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2by2 for holidays that will change your life
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
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Brazil Wildlife Holiday: Amazon Houseboat + Pantanal Wetlands (jaguars) + Rio

Brazil Wildlife: Amazon Riverboat + Pantanal + Rio
JRC13M
13 NIGHTS
FROM £3,995
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Brazil Wildlife Holiday Amazon Houseboat Pantanal Wetlands Jaguars Rio

This wonderful Brazil wildlife holiday combines a stay on an Amazon Houseboat, where you can see the phenomenon of the 'Meeting of the Waters', with a safari in the amazing Pantanal Wetlands, where you can search for Jaguars along the Cuiaba River, and the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. All transfers, park fees & wildlife activities included.

Brazil Wildlife Holiday Amazon Houseboat Pantanal Wetlands Jaguars Rio
• 
Brazil Wildlife Holiday
• 
Manuas
• 
Amazon Houseboat
• 
Anavilhanas Archipelago
• 
Meeting of the Waters
• 
Pantanal Wetlands
• 
Wilidlife Viewing
• 
Bird Watching
• 
Jaguars on Cuiba River
• 
Rio de Janeiro
• 
Brazil Wildlife Holiday
• 
Manuas
• 
Amazon Houseboat
• 
Anavilhanas Archipelago
• 
Meeting of the Waters
• 
Pantanal Wetlands
• 
Wilidlife Viewing
• 
Bird Watching
• 
Jaguars on Cuiba River
• 
Rio de Janeiro
Day 1
You will be met at Manaus Airport and transferred to this city situated on the banks of the Rio Negro and the gateway to the rainforests of the Amazon.
 
Check into your hotel in this city that has preserved the cultures of its native Brazilian tribes.
Day 2
Early this morning transfer from your hotel in Manaus and embark on your thrilling Amazon River Expedition Cruise that ventures deep into these untouched rainforests.
 
The Amazon Basin is a 2.7-million square mile (6.7 million sq. km) conservation area that is the largest in the world, spreading across nine countries - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana. Weaving in and out of small channels of the Rio Negro, the least inhabited river in the Amazon, we travel upstream to seek out the colourful tropical birds and fascinating wildlife that live here, with daily excursions led by experienced naturalist guides.
 
As we leave Manaus, we cruise through the Anavilhanas Archipelago, the world’s largest river island system. The boat will weave along a winding channel, with rainforest on both sides and from the observation deck you can see the riot of brilliant vegetation at the water’s edge. By mid-afternoon we leave the city behind, with both shores covered by dense rainforest. Here we may see some squirrel monkeys and perhaps hear howler monkeys. We may also see pink river dolphins. The Amazon has one of the greatest collection of birds in the world and we are sure to see some of these brightly coloured jewels perched in the treetops.
 
In the late afternoon we board the launches in search of wildlife. After returning to our riverboat for hors d’oeuvres on the observation deck, enjoy a rainforest sunset. Following dinner we set off in our launches again - this time in search of nocturnal creatures such as the caiman (a type of Amazonian crocodile). We may also see one of the large night birds, such as a potoo with its bulging eyes and large mouth adapted to swallowing huge moths.
 
Note: The exact routing of the boat will be adapted according to water levels and river conditions.
Day 3
Shortly after sunrise we explore the Anavilhanas Archipelago - a reserve that includes areas of tall dense rainforest. Travelling in a launch accompanied by a naturalist guide, we should hear howler monkeys as well as a morning serenade of toucans. We will also see a flooded freshwater forest called an 'igapó' that grows out of the dark black waters of the Rio Negro, before returning to our riverboat for breakfast.
 
After some time to relax, weather permitting we again disembark mid-morning for a walk in the 'terra firme' rainforest. Here we may see signs of some of the Amazon’s great mammals like peccaries (wild pigs) or even a jaguar, although sightings of this magnificent creature are rare. Around midday we return to the boat for lunch and a siesta.
 
In the afternoon we take to the launches for an expedition along the edges of the dense rainforest and listen to the sunset chorus of birds, howler monkeys and frogs. Weather permitting, tonight we also search for nocturnal creatures, with us very often seeing arboreal porcupines or sloths scrambling high in the branches.
Day 4
Today we sail along the western bank of the Rio Negro and continue searching for wildlife from our launches and on foot in the rainforest. Depending on the weather and water depth, we can perhaps visit areas rarely visited by anyone else.
 
