Tailor-Made

Icons of Brazil: Rio, Jaguars and Iguassu Falls

From the beaches of Rio and the statue of Christ the Redeemer, to tracking the majestic jaguar through the wilds of the Pantanal Wetlands, and finally witnessing the awe-inspiring sight of the world’s largest waterfall system, this safari allows you to experience three of the most enduring symbols of Brazil.

Duration 15 days
Price From $8,765
When Jun - Oct
Destination Brazil

Safari Overview

A heady mix of culture, wildlife and natural beauty, Brazil offers its visitors the chance to flit from raucous city streets and sun-drenched beaches to the depths of the wilderness, and this safari does just that. Over 15 days you’ll experience no less than three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, starting in the cosmopolitan city of Rio di Janeiro before travelling into the vast expanse of the Pantanal Wetlands in search of jaguar, capybara and giant river otter. You’ll then finish your adventure at Iguassu Falls, through which an average of 1,500 cubic metres of water flows every second.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Spend two days and three nights immersed in the life and soul of the quintessential Brazilian city, Rio de Janeiro.
  • Track the mighty jaguar on excursions through both the northern and southern sections of the Pantanal, the largest area of wetlands in the world.
  • Spend time with the team behind the Onçafari Project, a conservation initiative that works to study the jaguar and protect the species by promoting ecotourism.
  • Stay in the only hotel located within Iguassu Falls National Park, allowing you to witness first-hand the size and scale of the waterfalls outside of normal tourist visiting hours.

Discover what makes Brazil a truly unique destination on this thrilling safari through some of Brazil's most iconic places.

Ask us a question about this trip

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Rio de Janeiro

After your flight, you’ll arrive in one of the most vibrant cities on earth: Rio de Janeiro. You’ll be met at the airport by our local representative and transferred to your hotel overlooking Ipanema Beach. The rest of your day is yours to settle into your hotel and explore the vibrant neighbourhood of Ipanema, visit the world-famous Copacabana Beach or wander through the art district of Santa Teresa.

Overnight: Sofitel

Day 2

Rio de Janeiro

Rio has a rich history dating back to its founding in the 16th century, which you’ll begin to discover during your first full day here. It served as the capital city of Brazil until 1960 and was also capital of the entire Portuguese empire for some of the colonial age. You’ll begin the day with a visit to the historical centre of Rio, where many original buildings remain. After your foray into historical Rio, you’ll then be taken to Praia Vermelha, the landing station for the cable cars to Sugar Loaf Mountain. The cable car involves two stages and moves at quite rapid speed. On the first stage, you’ll be treated to some stunning bird’s-eye views of various parts of the city. The second cable car takes slightly longer than the first and takes you to the summit. From there you’ll take in some stunning views across the bay of Rio de Janeiro. A full-day guided tour will also take you to the famous Corcovado Mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer, to take in one of the most iconic views on Earth.

Overnight: Sofitel B

Day 3

Rio de Janeiro

Today is yours to do with as you please. For a taste of the natural world without leaving the confines of the city, visit the urban rainforest of Tijuca National Park and hike its many trails while looking out for creeks, waterfalls and the flora and fauna that call this slice of greenery home. The famous Maracanã Stadium serves as a magnificent symbol of Brazil’s love affair with football, while historic sites like Fort Copacabana remind visitors of the city’s history (founded in 1565). Or, of course, you can simply relax on the golden sands of one of Rio’s many beaches, join in a game of beach soccer, or watch as the sun sets over this magical city.

Overnight: Sofitel B

Day 4

Rio de Janeiro - Cuiaba – Northern Pantanal

This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Cuiaba. On arrival, you’ll be met at the airport by your guide, who will transfer you south to Pocone, the start of the Transpantaneira Highway. This 91-mile dirt road leads south through the heart of the Pantanal – the world’s largest wetland region - ending at the Cuiaba River in Porto Jofre. As you travel down the Transpantaneira Highway you’ll begin to see families of capybaras, caiman-filled pools and flocks of raptors and water birds, signalling the true start of your wildlife safari! Upon arrival at your lodge, settle down after this long day on the road and prepare for the start of your jaguar safari tomorrow morning.

