2 domestic flights; 8 scenic road journeys (longest 7hrs).
This holiday uses a mix of modern, efficient business-style hotels in cities and pousadas (homely, good quality guest houses) in the more remote locations.
Breakfast daily, lunch days 12, 13, dinner days 4, 10, 11, full board days 5, 6.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise.
- Pantanal: Wildlife spotting safaris from the lodge.
- São Luis: Guided city tour.
- Lençois Maranhenses: 4WD excursions in the far north.
Summary of nights
15 days, 14 nights: Rio 2; Campo Grande 1; Pantanal 3; Campo Grande 1; São Luis 2; Barreirinhas 1; Cabure 1; Parnaiba 1; Jericoacoara 2.
Included in the journey price
- Services of our team of experts in our London office.
- Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
- All land, river and air transport within Latin America.
- Accommodation as specified.
- Meals as specified.
- Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
• International flights to Latin America.
• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Fernando de Noronha daily island tax and Marine Park fees (see below).
• Optional excursions.
Fernando de Noronha fees:
Visitor numbers to the island are controlled in order to protect its fragile ecosystem. As a visitor, you need to pay the environmental fee (known as the Daily Island Tax) in Brazilian Reais (R$) cash at the airport upon arrival. It costs roughly US$18 / £12 per person per day and you must keep your receipt for when you leave the island. An additional National Marine Park entrance fee is also payable. This additional fee can be settled online in advance at www.paranoronha.com.br (the website is in Portuguese but the process is straightforward). The fee is approx US$50 / GBP35 per person and valid for 10 days. You should print your voucher and take it with you. You may also pay the National Marine Park fee locally in cash at several marine park kiosks on the island using Brazilian currency. These are located in Alameda Boldro and at some beaches (Baia do Sancho, Baia do Sueste and Baia dos Golfinhos).
The unit of currency in Brazil is the ‘real’ (plural reais).
A budget of around US$40-70 per day should cover the cost of meals, drinks, local transport, tips and the odd souvenir. Prices of meals and drinks in standard restaurants are more or less the same as in Britain, perhaps a bit cheaper.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and even small towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques, though these are gradually falling out of use (American Express are the most widely accepted). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.
Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier
Travel insurance is essential.
Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
There are some long days spent travelling (including a number of internal flights) and the heat can be tiring. The holiday is suitable for all reasonably fit people, including families. If you have a disability requiring special attention please enquire.
In tropical Rio and the Pantanal, December to March are the hottest and most humid months, with temperatures sometimes reaching 40°C, and rain which falls in heavy tropical showers. From June to September, temperatures are more moderate (18-23°C) and there is plenty of sunshine, but cold fronts can usher in chilly nights and, in Rio, periods of up to several days of cloud and drizzle.
São Luís can be visited all year round. The best time to visit Lençóis Maranhenses is July - September, after the rains which fall from January to June but before the lakes dry up. There’s an almost constant breeze but the sun is very strong.
Clothing and special equipment
For day-to-day wear you should take loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Comfortable shoes are important and sandals are useful. A sun hat, sunblock and sunglasses are necessary, and you should take a light fleece for cool nights and a Gore-Tex layer, as well as swimwear, insect repellent and an umbrella or rainproof jacket. You might like to bring binoculars for wildlife spotting in the Pantanal.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; yellow fever; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on malaria tablets.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.