Brazil is blessed with powdery white-sand beaches, verdant rainforests and rhythm-filled metropolises. Its attractions extend from frozen-in-time colonial towns to otherworldly landscapes of redrock canyons, thundering waterfalls and coral-fringed islands.
Home to one-third of all species, the Amazon Basin is the planet’s greatest reserve of life forms.
9 days / 8 nights – Rio De Janeiro ▪ Manaus ▪ Amazon
• Rio de Janeiro – its color and profile are unique in the world;
• Manaus – pleasant and friendly, although quite hot, and is still a major port, and a good starting point for river tours.
• Amazon – a vast region that spans across eight rapidly developing countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, an overseas territory of France.
Day 1: Rio de Janeiro
Welcome to Rio de Janeiro, the city of mountains and sea, samba and carnival, and a relaxed way of life. You are transferred to your hotel along Copacabana Beach. This afternoon, your orientation begins with a cable car ascent of Sugar Loaf Mountain, a tour of city sights, and a ride along the world-famous beaches. The first cable car takes passengers to Urca Hill which is 215 meters high from where one has a beautiful view of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niterói bridge and Corcovado hill. From this stage, a second cable car will be taken up to the top (395 meters) to see a splendid view of Copacabana beach, the Santa Cruz fortress and some of the beaches of Niterói. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro.
Day 2: Rio de Janeiro
Boarding the jeeps tour will proceed with our tour to visit the Tijuca Rainforest. The city is, literally, sliced down the middle by this impressive mountain range, which makes it possible to go to the beach in the morning and then enjoy the chill of the rainforest and the refreshment of natural pools and waterfalls in the afternoon. Tijuca forest is filled with attractions, from the obvious Statue of Christ to the pagoda-style belvedere at Vista Chinesa and the giant granite picnic table at the Mesa do Imperador. Also inside the Park, the gem-like Mayrink chapel boasts murals painted by one of Brazil’s best-known twentieth century artists, Cândido Portinari.
The open-air jeeps provide a unique opportunity to enjoy Rio in the fresh air. The tour drives along Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, past the Jardim Botânico, finally stopping at the Vista Chinesa (a belvedere in the Chinese pagoda style). Here a stop for photos and our first contact with the history of the forest and the world’s first preservation project when the Emperor Pedro II decided that the original forest should be restored, replacing coffee plantations. It passes the Mesa do Imperador, the mammoth granite table of Imperial picnics, and Cascatinha waterfall, where tour will make a stop. Resuming the tour will be passing by the Mayrink Chapel for a 30-minute hike along one of the many trails that are available to explore. Along the way, the rich variety of fauna and flora will be pointed out, as well as the importance of this park to the city of Rio de Janeiro.
During the tour your guides will be pointing out a variety of fruit trees and animals like small monkeys, sloths or birds like toucans along with butterflies and other birds. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro.
Day 4: Amazon
Early transfer from hotel to Manaus airport for your flight to Tefe – flight trip 5541 leaving 06:00 am and arriving at 07:30.
Around 10 minutes (by car) far away the airport is the “Flutuante do Areia Branca” where will be start the journey to Mamirauá Reserve.
The trip to the Reserve is made by speedboat and it takes about one and an half hour. In the way you can enjoy the breeze and the magic scenery also you will be to see the little boat across to the river. You might even be able to spot wildlife, such as pink dolphins (Inia geofrensis) at Tefé Lake and tucuxis (Sotalia fluviatilis) in the Solimões River during the trip until the lodge.
The Naturalist guide will accompany you in some activities and all outings have to be accompanied by a local guide. You must listen to their recommendations at all times specially those regarding your own safety. To enjoy your first morning at the Reserve you will make a short trip by canoe.
The lunch will always be served between 12:30pm and 13:30pm. The outings in the afternoon are starting at 15:30 when the climate is not so hot. At 15:30 you will be ready to go on a walk (dry season) in one of the trails. You will be taken with your whole group to do an Interpretative Trail. The naturalist and the local guide, joining scientific and traditional knowledge will help you to interpret the varzea’s environment (flooded forest). In this first hiking, eight points strategically chosen are classified and explained for them. Whole the “Flooded season” you will make a trip by large canoe among channels and lakes into forest bring together all guests’ group.
After the dinner, you will have the opportunity to hear and talk about the ecosystem and about the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute – its work, its research, etc. The naturalist guide will do the presentation at 20:30.
Day 5: Amazon
The animals wake up with the sunrise and to maximize wildlife viewing you must also to wake up early to visit the trails. But if you choose to visit a local village, this morning is the time to do it. The Ecotourism program has had plenty of discussion with the local communities about those visits and agreed an informal itinerary with a series of attractions they would like to show and talk about. A person from the community will meet your group and show you around (please see the detailed information sheet about village visits). Depending on the village, you might have the opportunity to buy locally produced handicrafts – take small change with you.
