Upon arrival in Sao Paulo, you will be met by our representative and transferred to a day room at a local hotel (Hotel Marriott or similar). Here, you may rest and freshen up while waiting for your evening connecting flight to Cataratas Airport at Foz do Iguacu, or Iguazu Falls. Upon arrival in Iguazu, you will be met and transferred to your hote. (Upgrade to Hotel das Cataratas, the only hotel located within the Iguazu National Park and the world-famous Iguazu Falls.)
Hotel das Cataratas within the national park
Meals: None Lodging: Hotel Loi Suites or similar
Day 2 Iguazu Falls - Brazilian Side
Iguazu Falls is a place where Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina come together, and where the Iguazu River flows into the Parana River. The name “Iguazu” means “Great Water” in the Tupi Guarani indigenous language. A UNESCO World Heritage Site 1986, the Iguazu Falls are a breathtaking collection of about 275 waterfalls extending over almost two miles in an enormous canyon on the Iguazu River. There are 19 large waterfalls, best seen from the Brazilian side, where your guide will take you this morning. The roar of the waterfalls, some of which reach a height of 250 feet, can be heard up to 20 miles away. There are rainbows, bands of butterflies, and flocks of birds, and all around you the air vibrates as thundering water below dissipates into clouds above. Enter the National Park and hike to panoramic views of Floriano, Deodoro, and Garganta do Diablo (Devil's Throat) Falls in all their majesty and might. The tour ends on the upper part of the falls, which are reached via a panoramic elevator. From here, walk to the Porto Canoas area which affords a breathtaking view of the churning lower Iguazu River to the raging falls.
Enjoy the Macuco Safari tour this afternoon. The tour begins about four miles from the Visitors’ Center, just inside the Iguazu National Park Brazilian side. Going upriver in specially-outfitted boats to get to the base of Iguana Falls, you will be able to feel their unbelievable power while admiring them up close. Whirlpools, waves , and currents created by the falls add pure adrenaline to this unforgettable tour.
Enjoy the majesty of Iguazu Falls
Meals: Breakfast Lodging: Hotel Loi Suites or similar
Day 3 Iguazu Falls -Argentinean Side / Manaus
This morning, you'll set off to the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls for another perspective on their powerful beauty. Ride in the National Park along a paved road to the falls and an easy hike along a catwalk which takes you through lush forest to the panoramic sight of the Three-Frontier Landmark where the borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet at a point. The tour ends with an encounter with the Garganta do Diablo (Devil’s Throat) and main falls, where more than 17,000 cubic yards of water per second plunge 100 yards in 14 falls arranged around a tight little pocket. In the early afternoon, fly to Manaus, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. You may wish to venture into Manaus for a bit of exploring on your own. Established in the 17th century by Portuguese settlers, the village was renamed Manaus in the 19th century after it had become the center of a thriving rubber business.
Another angle on Iguazu Falls
Meals: Breakfast Lodging: Hotel Park Suites or similar
Day 4 Anavilhanas
This morning enjoy a short visit of Manaus. First stop is the Teatro Amazonas, an elegant opera house opened in 1896 at the peak of the rubber boom. Fifteen years in the making and built with the wealth of local rubber barons, the building includes a lobby of marble and inlaid tropical hardwoods, a fine concert hall, and a romantic mural in the upstairs ballroom. Late morning, you will transfer to Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge via van and riverboat (3-½ hours total). Here you will have the unique experience of living in the Amazon forest. Settle into this small charming ecolodge that brings together nature and comfort in a subtle and harmonious fashion. Here, you are on the Rio Negro in the middle of Parque Nacional de Anavilhanas. The greatest river archipelago in the world, the Anavilhanas park contains about 400 islands which extend for over 55 miles of untouched native forest. The park is a veritable maze of lakes, rivers, and riverbanks which are home to very rich and diverse plant and animal life. Located on the Rio Negro, your jungle lodge tastefully pairs up nature with local culture. Enjoy activities at the lodge such as bird watching or hiking the property. In the evening, you'll definitely want to inquire about the night tour for some caiman-catching, an exhilarating outing and fun for the entire family, children in particular. (Caiman are a species of alligator, and Brazil's Amazon basin has four varieties. The most common – and the one you'll probably get to handle on your expedition – is the spectacled caiman, which can grow up to 7-8 feet long.)
This morning explore the natural forest with a local guide who will reveal some of the mysteries of the Amazon jungle. Marvel at the guide's seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of trees, herbs, fruits, jungle survival, and natural remedies. Return to the lodge for lunch and then visit the regional art studios. Bring the afternoon to a close by visting the pink dolphins also known as "Boto Cor de Rosa".
Awake with the forest this morning as you rise early and paddle out by canoe to watch the colorful dawn sky transition to beautiful sunlight as the jungle wildlife awakens with you. Return to the lodge for breakfast and then head out again for a memorable fishing experience. Watch out for the piranhas! (Or is it the piranhas that should watch out for the fishing party?) In the afternoon, visit two indigenous craft shops to observe and learn how locals make their wares. Then visit a local boat maker, who will also share his craft, one that has been passed down from one generation to the next over the years.
In the morning, explore the sights and sounds of the forest igapos and igarapes next to the lodge by canoe. (Igapos are permanently-flooded lands where the roots of vegetation are always submerged, while igarapes are low, typically wooded, plateau and never submerged.) Return to the lodge for lunch. Iwaimiri-Atroari Indian descendants have learned the art of bow and arrow making over many generations and will reveal their techniques to you this afternoon in an interesting and engaging workshop. Learn the preparation and manufacturing of these rudimentary weapons from those who use their acquired skills in their everyday life activities. Test your shooting skills at the end of the workshop to see if you can hit the target. After dinner, enjoy the nighttime sounds of the jungle on your last night at the lodge.
After breakfast visit a snake terrarium. Return to the lodge for lunch and then transfer to the airport for your flight from Manaus to Sao Paulo, from which you will connect with your international flight home.
JOURNEYS International has specialized in ecotourism since 1978. We offer you the best nature tours, safaris, treks, adventure travel, family and cultural trips on earth. Whether you call it an eco vacation, adventure travel, ecotravel, ecotour, sustainable travel or responsible travel, for nearly 30 years we have been creating ecologically sensitive and culturally responsible travel to exotic destinations around the world. Specialty ecotrips include women's tours, Kilimanjaro climbs, exploration cruises, festival trips, student group trips and cross cultural and wildlife safaris. Read more about JOURNEYS International.