Travel | Brazil
Itinerary, Inclusions and CostsBrazil
December 29, 2006 – January 12, 2007 (15 Days)
Rio de Janeiro - Salvador Da Bahia - Iguacu Falls
See Brazil in style and learn about the cultural intermingling of the native American, African and European cultures. See cultural highlights of Salvador da Bahia and Rio de Janeiro then go deep into the southern Brazilian forest to see one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls, Iguacu Falls, 60 feet taller than Niagara Falls and nearly 3 kilometers (2 miles) wide. This is a comprehensive tour of Brazil that is all inclusive. Group size will be limited to 12 people to insure a personalized atmosphere. Call or e-mail for details.
Day 1: Flight USA - Rio de Janeiro (December 29)
Depart the US on a late afternoon flight to Brazil
Day 2: Rio de Janeiro
Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, the “cidade maravilhosa”, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Take some time to walk around the area and become familiar with the new sights, sounds and smells of Brazil. Tonight features a “Welcome to Rio” celebration with a classic “churrasco” dinner at fabled Marius’, one of Rio’s best BBQ restaurants. At this wildly-decorated, over the top restaurant, you will feast on an all-you-can-eat array of meats, vegetables, seafood, salads and more. The highlight is the “rodizio” style of serving where an astounding variety of meats will be carved right onto your plate. Round out your meal with a salad bar featuring hot and cold appetizers, soups, salads and if you have room left, dessert.
Accommodation: Plaza Copacabana (First Class hotel) (B,D)
Day 3: Rio de Janerio (December 31 – New Year’s Eve)
Today’s visits are to Corcovado Mountain, Santa Teresa & downtown “Old Rio”. Travel by vans to the base of the imposing Statue of Christ with arms outstretched over Rio on Corcovado Mountain, perhaps the most recognized icon of South America. The views of the ocean, city, and lagoon are spectacular from this vantage point. Continue to the charming Santa Teresa district. This area, once favored by Rio’s wealthy and powerful, fell into neglect as the chic beach front neighborhoods of Ipanema and Copacabana came into favor after World War II. Today Santa Teresa is enjoying a renaissance as artists and bohemians who have moved to the area are renovating this funky and colorful part of Rio. Descend by cable car through this delightful neighborhood, over the famous “Arcos da Lapa” to downtown Rio. Enjoy lunch in the stately Colombo Confeitaria in old Rio. Afterwards, another highlight of the trip: a visit to Mangueira, one of the most famous and successful “samba schools” of Rio de Janeiro. Renowned for their musical talents, outrageous floats and enthusiastic supporters, Mangueira is a remarkable cultural institution and an integral part of Carnival in Rio. However, more than just an entertainment powerhouse, Mangueira is a community of hundreds of thousands of “Cariocas” (Rio natives), most of whom are extremely poor and inhabit the favelas of the community. Despite the urban ills that affect these disenfranchised people, the vast majority of residents are hard-working, community-minded people. Visit some community projects that illustrate how the ordinary citizens of Rio are working hard to improve their lives amidst difficult conditions. It is a moving example of the power of culture and music, community and faith, and the role all play in the life of the everyday Brazilian. Free Evening. It is recommended that you walk on the beaches at night where many Brazilians dress in white and gather to celebrate the New Year. Many times the experience is capped by lighting candles in white boats and sending them out to sea. This is a great opportunity to celebrate, meet new people and get great pictures.
Accommodation: Plaza Copacabana (B,L)
Day 4: Rio de Janeiro (January 1 - New Year’s Day)
Breakfast at the hotel. This is a relaxing day to walk around Rio and take in some of the sights on your own.
Accommodation: Plaza Copacabana (B)
Day 5: Rio de Janeiro
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a day of art and cuisine in Rio’s countryside on a “Day in the Country: Art, Folklore and Cuisine” excursion.
Begin with a drive through several of Rio’s neighborhoods including the modernistic “Barra da Tijuca” area, representing the future of Rio as its burgeoning population moves beyond the traditional neighborhoods of the South Zone. Arrive in the rural and pastoral region of Vargem Grande, Rio’s original countryside. Visit the Casa Do Pontal, an amazing museum which is housed in a remodeled country home. It houses an large collection of primitive “Naif” art and sculpture from all over Brazil. Arranged into sections such as “Birth & Death”, “Work”, “Colonization”, “Married Life”, “Sports & Games”, etc., this collection reflects a variety of viewpoints and is very compelling.
Afterward, there will be a traditional and festive “feijoada” lunch at a local artist’s atelier. Enjoy this typically Brazilian meal and get an inside look at a local artist’s work in progress. Return to the hotel late in the day. This evening features a sunset cocktail reception at the hotel where a special guest from the Brazilian photography world will talk informally about the history, trends and issues in contemporary Brazilian photography.
