Rio to Iguazu Falls tour in Brazil
Description of Rio to Iguazu Falls tour in Brazil
Occupying half of South America, Brazil is the most biodiverse country in the world, with the Amazon rainforest, wildlife-rich wetlands, tropical coastline and epic waterfalls. It also boasts cosmopolitan cities and pretty colonial towns, displaying its cultural as well as its natural wealth. Given the country’s vast size, it can be challenging to cover much terrain on a short vacation, but this small group, Rio to Iguazu Falls tour in Brazil uses internal flights, private transport and a particularly well planned itinerary to ensure you discover as much as possible in just 12 days, without feeling rushed.
Your Brazil vacation starts in Rio de Janeiro, one of the world’s most dramatically located cities, with buildings draped over steep, forested mountains and clinging to the Atlantic shore. Leave the city pace behind as you head west to Paratí, a beautiful colonial town tucked around a bay, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, boat tours take you along the appropriately named Emerald Coast, and onto secluded, tropical islands. Drive onto São Paulo for your flight to Iguazú Falls. These 275 cataracts crash through the jungle on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The Brazilian side offers impressive panoramas of the 1km long precipice, but you’ll also cross over to the Argentinean side for forest walks, some of which even take you behind the waterfall.
Another internal flight takes you to Campo Grande, the gateway to the Pantanal. With a working ranch as your base, you can head out in jeeps, boat, canoes and on horseback to seek some of the wildlife these vast wetlands are famous for, including caimans, armadillos, anteaters and capybaras – the world’s largest rodent. Keep an eye out, too, for the hundreds of species of birds that inhabit this thriving ecosystem. A final flight takes you back to Rio for your flight home – or extend your stay with time in the city and on its chic beaches, caipirinha in hand, of course…
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PlanetIn 1998 the Pantanal Nature Park was created to protect the region and ensure all development is sustainable. Whilst in the Pantanal we chose to stay at the Pousada Aguapé because of its sensitive approach to tourism. The lodge is a farm that has been run by the same family for some 150 years and since 1989 it has diversified its activities, continuing with cattle but starting to work in eco-tourism.
The Pousada Aguapé has also been working with the Blue Macaw project since 2000. The project’s aim is to preserve the environment to ensure the survival of Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus in its natural habitat. On top of work with wildlife, Aguapé is also involved with the local authority of Aquidauana to improve local schooling and increase classroom attendance.
One of the major attractions of the tour is the visit to the Iguazú Falls. The falls lie in both Brazil and Argentina. UNESCO, in association with the WWF, works to coordinate both the Brazilian and Argentine sides of the National Park, and make sure that all the money raised from the thousands of visitors each year in entrance fees is properly distributed to the protection and development of the area.
PeopleOn this tour we work with small privately owned ground agents who live in the area, have established RT policies in place, and employ local guides and staff. A number of journeys on this tour use public transport, the hotels are small, individual properties often run by the owners and their families, we eat in local restaurants serving locally grown produce – our style of travel ensures that as many local people as possible benefit by our being there. This tour runs with a maximum of 16 people which helps to minimise the impact on delicate environments.
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