Upon arrival, meet your guide just outside baggage claim (holding a sign with your name on it) for your private transfer to your accommodations at Belmond Hotel das Cataratas.
Staying here gives you access to the Brazilian side of the Iguacu Falls and you’re able to explore the area and catwalks at your leisure.
Iguaçu Falls, located on the border of the State of Parana is one of the most famous attractions in all of Brazil. The almost 300 different waterfalls span geographically between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. The immensity of these waterfalls can be enjoyed up close aboard a ship or from far away atop the catwalks interlaced throughout the falls for panoramic views.
Exploration of the Falls
Meet your guide at the hotel this morning for your transfer to the Argentina side of the Iguazu Falls. You’ll board the gas-powered train which will take you to the catwalks along the upper falls, ending just above La Garganta del Diablo, or the Devil’s Throat, the largest and most impressive waterfall in the park.
Next, you will descend to explore the lower catwalks closer to the Iguazu River to witness the wide expanse of waterfalls from a much different perspective before boarding specially designed large trucks that will take you several miles into the rain forest. You’ll hop aboard one of the zodiac boats to be whisked along the river surrounded by spectacular scenery before reaching the base of the thundering Iguazu Falls. The captain will pilot you close enough to feel the immense power of the falls which results in a thorough drenching! Disembark at the base of the falls and follow a catwalk to the lower visitation area where you will have the opportunity to dry off and change clothes before your private transfer back to your hotel.
Journey to Rio de Janeiro
As you will be staying inside the national park, we recommend an early wake up to explore the Brazilian side of the falls before the park opens to the general public. You may just have the catwalks all to yourselves! A good time to start the walk would be 7:45 AM.
In the afternoon, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby for your private transfer to the Iguaçu airport.
Rio de Janeiro the previous capital of Brazil, is one of the most-visited cities in the Southern Hemispheres. It is known for its picturesque landscapes of mountains and seaside, as well the famous attractions like Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer, and the neighborhoods of Ipanema and Copacabana. Rio de Janeiro lives up to its nickname of the “Cidade Maravilhosa” or “The Marvelous City.”
Meet your guide just outside baggage claim (holding a sign with your name on it) for your private transfer to your hotel.
Exploration of Rio de Janeiro
This morning with your guide you’ll explore various fascinating aspects of Rio de Janeiro. Beginning with a morning visit to one of Rio’s many local food markets that feature exotic fruits and vegetables that are used in local cuisine and are important staples of Brazilian dishes. Don’t be shy to ask for a sample or two of a fruit or vegetable that you haven’t seen before!
After your market visit, you’ll visit the world-renowned statue of Christ the Redeemer. Located atop Corcovado hill, this 37 meter concrete statue simultaneously welcomes new visitors with open arms and blesses the entire city of Rio de Janeiro. Enjoy the panoramic, almost aerial, view of the city as well as its surrounding neighborhoods like Copacabana and Ipanema and the geographic landscapes from the lush blue waters, sandy beaches, and high mountains that encompass Rio.
The final stop of the day will be at Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon where you will bike the 5 mile loop around the lagoon enjoying the amazing views of the surrounding mountains before a break for some refreshing coconut water on Ipanema Beach. Afternoon at leisure.
Further Exploration of Rio de Janeiro
This morning after breakfast, you’ll visit the uniquely shaped Sugar Loaf Mountain – whose name comes from the cone-like molds that were once used in the production of sugar in the 16th century. Sugar Loaf Mountain is one of Brazil’s most famous tourist attractions. Aboard the cable car to the top, you’ll be given a unique view of the mountain and the city behind you through the transparent walls of the car.
Later, you’ll head to Santa Teresa to see a smaller and more intimate neighborhood of Rio that makes you feel truly a part of the culture and lifestyle of the city. As the home to many artists and chefs, you can see art along the street, smell the foods from nearby restaurants, and hear the music playing from local homes.
Next, you will enjoy a panoramic tour of Lapa, famous for the old aqueduct “Arcos de Lapa” that now houses the tram line to Santa Teresa. This tour would not be complete without a visit to the famous Selaron Steps, a set of 215 stairs measuring over 400 feet using more than 2000 tiles collected from 60+ countries from around the world. The steps were created by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selaron beginning in 1990 as a tribute to the Brazilian people and have become an iconic stop during visits to Rio.
End today’s adventure in the revitalized Port Region, home to two of Rio’s premier museums, the Museu do Amanha and the Art Museum of Rio, as well as impressive buildings designed by notable architects. African-Brazilian culture is prevalent in numerous artistic representations as well and the Port Region is also known as the birthplace of samba. One of the highlights of your visit will be the impressive graffiti wall painted by the famous Brazilian artist, Kobra. This record-breaking mural is the largest painted by a single artist and lovingly depicts native peoples from around the world. This mural was requested by the International Olympic Committee and is one of many impressive murals painted by Kobra around the world.
After dark, the streets of the Lapa neighborhood fill with locals, or cariocas, and tourists alike who have all come to enjoy the bustling and vibrant nightlife of this normally quiet neighborhood. Tonight, meet your guide in the hotel lobby for your private transfer to one of the best clubs in Lapa, Rio Scenarium. An interesting mix between an antique shop and an auction house, locals come here to listen to traditional Brazilian jazz and samba.
