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GALLANT TRAVELERS EXPLORE BRAZIL

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Day 1: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
Welcome to Rio de Janeiro!  After you clear Customs and Immigration formalities, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check-in.  (Private)

Rio - sensuous, chaotic, sophisticated, open and friendly - is one of South America's gems. The Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City,) as Brazilians call it, displays a unique blend of contrasts: old and new, tremendous wealth amid crushing poverty, an urban metropolis nestled around mountains and a huge forest. And all of this is symbolically embraced in the outstretched arms of Cristo Redentor, the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain.

This afternoon you will be picked up at your hotel for a half-day city tour and excursion to Sugar Loaf Mountain followed by a delicious BBQ dinner.

 

Note: this is a shared sightseeing trip and you will be picked up at your hotel between 2pm and 3pm. 
Drive through the residential areas of Rio to reach the downtown historical center and business district. Then, proceed to the Urca District, where a cable car ascent is made in two stages to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. The first stage of the ride goes to Urca Hill, where there are gardens and lookout points; for those who wish to venture even higher, the second cable car goes to the very top of Sugar Loaf itself- 1200 feet above sea level- for breathtaking views of sunset, the city, beaches and harbor.

After descending, return to the vehicle and drive back to the hotels.
Dinner / Hotel Rio Othon Palace

Day 2: RIO DE JANEIRO
Today after breakfast at the hotel you will be picked up at your hotel for a half-day private tour to Corcovado and Tijuca Forest.  Drive through residential areas to Cosme Velho to board the funicular railway for a 20-minute climb through Tijuca Forest.  As the train climbs Corcovado (hunchback) Mountain, enjoy spectacular views of Rio and the Bay peeking through the dense vegetation.  At the top of Corcovado, 2400 feet above sea level, is the majestic, 120-foot high statue of Christ with outstretched arms. The panoramic view is breathtaking.  Descend by train and return to the hotel via Rio’s famous beaches.
Breakfast, Dinner / Hotel Rio Othon Palace

Day 3: RIO DE JANEIRO
Today after breakfast you will be met at your hotel for a full day tour to Petropolis. A trip to the Imperial town of Petropolis offers a nice respite from hectic Rio. It involves a 40-minute drive north into the Organ Mountains. The road winding through the dramatic scenery, with forested slopes and mountains shrouded in clouds, is in itself a dramatic experience. When you arrive in Petropolis, enjoy an introduction to this pretty resort town, with its mansions and alpine chalets and visit the neo-Gothic Cathedral Sao Pedro de Alcantara. Inside are the tombs of Dom Pedro, the Princess Regent Dona Isabel and several other royal personages. Also visit the Imperial Museum, which is housed in a former royal residence and stands in beautifully maintained gardens. The exhibits are on two levels and include a fascinating collection of the royal family’s odds & ends. There will be time for lunch (included) during the tour.

Tonight you will be picked up at the hotel and taken for a barbeque dinner at a churrascaria- a Brazilian steakhouse. (dessert and drinks are not included). After dinner continue to Plataforma Nightclub for an exciting samba and folklore show.. During the approximate 1-½ hour performance, feel the exuberance of Brazilian joie de vivre. Return to the hotel shortly after midnight
Breakfast, Lunch / Hotel Astoria Palace- Deluxe Room

 

Day 4: rio de janeiro – iguaSSu falls
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Iguassu Falls (Brazilian side).  You will be met outside baggage claim and transferred to your hotel.

The name Iguaçu (Iguazú or Iguassu) means “Great Waters” in Guarani, which hardly seems to do this natural masterpiece justice. Taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide, this wonder combines 275 falls in a massive, magnificent cascade stretching for nearly 1.7 miles. Situated on the border between Argentina and Brazil, its waters pass over luscious sub-tropical greenery.

This afternoon enjoy a private tour of the falls from the peaceful Brazilian side.. Once at the falls, the tour takes you over an easy walking path of approx. 1.200 meters. Take the trail through the subtropical rainforest that surrounds the falls within Iguassu National Park, as toucans and cobalt blue butterflies sail overhead and a sleek coatimundi may cross your path.
Breakfast / Hotel Mabu

Day 5: IGUASSU - SALVADOR
The Argentine side of the falls is your destination today with lunch en route.  Arriving at the Iguazú National Park, board an ecological train shuttle to the Cataratas Station where you will disembark to walk through paths that lead along and above the spectacular Falls.  You will then board another train shuttle to "Devil's Throat” station,” where you can walk onto a catwalk that extends 1100 meters over the lush tropical basin of Devil's Gorge. 

