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:
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Supplier Tour ID: JBUR2/249530
  • 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



Day 1: Rio De Janeiro

Welcome to Rio Carnival, the biggest party on the planet!

There will be an important meeting at 18:00, where you'll have a full briefing on how to make the most of your time in Rio and recieve your tickets, maps, T-Shirt and souvenir booklet - please check the notice board in the reception area for other important information throughout the week.

After the meeting we have a table booked at a nearby buffet restaurant, so you can get to know some of your fellow travellers, this is usually followed by a night out in Lapa to continue the party!

Our dedicated Carnival team will be on hand throughout the week for a few hours each day to provide any assistance you may need.

There's a whole host of additional optional activities that you may like to take part in, such as 'Join the Parade' or visits to Sugar Loaf Mountain, prior booking is essential!

If you are arriving early you may like to join a Food Tour of the Santa Teresa neighbourhood at 11:30am.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, accommodation is in twin and triple rooms. Our hotel is close to the beach and the metro station. Our hotel check-in is from midday, and Dragoman staff will be on hand to give you assistance.

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


Day 2: Rio De Janeiro

This morning we have an orientation walk with our local guides to get to know the area, we usually pass by one of the local 'bloccos' or street parties, so you can stay and join the party or return to the hotel if you prefer.

If you do go to a blocco, 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!

For those foodies among you, why not take a half day cookery class, and learn how to make some typical Brazilian cuisine!

In the evening we have the option to head out for a night of Samba, join us for a beginners Samba dance class, followed by an evening in one of Rio's amazing Samba Clubs! This is a great way to get to know your fellow Carnival goers, and practice some basic samba steps ready for tomorrow nights Sambadrome! Booking is essential!


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 have an optional guided tour to Corcovado. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the most iconic sights of Rio de Janeiro, if the weather is clear there is a fantastic view over the rest of the city. If you have opted for this tour you will be picked up at the hotel by your guide, we will take a minibus to the foot of the mountain and then 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.

In the evening it's time for the main event of the week - the parade in the Sambadrome. Don't forget to dress up, the more sequins, feathers and hats the better! 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 the costumes as some dancers will throw them up in to the stand.

You will travel to the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included), accompanied by our team who will also be with you inside the Sambadrome. We recommend that you travel home with others, we will have some pre-arranged times so that you can leave in a group, there are lots of taxis right outside the Sambadrome and we suggest that you use one of these to travel home (your weary feet will appreciate it!)

There is also 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.


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. We will also be offering the chance to go on a walking tour if you'd like to join in.

In the afternoon we have 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 your guide and travel by minibus to the mountain. We will take the cable car up to the top, where you can enjoy 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 final group 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, near the judges area. 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 in one of the Alas - a once in a lifetime experience! You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included) with a 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


Day 5: Rio De Janeiro

We have an exciting opportunity today to escape the chaos of the city on a Jungle tour, where you will learn about the history and geography of Rio & travel into the Tijuca National Park, one of the largest urban rainforests in the world. You will hike the area, visit waterfalls and maybe spot some wildlife! Pre-booking essential!

Otherwise 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.

In the evening, as our final night of the Carnival package, we will be heading to the incredible Rio Scenarium, for a night of dancing and live music at 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. It's best to eat beforehand, as during carnival the food service can be slow! It's 65BRL entrance, plus your food and drinks.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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)

    • Carnival Orientation walk
    • 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
    • 40% Camping - 60% Hotels
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