Explorers Route – Buenos Aires to Rio via the Pantanal

12 Days from from A$5572 (Land package only)
Daily departures throughout 2016
Single Supplements available

LAN Airlines Return Economy airfares from Melbourne to Santiago start from $1199*
Valid for travel between 01 April and 31 October 2016. *T&C’s apply.

Book before 31 March 2016 and receive
$250 Travel Voucher for Pre, Post or Transit Accommodation

Tiger, IndiaLong-time travellers will love this journey between the dazzling cities of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro via Iguazu Falls and the Pantanal. This 12 day trip includes the usual stops but also includes a visit to the Pantanal wetlands, a nature lover’s paradise known for its amazing bird, marine and mammal life. Here, you’ll explore Brazil’s unique flora and fauna in an area considered by many to be a better nature experience than its more famous ecosystem located further north, the Amazon.

Itinearary Highlights

  • Explore Buenos Aires and experience one of Argentina’s best known contributions to culture – the Tango.
  • Suspend yourself over the highest of Iguazu Falls at the inspiring Devil’s Throat.
  • Visit the Pantanal, a natural wetland area unsurpassed in wildlife viewing with a spectacular array fantastic bird and marine life and the chance to spot large mammals like jaguars and pumas.
  • Visit Rio’s iconic sites including Copacabana Beach, Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Day 1: Buenos Aires arrival

On arrival at Buenos Aires airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to your centrally located hotel.

This evening, you are free to explore. We recommend you try a local parilla (steak house) for dinner.

Day 2: Buenos Aires – Centro, San Telmo & Boca half day tour. Evening Tango show.

This morning’s excursion will introduce you to the magic of the Argentine capital. After being picked up from your hotel we start with a visit of ‘San Telmo’, the oldest barrio (neighbourhood) of Buenos Aires which is famous for its historic architecture, tango parlours and antique shops. We take our time and wander through the cobblestone streets learning about the history of the area and seeing its sights including its impressive old churches and its abundance of colourful street art.

Tango_(2)We leave San Telmo and the tour continues past the many architectural highlights of Buenos Aires including the Palace of Justice, the Argentine National Congress building, the ‘Cabildo (old town hall) and the presidential palace ‘Casa Rosada’ (pink house).

Next we visit ‘La Boca’, the most picturesque of all neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires. This extravagant zone is completely different to the old and to the modern Buenos Aires and romantic stories tell us that tango was born in this working class area. We wander its famous street “Caminito” where you will have the chance to view the spectacle of impromptu tango dancing, street performers and have the chance to buy some local handicrafts.

On our way back to your hotel we pass through the newly restored Puerto Madero area where you can choose to be dropped off at for a nice meal by the waterfront. The remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure with the chance to visit some of Buenos Aires’ many great museums or do some shopping.

Tango expresses the heart and spirit of Argentina and no visit to Buenos Aires would be complete without it. This evening, you will experience the intimacy of this dance in equally intimate surroundings while you indulge in delicious Argentine cuisine.

*Before your show, you have the option of arriving before the others and taking a short tango lesson with a professional dancer.

Breakfast, Dinner included.

Day 3: Buenos Aires – Recoleta & Palermo half day tour

This morning you will further discover what makes Buenos Aires great as we explore its better known and sophisticated districts; Palermo and Recoleta. We start with a drive through Recoleta with its open green spaces mixed in with elegant boutique shopping, cafés, embassies and impressive architecture. We visit such landmarks as the Pilar Church and Evita Monument before taking a short walk through the Recoleta cemetery where Evita’s tomb can be found.

Buenos_AiresWe continue on to Palermo which is Buenos Aires’ largest neighbourhood, and also its trendiest. Here you will walk the streets which are full of beautiful parks, hip boutique hotels, chic restaurants and bars, and high fashion stores. Throughout the morning your knowledgeable guide will give you an insight into local life and excellent local cuisine and on completion of the tour you will have the option of being dropped off at an excellent restaurant for lunch or being taken back to your hotel.

