Are You Ready for Brazil?

Sophisticated South America Tour

9 Days / 8 Nights

This classic short tour takes you to the two Great South American Cities, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, with the Natural Wonder of Iguazu Falls to link Argentina and Brazil. In the cultural capitals of these two countries, you can learn the different rhythms of tango and samba, and see how these may be linked to the national characters in each case.

This classic short tour takes you to the two Great South American Cities, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, with the Natural Wonder of Iguazu Falls to link Argentina and Brazil. In the cultural capitals of these two countries, you can learn the different rhythms of tango and samba, and see how these may be linked to the national characters in each case. 

This tour can also be done just as easily in reverse.


  • Destinations: Rio de Janeiro - Iguazu Falls - Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Duration: 9 Days / 8 Nights
  • Trip Style: Traditional
  • Activities: Ecotourism - Beaches

Brazil Adventure Tours provide you with ideas for tours of Brazil and South America, with all being completely flexible with regards to dates, duration or the tours, activities and classes that we can include. Our website tours are our recommendations based on our experience of how to make the very best of your time in South America. We can adjust these details in any way that you wish, with a little advice from us of course. We can combine any of our destinations that you wish to visit into one tour, and for however long you wish to visit them. Any of our Traditional and Adventure tours can also be combined in whichever way you prefer. We are here to organise a tour that suits you after all, not the other way around!

Day 1 : Arrive in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
After being welcomed on arrival in Rio de Janeiro, your Brazil Adventure Tours guide describes the Marvellous City during the journey to your hotel close to Ipanema or Copacabana Beaches. You pass along the edge of Guanabara Bay, with first glimpses of the city, the statue of Christ The Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain. After a little orientation of the city and the area around your hotel, the rest of the day is then free to explore Rio and perhaps enjoy your first coconut water or a caipirinha cocktail at sunset from Arpoador, the headland between the two main beaches. Evening brings the chance to enjoy Brazilian cuisine for the first time.
Day 2 : Rio & Christ the Redeemer
Rio de Janeiro
Your first tour of Rio takes you to the top of Corcovado, the steep 710m high mountain topped by the 31m statue of Christ The Redeemer. The views from the base across the city, beaches, mountains, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Guanabara Bay and the Atlantic Ocean are as spectacular as city views can be. You then drop through Santa Teresa and the Selaron Staircase to see the historic side of Rio, the Municipal Theatre and the grand buildings that date from the 19th Century and earlier. The modern Metropolitan Cathedral and the antique Arches of Lapa are two more of Rio\'s postcard sights. The afternoon and evening are free to relax.
Day 3 : Cable Cars and Sugar Loaf Views
Rio de Janeiro
Morning brings a journey around the lagoon to the Botanical Gardens in the shadow of Christ the Redeemer. The gardens contain an array of tropical species, with palms, orchids and the pau brasil tree that gave its name to the country watched over by monkeys and toucans. You then travel to Sugar Loaf Mountain to ride the cable cars to the 396m summit. The views take in Copacabana Beach, the mountains behind the statue and those surrounding Rio on a clear day. Afternoon and evening are free with a typical Brazilian churrascaria barbeque being one option, while weekend evenings can bring a trip to the samba clubs of Lapa.
Day 4 : Iguazu Falls Views
Rio de Janeiro to Iguazu Falls
