WONDERS OF BRAZIL
March 21-28, 2020
Embrace Brazil's diverse culture and natural splendors
This 8-day journey brings you from the buzzing streets of Rio de Janeiro and the colonial history of Paraty to tranquil beaches & fishing villages along pristine coastline as well as indigenous communities in the Atlantic Rainforest. We'll cap off our Brazilian adventure with two full days exploring the incredible Wonder of Nature that is Iguaçu Falls. The panoramic views of over 200 waterfalls dropping powerfully off the jungle edge is only eclipsed by the up close & personal experience when you're soaked with the spray of the 'Devil's Throat'! As we traverse Brazil's incredible destinations, you'll island hop aboard a private boat, trek the coast, sample distinct flavors of traditional cuisine, learn about the complex history and vast array of cultural influences in Brazil, and stand in awe of nature's beauty again and again.
starting at $2995 per person
starting at $2995 per person
7 nights in clean, comfortable and central 3- or 4-star boutique hotels
Transfer from GIG airport in Rio de Janeiro on arrival day
Domestic flight from Sao Paulo to Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport (IGR)
Private ground transport between all destinations
Private boat from Ponta Negra to Laranjeiras
Transfer to Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport (IGR) on departure day
Private walking tour of Paraty
Dinner/cooking demonstration in Paraty
Private boat trip to craft chaçhaca distillery
Ponta Negra Trekking
Fishing with the fisherman from Ponta Negra or walking tour of village
Tour of Quilombo do Campinho
Entry to the Brazilian and Argentinean side of the Iguaçu Falls
Visit to Guarani village
Daily breakfasts at our accommodations
3 dinners and 2 lunches
Visit to our local community partners to learn about indigenous culture and quilombo history + donation to their organizations
Dedicated local guides in each destination
Dedicated Traverse host in Brazil from arrival to departure
Traverse representative assisting you from booking to departure
Small group experience, max 12 people
Day 1: Arrival to Rio de Janeiro
Welcome to Brazil! Upon arrival at Rio de Janeiro–Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG), your driver will transfer you to your boutique hotel in the heart of the city. Settle in & rest up or explore the area with plenty of optional tours and activities available to you if you arrive earlier in the day, or simply wander among the iconic sites and lively streets on foot. Surrounded by stunning mountains, white sandy beaches and tropical rain forest, Rio has one of the most spectacular sceneries and ecosystems of the world so dive in! We recommend adding pre-nights if you’d like to explore more of Rio. Be sure to arrive by 4p in order to join us for our evening Welcome Dinner that will introduce you to Brazil’s spectacular regional cuisine. Get to know your fellow travel mates, your trip host and your local guide, who will brief you on our next week together.
Day 2: Rio de Janeiro - Paraty
After a hearty breakfast to get you going, we’ll be departing Rio’s bustling streets heading south to the Brazilian gem of Paraty. The city of Paraty combines history, culture, pristine nature, beaches and waterfall all in one. After settling in to our colonial-style accommodations situated a 3-minute walk from Paraty historical centre and Pontal Beach, we’ll embark on a private walking tour of this town that’s a UNESCO nominated World Heritage site. Your expert local guide will take you back in time to the Portuguese discovery of Brazil and trace the development of Paraty through the sugar, gold and coffee economic booms. Beautiful colonial architecture, street design ahead of its time, exiled Portuguese royalty and the dark past of the slave trade – these are just some of the ingredients that make up Paraty’s rich and colorful history from the past to the present day. Enjoy free time after your tour to wander through the picturesque streets, or hit the beach!
In the evening, we’ll gather together for a unique dinner + demonstration of local specialties. A local chef will gather the group around the stove to demonstrate how each dish on the menu is made - you can even participate in the preparation! Brazilian cuisine is at a cross road of cultures, reflecting its roots with the combination of native Indian, Portuguese and African influences. Our chef will inspire your culinary senses, while telling stories about each of the culinary traditions.
Meals: B, D
Day 3: Island hopping
Once satiated with breakfast we’ll enjoy a relaxing day aboard our own private boat, stopping at tropical islands and deserted sandy beaches in the bay of Paraty - swimming encouraged! After lunch we stop at the small, independent Maria Izabel cachaça distillery where the rum is still made the traditional way. Maria Izabel is considered one of the best in Brazil and on your tour of the distillery she will reveal her secrets for making fine craft cachaça.
After a tour of the distillery with your English speaking guide there will be time for a cachaça tasting session, before heading back to Paraty by boat.