Nature & Culture of Rio
For nature lovers, the Botanical Garden in Rio is an absolute must. Founded in 1808 by King John VI of Portugal, the gardens were originally intended for the acclimatization of spices imported from the West Indies. Today it is home to more than 7,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants and trees, along with collections of bromeliads, orchids, carnivorous plants and cacti, and was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1992. Keep your eyes open for the many species of birds and monkeys that also reside here as you meander through the grounds.
After the Botanical Gardens, travel along a narrow and scenic road to reach the beautiful remote beaches of Prainha and Grumari. Prainha, which means “little beach” in Portuguese, is a smaller beach but with big waves and fine, white sand. Watch the surfers and enjoy a cold beverage and a bite to eat at the open air restaurant and then continue on to Grumari, which is a longer beach surrounded by a lush natural preserve. This relatively unknown beach is the perfect spot for relaxing in the sun or snacking on some freshly caught seafood in an upscale restaurant with superb views of the sea (Thursday-Sunday only for best restaurant availability. We can also add some time with Stand Up Paddleboarding if you’d like.)
On the way back into the city, you’ll have a guided visit of the Casa do Pontal Museum which offers unique depictions of Brazilian folk culture through mediums such as wood carvings, masks, and embroidery.
Journey to Salvador
After check-out, meet your guide and driver for your private transfer to the airport for your flight to Salvador.
Considered an epicenter of Afro-Brazilian culture, Salvador was once a a large hub for the slave trade which heavily influenced Brazil’s culture and language. Now it boasts vibrant arts, music, dance and cuisine that are all heavily influenced by its African roots. The city itself has impressive Baroque architecture while its outskirts have some of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil like Praia do Forte and Costa do Sauipe.
Meet your guide just outside baggage claim (holding a sign with your name on it) for your private transfer to your hotel.
Culture & Capoeira
This morning you will visit the International Federation of Angolan Capoeira, or FICA. Here you’ll meet with local capoeira group leaders to learn not only the history of this form of martial arts, but also to try your hands (and feet) in basic movements and traditional instruments used in this art. (the Portuguese translation for International Federation of Angolan Capoeira). Here you’ll get to see many levels of expertise of capoeira to better understand the philosophical ideas and way of life behind becoming a master capoerirista. Please note that this will not be a private experience as the school has their own students that you will join in on.
After your capoeira workshop, you’ll continue with your guide to Salvador’s Upper City, in the Pelourinho quarter, which has a deep colonial history. Starting from the town square, you’ll head to the Afro-Brazilian museum for a deep dive into Salvador’s history before continuing onto other city plazas and the Sao Francisco church. During your walking tour, you’ll visit a well-known record store, a community project and recreation center for kids and the Museum of Bahian Cuisine.
After lunch (not included), you’ll visit the São Joaquim market where you can feel like a local and feast your eyes upon the local ingredients that likely played a role in the making of your lunch. You’ll continue on to the Solar do Unhão where you’ll visit the Bahian Modern Art Museum. Once a manor house and a sugar mill, it now houses a collection of drawings, sculptures, paintings and more from Brazilian artists throughout 8 exhibition rooms.
To cap off your tour of the city, you’ll visit the Carlos Costa Museum (not open on Tuesday) which features a private collection of antique household items like silverware and furniture, as well as antique jewelry and crystals.
Sailing in All Saints Bay
This morning your guide will meet you at the hotel lobby to take you to the studio of a famous Brazilian percussionist where you’ll learn the rhythms of Bahia. Steeped strongly in African tradition, Bahia is said to be the percussive heart of Brazil.
Its prominence in Salvador has led to many groups of percussionists forming in the city, like the world famous group Olodum. Comprised exclusively of men, Olodum is the most famous of all the Bahian percussion groups, having performed in 35 countries around the world and annually at Carnaval. Groups like Oludum are important parts in the fight against anti-Black prejudice and discrimination by preserving and promoting the centrality of African influences in Brazilian culture.
After your percussion workshop, your guide will take you to the docks to board a sailboat to relax and enjoy the scenery of the All Saints Bay, the biggest bay in Brazil.
While sailing along the calm waters of All Saints Bay, you’ll see the colonial architecture along the shore and aboard your ship you’ll be treated to delicious Brazilian cuisine. The bay is composed of 56 islands, historic cities, and pristine beaches and is considered one of the most interesting nautical paradises on the planet.
Until next time!
Meet your guide and driver for your private transfer to the airport for your journey onward.
Private Journey PricingPer Person
From Price Per Person
2 Guests Traveling -
4 Guests Traveling -
2 nights in Foz de Iguazu: Deluxe room at Hotel Belmond das Cataratas.
4 nights in Rio de Janeiro: Deluxe room at Hotel Emiliano.
3 nights in Salvador: Deluxe room at Villa Bahia.
Private arrival and departure transfers (assumes all guests on same flights.) English-speaking guide included when specified in itinerary.
Private, local English-speaking guides for all activities as described in the program.
Cost of entrance for all sights and experiences specifically included in your program.
24/7 local emergency contact during your journey.
Full-service advance tailoring of your itinerary and assistance with restaurant reservations.
Lunches, dinners and alcoholic beverages unless otherwise specified in your program.
Gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel porters, etc. unless otherwise specified in your program.
Travel or medical evacuation insurance.
Any other items or services not specifically included in your itinerary.
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