The morning flight takes you to Iguazu Falls, and your first chance to see the 275 separate falls of the Iguazu River comes as you land. On arrival you will be met for an immediate tour of the Brazilian national park, where you can enjoy the majestic panoramic views of Iguazu from across the gorge. Options include viewing the falls from above with helicopter rides above them. In the late afternoon you transfer to your hotel with the evening free. Please be sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for Iguazu Falls, as the walkways, paths and yourselves become wet from the spray. Camera protection is also a good idea.
Day 5 : Mesmeric Iguazu
Iguazu Falls
After breakfast you cross to the Argentinean national park, where walkways allow you to experience the majesty of Iguazu from very close quarters. The undoubted highlight is the mesmeric experience of looking down into The Devil\'s Throat as the falling water pounds the bottom, creating the roar and mist that mean Iguazu Falls can be seen and heard for miles around. The afternoon finishes with the adventure boat ride which takes you right under the falling curtains of water. In the evening you may like to take in a Latin American Dance Show, or in the period around Full Moon, you can visit the falls to view Iguazu By Moonlight.
Day 6 : On to the Tango City
Iguazu Falls to Buenos Aires
With your flight from Iguazu to Buenos Aires possible at any time of day, you may like to visit more Iguazu attractions. The Bird Park has hundreds of colourful tropical species free to fly around the huge aviaries, including parrots, macaws and toucans. They are accompanied by huge butterflies too. A tour to Itaipu Dam takes you to see one of the world\'s largest engineering projects on the Rio Parana. The dam was the largest hydroelectric plant on earth until recently. After flying to Buenos Aires you transfer across the city to your hotel, with the rest of the day is then free to explore the area around the famous Recoleta Cemetery.
Day 7 : Buenos Aires By Day & Night
Buenos Aires
In the morning your Buenos Aires tour takes in the major city sights including Plaza de Mayo with the Pink Palace (Casa Rosada), the cathedral, colonial Cabildo and the old Town Hall. You also visit the coloured houses of La Boca and the old tango district of San Telmo, as well as the Congresso Parliament building and the Recoleta cemetery before returning to your hotel. After the afternoon to yourselves, you will be picked up and taken to one of Buenos Aires traditional Tango Shows. After dinner, the dancers entertain you with some of the classic tango numbers that have made the dance famous worldwide. Transfer back to your hotel is included afterwards.
Day 8 : Free Time in the Tango City
Buenos Aires
The day is free to enjoy Buenos Aires. Many tours are available in and around the city or you can choose to explore on your own. One option is a trip outside of the city to visit an estancia, where Argentinean Gaucho cowboys maintain their traditional lifestyle. Boat trips around the Tigre Delta an hour outside the city are also popular, as is the trip across the Rio de la Plata to the historic town of Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. Tango lessons can also be arranged if you want to learn the basic steps before visiting a milonga to practice them. You can also have the day to yourselves to enjoy the parks, the markets, the squares and the nightlife of Buenos Aires.
Day 9 : Flying Home from South America
Buenos Aires & Away
With your flight home likely to leave Buenos Aires in the evening, you have the balance of the day to enjoy the city. You may like to lunch in one of the traditional cafes of Avenida de Mayo, such as Cafe Tortoni. There may be some time for last minute shopping at the leather goods and souvenir shops, and also the street markets of the city. You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport in good time for international check in. Here\'s hoping that your tour leaves you with the desire to explore more of South America with Brazil Adventure Tours!
PRICES Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Per Adult * US$ 1,050 US$ 1,575 US$ 2,175 US$ 4,275
Domestic Flights ** US$ 320


