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Rio De Janeiro to Buenos Aires

Overlanding is the best way to see South America by far! Dragoman have been leading the way in South American overland expeditions since 1990, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading to some unique hidden gems, well away from the usual tourist trail. This action-packed holiday-length adventure starts in the iconic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro at just in time for the start of the greatest party on Earth - the world-famous Rio Carnival! During this week the city bursts to life with music, dancing, street parties, colour, and fun - and Dragoman will get you right into the heart of the action! From Rio de Janeiro we travel down through some of southern Brazil's top highlights. We will head through the phenomenal paradise of the Emerald Coast, the wildlife-rich wetlands of the Pantanal, and of course to the mighty Iguazu Falls! From the incredible waterfalls of Iguazu, we drive south into the often-overlooked but fantastic country of Uruguay, where we will stay at a traditional estancia, see the rugged coastline of Santa Teresa, visit the buzzing capital of Montevideo and wander the cobbled streets of the sleepy colonial town of Colonia. We then make our way back into Argentina, and arrive in the cosmopolitan capital of Buenos Aires. A wonderful trip in an accessible timeframe - join us for this unforgettable journey!

Latin America

Duration: 33 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Average
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158382
Starts: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Finishes: Buenos Aires, Argentina
You will visit
  • Rio De Janeiro
  • Paraty
  • Brotas
  • Campo Grande
  • Southern Pantanal
  • Bonito
  • Foz do Iguaçu
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Yapeyú
  • Tacuarembo
  • Santa Teresa National Park
  • Montevideo
  • Colonia
  • Las Cañas
  • Buenos Aires

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport.

The first day of Rio Carnival is free time as everyone will be arriving at various times throughout the day to start the package. Our hotel check-in is from midday, and Dragoman staff will be on hand to give you assistance.

There will be a joining meeting in the afternoon - please check the notice board in the lobby/reception area for the exact times for your meeting.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.

02

Day 2: Rio De Janeiro

Today is free time for you to explore the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro.

In the morning there's the option to go for a guided visit to the Morrinho Project, a favela community project supported by Dragoman. 

In the afternoon there is the option to go and see a football game in the world-famous Maracana stadium.

03

Day 3: Rio De Janeiro

Early this morning we have the option to head to Corcovado and its world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer for a half-day guided tour. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the most iconic sights of Rio de Janeiro, and if the weather is clear there is a fantastic view over the rest of the city including Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain). 

In the evening it's time for the main event of the week - the parade in the Sambadrome. The top samba schools parade their fantastic floats and costumes and the party goes on well into the early hours of Monday morning. You'll be situated in sector 13, the most lively of the sectors where local Cariocas are supporting their favourite Samba schools by singing and dancing. The sector is at the very end of the runway and you have the chance of collecting parts of the costumes as some dancers will throw them up in to the stand.

Please note that sector 13 is set back a bit from the actual runway so does not offer the best close up views of the parade - if you should wish, there is the option to upgrade to sector 11 for a much closer view of the parade, which is highly recommended if you're interested in photography and would like the best pictures of the costumes and floats.

04

Day 4: Rio De Janeiro

This morning is free for you to recover from last night in the Sambadrome! It's a great chance to hit the beach, explore the city or simply have a lie in!

In the afternoon we have the chance to go on an optional guided visit to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), rising almost 400 metres above the harbour. We will take the cable car up to the top, from where there's a chance of seeing the wonderful vistas over the city and Copacabana beach. If the weather is clear you will also be able to see Christ the Redeemer looking down at the city from the top of Corcovado mountain. 

In the evening we have the chance to re-visit the Sambadrome to see the last 6 of the elite Samba schools parading. You even have the option to don a costume and take part in the parade itself, dancing your way down the Sambadrome runway - a once in a lifetime experience!

05

Day 5: Rio De Janeiro

Today is another free day to explore Rio de Janeiro further, and perhaps to find one of the blocos (street parades) that take place during the Carnival and continue the party.

In the evening we have the chance to put on our most outrageous outfits and head to the Gay Ball!

06

Day 6: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely enter Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport (IATA code: RIO/GTG).

Welcome to the iconic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Rio de Janeiro before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Rio de Janeiro.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.

07

Day 7-9: Paraty

Today our journey begins with a short drive to the colonial town of Paraty on the Emerald Coast of the Atlantic!

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On our first full day in Paraty, we will have an included boat trip around the incredible islands and beaches off the coast. 

On our second day, we will have free time to explore the town, take a historical tour, walk along the stunning scenery of the coastline, head out snorkelling or diving, or simply relax on the idyllic beaches.