After the tour, enjoy a buffet/barbeque lunch at Botega Restaurant (or similar) located on the Brazilian side of the Park. Then, transfer to the airport for your flight to Salvador via Manaus.  You are met outside baggage claim and transferred to the hotel.  This striking city, Brazil's former colonial capital, lies on the beautiful Bay of All Saints (Bahia de Todos os Santos), the second largest bay in the country. A strong African influence derives from the slaves brought to work in the sugarcane fields more than 400 years ago.
Breakfast, Lunch / Hotel Pestana

Day 6: SALVADOR
Today after breakfast at the hotel, you will be picked up for a half-day city tour, heading towards the Cidade Alta (uptown). On the way stop at the Farol da Barra (Barra Lighthouse) for a panoramic view of the entrance to Baía de Todos os Santos (All Saints Bay.)  Arrive in the historical section – the Pelourinho.  From a lookout you can observe the lower city and port, the Mercado Modelo and the Lacerda Elevator, connecting the 2 parts of the city. From this point, the rest of the visit is on foot. Crossing Terreiro de Jesus square, visit the Church of Saint Francis (1713), considered to be the best example of Portuguese baroque style and the most magnificent in Brazil. Return to your hotel where the afternoon is at your leisure.
Breakfast / Hotel Pestana

Day 7: SALVADOR
After breakfast this morning, depart for a full-day Praia do Forte tour (Forte Beach). This morning depart along the Estrada do Côco (“Coconut Highway.”) towards Praia do Forte. This region of the Northern coast of Bahia is considered to be the country’s principal area for coconut trees. En route, stop for a swim at Praia de Guarajuba. Return to the road and arrive at the fishermen’s village of Praia do Forte. Optional: Visit the Tamar Project - the preservation center for marine turtles. With its 12km of beaches, this village is the ideal place for a sea swim in natural pools. Entrance fee not included. During the tour you will have some free time to enjoy lunch (not included) as well as time to explore the village and beaches. By mid-afternoon you will return to Salvador and the hotel.

This evening, enjoy Bahia by night: dinner in a local restaurant followed by a folk show.
Please note: this is a shared excursion and not private. Pick up for the tour begins at 7pm.

Depart your hotel in the early evening for a typical dinner and Bahian Folk Show with an introduction to the Orixás, the principal divinities of Candomblé. Through the dances and chanting you can recognize the Yorubá Gods by their colorful costumes. The show continues with the songs of the fishermen and the maculelê, a warrior dance that came from Africa.

Most of the show is devoted to a demonstration of capoeira, a fighting style introduced to Brazil by the African slaves as a means of defense. The “capoeira” is a kind of fight combined with acrobatic dance, whose rhythm is given by the  “berimbau”, a stringed musical instrument with an incomparable sound.
After the show, return to the hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Hotel Pestana

Day 8 & 9: SALVADOR – MANAUS
Transfer to the Salvador airport for flight Manaus, where you will be met and transferred to the Amazon Eco-park Lodge, en route passing the incredible “meeting of the waters” where the black waters of the Negro River and the brown waters of the Solimões River meet and run together for miles without mixing until they finally merge to form the actual Amazon River

You will be welcomed on arrival with a refreshing glass of local fruit juice, after which you will be shown to your rooms.  AMAZON ECOPARK Jungle Lodge is a touristic, scientific and educational property, created and directed by a private initiative back in 1991, opening its doors to the public as an Ecotourism Lodge in 1995. Several streams of clear water run through the area. Over 6 miles of jungle trails including un-catalogued species, natural savannahs and creeks enable clients to explore the jungle, observe orchids and giant trees.

Later, you will visit the Monkey Jungle.   A rehabilitation center for primates brought to this local by IBAMA when confiscated from illegal sales and exports. At this location, primates are initially kept in quarantine in order to be evaluated and treated by veterinarians and biologists. After a period of time, primates are reintroduced to the jungle.

After dinner, depart from the lodge in paddle or motorized canoes, to appreciate the sounds of the jungle at night, with the possibility to spot small alligators (or other nightly creatures).   Duration: about 1 hour, a bilingual guide accompanies every group.
Breakfast, Dinner / Amazon Ecopark Lodge (2 nights)
     
Day 10: MANAUS - DEPART
Breakfast at the lodge.  Enjoy the activities provided by the lodge until your transfer to Manaus airport where you will board the flight home.
Breakfast
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Inclusions:

  • Airport meet & assist on arrival;  Land transfers in private deluxe air-conditioned vehicles
  • Hotel accommodations as indicated.;  Meals as indicated (venues are subject to change)
  • Sightseeing as indicated on SIB (seat in bus) basis
  • Entrance fees to sights and shows as indicated ;  Taxes and service fees

Exclusions:

  • International airfare & airport taxes; Domestic flights & taxes: Rio-Iguassu Falls-Manaus-Salvador-Rio
  • Meals, unless otherwise indicated;  Items of a personal nature; Gratuities and porterage;  Travel insurance
  • Visas (required for all nationalities prior to arrival in Brazil – allow 2 months)