Suggested Hotels Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Rio de Janeiro
Iguazu Falls
Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

* Prices vary depending on travel dates and flight availability. Peak periods in Brazil including Carnaval, public holidays and Christmas/New Year usually require a minimum number of nights, so in these cases itineraries may need to be changes. ** Domestic flight prices are estimated on typical values when reserved 6 months before travel. Prices can never be guaranteed until reservations are made though, and do usually become more expensive closer to the travel period.

Do I require a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil and other countries visited during this tour?

Citizens of many countries require a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil, organised in advance at your nearest Brazil Consulate.
Please check details for visa requirements for your country on our Brazil Tourist Visa page.
Also, for details of your nearest Brazil Consulate in case you do require a Tourist Visa, please visit our Brazil Consulates page.

Do I need any special vaccinations for the areas visited during this tour?

Visitors to Brazil and South America are advised to always check the latest health information from your local doctors or travel clinic.
You may be advised to take a course of Malaria tablets. Yellow Fever Vaccine is highly recommended/essential for the Pantanal & Amazon region, plus the certificate to prove it, and possibly Hepatitis A and B Vaccines.
Please check our Brazil Vaccinations for further information.

What is the best time of year for this tour?

January - February - March - April - May - September - October - November - December

Tandem Hang-Gliding Flight - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 3 Hours incl Instructions/Transfers
If there is one adventurous activity that we recommend you try in Rio, then tandem hang-gliding should be top of your list. Flights take off from the ramp on the top of Pedra Bonita in the Tijuca Forest National Park, with expert and very experienced instructors. For 10-15 minutes, gliders circle the skies above the Sao Conrado district and out over the Atlantic Ocean, before landing on the sands of Praia do Pepino. Instruction on take-off and landing is given, as well as safety talks. Our instructors are the best in Rio, the national and continental champions, and they make sure that your tandem hang-gliding experience will be a special memory of Rio.
Christ the Redeemer Statue - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: During Half or Full Day Tours
The iconic sight of Rio de Janeiro is the statue of Christ the Redeemer looking down on the city from the top of the steep Corcovado Mountain. This spectacular location is 710m high and visit to the 31m art-deco statue of course makes part of a stay in Rio for most first-time visitors to the city. ‘Cristo’ can be seen from many parts of Rio, near and far, even when lit up at night, meaning that the views from the base of the statue are as spectacular as any city view in the world, taking in the city, the lagoon, Guanabara Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, plus beaches and mountains galore. Spread those arms, take that photo and tick off Cristo!
Sugar Loaf Mountain Cable-Car Ride - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: During Half or Full Day Tours
Sugar Loaf Mountain is the 396m tall block of granite and quartz that guards the western entrance of Guanabara Bay, the natural harbour on which Rio de Janeiro was founded. The cable car was only the third ever to be built when inaugurated in 1912 by Brazilian engineer Augusto Ferreira Ramos. There are actually two cables, the first from beside Praia Vermelha to the middle station on the top of Urca Rock, and the second strung between there and the summit of Sugar Loaf itself. A trip to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain is an essential part of a first visit to Rio, with views matching those from Cristo, which can be seen silhouetted against the sky.
Copacabana & Ipanema Beaches - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: As Long As You Like!
Possibly the two most famous stretches of sand in the world in the world are in Rio. Copacabana is a beautiful 4km curve of sand, with plenty of hotels in the 3 or 4 blocks between the beach and the mountains. Ipanema is a 3km strip of mainly residential buildings. They are only 500m apart and as we recommend that our visitors to Rio stay within walking distance of one of them, these beaches will make part of every visit. With swimming, surfing, lounging, beach activities, plus world-class people-watching, we always leave time for people to enjoy themselves on Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches.
Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Free
In any other city, a huge lagoon backed by mountains would be far more famous, but the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon has much competition in Rio. an 8km path around the perimeter for walking, running and cycling means that the area always has visitors. Pedal swans and stand-up paddle boards can also be taken out on the water, under the gaze of ‘Cristo’. Bars and restaurants in the Ipanema corner make the lagoon a pleasant place to spend the evening too, with lights twinkling all around - especially when the famous electronic Christmas tree is in that part of the lagoon! You may also encounter the resident capybara that returned to the area recently.
Prainha & Grumari Beaches - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: All Day
Our favourite little escape from Rio. These two stunning beaches on the western edge of Rio are the best choice to spend a few hours away from the urban jungle. Backed by mountains covered with Atlantic Rainforest, pounded with surf, this wonderful natural setting is more Costa Verde than city, augmented by regular visits from local wildlife. Both beaches have an excellent open-air restaurant each overlooking the waves. From these we have spotted eagle rays, sea turtles and even a collared anteater swimming in the waves! Seafood lunch with a view is an unbeatable way to pass the middle of the day on the beaches of Prainha and Grumari.
Rocinha Favela Tour - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 3 Hours
