Wildlife and culture adventure in Brazil
Rainforests and Savannah

This trip in Brazil brings together the vibrancy of Rio de Janeiro which will be your base for the first few days, with an emphasis on taking a walk on the wild side. You'll visit one of the world's biodiversity hotspots in the Atlantic rainforest.

Then to the heart of your trip, you'll head into the Pantanal, sometimes called the Serengeti of South America. It's truly vast and home to animals ranging from giant river otters to caiman, capybaras (which look like giant guinea pigs), anteaters, sloths and birds of prey soaring overhead and if you are lucky (or unlucky depending on your view point) anacondas. You will top off your trip enjoying the crystal-clear waters of Bonito, some of the finest freshwater snorkelling in the world, tropical fish swimming all around you.

You will meet a variety of local people in Brazil, including indigenous people who will show you their traditional customs and Pantaneiros ('cowboys') horseriding western style and how to tie a lasso.

This wildlife holiday in Brazil is a private tour and can be taken by couples, a pair of friends or a family. Whoever you travel with, it's a trip you'll be talking about for years to come.

Typically Saturday Day 1: You'll check in the evening for an overnight flight from Heathrow with LATAM. You'll land in Sao Paulo the next morning (Day 2) and change planes for a short internal flight to Rio de Janeiro.

You can also fly direct to Rio with British Airways; you will need to fly from Heathrow earlier in the day and you'll land on the evening of the same day (Brazil is 3-4 hours behind the UK) and have an extra night's accommodation (Day 1). We can also arrange connecting flights from other UK airports on the same international tickets. It is also possible to book this tour excluding international flights, in which case your tour starts with a pick up at Rio de Janeiro airport on Day 2.

Day 2 D (dinner included): You'll be met at Rio de Janeiro airport and driven into the hills of Rio, where you will stay in the Santa Teresa area. You'll be well looked after in a private home so you get the inside track into life in Brazil and the sort of personal connection which is part and parcel of a Tell Tale trip. You'll have some time to recover from your flight and settle into your comfortable room/s. Your driver will return later and take you to Rio's beaches, a great place to have a fresh coconut drink or an ice cream and watch the world go by. Or visit the botanical gardens where you can see sloths in tree, brown capuchin monkeys and 6 foot wide water lilies and flora from the Amazon. Alternatively, you can visit Rio's famous beaches. Bit of time to relax back at 'home' then a welcome dinner with your hosts.

Day 3 B: A day visiting Rio's famous sights. You will be driven around Rio's famous sights to take the cog train through forest up Corcovado mountain to see the iconic Christ the Redeemer and to take cable cars up Sugar Loaf mountain which sits at the front of the perfect wine-glass bay in Botafogo. You'll have some time to shower and change before one of our drivers takes you into the city to have dinner at one of Rio's bustling restaurants, choose from the tips in your Tell Tale pack.

"An adventure to a part of the world we had never visited before. Our hosts in Rio were very friendly, what a lovely place to stay..In the Pantanal, seeing river otters was magical and the snorkelling outside Bonito was very special."
– Terry and Janet James
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Day 4 L: This morning, you're up early to head out of Rio to visit a conserved part of the Atlantic rainforest. REGUA is a hotspot of diversity, owned by a family who are passionate about conservation and reintroducing species. You will walk nature trails, mainly on the look out for tropical birds, there are more species than the whole of Europe! You also have a chance to see mammals like tapir, sloths and monkeys. Time for a delicious home made lunch before heading back to the city. Late afternoon and evening free.

Day 5 B D: Next stop the Pantanal! This morning our driver will take you to one of Rio's airports to fly to Campo Grande, at the southern end of the southern part of the Pantanal. You'll have to change planes in a hub airport like Sao Paulo or Brazil's capital, Brasilia. You will be met at Campo Grande airport and driven approx 2.5 hours (closest town will be Miranda) to a family-owned working ranch, home to cattle, horses and Pantaneiros ('cowboys'). Accommodation is very comfortable for a rural area with little touches and there is also a charming pool here. You'll have a guided walk around the ranch, you may be lucky enough to see animals like capuchin monkeys and our favourites, giant anteaters. The ranch is also a good place to spot the world's largest parrot, the Pantanal's pretty hyacinth macaws, they can be a metre long. Then it's time for a delicious home-cooked dinner, with local and regional food galore.

Day 6 B L D: Horse riding! Pantaneiro horses are smaller than English horses, easy to ride and usually very calm. An excellent way to cover more ground than on foot and see flora and fauna as well as spot animals. This afternoon, you'll have free time to relax by the pool or wander around the ranch grounds at your leisure (and/or guided walk if it wasn't possible the day before e.g. if you arrived later than usual. Internal flight times can vary).

