Manaus is the capital of Amazonas State, located on the Negro River near its confluence with the Amazon. It is the chief port and a hub for the region's extensive river system. Once an extremely rich city due to the international rubber trade, but today tourism is Manaus City's primary source of revenue, and its economy is inexorably tied to the Amazon River and its massive rainforests. It is the gateway and hub for the entire Amazon region in Brazil, and an important stop for travelers en route to river cruises or jungle lodges throughout the area. With thousands of fish, bird, mammal and reptiles species, and new species being documented all the time, there is an inexhaustible variety of things to do and see.
Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city in the southern hemisphere, owing at least partially to the 2,000,000 people that pour into its streets, hotels, clubs and restaurants each year for Rio's legendary Carnival celebration, but any time is a good time to visit Rio, and revelers flock to this exhilarating city to enjoy its stunning vistas, perfect weather, sizzling nightlife, and fabled white sand urban beaches with alluring names like Copacabana, and Ipanema, that evoke samba music, and a uniquly Brazilian sensuality.
Other famous landmarks here include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer ('Cristo Redentor') perched at the top of Corcavado Mountain, and Rios's most recognizable natural monument, Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) with its network of cable cars straddling the ocean and the Baia de Guanabara.
Rio has been selected to host, both the final match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the 2016 Summer Olympics, the first South American country to ever be so honored, so in a city already passionate about sports, especially futball, one could assume that the parties have already started and will continue through 2016, unless that is Brazil wins the World Cup. In that case, all predicitions are off.
Rio de Janeiro is without question a city that people just love to visit, and the reasons for this are as inexhaustible as things to do in this electrifying city, With four and five star accommodations lining Rio's beachfront strips, and stylish boutiques available in its historic Harbor District, Rio make a perfect centaral hub for connections to and from just about all of Brazil's spectacular destinations. Our featured Rio itineraries, can help show you how to link the "Marvelous City," as it is know in Brazil, with the rest of this remarkable country. Samba anyone?
Recognized by many as the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, the Iguassu Falls, which straddles the border between Brazil, and Argentina is a spectacular natural wonder that is shared by the two countries, and is one of the most popular destinations in all of South America. Second only to Niagara Falls in flow, Iguassu is actually 275 individual falls, and can be accessed from many more vantage points than either Niagara or Victoria falls in Africa. Iguassu's unique shape creates spellbinding views with dramatic accessible walkways, that afford visitors unsurpassed panoramic vistas. Although the falls are the main attraction here, the surrounding tropical forests feature stunning varieties of ferns, orchids, begonias, butterflies, exotic birds, and fascinating animal species. Iguazú National Park which encompasses the falls, occupies 212 square miles of tropical forest habitat, and was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. Iguassu Falls is an awe inspiring Brazilian destination, and we have created a number of featured itineraries that can help you include this amazing spectacle in your vacation plans, combined with other spectacular Brazilian destinations.
Salvador da Bahia is the oldest colonial capital in Brazil, and is known for its Afro-Brazilian culture, early colonial architecture, and 30 miles of coastline beaches including the gorgeous Porto da Barra Beach.
Also, notable for its African influenced cuisine, fabulous music, and a Carnival celebration that is considered the largest street party on the planet, when 2,000,000 people pour into town for this massive spectacle.
"Bahia" is the third largest city in Brazil, and the heart of the African and Portuguese fusion that has been so influential in the art, music and cuisine that has become synonomous with Brazilian culture. This merging of influences has produced a profusion of creative innovations such as Capoeira, a combination of dance and martial arts; Samba de roda, and afoxe, which blend of African rhythms with traditional Brazilian music that has influenced many of the Carnaval groups; A cuisine that is renowned throughout Brazil for it's inique use of spices and unusual blending of flavors, and some of the most colorful and affordable crafts available anywhere in South America. It has also given us many of Brazil's most influential musicians and songwirters including the iconic Gilberto Gil, Cataeno Veloso, and many more.
Salvador da Bahia is one of Brazil's most colorful destinations and it's narrow streets, and steep hills that separate the upper city from the lower city, give it a unique charm. Accommodationshere feature elegant clolonial mansions, contemporary luxury, and small boutiques located within the historical districts, and scattered along the shore. Browse our featured itineraries and see how Salvador Bahia can be combined with any of Brazil's other incredible destinations. The length of your stay in each city, the selection of hotels, transportation options, and activities can all be custonmized to your opersonal preferences.
