Brazil: Rio & the Wild Wetlands of the Pantanal


Click tabs for more information

Bem-vindo ao Brasil! 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 the second you land in Rio de Janeiro and remain with you throughout your stay in the wildlife-packed Pantanal region, and long after you’ve returned home. 

Arriving in Rio, the reasoning behind UNESCO’s decision to declare this city a World Heritage Site is an instant no-brainer. Although a modern urban powerhouse, Rio is one with the natural elements that make the region so appealing; it sits between forested mountains and the blue waters of Guanabara Bay. Your family will enjoy Rio to the fullest… ride a cable car to the two peaks of Sugarloaf Mountain for the unbelievable views of coves, bays, and the world-renowned Copacabana waterfront… take a train through the Atlantic Forest to the top of Corcovado Hill and come face-to-face with the immense statue of Christ the Redeemer, surveying the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City) that has enchanted so many… 

There will be plenty of free time to enjoy Rio’s wonderfully tropical climate and abundant parks, beaches, and green space. Your family will also learn to cook some authentic Brazilian dishes with our lovely friend Chef Simoneand meet the selfless volunteers and endangered golden lion tamarin monkeys at the Golden Lion Tamarin Association.  

After Rio, head to the Pantanal, an enormous wetland region providing wildlife viewing opportunities arguably superior to anywhere else on earth. During your family’s stay at the Araras Eco Lodge, you’ll traverse the everglade-like landscape on special Pantanal horses like real Brazilian cowboys; visit an aviary harboring tropical birds rescued by a foundation working to eventually re-release them into the wild; and spend a day canoeing down a river that cuts through these watery flatlands, spotting amazing wildlife not hidden by trees or tall vegetation. Explore the Lodge’s property with your expert guide and find all the key lookout points on walks and night drives, and go for a ride dedicated specifically to locating jaguars! 

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

2015 Dates
Dates 10 or more
6 to 9
2 to 5
Internal Air
06/27 - 07/06 $4,490 $4,990 $5,490 $300
Call for Availability
07/11 - 07/20 $4,490 $4,990 $5,490 $300
Call for Availability
2016 Dates
Dates 10 or more
6 to 9
2 to 5
Internal Air
06/24 - 07/03 $4,990 $5,490 $5,990 $300
07/08 - 07/17 $4,990 $5,490 $5,990 $300


Book your 2016 adventure before June 30 2015, and receive a $500 discount per person for groups of 2 to 5 or a $1,000 discount per person for groups of 6 or more.


Internal Air: $300 (subject to change)

Child Discount: $200 per child under 12

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

Triple discount: For childern under 12 sharing with two adults: $200

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.

Prices are based on the number of people in your party.

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! Prepare for the family adventure of a lifetime in a country bursting with personality, culture, and outstanding wildlife. 


  • Arrival and transfer to the hotel
  • Hands-on Brazilian cooking lesson
Days 3-5 - Rio de Janeiro
Rio has it all; it’s a large, economically important contemporary city, but with an abundance of beautiful seaside, mountain, and forest landscapes.  In 2012, these natural landscapes were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it won't take long for your family to understand why.
  • Corcovado Hill/Christ the Redeemer
  • Meet the primates at Golden Lion Tamarin Association
  • Free time to explore Rio's beaches and other sites
  • Option to see a professional soccer game
Days 6-9 - The Pantanal

This enormous tropical wetland is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve,  spanning somewhere between 54,000 and 81,000 square miles and harboring 698 species of birds, 80 mammals, 260 fish species, and 50 reptiles. What makes the Pantanal truly special is that the vast expanses of open grasslands provide far better views of the extraordinary concentration of wildlife than in a place like the Amazon, because the abundance of fauna isn’t hiding in high, dense flora. 


  • Transfer to the Araras Eco Lodge
  • Guided walk around the grounds
  • Spot nocturnal wildlife and constellations 
  • See amazing animals on a jeep safari
  • River canoe excursion and piranha fishing
  • Hike to different observation towers at the lodge
  • Explore the area on special Pantanal horses
  • Wildlife viewing trail hike 
  • Optional river safari (with possible jaguar sightings!)
Day 10 - Depart Brazil

Bid adeus to Brazil, transferring from the lodge to the airport in Cuiaba to connect with your international flight back home. Or, if your family is interested, continue on to our Iguassu Falls extension.  

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. 


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.
a map of Brazil: Rio & the Wild Wetlands of the Pantanal