After dinner, you'll head off on a night safari, the first stop is the mango trees where animals like eating fallen mangos. Then it's onto the lakes, watch out the red eyes in the water, caiman. A sort of alligator, they may reach 10 feet in length and look very scary, but they tend to mainly eat fish and birds not humans!

Day 7 B L D: Up early, you're going to help with the milking! Have a taste, fresh from the farm with no additivies.

Later on today, you can try your hand at fishing on the lake for pacu which are like piranha. If you're lucky with your catch, it may be thrown on the barbeque later! If you'd rather not fish, you can have another horse ride or guided walk instead.

Day 8 B L D: Time to pack up and say goodbye to ranch life and hello to more wildlife-viewing opportunities. You are going to be picked up and driven north, deeper into the Pantanal. You will be driving along a dirt road which goes through the Pantanal, keep your eyes peeled! Then you'll get into a 4-WD truck for a private 2-3 hour safari on the Estrada Parque, animals galore with an expert local guide. Then onto the rustic lodge you'll use as your base you will use for the next 3 nights.

"From face painting with a native tribesman to fishing for piranha to white water rafting, we never stopped having fun and making memories! Our family (with 3 children aged 5-11) had a fantastic adventure. This was our 2nd holiday with you and I would wholeheartedly recommend travelling with Tell Tale Travel."
– Jenny Walmsley
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Day 9 B L D: An early start, you will have a private boat trip on the Miranda or Abrobal river with your guide (depending on which ranch we use for your trip), stopping to hike in the forest. You'll learn the ways of his indigenous tribe and try to call a jaguar with a friction bamboo. We can't promise one will come! Sights you are more likely to encounter are capybara (which look like giant guinea pigs), water birds, families of giant river otters frolicking in the water and howler monkeys climbing the tree tops. You'll head back for lunch and a bit of free time before getting back on the water. You'll stay out till sunset, the Pantanal's sunsets are truly spectacular on a good day.

Day 10 B L D: Another full day of boating and hiking looking for the animals and birds in the Pantanal, from dawn to dusk, with a break in the middle of the day.

Day 11 B L: Now you're off to your next stop, Bonito, a charming little town set in low hills on the southern edge of the Pantanal. Bonito is famous for its beautiful clear-water rivers, caves and abundant wildlife. Settle into your pousada (small hotel) and have a dip in the pool. Have a look in your Tell Tale pack for restaurant tips, including a fantastic pizzeria (a nice contrast after being in such a remote area the days before!).

Day 12 B L: Did you know that you don't need to be in the sea to swim with colourful tropical fish? Bonito is home to some of the best freshwater snorkelling in the world. You'll visit a warm, glassy clear stream filled with thousands of tropical fish. Amongst the best and easiest freshwater snorkelling you can do anywhere in the world. You'll also have forest walk and birdwatching in the Buraco das Araras, it is a huge sink hole, home to hundreds of species including Aracaris (tiny toucans) and the big brightly-coloured Red and Green Macaws. Today, you will be joined in with a small number of people on the day, it's part of Bonito's set up for responsible travel/managing visitors.

Day 13 B: Morning at leisure in Bonito. Stroll around the small town, it's a great place to buy handicrafts and other souvenirs. It is also possible to book an extra excursion locally, e.g. white water rafting.

This afternoon you'll be driven to Campo Grande, to a comfortable city hotel, close to restaurants.

Day 14 B: Transfer to Campo Grande airport where you will take a short flight to Sao Paulo, with an 'official connection' to a direct international flight back to London Heathrow.

Day 15: Land at London Heathrow. If you started your trip with a flight on a Saturday, this will be a Saturday.

This wildlife adventure based on a minimum of 2 people sharing a private tour costs from £3,475 per person or with a minimum of 4 travelling from £3,275 per person including flights from London Heathrow with LATAM, all flights within Brazil, private transfers, accommodation, activities/excursions and meals as mentioned. Excludes personal expenses. Excludes entrance fees on Days 2 and 3.

You can also book this trip excluding flights for £2,675 per person or £2,475 respectively; your tour starts with a pick up at Rio de Janeiro airport on Day 2 and ends with a transfer to Campo Grande airport on Day 14.

This trip is best taken April to November. *If you are taking this as a family trip, further discounts may be available for under 12s, as well as air tax discounts for 12 to 15 year olds.
Adding connecting flights within the UK, ask us to check.
Flying with British Airways economy class on the international flights and having an extra night's accommodation (Day 1) usually adds £200pp. Ask us to check.

3 night extension in Iguacu Falls (including extra flights, accommodation, private transfers, private guide and entrance fees in both Brazil and Argentina) £650pp or with a minimum of 4 people travelling £550pp. See our Jaguars and Waterfalls itinerary for information on what you'd do in Iguacu.

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pantanal pic