Accommodation: Plaza Copacabana (B,L)
Day 6: Rio de Janeiro
Breakfast at the hotel. The morning is at leisure. This afternoon, meet with your guide for your “Sugar Loaf Mountain and Carmen Miranda tour”. Drive through the Flamengo Park. This is the largest urban park in South America. It was designed by acclaimed urban landscaper Brule Marx and is built on millions of tons of landfill dredged from adjacent Guanabara Bay. Arrive at the remarkable Carmen Miranda Museum. More like a shrine, this amusing stop provides a wonderful look into the role this singer, dancer and movie star played in creating and establishing the image that so many around the world have of Brazil. Costumes, film clips, songs and photos evoke a Rio de Janeiro (Hollywood-style) of the 1940’s that is camp, kitsch and compelling. Then, proceed on a sunset tour of nearby Sugar Loaf Mountain. Arrive at the base of the famous Rio landmark “Pao de Acucar” and board the first of two cable cars to the smaller of these two mountains off the coast of Rio. Continue up on yet another cable car to the summit of the second mountain. The view from this peak of the city of Rio, the bay, and the ocean is breathtaking. Take your time admiring the gardens, walkways and magnificent panoramas, as the lights of the city appear and dusk falls. After a time, descend and to the base at Urca Beach. Then it’s off to a “Farewell to Rio” celebration with dinner at a colorful local restaurant. Afterwards, sample various forms of Brazilian traditional music, jazz or samba (transport and visits to two clubs included).
Accommodation: Plaza Copacabana (B,L)
Day 7: Rio de Janeiro - Iguacu Falls
Early transfer to the airport for your flight to Iguacu Falls. Afternoon walking tour of the Brazilian Falls. Dinner at local restaurant.
Accommodation: Galli Hotel (First Class hotel) (B,L,D)
Day 8: Iguacu Falls
Breakfast at the hotel. Begin your day with the Macuco Photographic Safari and Boat Ride. Travel the Macuco Trail in a rustic open wagon that allows unhindered views of the jungle. Your guide will explain some of the stories, marvels and mysteries of the sub-tropical forest surrounded by orchids, bromeliads, and thousands of butterflies. You may stop at will to photograph on this ride as long as we don’t miss our deadline to be at the Falls. Continue with a walking down the Iguaçu Canyon Trail to the picturesque Macuco Falls. A mild white-water rafting trip included. The boats will take you to the base of the Brazilian Falls where you will be able to feel the awe-inspiring power of the water. You will get extremely wet on this tour. Next, transfer over the Brazil/Argentina border and travel into Iguaçu National Park from the Argentine side. Board the narrow-gauge train which will take you to the “devils’ throat”. This is the area of the falls which forms a “U” space with thousands of gallons of continuously flowing water creates a amazing sight of cliffs and falls, mist and rainbows. Continue to the upper and lower levels of the cataracts of the Argentine Falls, where various viewing areas allow for different views.
Accommodation: Galli Hotel (First Class hotel) (B,D)
Day 9: Iguacu Falls
Breakfast at the hotel. Free morning for sunrise photography around the edge of the falls.
After lunch visit Itaipu Dam, truly a marvel of engineering and the world's largest hydroelectric complex, supplying electrical energy to Brazil and Paraguay.
Finally, visit the Parque das Aves (Bird Park), which is set in 17 hectares of unspoiled subtropical forest. Visitors follow a path for 800 meters through the forest passing through some of the largest aviaries, where the birds fly free and which can be studied and photographed without the restriction of netting and cages. Late afternoon transfer to the airport to board your flight to Salvador da Bahia.
Accommodation: Blue Tree Towers Salvador (First Class Hotel) (B, in-flight meals)
Day 10: Salvador da Bahia
Following breakfast, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby to take you on a leisurely full day tour of this beautiful city. Get to know first hand why Salvador is referred to as the “most African city in the Western Hemisphere”. Begin in the modern suburb of Barra at the mouth of the bay with its famous lighthouse and make your way slowly to the old historical section of town, the Pelourinho area with the largest and best preserved complex of colonial architecture in the America’s. Visit the church of Sao Francisco with its exuberant gold-leafed baroque interior. Stroll through the narrow, bustling streets lined with buildings in pastel shades of an age gone by. See how native Indian, African and European bloodlines and cultures mixed here to form the unique Brazilian identity of today. The pace will be sensitive to the desires of the group. Your guide will ensure that the day is conducted to maximize the opportunity for blending scenic, architectural and street-scene photography opportunities. Today’s lunch is independent but there will be plenty of opportunities to stop at colorful local cafes for a quick bite. Tonight features a dinner at one of the Pelourinho’s most unique restaurants, Tempero da DaDa, a local eatery specializing in the zesty and eye-popping cuisine of Bahia. Great opportunity to eat, photograph the kitchen in progress and observe the locals.
