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Uruguay, Pantanal & the Falls with Carnival

This 28 day overland tour journeys from Buenos Aires to Rio De Janeiro through Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay

  • Duration: 28 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Supplier Tour ID: JBUR1/209044
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Finishes: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Buenos Aires
  • Colonia
  • Montevideo
  • Tacuarembó
  • Yapeyú
  • Foz do Iguaçu
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Bonito
  • Southern Pantanal
  • Campo Grande
  • Brotas
  • Paraty
  • Ilha Grande
  • Rio De Janeiro

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Buenos Aires

Border information: if you are joining in Buenos Aires, you will most likely enter Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code: BUE/EZE).

Welcome to Buenos Aires, the wonderful capital of Argentina! 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.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

02

Day 2: Buenos Aires

Today will be a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

03

Day 3: Colonia

This morning we will hop on a ferry to Uruguay and head to Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest and most picturesque towns in Uruguay and a Unesco World Heritage site. The afternoon is free to explore the charming narrow cobbled streets of the Barrio Hist rico and the pretty riverfront.

Our truck will relocate by road and catch us up in the afternoon.

In Colonia we will stay in a lovely hotel.

04

Day 4: Montevideo

Today we will head north to the Uruguayan capital Montevideo. We will have the afternoon to explore Montevideo. The city has a mix of historical buildings and modern architecture and a main feature of the city is the Rambla (waterfront promenade) where locals frequently go for a stroll to drink their mate. Mate is the traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink sipped through a straw, particularly popular in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile.

Estimated Drive Time - 2 hours.

In Montevideo we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

05

Day 5-6: Tacuarembó

Today we will head to the Tacuaremb area - the traditional gaucho land of Uruguay. We will spend 2 nights in an authentic estancia to learn about the gaucho way of living. We will have a chance to learn how to prepare typical food from the area (and of course taste it!) and also enjoy some traditional music.

In Tacuaremb we will camp in the grounds of an estancia.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.

06

Day 7: Yapeyú

Today we have a half day drive north though the provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes, aiming to reach Yapey on the banks of the River Uruguay. Yapey is very famous amongst Argentines for being the birthplace of their national hero General Jose de San Martin, one of the liberators of South America from Spanish colonial rule.

In Yapey we will stay in a municipal campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours

07

Day 8: Foz do Iguaçu

Border information: Exit Argentina at Tancredo Neves, enter Brazil at Tancredo Neves.

Today we cross the border into Brazil and drive to the city of Foz do Iguacu.

In Foz do Iguacu we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

08

Day 9: Iguazu Falls

Today we will visit the Brazilian side of the phenomenal Iguazu Falls, to get some incredible panoramic vistas of the mighty waterfalls. There is also plenty of time to visit the bird park, take a helicopter ride over the falls, see the incredible Itaipu Dam, or quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearcy Ciudad del Este.

09

Day 10: Foz do Iguaçu

Today we will take a day trip back into Argentina to see the incredible Iguazu Falls from the other side. This is well worth doing as the views are even more spectacular, and you'll be able to look right down into the mighty Garganta del Diablo (the largest waterfall here) from a gantry walkway viewing point). We will have a full day at the Argentine side of the falls, allowing us lots of time to freely explore the site, hike some nature trails, or perhaps take an exhilarating (and very wet) boat ride!

We will return to our base in Foz do Iguacu tonight.

10

Day 11: Bonito

Today we have a full drive day north to the Brazilian eco-tourism capital of Bonito.

In Bonito we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel with a pool and good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

11

Day 12: Bonito

We have a full day in Bonito to take part in some of the incredible optional activities here. You could go out on a world-class snorkelling trip, explore the nearby caves, or go abseiling down some of the largest waterfalls in the area, amongst many other possibilities!

12

Day 13-14: Southern Pantanal

Today we have a short drive to Brazil's amazing Southern Pantanal region, where we have a visit a local eco-tourism ranch (or 'fazenda').

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

We will spend 2 nights here and have a comprehensive package of included activities such as exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside on horseback, trips down the wildlife-abundant rivers in boats and canoes, and safaris on the ranch's trucks and on foot where we hope to spot capybaras, caimans, and (if we are very lucky) jaguars and ocelots. Our stay here is an incredible highlight!

In the Southern Pantanal we will stay in dorm accommodation in a well equipped lodge with all the meals and activities included.

13

Day 15: Southern Pantanal

After our morning activities and one final lunch in our beautiful ranch, it is time to leave the Pantanal. We will start driving east towards Sao Paulo state, and wild camp towards the end of the day.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

14

Day 16: Brotas

Today we will drive to the remote town of Brotas in southeastern Brazil.

In Brotas we will stay at a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

15

Day 17: Brotas

Today is free to take part in optional adventure activities such as white water rafting or canyoning, or to simply relax by the pool!

16

Day 18-19: Paraty

Today we have a full day drive to the colonial town of Paraty on the Emerald Coast of the Atlantic! We will have free time to explore the town, take a historical tour, walk along the stunning scenery of the coastline, head out snorkelling or diving, or simply relax on the idyllic beaches.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

In Paraty we will stay at a hostel.

