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Brazil is big, lush and lively. Much of the country is focused on the 5,000 miles of coast including gorgeous beaches but the heartland is the home of the Amazon.

Did You Know

  • Brazil makes up one half of the continent of South America and has 2,500 airports.
  • The capital is not Rio or Sao Paulo but Brasilia.
  • Cars in Brazil don't run on gasoline, but on ethanol, a blend of ethanol and gasoline (gasohol) or natural gas which has enabled the country to be 100% energy independent.

Country Highlights

Rio de Janeiro
Also called Maravilhosa (the marvelous city), this city has 45 miles of coastline and 23 buzzing beaches.  There are the famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches for people watching , to Praihna for surfers, Barra de Tijuca for families and Praia do Dabo for the views.  Guarding the city is the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and you can enjoy fabulous views of Rio from either here or, take the cable car up the equally scenic Sugar Loaf (Pao de Acucar).  Rio’s extravagant and exuberant carnival takes place in February but cariocans (Rio citizens) live life to the fullest whenever.

Manaus and the Amazon
There’s no escaping the Amazon which makes up most of Brazil yet only a small amount of the population.  Take a boat upriver with stops for wildlife viewing of spend at least five days in a jungle lodge.  You can access the jungle from Belem in the north but the most popular starting off point is the interesting city of Manaus.  In the 1800s this area supplied 90% of the world’s rubber and the commercialists invested their wealth in the buildings and culture of the city.  The Teatro Amazonas hoses a philharmonic orchestra, and world class musicians, dancers and opera singers are attracted here to perform at the theatre in the middle of the jungle.

Iguazu and the South
This is the more pampas, cowboy-like area of Brazil.  Where cattle ranches and the influence of Northern European settlers abound.    Is a good place for horseback riding and for sampling German style beer in Blumenau. For beaches, Ilha de Santa Catalina has a mix of the quiet and the lively, and those around Florianopolis draw the surfers.  The Curitiba- Prain ride covers 62 miles coastal mountain range, hugging the mountains on its way to the sea.  Where Brazil meets with Uruguay and Argentina is the fantastic Iguazu Falls (see Argentina).

Brasilia and the Pantanal
The country’s capital is a futuristic planned city.  Wide avenues and innovative architecture are the focus of this city and it’s so impressive it’s the only modern city with UNESCO World Heritage Status.  Brasilia is often visited as the gateway to the Pantanal, a vast area of wetland that offers excellent opportunities for wildlife spotting vast open spaces make it easier to spot wildlife without all that foliage getting in the way.  It has the highest concentration of wildlife in the New World and is very sparsely populated meaning the main form of transportation is by plane.    Wildlife here includes giant river otters, anacondas, cougars, jaguars, iguanas, deer, crocodiles and anteaters, cayman, tapir, puma, ocelot and the capybara – the words largest rodent, armadillo  and 650 species of birds especially water birds such as spoonbill, storks and ibises.

Sao Paolo
This metropolis of 25 million people is the cultural and economic heart of Brazil.  The city is thoroughly cosmopolitan and this is a good place to sample the international arts and culture scene. 
Wrecks for scuba divers, trails to waterfalls for hikers, international watersporsts competitions for adrenalin junkies and miles of sandy beaches for lazers make the island of Ilhabela outside of Sao Paolo a good choice for visitors.

Salvador and the North East
Miles of sandy beaches, backed by lush rainforest, islands of coral reefs, historical centers and a vibrant and fascinating cultures, make this part of Brazil a must see on the visitors list.  Salvador is where Brazil began and is the center of Brazilian music thanks to the influence of the majority Afro-Brazilian population – making it a great place to see the carnival and any other festival for that matter.  Salvador is also home to 300 historic churches and, somewhat incongruously, the Candomble religion which is a vibrant mix of African and Catholic beliefs.  For these reasons and the hundreds of gorgeous beaches in the city’s environs, Salvador is dubbed Brazil’s capital of happiness. 

Enough of sand and sea?  The inland Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina has idyllic rivers, waterfalls, grottoes and caves amidst its trails.  The fauna here has drawn studies by such bodies as the Royal Botanical Gardens in the UK.  South of Salvador is Parque Nacional  Marinho de Abrolhos.  With 20m visibility in the clear waters of this coastal park, this is a top diving and snorkeling destination.   Here are reefs of teaming with wildlife, migrating birds, humpback whales and very few people.  Located offshore from the calm, mangrove lined fishing town of Caravelas.