In Paraty we wil camp at a well equipped hostel.

08

Day 10-11: Brotas

Today we will drive to the remote town of Brotas in southeastern Brazil.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

The following day we will have a free day to take part in adventure activities such as white water rafting and canyoning, or maybe just to relax by the pool.

In Brotas we will stay at a campsite with good facilities.

09

Day 12: Campo Grande

Today we will start driving west towards the Southern Pantanal, and wild camp towards the end of the day somewhere close to the city of Campo Grande.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

10

Day 13-14: Southern Pantanal

Today we have an early start to meet our guide in Campo Grande, and then drive on to Brazil's amazing Southern Pantanal region, where we have a visit a local eco-tourism ranch (or 'fazenda').

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

We will spend 2 nights here and have a comprehensive package of included activities such as exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside on horseback, trips down the wildlife-abundant rivers in boats and canoes, and safaris on the ranch's trucks and on foot where we hope to spot capybaras, caimans, and (if we are very lucky) jaguars and ocelots. Our stay here is an incredible highlight!

In the Southern Pantanal we will stay in dorm accommodation in a well equipped lodge with all the meals and activities included.

11

Day 15-17: Bonito

After our morning activities and one final lunch in our beautiful ranch, it is time to leave the Pantanal and drive to the Brazilian eco-tourism capital of Bonito.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

We have two full days in Bonito to take part in the plethora of incredible optional activities here. You could go out on a world-class snorkelling trip, explore the nearby caves, or go abseiling down some of the largest waterfalls in the area, amongst many other possibilities!

In Bonito we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel with a pool and good facilities.

12

Day 18-20: Foz do Iguaçu

Today we have a full drive day south to the city of Foz do Iguacu.

Estimated Drive Time - 12 hours.

The following day we will visit the Brazilian side of the phenomenal Iguazu Falls, to get some incredible panoramic vistas of the mighty waterfalls. There is also plenty of time to visit the bird park, take a helicopter ride over the falls, see the incredible Itaipu Dam, or quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearcy Ciudad del Este.

On the following day we will take a day trip into Argentina to see the incredible Iguazu Falls from the other side. This is well worth doing as the views are even more spectacular, and you'll be able to look right down into the mighty Garganta del Diablo (the largest waterfall here) from a gantry walkway viewing point). We will have a full day at the Argentine side of the falls, allowing us lots of time to freely explore the site, hike some nature trails, or perhaps take an exhilarating (and very wet) boat ride!

We will return to our base in Foz do Iguacu tonight.

In Foz do Iguacu we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities and a pool.

13

Day 21: Foz do Iguaçu

Border information: if you are finishing in Foz do Iguaçu, you will most likely exit Brazil at Foz do Iguaçu Cataratas International Airport (IATA code: IGU).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Foz do Iguaçu. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

14

Day 22-23: Foz do Iguaçu

Border information: if you are joining in Foz do Iguaçu, you will most likely enter Brazil at Foz do Iguaçu Cataratas International Airport (IATA code: IGU).

There will be an important group meeting at 9:00am at the joining site - please look out at the reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

After the meeting we will visit the Brazilian side of the phenomenal Iguazu Falls, to get some incredible panoramic vistas of the mighty waterfalls. There is also plenty of time to visit the bird park, take a helicopter ride over the falls, see the incredible Itaipu Dam, or quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearcy Ciudad del Este.

On the following day we will take a day trip into Argentina to see the incredible Iguazu Falls from the other side. This is well worth doing as the views are even more spectacular, and you'll be able to look right down into the mighty Garganta del Diablo (the largest waterfall here) from a gantry walkway viewing point). We will have a full day at the Argentine side of the falls, allowing us lots of time to freely explore the site, hike some nature trails, or perhaps take an exhilarating (and very wet) boat ride!

We will return to our base in Foz do Iguaçu tonight.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Foz do Iguaçu before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Foz do Iguaçu.

In Foz do Iguaçu we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities and a pool.

15

Day 24: Yapeyu

Border information: exit Brazil at Tancredo Neves, enter Argentina at Tancredo Neves.

Today we will leave Iguazu and head to the Argentine town of Yapeyú. This small town was the birthplace of General Jose de San Martin, one of the principal leaders of several South American countries' struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. 

In Yapeyú we will stay in a basic campsite on the shores of Rio Uruguay.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

16

Day 25-26: Tacuarembo

Border information: exit Argentina at Salto Grande, enter Uruguay at Salto Grande.

