5 independent reviews for Brazil vacation, tailor made

Reviews for Brazil vacation, tailor made

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review 11 Oct 2023

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

For me it was the Pantanal - excellent wildlife viewing with a very knowledgeable guide Santos. Seeing jaguars and giant otters was high on my wish list. It didnít disappoint!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

As well as visiting Iguazķ Falls, both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides and the main sites in Rio, they also suggested we might like to visit Itataiai NP to walk the trails to visit some waterfalls and enjoy amazing bird life. Also visited a Golden Lion Tamarin monkey project. Would suggest that the visit to Rio or San Paolo is the final stop in your itinerary as sometimes internal flights are delayed (ours werenít luckily- there were 2 connecting flights for each final destination) but it does allow for that extra certainty that you are in time for return flight home. When visiting the north Pantanal recommend definitely staying in Potre Joffre for 2-3 days, for great wildlife viewing, as well as perhaps in another lodge.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely - most of our accommodation was in the equivalent of B&Bís or lodges - local knowledgeable guides. Visiting the NP Italaiai and supporting the excellent work by Mico Leao Dourado project in helping to save the Tamarins .

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent - they put together a great trip which worked out brilliantly. Nothing was too much trouble and we were kept informed of all aspects. We were 2 older ladies traveling together but despite safety concerns prior to traveling they were totally unfounded. Great guides.

review 4 Aug 2023

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

All of it! We stayed in seven different places over the course of our three week trip and each place was different and breathtaking in its own right. Our time in Itatiaia felt very special. I don't think may European tourists visit there and we didn't even know about it until Marcel suggested it. The day we walked up to Tres Picos, we were the only people on the trail. I felt privileged to be in such a wild and natural place. Our early morning canoe trips were a wonderfully slow and peaceful way to experience the Pantanal. No noisy motors or dusty roads; just the sunrise and the sounds and sights of the monkeys and the myriad of birds - no wonder the caiman are so chilled! In contrast tracking down a jaguar during our boat safari from Porto Jofre was really exciting - I'll never forget how he turned and looked straight at us before heading deeper into the forest. Trekking to Ponta Negra and staying in the beautiful beachside cabin was also a highlight. The local community were very welcoming - and introduced us to the biggest pastelas and best acai we had all trip.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Think about what you are looking for from your vacation. Brazil is SO big and has so much that you could see and do - it's impossible to do it all. Right at the start I had a conversation with Marcel where he gained an understanding of the kind of things we enjoyed doing, the kind of places we wanted to be and from that he put together an itinerary just for us. Also think about how fast-paced you want it to be and how much downtime you want to build in. We had several early starts and long-ish traveling days but always managed to fit in something fun along the way (a morning boat ride before we left the Pantanal, a stop off in Aparecida on our way to Iguacu, arriving in Itatiaia with enough daylight left to walk to a waterfall). We also finished with four nights on Ilha Grande, chilling out and exploring the beautiful beaches, which was a lovely way to end.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I felt like our money was contributing to the local economy and to local people. Marcel worked with a tour operator based in Sao Paolo to coordinate our trip. All our guides were locals (and were brilliant) and our accommodation was small or local rather than part of any international chain. I sensed a real tension in Brazil between preserving their natural riches versus exploiting them (gold mines near the Pantanal; oil operations near Ilha Grande). I guess responsible tourism that demonstrates how valuable tourism can be to the country is helping to make the case for conserving those natural areas. I'm not sure any visit to Brazil from the UK can be regarded as having low environmental impact though - 2 x 11 hour transatlantic flights plus 4 x domestic ones in Brazil! Next year it's Europe by train.....

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

An absolutely incredible adventure. All four of us (including two teenagers) had a brilliant time. Marcel had put together a fantastic tailored itinerary that really suited us. All the practicalities and logistics ran smoothly, which made things very easy for us and meant we could focus on experiencing and absorbing all that Brazil has to offer. Which is a lot, a LOT.

review 15 Dec 2022

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Bonito area was very nice ie. the snorkeling, canopy walk and white water tubbing. Wildlife in this area was great with giant anteaters, tapier and hyacinth macaws amongst a variety of other creatures.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Maybe spend some extra time in the bonito area. Also good to see how long the travel times are between areas

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. This trip employed local people and supported areas where wildlife conservation was a priority.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Our trip was excellent. We were well taken care of especially with the political uncertainty when we were in Brazil.

review 20 Aug 2022

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Jaguar encounters, snorkelling in Rio da Prata and enjoying the amazing wonder of the IguaÁu Falls.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Plan ahead, especially knowing in Brazil you need an agent to arrange things- you canít roll up at the site for tickets, learn some Portuguese, avoid high risk places for theft etc, be aware of some places where you canít throw toilet paper in toilets.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

To some extent- it certainly provided work for the locals. We had hoped some hotels do more eg some ignore the keeping your towel for more than 1 day notice and keeps changing daily. We wonder if the tourist industry would tighten up some etiquette esp around wildlife- some tourists were noisy and inappropriate in such settings- how can one notify the local authority? We also wished the local people did not use so much single use water bottles & provide more refilling options.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good overall. We must say the tour operator with their Brazil agent have been very helpful and prompt in their response throughout. That is a 5 star service.

Read the operator's response here:

We are very happy that our travelers had a wonderful vacation. We all work very hard in a team to make this happen. When tourists have been noisy around wildlife they most probably have been local tourists on excursion with friends or family. It is a general Latin American cultural thing that the partying and celebration of being together has more attention than being quiet and observing the wildlife. This is not only in Brazil but we have heard it as well of a private reserve owner in Colombia. We will discuss this with our team in Sao Paulo at the end of high season how the pousadas can improve and the centers of local independent guides can give better instructions overall. Best Marcel

review 11 Sep 2022

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing big cats

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you can use WhatsApp in brazil

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definite local benefit and support for conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

All we were expecting to see and do, but we needed to be on top of the organisation throughout.

Read the operator's response here:

Our travelers had a great and wonderful wildlife vacation in different eco-systems from the Atlantic rainforest, the Cerrado to the Pantanal wetlands with many Jaguar spotting and other wild cats. They shared that they took around 4500 images so it was a really rewarding wildlife trip for them. There was a logistical transfer hiccup unfortunately and the change of a domestic flight was not communicated to the local team. We are discussing with our local team in Brazil how we can avoid this kind of issues for all next travels and make the round travels even better.

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