Janeiro
Day 5 Visit AquaRio Aquarium, Fly to Foz do Iguaçu Foz do Iguaçu
Day 6 Iguaçu Falls (Brazilian Side), Discover Parque das Aves Foz do Iguaçu
Day 7 Iguaçu Falls(Argentina Side), Boat Tour to Falls Foz do Iguaçu
Day 8 Fly to South Pantanal, Hiking & Pirahna Fishing Excursion  South Pantanal
Day 9 Guided Photo Safari, Kayaking the Río Aquidauana  South Pantanal
Day 10 Motorboat Adventure on the Río Aquidauana, Nocturnal Wildlife Tour South Pantanal
Day 11 Transfer to Bonito Mato Grosso, Scenery of Estância Mimosa  Bonito 
Day 12 Lago Azul, Snorkeling in the Río Sucuri  Bonito 
Day 13 Underground Caves of Abismo Anhumas, Float the Río da Prata Bonito 
Day 14 Visit Buraco das Araras, Transfer to Campo Grande, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Explore Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

All aboard the swan paddle boats of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas!

Welcome to Brazil! Your flight lands in Rio de Janeiro, or "Cidade Maravilhosa" (Marvelous City), a bustling metropolis known for its beaches, festive culture, and lively entertainment. Your driver will collect you and your family from the airport and transfer you to your hotel. On the drive into the city from the airport, you'll catch views of Mount Corcovado's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain, where cable cars transport visitors up its towering peak. 

The kids will probably want to stretch their legs after the long flight, so once you've settled at your hotel, visit Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, a gorgeous lagoon along the waterfront. Surrounded by lush greenery and bordered by upscale neighborhoods, the lake is a popular recreation spot for both locals and visitors. Stroll along the scenic paths, rent bikes, and cruise along the waterway, or rent a kitschy plastic swan-shaped paddle boat and set sail, letting the kids steer the way! The lagoon area features parks, playgrounds, and open spaces, making it an ideal destination for all ages.

Another option is Parque dos Patins, where you'll find a kids' zone with ergonomic toys and activities such as skating, bungee jumping, trampolining, and skateboarding. Or head to Parque do Cantagalo, which has multiple sports courts catering to volleyball, basketball, tennis, baseball, and, of course, football. Tonight, have dinner at a local restaurant such as Confeitaria Colombo, which offers a delightful fusion of Brazilian and international cuisine within a historical setting.

Day 2: Christ the Redeemer Statue & Sugarloaf Mountain Tour

Take a high-flying cable car ride up Sugarloaf Mountain 

Today's guided tour covers some of Rio's most celebrated landmarks. First, your family will head to the top of Mount Corcovado and visit Christ the Redeemer, a 98-foot (30 m) Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ overlooking the city. Commissioned by a local Catholic group in 1920, it was built to symbolize the welcoming spirit of Brazil. The statue took almost 10 years to complete, and it remains an iconic symbol of Brazil and Rio. Arrive at the top of the 2,310-foot (704 m) mountain and at the base of the statue, where you'll be rewarded with sweeping views over the city and Guanabara Bay.

After descending Mount Corcovado, head to the Urca neighborhood and the mouth of Guanabara Bay. Here, you'll hop on a cable car to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain). This nearly 1,300-foot (396 m) mountain peak unsurprisingly gets its name because it resembles a mound of sugar. The kids will love the bird's-eye view as the car ascends, and at the top, you'll get a 360-degree view of the rainforest, beaches, cityscape, and local monuments. Upon completion of the tour, your guide will return you to your hotel, and the rest of your evening is free.

Day 3: Rainforests of Floresta da Tijuca, Family Beach Time

Enjoy some family time on Rio's fabulous beaches

Start your day with a family-friendly hike through Floresta da Tijuca, Rio's urban rainforest. This immersive experience takes you deep into the forest, where you can discover the area's diverse flora and fauna. For added fun, consider incorporating a nature scavenger hunt to make the hike educational and an exciting adventure for the entire family. As you meander through the lush trails, share tales of the rainforest's significance and the importance of preserving such ecosystems with your children.

The rest of your day is free to explore on your own. You can slow down the pace with a visit to Jardim Botânico, a botanical garden that serves as a serene oasis within the bustling city. The kids can see the various gardens and stroll the shaded paths, and the whole family can learn more about the garden's diverse collections with a guided educational tour.