The favelas of Rio are notorious worldwide with regular appearances in films, music videos and of course on the news. Rio has over 500 separate communities classed as favelas, which are basically illegal housing built on previously empty land, often on the precarious slopes of Rio’s mountains. Most people who live there lead ordinary working lives, and the communities work, rest and play the same as any other. Some overlook the main beaches of Rio and have stunning ocean views. A visit to a favela such as Rocinha, the largest of the favelas on these slopes, allows you a fascinating glimpse of community life in the ultimate urban jungle.
Tijuca Peak Hike - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half Day
The highest of all the mountains in Rio is Tijuca Peak at 1,021m, and a half day hike to the top takes you from the upper car park inside the park gates to the summit. The 3km trail is comfortable for anyone with hiking experience, usually 1-2 hours up and an hour back down at the most. The trail is under lush Atlantic Rainforest, winding up around the rock until it clears for the final part. Steps cut into the rock, with a not completely trustworthy chain, take you to the top, where you can enjoy views looking over the city and Maracana Stadium or the Imperador Rock looking back at you. Tijuca Peak works well with a visit to the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
Pedra da Gavea Hike & Climb - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Full Day
Rio has many peaks making part of the range of mountains that separate the city into North and South Zones. This is all part of the Tijuca Forest National Park. Pedra da Gavea is the most distinctive of them, the flat-topped rock named for the topsail on a sailing ship. This hike and climb is a full day for novice climbers, with some scrambling up through the Atlantic Rainforest section, then a little rock climbing before the final summit. Experienced climbers can try the vertical routes on the Imperador rock-face. The views from the top of the world’s largest coastal monolith are staggering, possibly the best in Rio, with a drop almost directly down into the sea.
Sugar Loaf Mountain Climb - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 5 Hours
What better way to appreciate the views from the top of one of the world’s greatest viewpoints than having arrived there under your own steam? The hike and climb to the 396m summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain can be done by beginners in good shape. The trail from Praia Vermelha takes you around Urca Rock then up the granite shoulders of Sugar Loaf. A short rock section needs climbing before you arrive at the summit. The vertical faces of Sugar Loaf have serious routes for experienced climbers, arriving at the top just in time to spoil many a tourist photo of Rio! Climbing Sugar Loaf is undoubtedly the most satisfying way to the top.
Sugar Loaf Mountain Hike - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 3 Hours
There is a middle way for Sugar Loaf as well, and a very pleasant route it is for those who appreciate a little hiking. The path around the back of Urca takes you alongside the ocean, with the sounds of the waves breaking below, and birds and monkeys for company, possibly with sea-turtles and rays exploring the coastline as well. The path then climbs up through the Atlantic Rainforest on a trail to the saddle between Urca and Sugar Loaf Mountains. From there, you climb the final part to the middle station at the top of Urca, continuing up to Sugar Loaf by the cable car. The return can be done the same way or by the cable car directly to Praia Vermelha.
Rio City & Santa Teresa Tour - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half Day
This tour, visiting the city centre and the hillside Santa Teresa district is usually combined with one of the major Rio sights, Christ the Redeemer or Sugar Loaf Mountain. The views over central Rio from the Santa Teresa hills are fabulous, including from the Parque das Ruinas. After dropping down to Lapa, the Selaron Staircase is full of colourful tiles from around the world, placed by Chilean artist Jorge Selaron. The Lapa Arches take the pretty little yellow tram down to the city, passing the Metropolitan Cathedral and its impressive stained-glass windows. The historic buildings of Rio and the Municipal Theatre are also worth a look.
Dois Irmaos/Two Brothers Hike - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half Day
The action begins with the hike up through the Vidigal favela to the top of Dois Irmaos, the Two Brothers peak overlooking Ipanema Beach. The first part is the drive up the winding roads through the hillside community to the trailhead. An hour of hiking through the forest brings you out directly above the Rocinha Favela, with spectacular views of there and Sao Conrado Beach. You continue the forest path to the summit, where you can enjoy the expansive views of Leblon, Ipanema, the lagoon and far more. The journey back down to sea level can include a wander through the streets of the favela for a fascinating look at life inside the ultimate urban jungle.
Rio Boat Tour - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half or Full Day
There are many spectacular views of Rio, but one of the best angles is undoubtedly from a boat in Guanabara Bay or during the trip to the Cagarras Islands just offshore. There are many possible routes, ranging from the quick trip from Marina da Gloria out around the bay, with views of Rio and across to neighbouring city Niteroi, to trips (on days of calm sea!) out to the offshore islands, or further along the coast past Niteroi to land on one of the beaches and have lunch. Boat trips can be done privately by motor or sail, and also as part of a larger group by schooner.
Helicopter Flights - Iguazu Falls
Duration: 10 mins or 35 mins
The finest views of Iguazu Falls are the birds-eye ones, and a helicopter flight above them is perhaps the best way to appreciate the scale and magnificence of the 275 separate falls. Helicopters take off with 4 passengers from the heliport just outside the park gates on the Brazil side. There are two options for the flights. The 10min version takes you above the falls themselves, circling around the Devil's Throat and above the canyon leading to it. The 35min ride also takes you downstream on the Rio Iguazu to the junction with the mighty Rio Parana, then up orver Itaipu Dam, with views of rivers, rainforest, two bridges and three countries.