Related programs:

Nature in the Pantanal, Iguazu and Rio.
10 Days US$2595+flights

Explore the Brazilian Amazon and Rio.
8 Days US$ 2595 + flights

See all the highlights of South America: Machu Picchu, Iguazu & Rio

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First, we had a wonderful time and the trip was fun and interesting. We managed not to get sick and did not have any altitude

Alan and Judy, Peru & Ecuador

Hi Max, I can't tell you pleased we were with what you arranged for us. We, I had a great time and the fact that

Dave, Peru & Galapagos

Hey Donovan - the overall trip exceeded our expectations.  We would definitely recommend the trip, even though it was a bit expensive for our friends,

Brian S, Peru & Galapagos

HI Max and Donovan,I would like to thank you for a lovely Trip.  The Coral staff did an awesome job making our vacation spectacular.The DietrichsEcuador &

The Dietrichs, Ecuador & Galapagos

Max,Just wanted to touch base and you let know how great our trip went.  Other than AA losing Jill’s bag (which caused a bit of

Darin, Peru & Galapagos

Hi Donovan the trip through Costa Rica was fabulous. Once again you did an outstanding job giving us a trip to remember. Our guide, Charlie

Linda, Costa Rica

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Jane and Sue, Peru

I had contracted with Ideal South America (ISA), after checking with eleven other travel agencies.  If you plan on a trip to South America I

Col. Ed Scholl, Peru

Max, The trip was fantastic and you put together a very nice itinerary.  The guides were very knowledgeable and the lodging was great, the flights

Ralstons & Pruesses, Peru

As promised, a while back, I am sending you some pictures from our trip to Peru. As I mentioned previously, we had an amazing time!

Peru, Eid-Heberle Family

I wanted to take a moment and thank you and your staff for planning and delivering an incredible trip! Alyssa and I had an amazing

Jake and Alyssa

We are back we had a great time. Thanks for your careful planning. The Andes were spectacular, the yacht was terrific … the Galapagos amazing.

Schreibers, Florida

"We had a wonderful time on our trip. Everything went really smoothly and we enjoyed all of our excursions. It was the trip of a

Ralston Family, California

Our trip was wonderful! Everything was well organized, hotels were great, and the weather was close to perfect.

Lewis Family, Pennsylvania

Jan 2013

...the places we saw exceeded our expectations. Machu Picchu is way better than the pictures show. The Galapagos trip is also great. I guess the

Sonny & Amanda Punzalan, California

Dec 2012

The trip to Ecuador and Peru were great! We felt that all of the guides, drivers, and transfers were excellent. Everything went well

Sue Clark & Family, Washington

Peru & Ecuador, Dec 2012

We had the best time and wanted to let you know that every hotel, transfer, guide, connection, tour, mode of transportation, and cruise were perfect.

Mark Stout & Family, Pennsylvania

Machu Picchu & Galapagos, Dec 2012

Thanks for the ideal trip. Everything worked out perfectly. Loved having somebody with name card at every airport to pick us up and give

Bruce Thaler, Philadelphia

Machu Picchu & Galapagos, November 2012

It was marvelous and the trip of a lifetime. If I searched for a fault in the trip I could not find one to complain

Howard Silberstein, Miami

Galapagos & Ecuador, November 2012

Thank you guys for planning our Galapagos and Machu Picchu trip. We had a great time! The transfers were punctual, and the guides

Yau Ru Chen, Los Angeles

Machu Picchu Galapagos, October 2012

Thanks for arranging such an awesome trip for the Whiteside family when in Peru this week. The guides were absolutely superb

Janet Whiteside, Florida

Peru, July 2012

The experience from beginning to end was excellent. The combination of Sacred Valley, Iguazu ending in Rio is great

Paul Jones

Machu Picchu, Iguazu & Rio, March 2012

We just returned from our South American trip with fond memories and no hitches. Thanks to your planning and foresight.

Victor Limlingan, Travel Agent – The Philippines

Ecuador, Galapagos & Panama, June 2012

...we were so pleased with your services and will be booking with you again for our South American travel in the future!

Jennafer Bonello – Washington DC

Peru, June 2012

We had a wonderful trip. everything went well and all the guides were super nice and helpful.

Hamila Atefi – Washington DC

Peru and Galapagos, May 2012

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work planning my trip. It was all appreciated, and provided us with

Chris Leggat – New York

Galapagos & Machu Picchu, June 2012

Just back from one of the most enjoyable and well put together vacation trips we have ever experienced! Thanks for putting it all together for

Rick Velategui – USA

Peru, Galapagos, Oct 2011

The hotels, guides & drivers were first class & we could not have expected anything more than what was delivered. Thank you again

Mike & Carol Lipischak

Peru, November 2011