If the little ones are clamoring for beach time, check out the world-famous Copacabana or Ipanema beaches. Copacabana, which stretches for 2.5 miles (4 km) along the southern coast, is lively, with plenty of amenities and many restaurants and bars. Ipanema, which is usually less crowded than Copa, is also quite popular. The waters here can be rough, so parents should be aware and not let children swim unattended. Families with very young children might also want to check out Leme Beach, which sits adjacent to Copabana and offers a quiet alternative to the busier main beaches. 

Day 4: Parque Catacumbas Ziplining & Canopy Tour, Rio by Helicopter

Zipline in the lush greenery of Parque Catacumbas

Adrenaline junkies in your group will be thrilled today as you're off to spend the morning at Parque Catacumbas (Catacumba Park), an ecological reserve near Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Meet your guide in the morning for the quick, 30-minute drive to the park, arriving at Lagoa Adventure Park, which sits at the reserve's main entrance. The fun starts at the Canopy Tree Circuit, which takes you into the treetops and the vibrant green forest canopy. Your guide will share information on the park's history, and you're likely to see tropical birds and the occasional curious monkey in the nearby trees.

Next, hop on the zipline, a carefully crafted course suitable for kids and adults, gliding from one platform to another as you take in the park's natural wonders. End the tour with a hike to Mirante Sacopã. This popular .6-mile (.96 km) family-friendly loop ascends to an elevated spot above the city, offering panoramic views of Ipanema and Leblon beaches—a seamless blend of sandy shores and azure waters against the urban backdrop.

This afternoon, see Rio from a different perspective with a high-flying helicopter tour. Soar across the city, getting a birds-eye view of Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the historic Fortaleza de Santa Cruz. The kids will be awed by views of Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, seeing places they've visited from high above, and the whole family will enjoy seeing Sambódromo, home of the Rio Carnival, and the legendary Maracanã Stadium. Fly over the lagoons and beaches of Barra and São Conrado before a final pass along the coast of Avenida Niemeyer.

Day 5: Visit AquaRio Aquarium, Fly to Foz do Iguaçu

Explore the amazing underwater world of the Rio de Janeiro Marine Aquarium

Discover Brazil's incredible underwater world with a visit to AquaRio, Rio de Janeiro's Marine Aquarium. Encompassing nearly 280,000 square feet (26,000 sq m), the aquarium is considered one of the largest in South America, with a vast collection of marine life.

Let the kids dive into the interactive displays and carefully curated activities, including multiple tanks and enclosures, a sea tunnel, and more than 350 species on display. You'll all learn more about the diversity of Brazil's underwater world and gain valuable insights into marine ecosystems and the ongoing conservation efforts, both within the country and worldwide.

Return to your hotel for check out, then take your private transfer to the airport, where you'll catch a flight to your next destination, Foz do Iguaçu. Located in the state of Paraná, the city is a gateway to Iguazú Falls National Park, which spans both Argentina and Brazil. Your family will have a busy day exploring the park tomorrow, so relax at your hotel tonight or take a low-key stroll around town after dinner. 

Day 6: Iguaçu Falls (Brazilian Side), Discover Parque das Aves

See colorful birds at the Parque das Aves sanctuary 

Explore the Brazilian side of Iguazú Falls today, starting at the visitor's center, where you'll board a bus into the park. Arrive at a footbridge and continue on foot through a subtropical rainforest while the kids keep their eyes peeled for wildlife, such as toucans or even jaguars, eventually arriving at the Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat) waterfall. This is the perfect place for photos, as the Brazilian side showcases a constant rainbow that floats above the water.

You can visit the shopping and restaurant area upstairs, then board your bus back to the park entrance. On returning to your hotel, stop at Parque das Aves, a 40-acre (16 ha) bird sanctuary. The sanctuary cares for more than 143 species, with five immersive aviaries that house over 1,000 birds. See toucans and curassows up close, visit the parakeet nursery, and let the kids experience a flock of 100 macaws flying directly over their heads! The park also has resident butterflies, caimans, anacondas, and alligators.

Day 7: Iguaçu Falls(Argentina Side), Boat Tour to Falls

See breathtaking views of Iguazú Falls on both sides of the border

Today's tour takes you to the Argentine side of Iguazú Falls. Gather the family and head to the park, boarding a train that takes you to the massive Devil's Throat waterfall. You'll have time to disembark and see the falls from a different view, taking in its incredible drop of more than 260 feet (80m) into mist-shrouded pools. Reboard the train and head to the next station, where you'll take a walking tour of about 2 miles (3 km) along wooded footpaths and walkways that bring you closer to the falls and provide a more complete view. 