*Another option on this day is to cross the Rio de la Plata into Uruguay and spend the day in the historic town of Colonia del Sacramento or visit a traditional estancia in the ‘Pampas’ region. Supplements apply and these tours must be pre-organised.

Breakfast included.

Day 4: Buenos Aires to Iguazu

Our representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Buenos Aires airport for your flight to Iguazu.

Iguazu_AerialThis afternoon you will enjoy a tour of the panoramic Brazilian side of the falls. Here, you’ll watch as 14 separate waterfalls drop with such force that a tall cloud of mist stays permanently suspended overhead. Great photo opportunities abound, however, raincoats are highly advisable!

*If you wish to upgrade to one of the two hotels located in the national park overlooking the falls, please let us know as these exclusive, award-winning hotels book out well in advance.

Breakfast included.

Day 5: Argentinean Falls Tour

Iguazu_(2)In the morning, you’ll be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Iguazu National Park. From the entrance, a small train will take you on a tour of the park. On the first of two stops, you’ll follow pathways to the top of the Cataratas (“The Falls”) where you’ll find a spectacular view of the falls and their surrounding scenery, including an abundance of orchids, colourful birds and other native wildlife. The second stop occurs at La Garganta del Diablo (“The Devil’s Throat”), the largest fall in the park and also the highlight of the tour. A suspended platform at the brink of the fall allows for a startlingly close view of this breathtaking natural wonder.

*For those who want a little more adventure, we recommend the Great Adventure Boat Tour, which enables you to gain a different perspective as you cruise on a motorboat underneath the falls.

Breakfast included.

Day 6: Iguazu – The Pantanal

Early this morning our representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you across the border into Brazil to Foz do Iguazu airport for your departure flight.

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your lodge located deep in the Pantanal, approximately a 3 hour drive away from Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso. Along the way, you’ll observe many kinds of birds, small mammals and typical landscapes. After check in, you’ll receive an introduction to the lodge and surrounding areas. In the evening, a delicious piranha soup is served just before dinner. After dinner, there will be an introduction to the activities of the following days. The evening is yours to relax at the lodge.

Breakfast, Dinner included.

Day 7: Pantanal – Pousada do Rio Mutum

Caiman_(3)After breakfast, there will be horseback trail riding through the jungle aBrazil’s Pantanalnd up to the edge of the Siá Mariana Bay. Throughout the year, a large variety of birds, animals and reptiles can be observed. Afterward, you’ll return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, you can experience a boat ride safari in Mutum River. In its crystal clear water it is possible to see giant otters, stingrays and many schools of colourful, small fish. At the Mutum river banks, a large variety of birds can be observed. You’ll then return to the lodge for dinner, and afterward venture out for nocturnal animal spotting by jeep in the lodge’s surrounding area. Later, you’ll return to the lodge for the evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.

Day 8: Pantanal – Pousada do Rio Mutum

After breakfast, take an ecological walk through the jungle and open fields to observe animals and birds. Having the largest diversity of bird species in the world, the Pantanal is especially interesting for bird watching. Afterward, return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll take a boat trip down the Mutum river banks, Siá Mariana Bay and Chacororé Bay. Return by boat to the lodge, stopping to see the sunset at the Siá Mariana Bay and to go piranha fishing. In the evening, feed caiman with piranhas fished from Siá Mariana Bay and enjoy nocturnal animal spotting. You’ll return to the lodge for dinner in the evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.

Day 9: Pantanal – Rio de Janeiro Brazil’s Pantanal

PantanalAt 4:30am, we’ll begin canoeing in the Mutum River to observe the sunrise and the beauty of Pantanal wildlife at the break of dawn. Later in the morning we’ll return to the lodge for breakfast and checkout. Transfer to the Cuiabá airport for your flight to the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (“Marvellous City”), Rio de Janeiro, where on arrival you will be met and transferred to your beach side hotel.

This evening you are at your leisure. We recommend trying a local churrasco (Brazilian BBQ) for dinner.

Breakfast included.