Salvador is known as "Brazil's Capital of Happiness", Find out why.
The massive Amazon River begins at the convergence of the Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes just nearby the city of Manaus in Brazil's Amazonas state. It is here that most Brazilian Amazon adventures begin. With 20% of the world's fresh water and one third of it living species, The Amazon is far and away the biggest river in the world by volume, accounting for one fifth of the earth s total water flow. Most visitors are here to explore the most complex eco-system in the world , a biosphere that hosts thousands of fish, bird, mammal and reptiles species, with new ones being documented all the time, and whether you choose a luxury cruise through the Amazon's vast network of tributaries, or a rainforest lodge, the Amazon River offers an opportunity to witness an awesome force of nature. A visit to the Manaus- Amazon is an unforgettable experience, and our flexible itineraries offer wide range of accommodation choices, and cruises that can be linked to other natural wonders, and exhilarating Brazilian destinations.
The Pantanal is the world's largest freshwater wetland, and a massive habitat for thousands of species of exotic plants and animals. Nearly 10 times the size of the Everglades the Panatanal is teeming wildlife that practically blankets the bog, and flood plains of this enormous and complex mix of eco-systems . With the biggest concentration of large animals in the New World, the Pantanal counts jaguars, giant otters, anacondas, caimans, hawks, Macaws, Marsh deer, Tapirs, egrets, herons, monkeys, and ibis as a few of its many species of inhabitants.
Heavy, seasonal rainfalls and flooding characterize the region and allow for the thriving growth of wildlife. And thrive it does; the Pantanal is home to over 700 species of birds (and is also an important migratory area for North American birds), 100 species of mammals, 260 species of fish and 80 reptile species. This environment sets the stage for one of the best bird and wildlife-spotting experiences imaginable.
Our preferred accommodations in Pantanal will immerse you in this astounding eco-system amongst the black-waterways, floodplains. Where you will witness the the profusion of wildlife up close and personal, maybe even see an elusive jaguar while living in the comfort of a traditional Pantanal house savoring local cusine, and observing live the day-to-day life of the local inhabitants.
Pantanal is an unforgettable experience and a perfect compliment to Brazil's exciting cities and magnificent beach destinations. Our flexible itineraries can help you link Pantanal with the reset of this spectacular country, and its most remarkable attractions.
Just 169 km northeast, or about 2 hours by car from Rio de Janeiro lies the beach resort town of Buzios. This quaint fishing village is blessed with more than 250 days of sunshine. Visitors from around the globe flock here to enjoy the sun, ocean and over 21 beaches that surround this peninsula.
Originally settled by European pirates and slave traders, the merging of these diverse cultures created a wonderfully pleasant environment, and the magnificent natural location is considered one of the most beautiful areas in the world.
A unique combination of rustic charm, architectural harmony, sophisticated boutiques and fabulous restaurants makes Buzios spectacular beach destination.
Once the capital of the Minas Gerais state, Ouro Preto was focal point of Brazil's 18th century gold rush. Founded towards the end of the 17th century Ouro Preto is considered a masterpiece of baroque colonial architecture, and along with the fine examples of Brazil's early contemporary buildings in nearby Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto makes a great destination for enthusiasts and students of history and architecture.
Visiting Ouro Preto's beautiful churches, museums, and deactivated gold mines is an enjoyable and enlightening way to gain an understanding of Brazil's past. Our recommended hotels, mostly in the historic district, are convenient to many of the cities most interesting and beautiful sites, and our flexible itineraries can include Ouro Preto with other great Brazilian destinations.
Praia do Forte is located only one hour north of Salvador, in Bahia. It is a protected environmental area with 12 kilometers of semi-deserted beach bordered by lush groves of coconut palms, close to the Atlantic forest, lagoons, beaches, whale observation areas, coral reefs, and Project TAMAR dedicated to the protection of sea turtles that lay their eggs in the area.
There is also a charming village with lots of boutiques, and cafes, and trips can be taken to thr Castelo Garcia D'Avila ruins, the only example of a medieval structure in all of Brazil, and the Sapiranga Ecological Reserve has a wide variety of plant and wildlife.
A short private car ride from Bahia Salvador, Praia do Forte makes a relaxing and immensly enjoyable addition to your Brazilian vacation, and the northern beach region. Excellent accommodations are available here that include some of the most beautiful hotels in the country, with a full range of all inclusive and partial board choices. Browse or flexible itineraries for ideas on how to include this area with other specatular destinations,
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