End the day with a tour that combines lush jungle and crashing waterfalls—all the elements that make Iguaçu so special. Together with your guide, you and your family will enter the jungle through the Sendero Yacaratiá trail, riding in vehicles specifically designed for the terrain. You'll hear about the local species that live in the area and see different plants that your guide points out.

The 30-minute drive takes you to Porto Macuco, where everyone will put their personal items in waterproof bags, don life jackets, and board a boat. Cruise upriver through the canyons of the Río Paraná, then approach the base of Salto Tres Mosqueteros (Three Musketeers Falls). Feel the strength and energy of the water as the boat gets as close as it can to the second-largest drop in the falls, Salto San Martín. The kids are sure to be thrilled by the cascades, and you're all likely to get wet, so dress accordingly! Afterward, return to the park entrance for your transfer back to your hotel. 

Day 8: Fly to South Pantanal, Hiking & Pirahna Fishing Excursion 

Fish for piranahs in the Pantanal

Your family's journey continues today with a transfer to Brazil's Pantanal, a 68,000-mile (109,435 km) stretch of wetlands fed by tributaries of the Río Paraguay. The Pantanal is the world's largest freshwater wetland, with more than 250 species of fish inhabiting it and a huge population of animals that live along its waterways. Your driver will take you to the airport for your flight to Campo Grande; from there, you'll be transported directly to your accommodations in South Pantanal on a scenic three-hour drive.

Arrive at your South Pantanal lodge, and after check-in, head out to one of the several hiking trails in the area to see more of this incredible region. The trails take you into the Pantanal's grasslands and wooded savannas, allowing you and the kids to see flora, including palm trees and orchids. You'll also want to keep watch for local wildlife. Besides the hundreds of species of birds that exist here, like green parrots and toucans, you may also see animals such as monkeys, capybaras, armadillos, or river otters.

Later, take an exciting fishing excursion to a bay on a nearby river, where instead of bass or catfish, you'll be angling for the carnivorous piranha! Meet your guide, and after a safety briefing, head out on the water, dropping your lines in the areas where the piranhas like to hide. While it's true that these fish do like to bite, there's no risk to you or the little ones, as your guide will be handling any piranha you reel in. Visitors might also be surprised to know that this isn't mere sport fishing—piranha is considered a delicacy and has starbilling in a delicious regional soup, caldo de piranha.

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Day 9: Guided Photo Safari, Kayaking the Río Aquidauana 

Look out for resident howler monkeys on a family photo safari

Embark on a more in-depth exploration of the Pantanal with a family photo safari. Meet your guide at your hotel in the morning and take a ride in his open-topped 4WD vehicle. Navigate varied terrain to reach some of the region's most remote spots. The 2.5-hour tour showcases the region's landscapes, including open grassland, floodplains, and swampland.

Your guide will stop for photo ops along the way, sharing their insight and experience with the different animals. The kids can look for howler monkeys in the trees or giant anteaters snacking on the jungle floor. If your family is fortunate, you may even glimpse an elusive jaguar! 

Afterward, let the little ones burn some energy with an open-water workout. Head to the shore and meet your guides for an equipment and safety briefing before stepping into your kayaks for a peaceful water tour. Ride along the banks of the Río Aquidauana, a tributary of the Río Miranda and part of the Río Paraguay basin, paddling past forest-lined banks and listening to monkeys and tropical birds overhead. Spot waterbirds such as herons or kingfishers, and let the kids have a turn at paddling while you relax amid the serene beauty of the river. 

Day 10: Motorboat Adventure on the Río Aquidauana, Nocturnal Wildlife Tour

Catch a rare glimpse of an ocelot on a nocturnal wildlife tour

Step it up a notch with a guided motorboat tour of the Aquidauana. This fast-moving, 2.5-hour adventure allows your family to see as much of the river as possible and witness the beauty and flourishing wildlife of the riparian forest on the banks. Its centennial trees are home to exotic birds, while on the shore, mammals like tapirs and capybaras frolic in the water. The kids might even spot playful otters or a sleepy anaconda resting in a tree! 

Return to your lodgings and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing or exploring on your own until the sun goes down and the next thrill begins. Then, with your expert guide, your family will travel by vehicle to some of the Pantanal's best nighttime wildlife-viewing areas. Drive into the wetland under cover of darkness, accompanied by a cacophony of chirping frogs and insects. Active animals you may see can include capybaras, anteaters, foxes, caimans, and the occasional shy ocelot. Return to your accommodations for a good night's sleep before continuing your journey tomorrow. 