Tonight we start to travel back downstream and, river depth permitting, enter a small east bank tributary of the Rio Negro to explore deep into the rainforest. After our nocturnal exploration in our launches, we return to our riverboat for a 'Caipirinha Night' (Brazil's national drink) and some samba dancing on the top deck.
Day 5
We begin today with a dawn excursion searching for wakening wildlife, followed by breakfast. We then visit the rainforest one last time.
 
In the midafternoon we begin our journey downstream, arriving late in the afternoon at the famous 'Meeting of the Waters' where two of the world’s largest rivers - the Amazon and the Rio Negro - join in a turbulent maelstrom. Here the dark (almost black) waters of the Rio Negro run alongside the opaque brown waters of the Rio Solimões for several miles without mixing, as they join to form the Amazon. This strange natural phenomenon is due to differences in the temperature, speed and water density of the two rivers.
 
At sunset our riverboat will once again turn her bows upstream on the Rio Negro and journey to our overnight anchorage north of the city. As we pass Manaus, you can marvel at the scale of one of the world’s largest and most vibrant port cities that is located over one thousand miles from the sea. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner and prepare for an early departure in the morning.
Day 6
This morning we disembark early in the city of Manaus, situated on the banks of the Rio Negro.
 
Here you will be met and transferred to Manaus Airport for your flight to Porto Velho and connecting flight to Cuiaba.
 
You will be met at Cuiaba Airport and transferred to your hotel in this city, which is the capital of Mato Grosso state and situated in the exact centre of South America.
Day 7
Today you will be transferred 3.5-hours from Cuiaba, travelling along the Transpantaneira Highway to your lodge in the northern Pantanal and game viewing along the way.
 
The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland, with 78% fully covered by water during the rainy season and offering the highest concentration of wildlife in all the Americas. Located in the centre of the continent, it is 10 times larger than the Everglades in Florida, USA and covers an area greater in size than the United Kingdom. Spanning three countries, it is situated mainly in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, but also extends into Bolivia and Paraguay.
 
It is a geographic mixing bowl - containing elements of savanna, rainforest, semi-arid woodland and open grasslands. As such it offers some of the finest birding and mammal viewing on the continent. Given the relatively small amount of thick rainforest cover compared to the Amazon, the Pantanal is one of the best places in the world to spot the elusive jaguar in the wild.
 
On arrival refresh yourself at your lodge, before enjoying a late afternoon guided activity in this wildlife paradise followed by a beautiful sunset.
Day 8
Today is devoted to exploring the wildlife of the Pantanal Wetlands - one of the last untouched wildlife sanctuaries in the world, stretching over 96,000 square miles (250,000 square km).
 
Comprising a wide variety of habitats ranging from Brazilian savanna ('cerrado') and grasslands, to semi-arid woodland, Amazon and Atlantic rainforests, the Pantanal offers much easier game viewing than in the dense jungles of the Amazon Basin. These vast tropical floodplains are home to an amazing diversity of wildlife including 159 different mammal species, 93 reptiles, 53 amphibians, 260 fish, over 1,100 butterflies. It is also home to over 650 different bird species including the spectacularly blue Hyacinth Macaw, a parrot cloaked in deep indigo plumage with yellow eye patches, and the Jabiru stork - the second largest flying bird in the Americas after the Andean condor.
 
Millions of capybara, the world's largest rodent, and Yacare caiman (similar to alligators) live here as well as the Brazilian tapir, one of the largest mammals in South America with a strange trunk-like nose. You can also hope to see the Crab-eating raccoon, South American coati (nicknamed the hog-nosed raccoon because of its pig-like snout.), Crab-eating fox, Giant anteater, Lesser anteater, Collared anteater, Black-striped capuchin monkey, Brown capuchin, Howler monkey, Agouti, Tayra, White-lipped peccary, Collared peccary, Chacoan peccary, Red brocket deer, endangered Marsh deer, the ostrich-like Greater Rhea and the diminutive Black-tailed marmoset. If you are fortunate you may see an Ocelot, a spectacular wild cat also known as the Dwarf leopard.
 
Along the waterways you can hope to see vocal families of endangered Giant otters, Anaconda and many other mammals, reptiles and birds. The riverbanks of the Pantanal also offers the best opportunity to see the apex predator of the region - the mighty jaguar. Similar in looks to a leopard, but bulkier and heavier set, the jaguar is the most powerful of the big cats and the third largest in size after the tiger and lion. The best time to visit the Pantanal to see a jaguar is during the dry season (July to September) when rainfall is at its lowest and the wetlands gradually dry out, forcing the animals to congregate around the rivers and ever-diminishing lagoons. However a sighting of this magnificent creature in the wild is never guaranteed.
 