Meals: B + cachaça tasting
Day 4: Joatinga
After breakfast we’ll depart on a short transfer to Laranjeiras where we’ll lace up our hiking shoes for explorations along the coast. Accessible only by boat or trail, the three hour hike from Laranjeiras to Ponta Negra beach will transport you with its rare beauty. The fine sand beaches (Sono, Antigos, and Antiguinhos, Ponta Negra) open up to pristine blue waters. Our path beside the sea is also bordered by the Atlantic forest, and all the animals and the infinite bromeliads that inhabit this place. For those who’d rather not hike, you may also opt to take a water taxi to Ponta Negra. The arrival at the Ponta Negra beach is breathtaking. Still a traditional fishing village, the community lives a lifestyle in tune with nature. The quiet and under-visited beach envelops a small bay where children play and help their parents fishing. You’ll have free time in the evening and may opt between two restaurants facing the sea for your dinner, where the specialties feature freshly caught fish and seafood (of course!).
Meals: B, L
Day 5: Ponta Negra to são Paulo
The village of Ponta Negra is the initiative of a vast community project that brings together the different villages of the peninsula of Joatinga. These fishing villages and farmers have opened up to ecotourism to enhance their way of life and promote development through this cultural exchange. This morning in Ponta Negra, our local guide welcomes us and introduces us to the village traditions and history. Depending on the weather, you may opt to go fishing (very early in the morning!) with the men of the village who will explain their ancient fishing techniques, perfectly coordinated among fishermen spread out on different boats. In the late morning we will return to Laranjeiras by boat and arrive at Quilombo do Campinho for lunchtime. The Quilombola community Campinho da Independência originates from three black women, ex-slaves of the Casa Grande who received the land from the slaveholder, owner of the Independência farm. During these years the community organized itself socially, keeping the matriarchal system at its core. We’ll enjoy a guided visit through the community, learning the history of the descendants of slaves, their struggle and resistance, their culture and stories, art and gastronomy, while also enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings. Following this enriching experience, we’ll enjoy down time to rest or reflect as day turns to evening during our transfer to Sao Paulo where we’ll overnight before a morning flight.
Meals: B, L
Day 6: Iguaçu Falls - Brazilian Side
A morning flight from Sao Paulo will bring us towards our explorations of the mighty Iguaçu falls. The nearly 300 waterfalls (yes you read that right!) of the Iguaçu River which create Foz do Iguaçu are considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. A World Heritage Site, the National Park and its attractions are so magnificently impressive you truly have to be there to grasp their scope. Upon arrival we have a special treat: a fascinating talk with a specialist and biologist guide from Iguaçu National Park who will endeavor to highlight some of the seemingly infinite array of local flora and fauna found in abundance as well as the importance of this protected area of the Atlantic Rainforest in preserving many unique species.
Following that enlightening talk, it’s time to enjoy the unparalleled landscape that is spread over an area of over 450 acres via an expansive network of lookouts, scenic walkways and hiking paths. There are multiple viewpoints - at the first, the coatis and butterflies will demand equal attention with the stunning view. At the second viewpoint, witness the falls from new angles that will leave you in awe of nature. After traversing the paths you may opt to add-on an adventurous boat ride that will bring you right into the powerful spray of these falls — rainbow sightings practically guaranteed. You’ll be soaked and on a high from the experience by the end, no doubt! After returning from the park this evening you will have free time to dine at your leisure.
Day 7: Iguaçu Falls: argentinian side & Guaraní experience
We’ll rise early for a full day to soak up as much as possible before we depart. After an early breakfast we’ll again surround ourselves in waterfalls and rainforest, this time across the border in Argentina. When we arrive to the park, we’ll embark on a train that leads to two circuits - the Lower, a mile long path of walkways running along the falls; and the Superior, with just under a half-mile of paths and hanging bridges that reveal yet another stunning view of all the falls. Both routes end at the edge of the biggest and most exciting point: the Devil's Throat. Walkways will take you right out in the center of this horseshoe-shaped wall of water where 14 falls fall up to 300 feet. Prepare to be soaked again by the spray and giddy with the thrill!
Once we exit the park we’ll head to another special experience that begins with a one-hour easy hike to a Guaraní community - Brazil's largest indigenous group. Once in the village, you will first be introduced to the head of the community and then the Guaraní will prepare a delicious lunch as you relax amidst the surrounding nature and enjoy the welcoming hospitality while learning about their cultures and traditions.
After returning to our hotel and freshening up it’s time for our Farewell Dinner - a culinary experience of 6 courses prepared by an exclusive chef who will explain how the Brazilian dishes are prepared and even the history of each dish, all accompanied by local music as well. Savor each bite as you enjoy the camaraderie with your group and guides once more.
Meals: B, L
Day 8: Departure
You may depart any time today from Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport (IGR). Check out is at 11:00 and if you depart late you can leave your bags at the hotel before your transfer according to your flight schedule.
You'll be paired with a roommate of your same gender unless you request your own room.
$2995 per person - based on double occupancy
+$495 'My own room' option
+90 Iguaçu Falls Boat Ride
TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Additional meals, excursions and activities not listed
Alcohol, unless specified
Required travel insurance
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