Day 11: Transfer to Bonito Mato Grosso, Scenery of Estância Mimosa 

Welcome to the natural beauty of Bonito MS

You're off to the town of Bonito Mato Grosso today, otherwise known as Bonito MS or just Bonito. This region is known for its unspoiled natural beauty, crystalline rivers, and stalactite-covered caverns. It's also a base for activities and sports such as abseiling, diving off giant waterfalls, and snorkeling around rivers filled with colorful fish—a top destination for families seeking active outdoor fun! 

After checking out of your lodgings, meet your private driver for the 3.5-hour drive south, arriving at your hotel in the afternoon. Take a moment to regroup or grab a bite to eat if you've got hungry little ones, then head out for a tour of Estância Mimosa, an eco-tourism area with pristine waterfalls, natural swimming pools, and endless hiking trails.

Start with a 2-mile (3 km) walk through the wetland forests of the Río Mimoso, where you and the kids can see centuries-old trees, wildlife, and lookout points with panoramic views. Arrive at the waterfalls and enjoy a refreshing dip, swimming in the clear pools and splashing under the falls. Return to your hotel in time for dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 12: Lago Azul, Snorkeling in the Río Sucuri 

Visit the otherworldly caverns of Lago Azul

Deep in the forests of Bonito sits Lago Azul, a natural cavern and grotto regarded as one of South America's most beautiful landmarks. Your family will get a chance to see this natural wonder today, meeting your guide and driving to the forest, where you'll hike along a trail to the mouth of the cavern. Follow the walkways into the grotto and descend 650 feet (200 m) underground to the shimmering blue lagoon.

As you go, your guide will reveal fascinating insights into the area's geology and point out fossils in the cave. Some are from the long-extinct saber-toothed tiger, sure to be a hit with the kids! At the grotto, marvel at its sapphire-blue waters, limestone rock formations, and hanging stalactites. 

Return to town for lunch, then see more of Bonito's natural beauty with a snorkel tour of the Río Sucuri. The river is reputed to have some of the clearest waters in the world and is packed with colorful fish, underwater plants, and other river dwellers. Upon arrival, you'll grab a snorkeling mask, strap on a life vest, and hop in the water. The calm waters make it accessible even to younger kids as you all take a leisurely float along the water, traveling 1 mile (1.6 km) downriver amid the schools of fish. From here, your driver will take you back to your hotel for the evening. 

Day 13: Underground Caves of Abismo Anhumas, Float the Río da Prata

See fish galore at the amazing natural aquarium of the Silver River

Make the most of your family's last full day in Brazil with a visit to one of Bonito's most renowned attractions, the underworld of the Anhumas Abyss. This partially submerged cave, featuring crystal-clear water and a forest of limestone cones, is one of Brazil's most extensive underground caverns.

Led by expert guides and instructors, you'll take a 236-foot (72 m) rappel directly into the cavern, bringing you into a vast cave with a blue shimmering lake. Dive in with the older kids, watching their reaction to the deep water views and endless visibility. The instructors will then pull you up safely back onto terra firma.

For more water fun, take a nature hike and float down Bonito's Río da Prata. The river offers up one of the region's longest stretches of snorkeling waters, with tons of fish, such as the flashy golden dorado. Start with a short walk through the forest to water (tell the kids to look up for sightings of marmoset monkeys in the trees!), then don your gear and immerse yourself in the beautiful waters of this natural aquarium. Float along for about 1 mile (1.6 km) as the kids count the schools of fish swimming by, then step ashore and enjoy a traditional Brazilian lunch before returning to your hotel.

Day 14: Visit Buraco das Araras, Transfer to Campo Grande, Depart

View red and green macaws at the incredible Buraco das Araras

If you have time before your departure today, be sure to visit Buraco das Araras (Macaws' Hole). Sitting at 1,640 feet (500 m) wide and about 328 feet (100 m) deep, this massive limestone sinkhole is the largest in South America. The hole itself is impressive, but what's even more exciting is that in the 300 million or so years since its formation, it has become a haven for red and green macaws. You and your family will get a chance to see this massive landmark and snap photos of its avian residents. 

Afterward, your adventures in Brazil come to a close as you take a private transfer back to Camp Grande and the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Ultimate Brazil for Active Families: Rio de Janeiro,  Foz do Iguaçu, South Pantanal, Bonito - 14 Days
Map of Ultimate Brazil for Active Families: Rio de Janeiro, Foz do Iguaçu, South Pantanal, Bonito - 14 Days