Upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro, transfer from the airport to the hotel. Rio de Janeiro was Brazil’s Capital from 1763 to 1960 and is now the Capital of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Ideally located between the mountains and the sea, Rio is one of the most visited cities in the world. It is blessed with a magnificent shoreline, beautiful white sand beaches, vast museums and cultural attractions, a lively nightlife, and a state of mind called CARIOCA with almost 8 million locals who samba their way through life, relaxed and high-spirited!
A full day tour is on today’s exhilarating agenda. Head to Cosme Velho Station and board a cogtrain for the scenic ride through Tijuca Forest up Corcovado Mountain to view the towering statue of Christ the Redeemer. Descend by train and head past Rio’s world-famous beaches, then board a cable car for a two-staged ascent up Sugar Loaf Mountain. Next it’s on to Guanabara Bay and Flamengo Park. Visit the downtown area, stop at Confeitaria Colombo restaurant opened in 1894, and then head to Sambadrome the site of Rio’s famous Carnival parade. (B)
Take time to delve into the magic and mystique of this enchanting city at your own pace with a day at leisure or opt to join in one of the many optional tours available. Rio is situated in a 15-mile-strip of land, wedged between mountains and sea. There are some thirty miles separating downtown Flamengo, from far-flung Recreio, bordered on one side by the blue sea and on the other by verdant hills. In between its brimming with a lively lifestyle, history, and culture to keep you enthused and enthralled at every turn. (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Iguassu. Check-in to your hotel and get ready for unforgettable moments with an afternoon visit of the Brazilian side of the falls. Head up to the boardwalks located at the edge of the cliffs of the Iguassu River. Enjoy the vista of San Martín Island, Devil’s Throat from the observation deck, and the waterfalls of Bossetti, San Martín, and Three Musketeers. Take an elevator to go up to the road and board the coach for your drive back to the hotel. (B)
After breakfast, depart for the Argentinean side of the falls. Enjoy crossing the Tancredo Neves Bridge over the Iguassu River, which forms the border between Argentina & Brazil. On the Argentine side, you will take in the views of many of the area’s 275 waterfalls that fall from an average altitude of seventy meters. Here you will experience the Inferior Circuit, the down-river falls, the Superior Circuit, and up-river cascades, and then take the Ecological Jungle Train to the most impressive observation point of the falls – The Devil’s Throat. (B)
In the morning leave Iguassu and take a flight to Salvador. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel and check-in. Salvador, Bahia, was the first capital of colonial Brazil from 1549 until 1763 and one of the oldest colonial cities in the New World. It is known as being the most African city in the Americas due to the strong African roots and traditions found in its cuisine, religion, music and arts. If you like history, culture, beach and a laid back environment, Salvador is a perfect place for you to enjoy! (B)
Learn about the history and contrasts of Salvador today. Start at the modern neighborhood of Barra and head towards the historic section of Pelourinho, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its well preserved or restored colonial architecture. Here you will view the buildings that take you back to the beginnings of this vibrant city. Stop at the São Francisco Church, a symbol of baroque style, and finish at the Pelourinho Square, the heart of this neighborhood. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore Salvador like a local. (B,L)
Share breakfast at your hotel and get ready to take home the CRIOCA state of mind! Transfer to the airport for your return flight. (B)