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Honeymoon in Brazil: Rhythms of Rio, Salvador and the Iguazu Falls

15 days from £4026pp

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Honeymoon in Brazil: Rhythms of Rio, Salvador and the Iguazu Falls

15 days from £4026pp

Private Journey


Day 1

Arrive in Rio de Janeiro. Transfer to hotel on Copacabana beach.

Transfer to your hotel on the seafront of Copacabana beach. Rio is the most romantic, intriguing and beautiful city on the continent. Sumptuous apartments overlook the sparkling bays against the backdrop of half-built slum dwellings, favelas, which cling precariously to the hillsides. But everywhere the city is being spruced up in time for the World Cup and Olympic Games. Rio has an awesome bay-side location among near-vertical granite mountains. Here, tropical foliage swoops down to white-to-toffee coloured sandy beaches, in turn battered by the huge waves of Atlantic surf.

Romantic Rio

Day 2

Excursion by cable car up Sugar Loaf mountain.

Visit the world-renowned, hump-backed Sugarloaf mountain, located between the city centre and Copacabana beach in the picturesque bay-side quarter of Urca. Its peak is reached by a spectacular cable-car journey (made in two sections), and has breath-taking views over Copacabana beach,  the pinnacle of Corcovado mountain with the illuminated Christ figure on top, the sapphire waters of Guanabara Bay and the lush forested mountains beyond. These are especially magical against a tangerine sunset when the twinkling lights of the city are coming on.

Day 3

Day at leisure followed by a Samba show experience.

At leisure during the day. Within a short taxi ride from your hotel are the pleasant botanical gardens and the arty, historic district of Santa Teresa in Rio’s colonial heart.

No trip to Brazil is complete without a samba experience and this evening you'll get to see the Cariocas in action at a samba dance show in the city.

Copacabana at dusk, Rio de Janeiro

Day 4

Fly to Iguazú falls.
Transfer to the airport for the 2-hour flight to Foz do Iguaçú in the southeast of the country, on the border with Argentina and Paraguay. You’ll be driven to the Hotel das Cataratas, the only property in the sub-tropical national park in which the Iguazú Falls are situated. A mock-colonial building which was once a museum, it’s a very elegant hotel, beautifully restored, sitting a short stroll from the falls themselves.

Here there’s a broad panoramic view of these colossal falls, and there are some excellent opportunities to photograph the full sweep of the water. Being based at Das Cataratas offers wonderful opportunities to explore the walkways solitude once the national park has closed. You might even have them to yourselves.

The Iguazú Falls are unquestionably one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena in the world. A total of 275 falls thunder over a 60m high rust-coloured cliff surrounded by dense tropical forest. The U-shaped Devil’s Throat is the most dramatic sight, here the frothing water of the Iguazú river crashes over a 1.5 km-wide precipice and columns of vapour are thrown skyward. Elsewhere the river flows decorously through the rainforest breaking up into dozens of smaller cascades. You can usually spot toucans and many other exotic birds perched in the foliage above the tumultuous waters.

Iguazú Falls

Day 5

Boat safari to the foot of Iguazú falls.

Macuco Safari. You'll join an open safari truck for a 20min ride through lush sub-tropical forest - where orchids, bromeliads, tropical birds and lizards may be seen - to the start of the Macuco Trail. Next, a 600m guided walk down into the Iguazú Canyon, formed over millions of years through erosion by the receding waterfalls. Upon reaching the banks of the river, the real fun begins: a 20-30 minute ride in open boats up the canyon towards the base of the falls. Ahead and above is the main cataract of the Devil's Throat, and the dozens of smaller falls as they cascade over the precipice. It can be a thrilling ride along the rapids and up-close to some of the more benign waterfalls: prepare to get very wet indeed!

Macuco Safari Iguazú

Day 6

Explore Argentine side of Iguazú falls.

Private guided tour of the Argentine side of the falls.A little natural gas-powered train transfers you to Cataratas station where the Upper Walk begins. This sequence of causeways and passarelles links dozens of tiny basalt islands at the top of the sheer rock face, and the walkways cross the myriad of streams as they cascade over the lip of the precipice. The train then continues across the river to the thunderous Garganta del Diablo, the Devil’s Throat. From this spectacular vantage point you can feel the incredible power of the water as it plummets into the vortex below.

Upper walk

Day 7

Fly to Salvador.
Transfer to the airport and fly to Salvador da Bahía in the northeast. The city of Salvador is the most exotic in the country, where the influence of Portuguese colonial architecture and culture blends with the African traditions imported by the slaves brought in to work on the plantations.

Your hotel is right in the middle of the action with numerous bars, shops and restaurants nearby and if you're here on a Tuesday or over the weekend don't be surprised to encounter spontaneous eruptions of music or drumming seemingly at every turn. The local cuisine is very much a product of the region and its cultural mélange: you can try out any number of dishes at the many eateries in town.

Salvador da Bahía and the Chapada Diamantina

Day 8

At leisure to explore Salvador.
On your hotel doorstep is a compact core of staggering architectural riches making Salvador an ideal city to explore on foot. The Portuguese built the country’s first colonial capital here and their pastel-hued masterpiece was arguably never exceeded in Brazil. Once the site of slavers’ markets, the cobblestone squares of the historic Pelourinho district now resound with vibrant African drumming and capoeira displays. You have the whole day at leisure to explore.

Day 9

A day out in Cachoeira.

Two hours from Salvador, Cachoeira is a colonial town and national historic monument that in its heyday was a thriving river port, but is now a sleepy and unpretentious place full of atmospheric, crumbling colonial buildings.

Cachoeira is wonderfully photogenic and runs at an entirely different tempo to Salvador: to explore its tumbledown streets during the quiet middle of the day can feel like you are strolling into an open-air film set. Return to Salvador in the afternoon. For evening entertainment, we can organise tickets to the renowned Bale Folclorico da Bahia: their shows at the Teatro Miguel Santana represent an authentic interpretation of Bahian folklore through Afro-Bahian colours and rhythms.

Day 10

Fly to Natal, transfer to beach Praia da Pipa.

Transfer to airport for a flight to Natal, continue by road to the beach at Praia de Pipa. The village of Pipa flourished in the 1980s when it was adopted by surfers. But you don’t need to ride the waves to enjoy it: the golden sands (widely acknowledged as among the top ten beaches of Brazil) are defined by huge coconut plantations, cliffs covered in Atlantic forest, sand dunes and hidden coves where dolphins frolic in the ocean.

Praia da Pipa

Days 11-14

At leisure on the beach.

At leisure in friendly Pipa. You can explore the ecological sanctuary (dolphins, turtles and monkeys are visitors here) which is accessible by boat or canoe, beach buggy, on horseback, or on foot. It’s a young people's place, with a particularly energetic nightlife which attracts an international clientèle. That said the entertainment has a delicious Brazilian flavour influenced by the famous forró dance and folk music of the northeast.

Day 15

Transfer to airport

15 days from £4026pp

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