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Brazil & Amazon Explorer

This trip is perhaps the best kept secret of our South American offerings and is (we believe) offered by no other operator. It is an extraordinary journey from Rio, across the heart of Brazil and into the Amazon Jungles of Brazil and Peru. It then climbs through pristine cloud forests, up into the Andes and onto the Peruvian Altiplano, before finishing in the beautiful Urubamba Valley and the heartland of the Inca Empire, Cusco.

En route, there is trekking in the beautiful Brazilian table top mountains of Chapada dos Guimaraes, Amazon jungle trips, time to explore the wonderful wetlands of the Pantanals to hopefully find a jaguar and the opportunity to visit unique local communities on Amazon tributaries.

For lovers of culture and history, this trip has two of the great highlights of South America, Rio de Janeiro and the incredible Machu Picchu. But it also has a hidden historic secret, a visit to Brazil’s Brutalist architectural capital city, Brazilia.

  • Duration: 25 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Supplier Tour ID: ZRC1/158254
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Finishes: Cuzco, Peru
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Rio De Janeiro
  • Ouro Preto
  • Brasília
  • Barra Do Garças
  • Chapada Dos Guimarães
  • Northern Pantanal
  • Vila Bela da Santíssima Trindade
  • Rondônia State
  • Rio Branco
  • Peruvian Amazon
  • Puerto Maldonado
  • Quince Mil
  • Cuzco



Day 1: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely enter Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Gale o International Airport (IATA code: RIO/GIG).

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Rio de Janeiro before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Rio de Janeiro.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the Flamengo region of the city.


Day 2-3: Ouro Preto

Today we have a full day's drive inland to the beautiful colonial mining town of Ouro Preto. En route we will stop at the village of Congonhas to see the famous 'Twelve Prophets' statues built by the local sculptor Aleijandinho.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day we will have free time to explore the town, and discover its cobblestone streets and stunning Baroque churches. We can also make an optional trip to one of the fascinating mines in and around town.

In Ouro Preto we will stay in dorm accommodation in a hostel.


Day 4-5: Brasília

Today we will have an early start for a full day's drive to Bras lia, the country's unique capital.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

On the following day, we will explore the city's fascinating architecture on a guided tour. Designed by L cio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer in the 1950s, the city was a landmark in the history of city planning - it is a very bizarre and interesting place to explore, quite unlike anywhere else in South America.

In Brasilia we will stay in a Hostel in dorm rooms.


Day 6: Barra Do Garças

Today we set off west towards Chapada dos Guimar es, a stunning overland journey of almost 1000km in total.

Tonight we will camp near the Agua Santa Thermas in the grounds of a basic hotel by the river. The should be time for a dip in the thermal pools.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.


Day 7-8: Chapada Dos Guimarães

Today we complete our drive to Chapada dos Guimar es, and set up our camp for the next 2 days.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hour .

We will then have a free day within the park for hiking and simply relaxing around the stunning landscapes of Chapada dos Guimar es.

We an option to do a popular waterfall trail, visiting natural pools and incredible viewpoints along the way - the highlight is the V u de Noivas ('Bridal Veil') waterfall, one of the postcard views of the Chapada or hike around the Rio Claro valley and visit the Cidade de Pedra look-out point.

In Chapada dos Guimar es, we will camp in a well equipped campsite.


Day 9-10: Northern Pantanal

Today we will have an early start from Chapada dos Guimar es and drive to Pocon , the gateway to the northern Pantanal region. From here we will start our trip along the Transpantaneira road, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife along the way.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

Whilst in the Pantanal, we will explore the flora and fauna of these vast wetlands on foot, in boats and our overland vehicle. We will be in search of the area's incredible array of wildlife on a flexible itinerary with our expert local guides.

In the Pantanal, we will stay in lodges with all the food included.


Day 11: Vila Bela da Santíssima Trindade

After breakfast we will leave the Pantanal and have a full day's drive to the village of Vila Bela da Sant ssima Trinidade.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

On the following day we will have morning to explore the village or to go on a boat trip on the Guapor River in search of wildlife and bird-life including capybara, anacondas, and most impressive of all the pink dolphins in the river.

In Vila Bela da Sant ssima Trinidade we will camp in a well equipped campsite.


Day 12-13: Rondônia State

After some free time this morning to enjoy the atmosphere of the village and a paddle on the river we will have lunch and then begin our overlanding journey through the Rondonia State.

Approximate drive time: 5hrs

We will aim to stay in a basic hotel in the small town of Comodoro.

On Day 13 we will continue our journey north, overnighting at a campsite with basic facilities near the town of Cacoal. If we are lucky we may be able to take a dip in the pool at Cacoal water park.