Overnight: Hotel Pantanal Norte B, L, D

Days 5-7

Jaguar Viewing

Over the next three days you’ll be exploring the Three Brothers, Cuiaba and Piquiri Rivers in search of jaguars and giant river otters. You’ll be able to enjoy two boat outings per day, returning to the lodge for lunch in between. Jaguars are often seen during the heat of the day sunning themselves on the riverbanks. This is the best place in the world to see these elusive cats in the wild, and your guides and boat drivers all know these river bends like the back of their hand. After the days’ final excursions, it’ll be time to head back to your riverside lodge, relax and enjoy your surroundings.

Overnight: Hotel Pantanal Norte B, L, D

Day 8

Northern Pantanal – Campo Grande

A final jaguar excursion is set for this morning before you rejoin the Transpantaneira on your way to Cuiaba, where’ll catch a flight to Campo Grande, gateway to the southern Pantanal. Upon arrival you’ll be transferred to your comfortable city-centre hotel for the night.

Day 9

Campo Grande – Southern Pantanal

After being transferred overland to the town of Aquidauana, you can enjoy the panoramic 30-minute charter flight to your next lodge which will give you a chance to admire the unique ecosystem that is the Pantanal from above. This bird’s-eye view allows for an appreciation of the region’s sheer size and natural beauty. Upon landing you can sit down to lunch at the lodge and then embark on your first foray into the southern Pantanal.

Overnight: Baiazinha Lodge B, L, D

Days 10-12

Caiman Ecological Refuge

Over the next three days you’ll be exploring the Caiman Ecological Refuge, a privately owned ranch which is one of the best locations for viewing wildlife in the southern Pantanal. The area is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles and offers you the best chance of seeing jaguars in the wild in this part of the Pantanal. The well-respected jaguar conservation project Onçafari is also based here, and as part of this safari you’ll get the chance to see their work from up-close. There may even be an opportunity to spend a full day with the vets and biologists who work here; speak to your Destination Specialist for more information. Other activities available here include photographic safaris in specially adapted vehicles, guided walks, canoeing, night safaris and horseback riding. For the adventurous traveller in search of something a little different, try booking a cattle-driving lesson on the ranch.

Overnight: Baiazinha Lodge B, L, D

Day 13

Southern Pantanal – Iguassu Falls

This morning you’ll depart directly from Baiazinha Lodge’s airstrip to the city of Campo Grande, where you’ll catch your flight to Iguassu Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world. Upon arrival, you’ll then be transferred to your luxurious hotel on the Brazilian side of the falls. As the only hotel located within Iguassu Falls National Park, you’ll have access to the falls before the masses of tourists arrive, and still long after they’ve left!

Overnight: Hotel Das Cataratas B

Day 14

Iguassu Falls

This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel to take you on a guided tour of the Brazilian side of these world-famous waterfalls, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. There are estimated to be 275 different waterfalls dotted around the tropical forests here. The Brazilian side of the falls offers a more panoramic view than that offered across the border in Argentina, putting into perspective the awesome scale of this natural wonder. There’s also the option to take a spectacular helicopter flight over the falls. The afternoon is free for you to relax or to venture out within the park as you please.

Overnight: Hotel Das Cataratas B

Day 15

Iguassu Falls - Depart

Today marks the end of your Brazilian adventure. After checking out of your hotel in the morning, you’ll be met and transferred back to Campo Grande’s airport in time for your flight to Rio, where you can then catch your international flight home.

Trip Details

Trip information

This is a tailor-made safari that can be amended to meet your specific requirements including your preferred number of days, preferred dates of travel, standard of lodges and budget.

Request a detailed itinerary

Your Next Steps

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our Brazil safaris.
Download our free guide Request a detailed itinerary