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Uruguay, Pantanal & the Falls with Carnival

This 28 day overland tour journeys from Rio De Janeiro to Buenos Aires through Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay

  • Duration: 28 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Supplier Tour ID: JBUR1/209044
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
  • Finishes: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Rio De Janeiro
  • Ilha Grande
  • Paraty
  • Brotas
  • Southern Pantanal
  • Bonito
  • Foz do Iguaçu
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Yapeyú
  • Tacuarembó
  • Montevideo
  • Colonia
  • Buenos Aires

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Rio De Janeiro

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 late afternoon - please check the notice board in the lobby/reception area for the exact times for your meeting.

After the meeting we have a table booked at a nearby buffet restaurant if you would like to join your leader and group for a meal.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, accommodation is in shared rooms in twins, triples and quadruple rooms. Our hotel is close to the beach and the metro station.

02

Day 2: Rio De Janeiro

This morning we will go for an orientation walk with our local guide to get to know the local area and orientate ourselves. Afterwards you will have free time, perhaps head to one of the local 'bloccos' or street parties. If you do go to a blocco, just remember that they are hot and crowded so be prepared for a squeeze! the locals cariocas will be all dressed up, so don't forget to dress to impress!

In the evening there is an option to join us for a night of dancing and live music at the Rio Scenarium, one of the best nightspots in Rio - it's like an antiques warehouse, music venue, bar and restaurant all housed in one amazing colonial mansion. Often it's best to eat beforehand, as during carnival the food service can be slow! It's 65BRL entrance, plus your food and drinks.

03

Day 3: Rio De Janeiro

Today is a free day for you to explore Rio until this evening, when we will head to the Sambadrome!

Early this morning, we will be running an optional guided tour to Corcovado - please pre-book with your agent if you'd like to join us. We will 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 also a fantastic view over the rest of the city including P o de A car (Sugarloaf Mountain). If you have opted for this tour you will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel in an air conditioned bus. We normally charter a private tram to the top of Corcovado mountain which means that we are the first ones to arrive and have the statue to ourselves for a short time - a fantastic privilege at any time of year but particularly during the busy carnival time. We will aim for the same arrangements this year but please note that there is no guarantee that we will be able to secure a private tram.

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. You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included), accompanied by English speaking guides who will also be with you inside the Sambadrome. As people wish to leave at different times, there will be pre-determined times when you will be able to go back to the hotel with a guide.

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. The same guide and travel arrangements as for sector 13 will apply. Please book with your agent if you'd like to upgrade.

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 P o de A car (Sugarloaf Mountain), rising almost 400 metres above the harbour. If you have opted for this tour you will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel in an air conditioned bus. 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 and Ipanema beaches. 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. The seats tonight are in Sector 5, situated at the start of the runway and offering close up views of the parade. You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included) with an English speaking guide.

There is also 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! You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included) with an English speaking guide who will also accompany you during the parade.

Please note you will need to pre-book these activities in advance with your agent or direct with Dragoman

05

Day 5: Rio De Janeiro

Today is free day for you to explore the city and an opportunity to have a walk along the beaches, maybe a swim or maybe just a long lie in! The famous sweep of Copacabana Beach is probably the most talked about length of sand on the planet. It is a fantastic location with P o de A car (Sugarloaf Mountain) at one end whilst far in the distance you see further peaks covered in Atlantic rainforest. There are plenty of small cafes serving drinks and snacks along the beachside pavement, when you are ready for a break from the sand. In this stunning location even the pavements are beautiful, with white and black tiles forming waves and patterns. Late evening there's the option to attend the famous gay ball!

We have one final optional activity, a visit to a Community project within one of the Favellas, which usually takes places on a Tuesday afternoon, though the day is yet to be confirmed for 2018. Morrinho is the name used by the youth of the Pereira da Silva favela for their scale model of a favela made basically with bricks. The Morrinho began in 1998, when Nelcirlan (14 years old at that time) starting building the Morrinho, together with his brother Maycon. Today, the Morrinho model occupies an area of 300 square metres in the community Pereira da Silva and has a wealth of details such as funk clubs, police, drugs sales points, alleys, staircases, small bars etc. The model is now being used to generate money by the NGO Morrinho, a charity that provides professional qualifications to the residents of the Pereir o Community through workshops including audiovisual production, art-education, Brazilian culture, and youth and citizenship. The charity is also involved in utilising the project as a film set, which has raised awareness of how harsh life is for shanty town dwellers. The trip includes a donation of 50 BRL to the charity.

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 Gale o International Airport (IATA code: RIO/GIG).

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 7-8: Ilha Grande

Today we will leave Rio behind and travel by truck to the stunning island retreat of Ilha Grande. We will leave our truck behind for a couple of days and take a ferry, so you may wish to pack a small overnight bag. There are no private cars or banks on the island, so you will need to bring cash along with you and be prepared for a short walk with your bags to the hostel.

We will stay in a comfortable hostel.

Estimated drive time - 5 hours.

08

Day 9-10: Paraty

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

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.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours

In Paraty we will stay in a hostel.

09

Day 11-12: Brotas

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

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

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

The following morning if time allows we may have an opportunity to go rafting. Afterwards we will continue our journey towards the Pantanal, bush camping en route with no facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 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 15-16: 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 a full day in Bonito to take part in some incredible optional activities. 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 17-18: Foz do Iguaçu

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

Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 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 time for optional activities such as taking a helicopter ride over the falls, visiting the incredible Itaipu Dam, or to quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearby Ciudad del Este.

In Foz do Igua u we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities.

13

Day 19: Iguazu Falls

Today 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 either return to our base in Foz do Igua u or stay in Puerto Iguazu in Argentina.

14

Day 20: Yapeyú

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

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

In Yapey we will stay in a basic campsite on the shores of Rio Uruguay, or alternatively bushcamp further along the route.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours

15

Day 21-23: Tacuarembó

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

Today we cross into Uruguay and head to the Tacuaremb area - the traditional gaucho land of Uruguay. We will spend 3 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 Tacuaremb we will camp in the grounds of an estancia.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

16

Day 24: Montevideo

Today we will head south to the Uruguayan capital Montevideo. 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.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

17

Day 25: 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 Hist rico and the pretty riverfront.

In Colonia we will stay in a lovely hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

18

Day 26-27: Buenos Aires

Today we will hop on the ferry across to the vibrant city of Buenos Aires. The truck will drive around by road and rejoin us later in the day.

Day 22 is a free day to explore the city and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally located hotel, breakfast is included.

19

Day 28: Buenos Aires

Today is the final day our the trip and there is no accommodation is provided tonight. Please contact our Sales Team if you wish to book additional nights in Buenos Aires, or continue the journey to Santiago and beyond.

Border Information: If you are flying out of Argentina today, the International Airport is Ezeiza International Airport (EZE)

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Party all night to the fantastic sights & sounds of the Sambadrome in Sector 13
    • 2 night wildlife safari into the Pantanal
    • 2 full days to discover the unbelievable Iguazu Falls
    • Enjoy an incredible 3-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
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 40% Camping - 60% Hotels
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