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No escort, freedom to explore at your own pace
|Highlights||Rio de Janeiro, Corcovado and Iguazu Falls|
|What to Expect||This leisurely-paced, locally hosted tour requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness.|
|As Seen in|
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Transfers: Transfers for this package are provided on a group basis only. For passengers deviating in any way from the group program, transfers are not provided. Individual, private transfers can be arranged at a supplement in price. Taxis and other forms of transportation are also available and may cost less than private transfers. If you wish to arrange private transfers, please request this service at the time of reservation.
Cool off after a sizzling tour of South America’s Marvelous City or Cidade Maravilhosa—Rio de Janeiro—with a visit to the world’s largest waterfalls. Explore Rio de Janeiro’s famous beaches like Copacabana, indulge in the pulsating nightlife, shop the markets of Ipanema, 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, or take a Jeep through the Tijuca Rainforest. This tour adds two days of discovery with a flight to Iguazu Falls, one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, nearly 300 waterfalls surrounded by a lush rainforest.
Day 1: Depart USA. Your exotic journey to Brazil begins today as you board your overnight flight bound for Rio de Janeiro.
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. Accommodations: Pestana Rio Atlantico Hotel.
Day 3: Rio de Janeiro & Corcovado. 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 at 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: Tijuca Forest Jeep Tour. 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 excursion must 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: Sugar Loaf Mountain. 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 from 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 excursion must be purchased locally.
Optional Excursion: Plataforma Show. This evening, after dinner on your own, marvel at an optional Plataforma Show. This unforgettable performance combines authentic Brazilian folklore, traditional dances and live music. This excursion must be purchased locally.
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 or Mabu Thermas Hotel & Resort. 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 & Rio de Janeiro. 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.
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