Overview & Highlights
On our Covid-conscious Trailblazer holiday we step beyond the beach to visit Brazil’s backcountry including the remote, former diamond lands of the Chapada Diamantina and the Pantanal where, far from the madding crowd, you’re more likely to run into a solitary cowboy, caiman or capybara.
- Wildlife spotting from Pantanal lodge
- Full Day highlights tour of the Chapada Diamantina
- City tour of Brasilia
While Brazil’s popular image revolves around its vibrant cities, Carnival atmosphere and beach culture, much of the country’s interior is worlds away, wild and empty. Delve deep inside Bahia state to the Chapada Diamantina mountains, a primeval landscape of table mountains, caves and waterfalls, with chances to go walking and glimpse backcountry life. Onwards to an isolated lodge in the tropical wetlands of the Pantanal for immersion in one of the world’s most important wildlife refuges, where you’ll be accompanied by an expert guide and spotter. Brazil’s cities and beaches by no means shunned. We drop in on Unesco-listed capital Brasilia, emerging from the bush as possibly the world’s most designed - and spacious - capital city. Praia do Forte’s deserted palm-fringed sands stretch for miles and yet are close enough for a visit to colonial Salvador. Finally, Rio’s iconic views are within day-tripping distance of the last stop, Barra da Tijuca.
Arrive Salvador and transfer to the beach at Praia do Forte
Relax at Praia do Forte; optional whale watching (Jul-Sep)
Relax at Praia do Forte; optional visit to Salvador
By road to Lençóis in the Chapada Diamantina
Full day highlights tour of the Chapada Diamantina
At leisure in Lençóis; optional walking in the Capao Valley and Fumaça Falls
At leisure in Lençóis, with a range of optional excursions
Return to Salvador and fly to Brasilia (2hrs)
Fly to Cuiabá (2hrs) and transfer to lodge in the Pantanal
Wildlife spotting from your lodge in the Pantanal
Transfer to Cuiabá and fly to Rio de Janeiro, transfer to Barra da Tijuca
Full day at leisure in Barra da Tijuca
Catch your international flight home from Rio de Janeiro
Things to do
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What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
This is our 3rd trip with JLA and we look forward to our 4th. The best place to start planning holiday in South America, incredible wealth of knowledge and experience.LG, Richmond
"I was particularly impressed with the scenery in Bolivia. I had expected the salt flats but the rest of the country was a real bonus. On the optional excursions, I particularly enjoyed Chacaltaya and the star gazing in San Pedro."GP, Northwich
Lived up to my expectations of seeing 3 countries in one holiday.PM, Arundel
An extremely memorable trip, well organised, with knowledgeable and passionate guides. I'm so lucky to have had this great experience and not to have had the worry of organising it!JB, Bristol
On our fifth trip with JLA we have always found the organisation to be excellent and reliable. Its good to have knowledgeable tour leaders and to stay in individual style hotels where appropriate.CS, Lymington
Most memorable experience: “Many on this journey, however main ones include :- Both the optional visits / flights - over Angel Falls & day excursion /flight to Kaieteur Falls . Time at Rock View Lodge & seeing the Coq of the Roq in the forest on the journey to Atta Lodge. The catamaran visit to Iles du Salut. Also enjoyed the atmosphere while wandering around Paramaribo.”SN, Belper
Impossible! Without exception every part of the trip was memorable and as the holiday progressed we ran out of superlatives to describe it!
This was an extremely well thought out and planned trip which gave us an excellent introduction to the 3 countries and left us impatient to return. It was a great mix of the iconic sights and less visited places of natural beauty. The group we were with were great, the tour leader was outstanding - and we really find it hard to recommend improvements.
This trip was our introduction to Latin America and it greatly exceeded our expectations. A varied and well organised trip which gave us a real feel for the countries we visited, with an outstanding tour leader. The holiday left us wanting to return to explore other parts of the continent and we would certainly travel with JLA again.
Experiencing an interesting mix of Colombian landscapes and wildlife and getting a real feel of the country and its people. Particularly liked Mompos and the Magdelena river and seeing the wax palms in the Valle de Cocora.JB. Gosport
The overall Pato Andino experience was truly fantastic, the sheer number of breath taking sights to marvel at was incredible. Too many [memorable moments] to list but if I had to name one then seeing Laguna Blanca as it was the first breath taking sight of the trip for me and it wasn't just the altitude.AB, Chesterfield
"This holiday far exceeded our expectations and was truly a once in a lifetime experience!"CD, Plymouth
This is my third trip with JLA after a gap of 7 years - and they continue to deliver! A great trip and I cannot wait to go back. Excellent local knowledge, sensitive to local customs and cultures; my only complaint is that it went too quickly!SV, Dundee
This was my first tour with JLA, and I would certainly have it as my first choice for tours in South America in the future.
