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|Itinerary at a Glance
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
|2||Arrive Rio de Janeiro|
|3||Rio de Janeiro &
|4||Rio de Janeiro|
|5||Rio de Janeiro|
|6||Rio de Janeiro/USA|
|Iguazu Falls Extension|
|6||Rio de Janeiro &
No tour escort; explore at your own pace
|Departs||Miami (MIA) (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Rio de Janeiro & Corcovado. Optional extension to Manaus and the Amazon|
|Included in the Price|
|What to Expect||Travel Style This leisurely-paced, locally hosted tour requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness. The Amazon extension is moderately-paced, and includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.|
Experience the most famous Carnival atmosphere in exotic, exciting and sexy Rio de Janeiro! Known by Brazilians as Cidade Maravilhosa, the Marvelous City, Rio is all of these and more. During the 5 days celebration, which officially starts on Friday and ends on Fat Tuesday, the entire city comes to life with festivities, block parties and celebrations, before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Soak in the sun on its famous beaches, take a jeep tour through the Tijuca Rainforest, or hang-glide over Pepino Beach. Take a cog train to the top of Corcovado, where the city’s most famous landmark, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, overlooks it all. Take an optional trip to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, accessible only via a series of 2 cable cars. Rest up at your hotel on Copacabana Beach for the pulsating nightlife of this Brazilian beauty.
Meena and I immensely enjoyed the tour, guide and the company of many friends. The hotel accommodations and the meals were superb. The Lake Crossings to Argentina and the Iguassu Falls were spectacular views. We plan to take China and Egypt tours with Friendly Planet soon. We have been talking to many of our friends to join us in 2008 vacation adventure with Friendly Planet, who makes exciting excellent arrangements, worry-free. Looking forward to the companionship and friendship during our 2008 vacation.
Ram & Meena Ramachandran, Richmond, Virginia
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Day 2: Rio de Janeiro. Arrive early this morning in Rio de Janeiro, the most visited city in the Southern Hemisphere. Situated on the mouth of Guanabara Bay, Rio is home to some of the most famous beaches in the world such as Copacabana and Ipanema. Transfer from the airport to your centrally located hotel. Enjoy your first day in Rio at leisure, to become acquainted with your new surroundings. Today is also the official start of the Carnival festivities. Accommodations: Pestana Rio Atlantico.
Day 3: Rio de Janeiro. Your tour today begins with a panoramic drive through the Laranjeiras residential district and the quaint Cosme Velho. Board the cogwheel train for a 15-minute ride through the Tijuca rainforest, the largest urban forest in the world, on your way to Corcovado Mountain. View the most famous landmark of Rio de Janeiro, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, which was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Take in the spectacular view of the city below. Return to your hotel for the balance of the day at leisure to enjoy the beach and Rio's festive atmosphere. Breakfast provided.
Day 4: Rio de Janeiro. Enjoy a day of leisure in this fascinating city. You can take advantage of one of the most popular activities in Rio - the Sunday Hippie Fair and Craft Market near Ipanema. Browse and find some special souvenirs! Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: This afternoon take advantage of an optional Jeep Tour of the Tijuca Forest, the largest urban forest in the world. As you travel through the forest you will have the opportunity to see a variety of exotic flora and fauna including beautiful tropical flowers and playful monkeys. You will also stop at the famous Chinese Lookout, where you will have a magnificent view of Rio's greatest landmarks including Sugar Loaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay. You will also make a stop at Pepino Beach, renowned for its hang gliders soaring along the coast. This tour can only be purchased locally.
Day 5: Rio de Janeiro. Enjoy your final day in Rio at leisure. Soak in some rays on Copacabana beach or spend some time last minute shopping at Rio's popular shopping streets and malls, or try the famous Churrascaria, the Brazilian BBQ of endless grilled meats and salads. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Enjoy an optional morning tour to Sugar Loaf Mountain. Passing by the Sambodrome, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Cinelandia Square and Flamingo Park, you will be taken to the neighborhood of Urca where one of the greatest symbols of the city is located: Sugar Loaf Mountain. Your visit is made in two steps by cable car. The first cable car will take you up Urca Hill, where you will have a beautiful view of the Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niteroi Bridge and Corcovado. The second cable car will take you to the top of Sugar Loaf where you will find a splendid view of Copacabana beach and the Santa Cruz fortress. This tour can only be purchased locally.
Day 6: Rio de Janeiro/USA. Today is yours to explore marvelous Rio de Janeiro on your own. Early this evening, transfer to the airport and board your overnight flight back to the USA. Alternatively, extend your stay with an exciting optional post-tour to Iguazu Falls. Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Arrive USA. Your Rio adventure comes to an end as you arrive in the USA early this morning.
Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare to visit Iguazu Falls, one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders.
Day 6: Rio de Janeiro & Iguazu Falls. Your exotic trip continues as you board your short flight to Foz do Iguaçu. Upon arrival, visit the Brazilian side of one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, Iguazu Falls. With 275 waterfalls embedded into the rocks, Iguazu Falls are the largest in the world and are surrounded by a lush rainforest. Then check-in at your hotel located near the entrance of the park. Accommodations: Bourbon Cararatas Resort Hotel. Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Iguazu Falls. This morning, cross the border to the Argentinean side of these magnificent waterfalls, where you will see the Devil’s Throat. You will get incredible up-close views of the cascading water and beautiful rainbows that rise into the mist. Return to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Iguazu Falls/Depart Brazil. Today will be at leisure. There are many other exciting places to explore in the area. In the late afternoon, bid farewell to Brazil as you transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA via Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Breakfast provided.
Day 9: Return USA. Your unforgettable journey to Brazil comes to an end as you arrive back in the USA this morning.
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