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Iguassu + Pantanal Wetlands + Rio de Janeiro


JRB10R
11 NIGHTS
FROM £2,995
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Visit the Iguassu Falls & Brazil's Pantanal, the largest tropical wetland in the world - home to jaguars, colourful birds & other wildlife. Then fly to Rio, where you can visit the statue of Christ the Redeeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain & Copacabana Beach. All transfers, park fees & English speaking guides included. Specialist birding guides on request (supplement payable).
Pantanal wildlife holiday - see White-faced saki monkeys
• 
Iguassu Falls
• 
Rainforests
• 
Pantanal Wetlands
• 
Birding
• 
Horse Riding
• 
Jaguars
• 
Rio De Janiero
• 
Christ the Redeemer
• 
Sugarloaf Mountain
• 
Copacabana Beach
• 
Iguassu Falls
• 
Rainforests
• 
Pantanal Wetlands
• 
Birding
• 
Horse Riding
• 
Jaguars
• 
Rio De Janiero
• 
Christ the Redeemer
• 
Sugarloaf Mountain
• 
Copacabana Beach
Day 1
You will be met at Foz do Iguassu Airport and transferred to your hotel near one of the greatest waterfalls in the world and regarded as one of Latin America's most awe-inspiring sights.
 
The mighty Iguassu Falls, whose name means "Great Waters", straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil - although almost 80% of the falls are on the Argentinian side. It is situated in a huge tropical rainforest that has been declared a World Heritage site, with countless flora and fauna species.
Day 2
Today enjoy a half day tour of the Brazilian side of the incredible Iguassu Falls, with panoramic views of the nearly 2-mile (3 km) cliff edge. We take an elevator down to the base of the waterfalls and stop at different viewing points.
 
The volume of water flowing over the falls varies greatly by season, depending on the rainfall. The heaviest rains are from December to February, when the flow of water is at its greatest, but many trails are closed then due to the rains. The shoulder seasons of March/April and August/September are generally regarded as the best time to visit, but the falls are a spectacular sight at any time of year.
 
Your afternoon is at leisure to relax at your hotel or explore further independently.
Day 3
Today enjoy a full day tour of the Argentinian side of the incredible Iguassu Falls.
 
Comprising approximately 275 separate cascades, the falls form a curtain of foaming water that crashes over a vast granite amphitheatre and into the jungle below. Resembling a reversed letter "J", most of the Iguazu River plunges down through an area known as The Devil’s Throat, with the rest spreading out over a wide shelf that splits into hundreds of different waterfalls.
 
There are a series of walkways that lead above, below and behind the falls, with breath-taking views. You can also hope to see monkeys, toucans, parakeets and other wildlife in the rainforest.
Day 4
Transfer to Iguasso Airport for your flight to Sao Paulo 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 5
Today you will be transferred 3.5-hours from Cuiaba to your lodge in the northern Pantanal Wetlands.
 
This World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve is the world's largest tropical wetland and South America's primary wildlife sanctuary. It is located mainly in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, but also extends into Bolivia and Paraguay.
 
Located in the centre of the continent, the Pantanal is a biogeographic mixing bowl, containing elements of the Amazon, Brazilian savanna and caatinga (i.e. desert vegetation), semi-arid Paraguayan chaco and Atlantic rainforest. Check into your lodge and enjoy a late afternoon walk and a spectacular sunset, before viewing the clear night skies of the southern hemisphere.
Days 6 To 7
Today is devoted to exploring the wildlife of the Pantanal Wetlands - one of the last untouched wildlife sanctuaries in the world, stretching over 58,000 square miles (150.000 sq km).
 
These vast seasonal tropical flood plains and their surrounding eco-system, which varies from rainforest to semi-arid woodland, open grasslands and savanna, are home to an amazing diversity of wildlife including 80 mammals, 50 different reptiles and over 260 fish species. You can hope to see the Brazilian tapir, one of the largest mammals in South America with a strange trunk-like nose, the crab-eating raccoon and the South American coati (nicknamed the hog-nosed raccoon because of its pig-like snout). You may also see the crab-eating fox, collared anteater, giant anteater, black-striped capuchin monkey and ocelot - a spectacular wild cat also known as the dwarf leopard.
 
On the waterways you can hope to see many caiman (similar to alligators), capybara (a very large rodent) and, if you are fortunate, an anaconda or group of giant otters - as well as many other mammals and birds. If you are very fortunate, along the river banks you may even see a jaguar, one of the most powerful of the big cats and the third largest after the tiger and lion. July to October are the best months to see jaguars, but a sighting of this magnificent creature in the wild is never guaranteed.
 
Bird watching is also outstanding with nearly 700 different species including the Hyacinth macaw, Jabiru stork, Roseate spoonbill, Southern screamer and several species of ibis, egret and heron. You will also see many hawks and other birds of prey. 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, 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).
 
Note: If staying at Araras Lodge, from mid-June to mid-November there is the option of participating in a full day Jaguar Express excursio, travelling 2-hours each way to Porto Jofre with a boat ride along the Cuiba River in search of one of these majestic but elusive big cats (supplement payable).
Day 8
Today a special treat awaits, as you participate in a full day Jaguar Express excursion in search of one of these elusive big cats.
 
We set off early (around 5 am) and drive 2-hours Porto Jofre on the Cuiba 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 from mid-June to mid-November. The lodge may vary the day on which this trip is undertaken.
Day 9
Transfer 3-hours to Cuiaba Airport for your flight to Brasilia and connecting flight to Rio de Janeiro.
 
You will be met at Rio de Janiero Airport and transferred to your hotel in this exciting city.
Day 10
Today enjoy a half day private tour of the exciting city of Rio de Janiero.
 
We start by driving 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.
 
We then visit the vast Sambodrome exhibition space, where the famous Rio Carnival is held and continue to the downtown area, where we visit the huge Metropolitan Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Sebastian) built in the form of an ancient Mayan pyramid. Finally we visit the Bohemian area of Lapa to view the colourful Selaron Steps and historical Cinelândia Square.
 
Afterwards you will be dropped off at your hotel, with balance of day at leisure.
Day 11
Today enjoy a half day shared 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 12
Transfer to Rio de Janiero Airport for your flight home.

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