Accommodation: Blue Tree Towers Salvador (First Class Hotel) (B,D)
Day 11: Salvador da Bahia
A full day excursion into the heart of the Brazilian countryside, visiting it from many fascinating angles. Leave the city behind and drive through the oldest farmland in Brazil. This is the land of sugar cane and tobacco plantations, peaceful colonial towns and busy country markets. Visit an experimental cacau plantation. Stop at a small but self-sufficient farmstead with its own manioc flour mill and gain insight into rural Brazilian life. Lunch in Cachoeira, a charming colonial town in a beautiful setting on the banks of the Paraguassu River, followed by a walking tour of the town with it’s many wood sculptors, ateliers, bustling markets. Finally, visit the Sisterhood of the Boa Morte, a sorority which traces it’s origins back to the time of slavery. Bahia by Night Dinner and Show. The show takes place in the 18th century colonial complex of Solar do Uniao which had its own sugar refinery, church, manor house, and slave quarters. The show takes place in the old stockrooms and is a showcase of the different African traditions still much alive in Bahia. See the sacred dances of the Candomble, the maculele, a stick and sword dance from the cane fields; the dance of the caboclo, an Amerindian hunting dance; Capoeira, martial arts/ dance of Angolan origin and the samba de roda, a spinning, swirling version of this exuberant national dance. Dinner is a buffet with a wide selection of local and international dishes.
Accommodation: Blue Tree Towers Salvador (B,L,D)
Day 12: Salvador da Bahia
Today’s visit to “the other side” of Salvador takes you through the lower city to the quiet waters of the Itapagipe Peninsula where the first holiday residences where built. Now a peaceful family district, life moves at a slower pace than the bustling upper city. Fisherman work from dug-out canoes, locals collect shellfish at low tide, schooners are at anchor, and all are protected by the famous Bonfim Church, one of the most important churches of pilgrimage in Brazil and deeply synchronized with the Candomble religion. Not just another church, this visit is an incredible photographic opportunity. Continue to the Monserrat district with its panoramic view of the city and on to the Mercado Modelo, a bustling and thriving market for artifacts. It’s time to bargain! Lunch en route.
Afterwards stop by at a local Capoeira institute to visit a class in session. Spend an hour or two photographing this exuberant combination of dance and martial arts as local students and their teachers practice in a whirlwind of motion and dance. Return to the hotel afterwards. In the evening, the Pelourinho area resounds with sound of the repique and surdo drums of the “Afro-Bloco” drumming troop of Salvador, among them Ara Ketu, Olodum (who performed on Paul Simon’s “Rhythm of the Saints” album) and other powerhouse percussion ensembles. Attend one of their rehearsals where dances and songs are performed and capture the magic of the performers as they lose themselves in their drumming.
Accommodation: Blue Tree Towers Salvador (B,L,D-Allowance)
Day 13: Salvador da Bahia - Rio de Janeiro
Breakfast at the hotel. Mid-day flight to Rio. This afternoon arrive in Rio de Janeiro, the “cidade maravilhosa”, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Tonight features a "Rio celebration" with a classic “churrasco” dinner at fabled Marius’, one of Rio’s best BBQ restaurants. At this wildly-decorated, over the top restaurant, you will feast on an all-you-can-eat array of meats, vegetables, seafood, salads and more. The highlight is the “rodizio” style of serving where an astounding variety of meats will be carved right onto your plate. Round out your meal with a salad bar featuring hot and cold appetizers, soups, salads and if you have room left, dessert.
Accommodation: Plaza Copacabana (First Class hotel) (B,D)
Day 14: Rio de Janeiro to the USA
Morning to explore Rio on your own, shop or sleep in. Late afternoon flight to the USA.
Accommodation: Plaza Copacabana (First Class hotel) (B, in flight meals)
Day 15: Flight from Rio de Janeiro to the USA
Arrive Home (in flight meals)
Included in the Tour
- Comprehensive sightseeing with qualified local guides
- All entrance fees to sights and events listed in itinerary
- All transfers and transportation within Brazil
- First Class hotel accommodation as listed or similar.
- Meals as indicated in itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner)
- International air fare
- Gratuities for drivers, bellboys and guides (approximately $6 per day)
- US Departure Tax and Customs Fee (approximately $166)
- Optional travel insurance
- Brazilian Visa Application Fee ( $110)
Tour Prices and Departure Date
December 29, 2006 – January 12, 2007 (15 days)
Prices Based on Two People Sharing a Double Room
Land Price: $ 2,830.00
Single Supplement: $ 985.00
International Airfare Available upon Request
Last updated Sunday November 26, 2006