If you choose not to visit a village you can go for another tour with your local guide. After lunch, you can rest in a hammock, watch a video about researches done at Mamirauá or an award-winning BBC documentary on Mamirauá, read a book, or just chat as the outings will only be carried out when the sun goes down a little.
In the afternoon you will go to hiking or canoe tour, always exploring a different region of the reserve. The dinner will be served around 19:30. After dinner you can watch a video about the flooded forest or just to hear the song of animal night in your room and to relax to next day.
Day 6: Amazon
A new and different trail will be the scenery chosen to view the wildlife into the jungle. Our trails are designed not to be physically straining and most of them can be walked in three hours at the longest. During the flood (May-July) all trails will be done in a small paddle canoe (your guide will paddle you through the trail).
In this afternoon you will be taken on a motorized canoe to Mamirauá Lake, a beautiful lake inside the total preservation area of the Reserve. At the lake you will probably have memorable encounters with pink river dolphins (Inia geofrensis), hoatzins (Opistochomus hoazin) and perhaps the pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) fish. You will stay there until the sunset and on your way back you will spot black caimans (Melanoschus niger), bats (Rhynchonycteris naso and Noctilio leporinus), night birds. Dinner is at 20:00.
Day 7: Amazon
The breakfast is served at 06:30am and at 07:00am the activities start. We will take a trail by foot or by canoe, in the new scenery chosen to observe the nature. If you prefer you can practice a traditional fish or piranha fishing. This activity is a means of survive belong the local communists and it is transferred from generation to generation. The local resident will learn you with his ability to fish with harpoon and the handling with bait and long line too. In the afternoon you have a choice to accompany a researcher’s team and participate of their field works and supplementing the technical information given last night. Or if you prefer, you can go to another wildlife viewing tour, travelling around the landscapes, channels and lakes system that compose part of the varzea’s ecosystem.
After the dinner be ready to do a night tour (on foot or by small canoe) with high chances to see the nocturnal fauna, as tarantula spiders, opossum (Didelphis marsupialis and Philander opossum), two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus) and brown throated three toated sloth (Bradypus variegatus), amazon bamboo rats (Dactylomys dactylinus), bats (Rhynchonycteris naso and Noctilio leporinus), etc. This trail is short and spends around 40 minutes.
Day 8: Amazon-Manaus
If you are really quiet and set out early enough, you might see even more wildlife like capuchin monkeys (Cebus paella), howlers (Alouatta seniculus), uakaris (Cacajao calvus calvus) and squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus and Saimiri vanzolinii), three toed sloths (Bradypus variegates), hoatzins (Opistochomus hoazin), etc. Another trail will be made in this last morning. The departure of Lodge will be after the breakfast around 09:30 on Friday. The flight from Tefé to Manaus leaves at 19:00am, so when you come back to Tefé, you will be taken to a local hotel – Anilce’s Hotel – to spend a day-use to possibility you walk and know the city. Around 14:30 you will be met at hotel and then takes you at the Tefé’s airport.
You will arrive in Manaus at 20:30. Transfer to Tropical Manaus hotel for Overnight.
The music, the beaches, the wildlife, and most importantly the people: it’s hard not to fall for Brazil. In Brazil there really is no end. I have fond memories spotting wildlife (especially in the Pantanal and the Amazon), making friends in small towns and in general getting beneath the surface. There’s really no other country that offers so much.
There are cities whose secrets can be told in few words. Others, one is unable to image without the air of pictures. One has to sketch their profiles and color them. With Rio de Janeiro, it is even more difficult. Its color and profile are unique in the world. There is no way to describe such a wealth of sensations. Rio de Janeiro – a city of contrasts. Contrasts of color, of life styles and dazzling scenery that will always fascinate and make one long to be there. Rio de Janeiro is a city sculptured in space that sits capriciously on a thin strip of land between the mountains and the sea. Its horizontal dimensions and hills provide a unique vertical perspective.
Manaus is the Amazon’s largest city, an incongruous pocket of urbanity in the middle of the jungle, a major port for ocean vessels that’s 1500km from the ocean. The rainforest has a population density half that of Mongolia’s, but the journey there invariably begins in (or passes through) this bustling city. Don’t be surprised if you feel a little out of whack.
Every traveler has fantasized about a trip to the Amazon. Just the name evokes images of dense rain forest, indigenous tribes, and abundant wildlife.
Yet many travelers leave the Amazon underwhelmed, having come expecting a Discovery channel–like encounter with jaguars, anaconda and spear-toting Indians. That simply doesn’t happen – surprise, surprise – much less on the schedule or budget of most travelers.
The Amazon’s quintessential experiences are more sublime than they are superlative: canoeing through a flooded forest, dozing in a hammock on a boat chugging upriver, waking up in the jungle to the call of a thousand birds or the otherworldly cry of howler monkeys.