17

Day 20-21: Ilha Grande

Today we will travel a little further up the coast to the stunning island retreat of Ilha Grande. We will leave our truck behind for a couple of days and take a ferry, so you may wish to pack a small overnight bag. There are no private cars or banks on the island, so you will need to bring cash along with you and be prepared for a short walk with your bags to the hostel.

We will stay in a comfortable hostel.

Estimated drive time - 5 hours.

18

Day 22: Rio De Janeiro

This morning we will drive to the incredible Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world and home to the most famous Carnival celebrations in Latin America!

Estimated drive: 5hrs

In Rio we stay in a comfortable hotel in the lovely Flamenco neighbourhood.

19

Day 23: Rio De Janeiro

Welcome to Rio Carnival, the biggest party on the planet!

There will be an important meeting at 17:00 or 18:00, where you'll have a full briefing on how to make the most of your time in Rio and recieve your tickets, maps, T-Shirt and souvenir booklet - please check the notice board in the reception area for other important information throughout the week.

After the meeting we have a table booked at a nearby buffet restaurant, so you can get to know some of your fellow travellers.

Our dedicated Carnival team will be on hand throughout the week for a few hours each day to provide any assistance you may need.

There's a whole host of additional optional activities that you may like to take part in, such as 'Join the Parade', prior early booking is essential!

If you are arriving early you may like to join a Market Tour or Walking Tour.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, accommodation is in twin and triple rooms. Our hotel is close to the beach and the metro station. Our hotel check-in is from 2pm, and staff will be on hand to give you assistance.

Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely enter Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Gale o International Airport.

20

Day 24: Rio De Janeiro

Today we will visit the most iconic sights of Rio; the immense statue of Christ the Redeemer perching 710m high on Corcovado mountain and the P o de A car or Sugarloaf Mountain. We will have some time to explore these sights in our own time, you may even choose to take a helicopter ride!. We will also aim to see some other important landmarks such as the Maracan stadium, Escadaria Selar n and the Lapa Arches. We will travel by minibus. (NB today's tour is unguided, you will be accompanied by our Dragoman crew).

This evening we will head out to Lapa for a night out in a samba club; Rio Scenarium, one of the City's greatest nightspots - it's an antiques warehouse, music venue, bar and restaurant all housed in a fantastic colonial mansion. There will be live samba music and DJ's on each floor. We will be hosting a beginners Samba Dance class in the late afternoon, why not sign up and learn some of the basic steps before hitting the town!

21

Day 25: Rio De Janeiro

This morning why not glitter up and join us at one of the local 'blocos' or street parties, there will be live music, dancing and plenty of opportunities to get to know Rio and it's people! Blocos are great fun, crowded, hot and lively! The local 'cariocas' will be all dressed up, so make sure you come dressed to impress!

In the evening it's time for the main event of the week - the parade in the Sambadrome. The top samba schools parade their fantastic floats and costumes and the party goes on well into the early hours of Monday morning. You'll be situated in Sector 11, close to the action.

22

Day 26: Rio De Janeiro

This morning is free for you to recover from last night in the Sambadrome! It's a great chance to hit the beach, explore the city or simply have a lie in!

In the afternoon you may wish to join us for a walking tour of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.

Tonight we have the chance to re-visit the Sambadrome, this time in Sector 5 in the centre of the parade runway, to see the last 7 of the elite Samba schools parading. You even have the option to don a costume and take part in the parade itself, dancing your way down the Sambadrome runway - a once in a lifetime experience!

It is important to pre-book these activities early.

23

Day 27: Rio De Janeiro

Today you have free time to enjoy the activities, sights and sounds of Rio! Join a bloco, hit the beach or ride the tram to Santa Teresa. Rio has so much to offer other than it's carnival fesitivities. We will be organising some fun water based activities such as kayaking and paddle boarding (prior booking is essential)

Tonight you have a free night to hit the town; head downtown and enjoy a Caipirinha under the iconic Lapa arches or join a bloco.

24

Day 28: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are leaving in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Gale o International Airport.

The Carnival package finishes after breakfast today. Our hotel check-out is at 12pm.

If you are continuing your overlanding journey with us, there will be an important group meeting at 18:00.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Enjoy an incredible 3-night stay at a traditional Uruguayan farm to gain a fascinating insight into the lives of the gauchos, take part in a cooking demonstration, and go to an evening of traditional local music
    • 2 full days to discover the unbelievable Iguazu Falls
    • 2 night wildlife safari into the Pantanal
    • Spend an evening at the Rio Scenarium with live music & dancing
    • Rio City Tour with visits to Corcovado and Sugarloaf
    • Join us at one of Rio's street Bloco's, or street parties to get you into the Carnival spirit.  Don't forget to dress up!
    • The highlight of the week, experience the fantastic Sambadrome from sought after Sector 11 
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 40% Camping - 60% Hotels
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