Approximate drive time: 5hrs


Day 14-15: Rondônia State

Today we have a half day drive towards the town of Cacaulandia, we will aim to stay at a local Pousada in basic lodges in the jungle. From here we will have time to enjoy the flora and fauna of the jungle, go for nature walks, bird spotting and just put our feet up and relax after a few days of travelling.

Approximate Drive Time: 4hrs

We will sleep in basic lodges.

On Day 15, we will continue our journey north to a Jungle lodge by the river, close to the the city of Porto Velho. This is a popular getaway spot for the locals. There are lots of activities available here such as riding, zip lining, water sports and the setting is just beautiful.

Approximate Drive time: 4hrs

We will camp in the ground of the Jungle lodge, with facilities. Upgrades available.


Day 16-17: Rio Branco

Today we will journey back into civilisation, arriving in the city of Rio Branco after a full days drive. We will spend 2 nights here to give us time to unwind and explore.

Approximate drive time: 9hrs

In Rio Branco we will stay in a comfortable Hotel


Day 18: Peruvian Amazon

Border information: exit Brazil at Assis, enter Peru at I apari.

Today we cross from Brazil over the Rio Acre and enter Peru. Once through border formalities, we drive on to Puerto Maldonado, the base of our upcoming expedition into the Peruvian Amazon.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

In Puerto Maldonado we will stay in a small locally-run hotel.


Day 19-21: Peruvian Amazon

Today we will head 20kms from Puerto Maldonado to the Tambopata River port, where we will take a 45-minute boat transfer to our jungle lodge in the Peruvian Amazon where we will stay for the next 3 nights.

During our time here, we will enjoy a full schedule of activities to explore the phenomenal Amazon region of Peru. This will include a walk to the scaffolding canopy tower where you can enjoy spectacular views of the forest and the Tambopata River, a visit to the Tres Chimbadas Lake to look for the resident family of giant river otters and other lakeside wildlife, and an ethnobotanical tour to learn about the traditional ways of using plants as medicines. At night there's also an option of going for a hike in the forest, a time when most mammals are active but rarely seen so expect to use your ears more than your eyes! One of the mornings we will visit a 'Parrot Clay Lick', where if it's a clear morning you have the chance to see dozens of parrots and parakeets descend to ingest the clay on a river bank. We will also go on a guided hike in the forest, learning about the natural history of the rainforest, and visit one of the farms in the community of Infierno and learn about the different Amazonian crops grown here.

In the Peruvian Amazon we will stay in a jungle lodge, with all meals included.


Day 22: Quince Mil

This morning we depart Posada Amazonas and drive onwards towards the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco. We will break the journey in the town of Quince Mil, just before we head up into the mighty Andes.

In Quince Mil we will stay in a simple local farmstead guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.


Day 23-24: Cuzco

Today we will complete our drive to the lovely colonial town of Cuzco, once the centre of the Inca Empire.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

On Day 24 we will get up early and head out on what could possibly be the highlight of the whole trip, a visit to Machu Picchu. We will transfer to the train station at Ollantaytambo and catch the Expedition Train. The 2 hour train ride is world renowned for its beauty, weaving you through various micro-climates along the gorgeous route to Aguas Calientes.

At Aguas Calientes you will meet your local guide who will take you on a 30 minute bus journey up the mountainside to the gateway to Machu Pichhu, 'the Lost City of the Incas', here you will have a guided tour, followed by some free time to explore the ruins, or perhaps take a walk up to the sungate. Afterwards you will take the bus back to Aguas Calientas, where you will catch the train for Ollantaytambo and finally transfer back to your hotel in Cuzco, arriving exhausted but hopefully very happy!

In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel in the historical centre.


Day 25: Cuzco

Border information: if you are finishing in Cuzco, you will most likely exit Peru at Cuzco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (IATA code: CUZ).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Cuzco. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

    • Visit the village of Congonhas near Ouro Preto and see the remarkable statues of the Twelve Prophets by Aleijadinho, an accomplished sculptor who worked depsite losing his hands to leprosy
    • Full day guided tour of Brasilia
    • Enjoy an incredible 2-night stay in the heart of Brazil's Northern Pantanal wetlands, including a full package of boat trips, 4x4 safaris and walks through this idyllic wildlife haven
    • Head out on a fantastic 3-night stay deep in the Peruvian Amazon, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet - here we will embark on a full package of educational rainforest walks, wildlife spotting, boat trips, and visits to the remote communities of the area
    • Guided visit to Machu Picchu
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    • 30% Camping - 70% Hotels
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