Fly to Manaus (not included in holiday price on pre-trip extension), the Brazilian gateway of the Amazon. You’ll be transferred to your hotel before embarking on a city tour that will reveal the wealth of the city’s former rubber barons. Visit the grand Palacio Rio Negro with its displays reflecting traditional Amazonian culture, then discover the floating harbour and nearby Customs House. Admire the metallic architecture of the vibrant Mercado Municipal, based on the Les Halles marketplace in Paris and see the Renaissance opera house, constructed during the city’s golden age.
We journey upstream today to see first-hand the tremendous 'Meeting of the Waters'. Watch how the dark waters of the Rio Negro merge with the sandy brown water of the Solimões and then flows eastward to the Atlantic. After lunch, consider joining an optional canoe trip down a smaller tributary and try your hand at piranha fishing, or simply immerse yourself in your jungle surrounds. Later, we transfer to our lodge on the banks of the Rio Taruma.
Walk beneath the towering canopy of the world’s largest rainforest – the life-source of Planet Earth and an area of exceptional biodiversity. We’ll embark on a guided walk this morning with our Local Specialist, keeping a keen eye out for shy capybara or the giant coils of the anaconda as it naps on the branches of a tree. Connect With Locals as you immerse yourself in the culture, rituals and heritage of the native Amazonians gaining first-hand insight into their day-to-day lives, then return to your lodge for dinner against the backdrop of cicadas, bulldog bats and Screaming Piha, the signature sound of the Amazon.
Visit Monkey Forest, a rehabilitation centre and wildlife refuge, as your MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Then return to Manaus Airport as your Amazon experience comes to an end. Fly to Rio de Janeiro and meet a local host who will take you to your hotel where you’ll enjoy superb ocean views of Copacabana beach and its beautiful people, just minutes from downtown Rio. This evening, we enjoy a festive Welcome Reception with our Travel Director and fellow travellers.
The rhythm of Rio is yours to explore this morning. Join your Local Specialist to delve into the captivating contrasts of Brazil’s cidade maravilhosa (marvellous city). See the 18th-century Carioca Aqueduct, colonial Candelaria Church, and the home of the Rio Carnival, the Sambodromo. Journey high above Guanabara Bay and summit Sugarloaf Mountain via cable car for a 'pinch me moment' of inspiring bay and city views. Spend the evening at leisure.
Hands outstretched, the iconic Christ the Redeemer welcomes you to the hunched outcrop of Corcovado, sharing his impressive panoramic view of a city that loves to celebrate. This afternoon, soak in the shores of Copacabana and Ipanema. Kick back and watch tanned sun-worshippers playing volleyball and sip a caipirinha or two, which you’ll learn to mix this evening, followed by a sizzling barbecue at a local churrascaria Regional Dinner. Bom proveito!
Spend your lazy moments in Rio soaking up the laid-back carioca life before you Connect With Locals at a local Samba School to see their preparations for Carnival Week. You’ll learn how to sway those hips to the tunes of Mais que nada and The Girl from Ipanema during your visit. From the intoxicating beat of Rio to the thundering roar of Iguassu, we fly to the magnificent falls that straddle the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. This evening, we’ll enjoy dinner together, pondering Rio’s party vibe and the inspiring force of nature nearby.
The tropical jungle and waterfall landscapes of the UNESCO-listed Iguassu National Park provide sanctuary for rare wildlife, bird and plant species, which share their home with us today as we explore the Brazilian side of the falls with a Local Specialist. We’ll walk through the rainforest to the base of the falls before indulging in lunch at a local restaurant against the impressive backdrop of the falls. Spend the afternoon at your resort relaxing or join one of our optional experiences, including a jetboat ride (WAIVER REQUIRED) to the base of the falls or a visit to a tropical bird reserve, home to more than 500 species of birds.
Crossing the Argentinian border, we join our Local Specialist for a walk along the long catwalk suspended above the swirling waters of the Iguassu River. View the chaotic crush of water pouring down Devil’s Throat Falls, then board an open-air ecological jungle train for a different perspective of the mighty cascades. Our Iguassu adventure at its end, we’ll board a flight to Buenos Aires, South America’s most stylish city and home to the melancholic Tango.
Our day together is spent on a paseo with a Local Specialist. We’ll walk through the wide boulevards of this beautiful capital admiring the spirit of a city whose European and Latin American influences can be seen around every turn. This evening, we linger over a delicious Regional Dinner and Dive Into Culture watching the passionate, fiery and precise steps of some of Buenos Aires’ most talented Tango dancers.
Get under the skin of Buenos Aires today - a full day to pursue your own interests in the 'Paris of South America'. Delve into the treasures of artisan markets and the patio shops of rustic colonial buildings in San Telmo or enjoy delicious dulce de leche ice-cream at the famous Café Tortoni. Feeling adventurous? Consider an optional trip into the countryside to a traditional estancia (ranch) - a unique opportunity to share a drink with the local gauchos (cowboys) and learn about their lives. Admire their consummate horsemanship during a lively equestrian show before sitting down to a traditional parrillada (barbecue) lunch. Tonight, we Connect With Locals, joining a local family in Palermo Soho for a Be My Guest experience with a Farewell Dinner of delicious family dishes paired with local wine. Learn the secrets of kneading country bread and see how typical Argentinian crafts are made.
Our South America adventure comes to an end this morning. Say a fond hasta luego to Buenos Aires and newfound friends, transferring to the airport for your flight home or choose to extend your stay.