Brazil: Rio and the Wild Wetlands of the Pantanal

  • Overview
    Starts at



    9 days

    Activity Level


    Your family will spend most of your time relaxing and not expending too much energy. These adventures are easy! Every member of your family will be comfortable and able to take part in this adventure no matter their fitness level.
    Minimum Age


    Ideal Age



    7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners

    Brazil is a great place for a family vacation with kids! Visit the wild wetlands of the Pantanal and spend a day canoeing down a river that cuts through the watery flatlands looking for wildlife. From the wetlands to the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro, your family will feel the excitement of Brazil long after you’ve returned home.

    Visit Two Distinct Sides of Brazil

    There is a lot you can explore in South America’s largest country and on this adventure packed family vacation, you’ll get to experience wild lands of the jungle and the vibrant streets of Rio.

    Explore the Pantanal

    The Pantanal is one of the most biodiverse, lush, and beautiful ecosystems on the planet. Your family will get to learn about and explore this fascinating environment.

    See the Best Sites in Rio de Janeiro

    Relax on the beach at Copacabana, stand in the shadow of the Christ the Redeemer statue, and journey to the top of Corcovado Hill for an amazing view of the city.

    Fish for Piranha

    These biting fish will be no match for you. With the help of an expert fisherman, head out to the river and catch the day’s meal!

    Take a Traditional Cooking Lesson

    Everything in Brazil is done with flare and passion, and learning how to use spices and flavors to create a delicious meal during a cooking lesson with Chef Simone is no different.

  • Itinerary

    Day 1

    Fly to Cuiaba, Brazil

    Day 2


    Welcome Dinner

    You’ll enjoy a meal in the hotel where your guide will go over our itinerary for our adventure. This is also where you’ll get to meet your fellow travelers.

    Days 3-5


    Canoeing on the River

    It’s about a one-hour scenic drive from the lodge to the river camp, with many birds, caimans, and other wildlife to spot along the way. You’ll take canoes out on the river, keeping a lookout for giant river otters and turtles. Then do some piranha fishing and enjoy a nice barbecue.

    Bichos da Mata Bird Rescue Center

    Tucked into wildlife-laden wetlands, visit a bird rescue center run by the Bichos da Mata foundation. This enclosed aviary is where many species of protected birds can live without danger, and will ultimately be safely released back into the wild. You’ll learn about the different birds, conservation efforts and get to see some of them flying above your head!

    Open Jeep Safari

    Go on a nightime wildlife drive in an open top Jeep. This is the only way to spot nocturnal life like armadillo and giant anteaters!

    Horseback Riding

    Ride through the property of Araras Eco Lodge like true pantaneiros, Pantanal cowboys! You’ll ride special Pantanal horses that were brought from the Andalucía region of southern Spain over 200 years ago. These horses are truly special, as they are experts at navigating wet terrian and deep waters. They’ve even learned how to hold their breath while they eat underwater!

    Jaguar Excursion Option

    Board a motor boat for a river safari in and around the Meeting of the Waters State Park, with the special goal of spotting jaguars, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see one!

    Hike to Observation Tower

    With your naturalist guide leading the way, hike to an observation tower high above the jungle. Your naturalist will point out different plants and animals to see along the way!

    Days 6-8

    Rio de Janeiro

    Rodizio de Pizza Dinner

    This won’t be your typical pizza dinner. Here, the wait staff brings all different types of pizzas straight to your table. You can have as many slices of whichever variety you choose – it’s a pizza buffet that comes to you! Try not to fill up too much though, because the meal always ends with a savory dessert pizza!

    Cooking with Chef Simone

    Visiting the teaching kitchen of Chef Simone, a vibrant, energetic Brazilian woman, who’ll help you’ll make some scrumptious local dishes. It’s a treat that everyone’s tastebuds will remember!

    Carnival Behind the Scenes

    Learn how one of Rio’s samba schools prepares for the annual carnival parade. Hear about the cultural and historical significance of the event and see the preparation that goes into creating the vibrant costumes and floats.

    Corcovado Mountain (Christ the Redeemer)

    Take a train ride to the the top of Corcovado Mountain and get face-to-face with Christ the Redeemer, an iconic symbol of Brazil that’s a stunning site to behold. This is also a wonderful place to get sweeping views of the city!

    Sugarloaf Mountain Option

    Ride a glass-walled cable car to the two peaks of Sugarloaf Mountain. On a clear day, Sugarloaf offers spectacular views of Botafogo Cove, Guanabara Bay and the Copacabana seafront. The cable car ascends first to the peak of Morro da Urca before continuing up to the other peak, Pão de Açúcar.

    Churrascaria Lunch

    You’ll dine at a churrascaria, where meat is cooked churrasco style, the Brazilian version of a barbeque. It’s a buffet-style meal where select cuts of meat are brought to the table and freshly sliced right on the plate. It’s is a great chance for families to try all kinds of Brazilian barbeque dishes.

    Day 9

    Depart Rio de Janeiro

  • Dates & Prices

    2020 Dates


    Adult $4990
    Teen $4990
    Child $4790
    Internal Air $250

    Additional Info

    Triple Discount

    $200 discount for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults

    Single Supplement

    Additional $1,890 for single accommodations

    Large Group Discount 

    Traveling in a party of six or more friends or family members? Call us about our large group discounts

    Alumni Discount 

    If you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices

    Price includes

    All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bilingual guide throughout, all meals, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle.

    Guaranteed departure. Surcharge applied to groups smaller than 4 guests.

  • Hotels

    Hotel Gran Odara

    The Hotel Gran Odara offers comfortable and clean rooms with fine linens and goosedown pillows. Wi-Fi is included and there is a pool, fitness center with sauna, and beauty salon. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with traditional Cuiabana food prepared with a lovely French twist.

    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 several 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. Electricity is run off a generator and can be spotty or unavailable at times. No internet or cell phone service is available.

    Hilton Copacabana Hotel

    Located across the street from Leme Beach (adjacent to Copacabana Beach), this deluxe hotel has two swimming pools and two restaurants. It is within walking distance to a supermarket, pharmacy, bank and a few restaurants.

    Thomson Family Adventures will attempt to adhere to this itinerary and its hotels as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or availability) may necessitate changes in the accommodations.

  • Why Thomson

    Friends Across Borders

    Your child will have a cultural connection like no other by meeting kids the same age from the country you’re traveling by playing games, throwing a Frisbee, kicking a ball around, or just chatting. Ask us about our pen pal program.

    Guaranteed Departures

    No matter what happens, once your family books a trip you’re going.


    Be accompanied for your entire trip by an expert local in-country guide who will know all of the ins and outs of the adventure and destination.

    Small Groups

    With a small group you’ll have plenty of time for spontaneity and to develop a connection with your fellow travelers and guide.

    Smart Traveler Advantages

    Book your trip 9 months in advance and get access to all of the advantages that come with being a smart traveler.

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Starts at



8 days

Activity Level


Active trips revolve around multi-sport activities that keep your family outside and having fun! Your family will spend more time interacting with the elements and exploring than sitting on a beach or inside of a museum. These activities are not always physically demanding but they can be and do require a basic level of fitness.