Day 10: Corcovado ‘Christ the Redeemer’ tour & Santa Teresa

CopacabanaDepart from the hotel to visit the Christ Statue, recently elected as one of the seven modern wonders of the world. The statue sits 2,300 ft. above sea level, atop Corcovado Hill. Following a scenic drive along the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, we will arrive at the foot of the hill, where we will embark on a small train ride up the beautiful mountainside. Upon reaching the top, visitors will experience a panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro and discover why it is known as the “Marvellous City”!

From here we will drive to Santa Teresa, a traditional neighbourhood located high upon the hills of the city, overlooking downtown and Guanabara Bay. Home to several Twentieth century mansions, cultural houses, galleries and gourmet restaurants, Santa Teresa’s charming cobbled streets are also a haven for local artists and intellectuals. You will have time for a quick snack in Santa Teresa before we return back to your hotel and have the remainder of the afternoon and evening at leisure.

At night the city doesn’t sleep, so there are great options for relaxed, live music and samba shows, plus a host of world class restaurants serving fine Brazilian and international cuisine.

Breakfast included.

Day 11: Sugarloaf Mountain tour

Over a million tourists every year visit the world famous Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), which has become an iconic symbol of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Rising up from a small peninsula at the entrance of Guanabara Bay, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated, refined sugarloaf. A cable car takes passengers to the top of Urca Hill, which rises 215 metres above sea level and offers spectacular views of the entire bay and its islands. From Urca Hill, passengers continue in a second cable car to the top of Sugarloaf, which rises 395 metres above sea level and offers a 360 degree view of the entire city, including Botafogo and Copacabana Beaches, Corcovado and downtown Rio.

Breakfast included.

Day 12: Rio departure

Our representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Rio de Janiero airport for your departure flight.

If you wish to extend your stay, we can also assist with a variety of half or full day tours, which allow you to further explore the magnificence of Rio.

Breakfast included.

What’s included

Accommodation with private facilities, internal flights, hotel taxes, entrance fees, tours with English speaking guides, transfers, meals as specified.

Please note: Hotel rates are based on lead-in rooms. Other room types and hotels are available. Rates are subject to change and different rates may apply during holiday seasons and special events.

What’s not included

International airfares, airport entrance/departure taxes, gratuities, travel insurance, any items not mentioned as included.

Tailor-made suggestions for this itinerary

  • Relax on the beautiful beaches and tropical islands to the south of Rio including Paraty and Ilha Grande.
  • Add in a side trip from Buenos Aires to Uruguay for either a day trip to Colonia or a 3-4 day trip including Montevideo.
  • Visit one of the excellent eco lodges located close to Iguazu for some excellent bird watching opportunities.
  • This trip can be offered in either direction and extended if you’d like to consider a few days relaxing on the beaches to the north or south of Rio.

12 Days from from A$5572 (Land package only)
Daily departures throughout 2016
Single Supplements available

LAN Airlines Return Economy airfares from Melbourne to Santiago start from $1199*
Valid for travel between 01 April and 31 October 2016. *T&C’s apply.

Book before 31 March 2016 and receive
$250 Travel Voucher for Pre, Post or Transit Accommodation

Contact us Today

If you need some assistance please don’t hesitate to call 03 9576 0211 or complete our quick and easy enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Delighted Customers

“Justin really understood what we wanted from a holiday so helped us plan a trip that fullfilled all our wishes. Justin took care of everything so we didnt have to concern ourselves with little details allowing us to relax and enjoy our holiday.”
Brian Shaw, Malvern
“Within a day, we had a suggested itinerary laid out before us, which was super easy to follow – our eight year old could even follow it! Our holiday was fantastic! It was good to know that Shane was always available if we needed help. It was all too good to be true!”
Amy Smyth, Prahran
“We went to all our local travel & their service was terrible. Justin organised everything from our flights, transfers, guided tours, accommodation & even travel insurance. Our 3 weeks across South America were amazing & I can’t thank Justin enough for the wonderful service he provided.”
Brett Albury, Caulfield