The two journeys from Cajamarca to Leymebamba and Arequipa to Chivay had such spectacular scenery.MK, Hassocks
We cannot pick out one most memorable part of our trip as every day provided us with a new and exciting experience. We saw and experienced things we had only dreamed of, some of which had been in our dreams for over 48 years.TC, Hayle
I would highly recommend this tour. The itinerary was very well chosen and we felt we saw as much as we could hope for in the time provided. The tour leader was highly professional and experienced, had excellent knowledge of the countries we visited and was available 24/7 for anything we needed. The local guides were excellent too and each gave us a special insight into the area we were visiting.MC, Australia
The overall experience was friendly and efficient, seeing the most amazing places from high up in the desert to the wilds of Patagonia.CB, Beckenham
This was the first time I travelled with JLA and I have been impressed with the quality of personal service and enjoyed the itinerary very much.PM, Wirral
The trip of a lifetime. It was a great privilege to be able to visit somewhere as unique as The Galapagos.
There are two things that we most appreciate about the tours organised by JLA, one is the restricted size of the groups and the other is the quality of the leaders.AF, Alderley Edge
Machu Picchu. What a privilege to go to such a stunning place. It was a little too busy in the morning, but walking part of the Inca Trail to the Sun Gate in the afternoon, when it had quietened down was an experience I will never forget. The train from Puno to Cusco was also something very special. In fact, most of the trip was just amazing. Well organised and we saw so much that would probably have been impossible as a solo traveller.RW, Holmfirth
Seeing the people on the Uros islands demonstrate how they cook, the amazing Iguassu Falls, seeing a toucan close up (at Iguassu), all the different Inca sites, seeing the traditional dress and witches market in La Paz, the herbal drinks being explained in Asuncion, sunset on sugarloaf mountain and chilling out on Ilha grande.PW, Leatherhead
Everything was memorable, Chilean landscapes are so different...Patagonia (Torres del Paine) was my favourite because it's just stunning. Valparaiso: wonderful colourful city, Atacama Desert: incredible landscapes, and so varied from one another, Lake District: superb. Seeing so much wildlife was fantastic (penguins, vicunas, guanacos...). And great food too - fish is amazing.EG, Hove
So many memorable moments on this tour but watching the sunset and enjoying the independence day parades in Cartegena were particularly special and playing the traditional Colombian game of tejo was great fun.HP, Richmond
The bright colours of the towns and cities, buildings, fruit and vegetables, flowers and trees!CS, Guildford
This tour was perfect for first time travellers to the area. It was extremely well organised and the itinerary was well planned with a nice flow of events and very diverse experiences. We were amazed at all the wonderful sites, hikes and activities we had on this tour and will remember it for a lifetime.KP, USA
"The holiday was wide-ranging, expertly organised and allowed us time to go 'off-tour' and enjoy the locations independently which I appreciated, given the swift nature of the journey."MB, London
We have toured the USA, Europe and China before but the experience we had with JLA was the by far and away the best we've ever had!PD, Stockport
We were extremely satisfied with our Sandpiper Journey which provided us with a broad view of the Countries visited and the cultures, history, wild life etc. All in all, a great experience and a wonderful holiday.PH, Farnham
As a first taste of South America with limited annual leave, you couldn't fault this two week itinerary for the amount of ground it covered. It has given me a real appetite to spend more time in Argentina and Chile - I feel like we literally scratched the surface of what these incredible countries have to offer - and I would definitely like to go back and spend more time exploring these two in particular. Our experience of travelling with a JLA guide was absolutely amazing - I would always recommend this.ES, Redhill
Everything went smoothly, the flights were good as were the transfer vehicles. The bus to Puerto Natales was fine as were the minibuses for longer trips. I enjoyed the boat trips and the I really liked the zodiac trip on the Rio Serrano.PM, Wirral
We knew from the itinarary that alot of travelling would be involved. Given the amount we saw it was well worth time spent in the bus. We compared this itinerary to several other adventure travel companies, and this was by far the most comprehensive. We have had alot of good tour leaders over the years, but we have never one so generous with his time. Max was always happy to take us anywhere we wanted to go -from an ATM to a 3 hour walking tour.JN, Peterborough
“Having previously travelled to Patagonia on a Classic tour we knew what the standards are and didn't consider anyone else. Our confidence was fully justified.”IJB, Birmingham
As the world begins to open up again, we have put together a selection of covid-conscious itineraries specifically designed for travels in these times. Our Trailblazer Brazil holiday stays in carefully selected locations that avoid the crowds, allowing you to see the highlights whilst always staying within your comfort zone.
David Nichols - Product & Marketing
With an affinity for the wild, wide open spaces of South America's far reaches, David has been with us since the early 90s and bolsters our Product department with his exceptional ground knowledge.
Inspired by this trip
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.