For this tour with my wife, we called on the Altiplano organization which helped us, from a typical tour, to build this trip. The initial duration was about 15 days, then, over the course of discussions, it was extended by a few days. This allowed us not to miss the small town of Parati, to replace the Amazon rainforest with a stay at the Pantanal and to enjoy a stopover in Brasilia.
The characteristic of our tour is that it alternates between city visits and stays in nature: the small colonial town of Parati, then Rio and its immense beaches. As well as the marshy region of Pantanal, followed by Brasilia, Buenos Aires after the Iguaçu Falls, Salvador de Bahia and the small town of Cachoeira.
This sequence therefore seemed interesting and a plus in the realization of the trip.
The choice of the month of April (autumn in Brazil) thus made it possible to avoid the tourist season, mosquitoes (in the Pantanal) and excessively high humidity.
OUR TOUR IN BRAZIL
PARATI (2 DAYS)
Arrived in Rio after an 11 hour flight, a private transfer took us to Paraty, via a road that runs along the beautiful Costa Verde. Parati is a beautiful colonial city.
It is good to stroll through the cobbled streets of pedemoleque ’and lined with many“ sobrados ”with their colorful French windows and wrought iron balconies. The 5-hour schooner excursion in the bay of Parati made us discover the wild beaches, each more paradisiacal than the last. The ‘Pousada do Principe’ is an excellent choice both for the setting and for the buffet breakfast.
RIO DE JANEIRO (3 DAYS)
After the restful calm of Paraty, here is the exuberant Rio and its legendary bay. The beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, its Christ the Redeemer standing above the Tijuca Forest on the famous peak of Corcovado. Do not miss the famous Pain de Sucre which offers an exceptional view of the entire bay. As well as the upper district of Santa Teresa (accessible by the small “bondinho” tramway) from which you can descend via the Selaron squadaria. It is a 215-step staircase covered with ceramic tiles in the colors of the Brazilian flag.
You should also see the Metropolitana Cathedral, the National Library and the Santo Antonio Convent, among others.
THE PANTANAL (2 ½ DAYS)
When you arrive in Fazenda San Francisco, the scenery is complete. This farm is very well organized to make the most of the fauna and flora of this marshy area as large as half of France.
During the night outings, we were able to surprise many animals lit by torch: snakes, capivara, anteater, ocelot, small wolf, marsh deer …
The safari then introduced us to many species of birds, including the blood-red necked jabiru. Finally, during the trip on the rivers, we encountered caimans!
BRASILIA (1 DAY)
The new capital of Brazil amazes and surprises with its modern architecture. The city-tower and the view from the top of the television tower give a good idea of this strange city. The very comfortable Mercure hotel is in a great location.
SALVADOR FROM BAHIA (2 DAYS)
Coming from Brasilia, the contrast is striking: Salvador de Bahia, the Brazilian cultural capital is the city of all crossbreeds.
Testimonies from the colonial era can be found on every street corner as the people in Pelourinho display their African origins. Between upper and lower town, Pelourinho and San Antonio districts, the small cobbled streets, dotted with churches, live to the rhythm of percussions (especially on Tuesdays).
Do not miss to attend the colorful masses, invaded by the songs of the Bahians. This city owes its character and personality to the gentle blend of African culture and Portuguese traditions, with Candomblé and Capoeira. Bahian cuisine then includes about fifty specialties from these various cultures.
CACHOEIRA AND SÃO FELIX (1 DAY)
During this excursion, we thus crossed the countryside: visit the Santo Amoro market, a farm where cassava is grown and the São Felix cigar factory. Cachoeira, with its pastel-colored houses and sobradios is considered the jewel of the Bahian Reconcavo.
THE FALLS OF IGUAÇU
Both on the Brazilian side and the Argentine side, the Iguaçu Falls are a natural wonder. Brazilian coast, we discover an overview; on the Argentinean side, you get as close as possible to the falls.
BUENOS AIRES (2 DAYS)
Buenos Aires is the most European city of the South American countries. All the districts therefore have a particular charm: San Telmo the bohemian, the popular Boca, the hectic Retiro, the residential Recoleta (Basilica del Pilar and the cemetery where Eva Peron rests). Palermo is thus the most pleasant and extensive district, the modern Puerto Madero (an old completely renovated port district), and El Centro (made up of Tribunales, Congresso and Oblesico) the nerve center of the capital.
Two regrets for this trip:
- Not far from the Pantanal, the site of Bonito and its transparent waters could have been the subject of an additional day trip.
- Colonia del Sacramento is a small colonial town in Uruguay. It would then have been easy to add a day to the schedule to get there by ferry from Buenos Aires.