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Brazil: Rio & the Wild Wetlands of the Pantanal



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Welcome to Brazil, the perfect setting for a family vacation - a land of incomparable natural and cultural allure. The country’s vivacious South American soul will captivate your family from the second you get to the wildlife-packed Pantanal region. Spend a day canoeing down a river that cuts through the watery flatlands and go out at night to spot a jaguar! The feeling of wonderment will remain with you throughout your stay in the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro, and long after you’ve returned home.

If your family would like, extend your adventure and journey to Iguassu Falls, a breathtaking site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.


For 2017 private departures are available on the dates of your choice, depending on availability. 

Alumni Discount: if you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices

Price includes: All conservation, park and entrance fees; accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bi-lingual guide throughout, most meals, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle, Comprehensive Travel Insurance.


Don't see your travel dates?

Call us, we can personalize any trip to meet your travel needs! 

Days 1 and 2 - Depart Home / Arrive Brazil

Welcome to Brazil! You and your family will start your adventure in the city of Cuiaba. Brazil is a country bursting with personality and outstanding wildlife; all ready for you to explore.


  • Arrival and transfer to the hotel
  • Welcome dinner with guide and fellow travelers
Days 3-5 - Pantanal

This tropical wetland is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve. It covers somewhere between 54,000 and 81,000 square miles and is home to over 1,000 different types of birds, 300 different mammals, and 3,500 types of plants. You will be able to see wildlife here that you can’t see anywhere else in the world. The expansive diversity in flora and fauna is because of the 12 sub-regional ecosystems that the area consists of. You won’t feel robbed of adventure as long as you’re in the Pantanal!


  • Transfer from Cuiaba to the Araras Eco Lodge
  • Discover local botanicals and wildlife on morning safaris
  • Canoe down the river and fish for piranha
  • Ride a Pantanal horse and explore the area
  • Take several nature hikes to look for different flora and fauna
  • Walk about at night to stargaze or to try and spot a jaguar
Days 6-9 - Rio De Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is an incredibly special city. It has it all, vibrant culture, colorful nightlife, beautiful beaches and mountains, and world renowned sites. In fact, in 2012 the city of Rio was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rio carries all of the passion you would expect from Brazil with a strong culture of Samba music and football- or as referred to in the U.S., soccer. There is no shortage of excitement in Brazil and you’re family may not want to leave!


  • Transfer from the Pantanal to Rio, via a flight from Cuiaba
  • Have rodizio de pizza- where the pizza comes to you
  • Go up Corcovado Hill to see the famous Christ the Redeemer statue
  • Spend a day at the Golden Lion Tamarin Project
  • Take a cooking class with a local Brazilian chef
  • Explore the famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches
  • Check out a professional football match
  • Take a class and try your hand at Samba dancing
Day 10 - Depart Brazil

Say goodbye to Rio and Brazil. A member of our team will help with your transfer to the airport for your international flight home!


But if you have a few days at the beginning or end of your vacation and you’d like to explore more of Brazil, ask about our Iguassu Falls extension. It’s a true wonder that shouldn’t be missed!

Windsor Atlantica Hotel

The Windsor Atlantica sits along a beautiful stretch of beach on Rio's famous Copacabana waterfront, just five minutes from Ipanema Beach and right near plenty of shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. All of the hotel’s 545 contemporary, comfortable rooms feature central air, wifi, and LCD TVs with cable. 

Araras Eco Lodge

Araras Eco Lodge enjoys an ideal location for appreciating and exploring the extraordinary wildlife of the Pantanal, and the Lodge is committed to preserving the spectacular surrounding environment, with many of its own conservation programs. The property contains several wildlife trails, as well as a swimming pool and 19 air-conditioned rooms with screened windows, ceiling fans, and private bathrooms. 

Hotel Gran Odara

The Hotel Gran Odara is a place that prides itself on luxury and comfort. All of the rooms and areas within the hotel are spacious and were designed with comfort in mind. The restaurant, AVEC, has a cozy atmosphere and the food is traditional Cuiabana with a lovely French twist. Hotel Gran Odara also has all of the amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Some of the amenities include Wi-Fi, a pool, and a fitness center. We know you’ll enjoy it here!

Why Brazil?

The incredible wildlife of the Pantanal
The vast Pantanal wetlands region is home to an astounding concentration of wildlife. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, the Pantanal contains fauna similar to that of the Amazon, with 698 species of birds, 80 types of mammals, 260 fish species, and 50 species of reptiles. But what really makes the region exceptional is the fact that, unlike the Amazon, the landscape is very flat and open, so the animals aren’t hidden by thick vegetation and rain forest.
The famous Rio de Janeiro
You can’t talk about Brazil travel without mentioning Rio. This fascinating port has it all; it’s a large, economically important contemporary city, but with an abundance of beautiful seaside, mountain, and forest landscapes. With 50 miles of beach, an ideal climate, and incredible sites like Sugarloaf and Corcovado mountains and the jaw-dropping icon that is Christ the Redeemer, it’s no wonder Rio de Janeiro receives more visitors per day than any other city in South America. In 2012, the natural landscapes of Rio were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the incredible urban setting between the mountains and the sea.
Beautiful mix of cultures
One of the greatest things about Brazil is its amazingly cultural diversity.  The Brazilian national identity is comprised of countless influences from the many indigenous Amerindian groups, three centuries of Portuguese colonization, black African slaves, and newer immigration from all over the world – including quite significant German and Italian communities, among many others. All these influences have come together to form Brazil’s language (Brazilian Portuguese), cuisine, music, dance, religion, martial arts, etc.