Southern Brazil: Jaguars, Whales & Colonial Splendour

Home to a truly unique combination of poignant cultural sites and fascinating wildlife, Brazil scratches the adventurous itch that tickles us all from time to time. Fusing the finest facets of this resplendent culture/wildlife combination, this South American sojourn gives you 13 nights to tick off some of Brazil’s most iconic destinations, as well as a few lesser-known gems that we’ve thrown in for good measure. If you’re looking for the perfect insight into the fabric of South America’s largest and most lovable country, this is the trip for you.


Starting in the enchanting capital, you’ll touch down on the shores of Rio before being privately whisked to the charming 1950s vibe of the Fasano Hotel. Rising early, your first day in Rio will pivot around a privately guided tour of the iconic city. Packed full of adventure, your tour will take you from the biblical heights of Corcovado to the depths of Rio’s bustling markets before ending with a private cooking class with a local chef back at the hotel. Slightly more relaxed, tomorrow will give you plenty of time to explore the area at your own pace. Dive into the chic beach culture of Copacabana, indulge in some retail therapy at the boutique stores of  Santa Teresa or utilise the Fasano’s private stretch of Ipanema beach, where the bustle and crowds seem a world away. For the perfect end to your stay in the city, take a swift cable car journey to the peak of Sugar Loaf Mountain, where the legendary sunset makes for the perfect photo-op to wrap up your time in Rio.

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Leaving the hum of the city behind, you’ll head south to the colonial epicenter of Ouro Preto. Bound by a gold-rush history and a myriad of awe-inspiring churches that are intertwined throughout the rough cobbled streets, Ouro Preto is the jewel in Brazil’s cultural crown. Upon arrival, you’ll be whisked to the antiquated grandeur of Hotel Solar Do Rosario, where you’ll settle down for two nights as you explore the colonial center and religious prowess of this unforgettable town. After your two nights in Ouro Preto, you’ll carry on to Tiradentes, where you’ll spend a night amongst the picturesque landscapes and architectural mastery of this achingly beautiful town. During your stay, you’ll bed down at the charming country house of Solar Da Ponte, awash with discreet elegance and boasting the perfect location to explore the town.


Bathed in a new cultural glow after your dip into Brazil’s rich colonial heritage, it’s time to leave the historic streets behind and get your fill of the wondrous wildlife that’s on offer further inland. The Amazon may dominate the headlines, but in our eyes, it’s the Pantanal that really deserves to be on the front page, and with that in mind, the next four days are all about exploring the endemic species and ethereal atmosphere of the world’s largest wetlands. During your three-night adventure into the wild heart of this ecologically stunning area, you’ll embark on a series of water safaris that permeate the interior of the wetlands, offering the opportunity to spot some of South America’s most fascinating wildlife, including jaguars, peccaries, bobcats, wild boars and a seemingly endless spectrum of bird life.


Still reeling in the wake of your wildlife spotting adventures, on your final morning you’ll be woken by the sounds of the rainforest for the last time before flying down to the coastal climes of Florianopolis. Feeling the intrepid aura of the jungle wash off instantly, check in at Ponta dos Ganchos Resort, a secluded coastal hideaway that concludes your Brazilian escape with the utmost tranquillity. Your three-night stay on this private peninsula leaves your time completely in your own hands; bask in the sunshine of Brazil’s emerald coastline, dive headfirst into the array of watersports on offer or simply recline in your charming bungalow and reflect on your Brazilian trip of a lifetime. But if the Pantanal has left you with an unquenchable thirst for wildlife, eye-widening whale sightings amid pristine waters lie just offshore with Arctic Right whales roaming the coves of Garobapa between July and September, offering a truly unforgettable way to end your discovery of Brazil.