Today we cross into Uruguay and head to the Tacuarembo area - the traditional gaucho land of Uruguay. We will spend 2 nights in an authentic estancia to learn about the gaucho way of living. We will have a chance to learn how to prepare typical food from the area (and of course taste it!) and also enjoy some traditional music.

In Tacuarembo we will camp in the grounds of an estancia.

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.

17

Day 27-29: Santa Teresa National Park

We head to the Atlantic coast and the Santa Teresa National Park close to the town of Punta del Diablo.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

The following day is a free day for optional activities such as exploring, hiking, relaxing on the beach, or wildlife spotting at the nearby Laguna Negra. The park’s star attraction is the impressive star-shaped hilltop fortress, Fortaleza de Santa Teresa, begun by the Portuguese in 1762 and finished by the Spaniards after its capture in 1793.

On our second full day here we have an included excursion to Cabo Polonio, one of Uruguay's hidden gems. Cabo Polonio sits on the tip of a moon-sliver shaped peninsula that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. The region has no electricity or running water for the few hundred houses. The principal attraction is the natural reserve of sea lions and the mobile sand dunes. The village is accessible only by walking through the dunes or by 4x4 vehicles (transport by 4x4s is included in the trip). 

In Santa Teresa National Park we will camp in the national park.

18

Day 30-31: Montevideo

Today we will head south to the Uruguayan capital Montevideo.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

The following day will be free to explore Montevideo. The city has a mix of historical buildings and modern architechture and a main feature of the city is the Rambla (waterfront promenade) where locals frequently go for a stroll to drink their mate. Mate is the traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink sipped through a straw, particularly popular in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile.

In Montevideo we will stay in a comfortable hotel. 

19

Day 32: Colonia

This morning we head to Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest and most picturesque towns in Uruguay and a Unesco World Heritage site. The afternoon is free to explore the charming narrow cobbled streets of the Barrio Histórico and the pretty riverfront. 

In Colonia we will stay in a lovely hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.

20

Day 33: Las Cañas

Today we drive to the area of Las Cañas on the banks of the River Uruguay. On the way we will have an included guided visit to the vinyards of Los Cerros de San Juan, the oldest winery in Uruguay.

In Las Cañas we will stay in a riverside campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

21

Day 34-35: Buenos Aires

Border information: exit Uruguay at Puente General San Martin, enter Argentina at Puente General San Martin.

This morning we go to visit the El Anglo Industrial Museum in Fray Bentos. This is the disused once-famous meatpacking factory called 'the kitchen of the world'. At its peak in the first half of the twentieth century, the factory employed 4,000 people a day to slaughter 6,000 animals from all over the continent. The meat was exported all over the world, but mostly to Britain. The tour will take you through the slaughterhouses, kitchens and meatpacking rooms and introduce you to the rich history of this factory and the story of globalisation and of the industrialisation of our food production. El Anglo is currently a candidate for Unesco World Heritage status.

In the afternoon we cross back into Argentina and drive to the wonderful capital city of Buenos Aires.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

The following day is a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Party all night to the fantastic and eclectic sounds and sights of the Samba parade at Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome
    • Take a boat trip out of Paraty, exploring the stunning islands and beaches and swimming in the idyllic warm water of the sparkling blue ocean
    • Take an unforgettable 2-night fully-inclusive package from our eco-lodge in the Southern Pantanal, where we will go out on jeep safaris, canoe expeditions, boat rides, horse back trails, and enjoy a BBQ night with local music and dancing
    • Visit the phenomenal Iguazu Falls from the Argentine side, where you can get the closest views of Garganta del Diablo and explore the web of nature trails around the area's forests and waterfalls
    • See the mighty Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side, enjoying the incredble panorama of waterfalls and exploring the beauty of the area
    • Visit the phenomenal Iguazu Falls from the Argentine side, where you can get the closest views of Garganta del Diablo and explore the web of nature trails around the area's forests and waterfalls
    • See the mighty Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side, enjoying the incredble panorama of waterfalls and exploring the beauty of the area
    • Enjoy an incredible 2-night stay at a traditional Uruguayan farm to gain a fascinating insight into the lives of the gauchos, take part in a cooking demonstration, and go to an evening of traditional local music
    • Take a day trip across the phenomenal sand dunes to the remote settlement of Cabo Polonio, and explore its dramatic coastlines and beaches
    • Take a fantastic tour around some of Uruguay's oldest vineyards, and taste some of the delicious wines produced here
    • Learn all about the fascinating history of the once-world-famous Fray Bentos meat factory on a guided tour, at one time the pride of Uruguayan industry which fell into decline after nationalisation and the formation of the European Common Market
    Accomodation
    • 65% Camping - 35% Hotels
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