Bird watching is outstanding with colourful species including the Hyacinth macaw, Roseate spoonbill, Southern screamer, Chestnut-bellied guan, Bare-faced curassow, Red-legged seriema, Chestnut-eared aracari, Blue-crowned parakeet, Orange-backed troupial, Barred antshrike, Blue-crowned trogon, Toco toucan, Yellow-billed cardinal and the diminutive Rufous-tailed jacamar. You can also see several species of ibis, egrets, storks, herons, kingfishers, skimmers, terns, hawks, kites and a host of other raptors and passerines.
 
The flora is also astonishing, with over 3,500 different species including many aquatic plants, as over 80% of the wetlands are submerged during the wet season. In the evening enjoy star gazing in the clear night skies of the southern hemisphere.
 
Activities vary by lodge but usually include guided walking trails, boat rides, climbing an observation tower to see the vastness of the Pantanal, guided birding, game drives, catch-and-release fishing and night walks. Horse riding is available at some lodges (either included or at an extra charge).
Day 9
From mid-June to mid-November a special treat awaits you today, as you participate in a full day Jaguar Safari in search of one of these elusive big cats.
 
We set off early (around 5 am) and drive 2-hours towards Porto Jofre and the Cuiaba River. From here we board a small boat and spend 6-hours viewing wildlife along the river banks, keeping an eye out for a majestic jaguar. After a full day of game viewing and an included lunch, we return to our lodge in the afternoon.
 
Note: This excursion is only available if staying a minimum 4-nights and the lodge may vary the day on which this trip is undertaken.
Day 10
Enjoy another day exploring a different part of the Pantanal Wetlands, with its abundant wildlife, flora and wonderful bird life.
 
Your daily activities are likely to include guided walking trails, bird watching, game drives, boat rides and night walks.
Day 11
Transfer 3-hours to Cuiaba Airport for your flight to Brasilia and connecting flight to Rio de Janeiro.
 
You will be met at your Rio de Janeiro airport and transferred to your hotel in this iconic city - famous for its magnificent setting and enormous statue of Christ the Redeemer looking down from Corcovado Mountain - one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
 
Rio is also home to the magnificent Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Barra da Tijuca beaches and known for its samba and bossa nova dancing, carnivals and music festivals.
Day 12
Today enjoy a full day private tour of Rio de Janeiro, known locally as Cidade Maravilhosa (the Marvellous City').
 
After a tour of the downtown area, we stop at the huge Metropolitan Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Sebastian), built in the form of an ancient Mayan pyramid. We also view the historical buildings around Cinelândia Square - including the Municipal Theatre, the National Library and Museum of Fine Arts.
 
We then visit the vast Sambadrome exhibition space, where the famous Rio Carnival is held. We also drive past the enormous Maracana, one of the largest football stadiums in the world and the venue for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Finally we visit the Bohemian area of Lapa, to climb the colourful Selaron Steps.
 
After lunch (own account) we drive past Flamengo Park, the largest public park in Rio, to one of the most famous symbols of the city - Sugarloaf Mountain. Here we travel all the way to the top, in two cable cars. The first cable car takes us to Urca Hill, a vantage point with beautiful views of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niterói Bridge and Corcovado Mountain. The second cable car takes us all the way to the top, with wonderful views over Copacabana beach, Santa Cruz fortress and the beaches of Niterói.
Day 13
Today enjoy a half day private tour to one of the world’s most famous landmarks.
 
We start by boarding the cog train from Cosme Velho Station to Corcovado Mountain. Enjoy the steep 20-minutes train journey through the dense Atlantic rainforest of Tijuca, with wonderful views of the lush tropical vegetation, and scenic landscapes of the city and its beaches below. Disembark and climb the steps or take the escalators to the base of the towering statue of Christ the Redeemer - one of the 7 wonders of the modern world - and enjoy its spectacular 360 degree panoramas.
 
After descending by cog train, you will drive past some of Rio's most famous beaches - Leblon, Ipanema & Copacabana - before you are dropped off at your hotel, with afternoon at leisure.
 
 
Day 14
Transfer to Rio de Janeiro Airport for your flight home.