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Discover two of South America’s greatest cities, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, at a leisurely pace. On this tour you’ll have plenty of free time in each city to explore and experience the varied restaurants, shops, and optional excursions. In Rio, view the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Mountain; sip caipirinhas, a popular Brazilian cocktail; catch a Samba show; and enjoy famous Copacabana Beach for endless people watching! While in Buenos Aires, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Cemetery of the Recoleta, where Eva Peron is buried, and learn how at the age of 33 she was declared the “Spiritual Leader of the Nation.” You’ll learn more about her life on your sightseeing tour in Buenos Aires. And no visit to Buenos Aires would be complete without a Tango show, the world’s most sensuous dance, in a city where romance permeates the air.A major highlight on this journey is a visit to Iguassu Falls in between your two city stays. It truly is one of the most spectacular sights on Earth. See the impressive falls from both the Brazilian and Argentine sides. Brazil’s view takes you through clouds of mist and the opportunity to see these 275 falls, spanning nearly two miles! Argentina’s side allows you to walk along the boardwalk network and embark on a jungle train through the forest for unforgettable views. Hear the deafening roar and admire the brilliant rainbows created by the clouds of spray, and take in the majesty of this wonder of the world.From vibrant cities to scenic beauty, this vacation to Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, and Buenos Aires will leave you with vacation memories you’ll cherish for life.
Destinations & Sightseeing
Sightseeing: In Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, and Buenos Aires. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Scenic Highlights: Corcovado, Brazilian & Argentine sides of Iguassu Falls, La Boca, Recoleta Cemetery, and Tango show.
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Transportation: Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.
Meals & Itinerary
8 breakfasts, 3 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Welcome to spectacular Rio de Janeiro, home to white-sand beaches and host to the Summer Olympics in 2016! After arrival, settle into your hotel and meet your Tour Director, who will have pointers for your free time exploration.
Day 2 Rio De Janeiro
Sprawling between majestic granite peaks and the blue South Atlantic, Rio is a city of beauty, wonder, and energy. Guided sightseeing with a Local Guide begins with a drive along Rio’s famed Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana Beaches. Take the cog railway 2,300 feet up to the summit of CORCOVADO to view the infamous Christ the Redeemer statue and enjoy 360-degree views of Guanabara Bay and the bustling city below. Your afternoon is free to explore—perhaps join an optional excursion to a nearby favela for a glimpse into the life of these colorful communities that nearly 25% of the people call home. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a welcome dinner at a famous local churrascaria, serving prime meats, seafood, and fish. Following dinner, perhaps opt for a fun outing to see a vibrant Samba show, an extravaganza of costumes, dancers, and the hot beat of the Brazilian Samba rhythm, featuring more than a hundred artists.
Day 3 Rio De Janeiro
A free day in Rio allows you to relax on one of the famous beaches or take an optional excursion to the historic city of Petropolis to see the former summer palace of Emperor Pedro II.
Day 4 Rio De Janeiro–Iguassu Falls
A morning flight takes you to Iguassu Falls, one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Upon arrival, journey to the Brazilian side of the FALLS to see the mammoth series of 275 waterfalls cascading over a precipice almost two miles wide and 250 feet deep. Walk into Devil’s Throat Canyon, where the clouds of mist, thundering roar, and 180-degree rainbows surround you—an unforgettable experience!
Day 5 Iguassu Falls
Cross the border for a visit of the Argentine side of the FALLS. Begin with a short ride on the open-air ECOLOGICAL JUNGLE TRAIN through the rainforest. A series of boardwalks takes you above the falls to see the water crashing down into the Devil’s Throat. Your afternoon is free to explore, or you may opt to visit the Bird Park, home to many species of indigenous birds as well as flora from the area.
Day 6 Iguassu Falls–Buenos Aires, Argentina
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital. After settling into your hotel, an orientation tour familiarizes you with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards, outdoor cafés, and charming shops.
Day 7 Buenos Aires
Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide focuses on the city’s landmarks, including the Colon Opera House and Plaza de Mayo, site of La Casa Rosada (the President's Pink House) and Metropolitan Cathedral. Also visit San Telmo, one of Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhoods, and RECOLETA CEMETERY, where Eva Peron is buried. End your day with an Argentinean meal, followed by a sensuous TANGO SHOW highlighting the alluring dance that is so popular here.
Day 8 Buenos Aires
Today is free for independent activities, or you can take an optional excursion to visit a local estancia (ranch) to experience the life of the gauchos (cowboys), as well as traditional dance performances and a barbecue lunch.
Day 9 Buenos Aires
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
JOSE ANTONIO DO VALLE CORDEIRO
Years of Experience: 11
“Born in Rio de Janeiro, being a Tour Director is not just a dream job, it is my passion. Whether I'm revealing a famous sight or a hidden treasure to my guests, or simply helping them plan their day, it is my passion to help people discover more about Brazil and South America. I like to share my stories, experience, and knowledge with guests so that they can get a real insider's point of view.”
RIO DE JANEIRO Windsor Plaza Copacabana (F)IGUASSU FALLS Recanto Park (F)BUENOS AIRES Dazzler Maipu (F)
The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.
Rio de Janeiro
The Favela Tour reveals the way of life for around 20% of Rio's population. It changes the general idea that favelas are simply no-go areas dominated by criminals only, and opens a new perspective of Rio society. It is a tour to understand the city, its contrasts and paradoxes. The tour takes you to the community of Vila Canoas, with around 2.500 people, and Rocinha, the largest favela in Brazil, having around 85,000 people. Both are placed within the rich neighborhood of Sao Conrado. In Vila Canoas, walk through the narrow alleyways and get a good idea of its social initiatives that are also part of many Rio favelas. Once in Rocinha, the contrasts are more evident as much as we go higher and deeper inside. Visits include the community school, commercial center, and handicraft center. Its huge dimensions, wide variety of commerce and breathtaking view from the top is certainly impressive for any visitor.
Approximate value: $43 USD per person
A drive through the outskirts of Rio, up the Serra dos Orgaos on a winding, scenic road through the Atlantic Rain Forest will take you to the 'Imperial City of Petropolis', 810 m (2,660 ft) above sea level. We will visit the museum at the summer palace of former Emperor Pedro II of Brazil and the Cathedral with the tomb of the Emperor and his wife. You will see the highlights of this charming city, such as the 'Crystal Palace', mansions and buildings from imperial and modern times.
Approximate value: $50 USD per person
Enjoy a lively and colorful extravaganza of wonderful costumes, dancers, and the hot beat of the Brazilian samba rhythm, featuring more than a hundred artists. The final apotheosis is a memorable display of dazzling costumes used in Carnival parades throughout Brazil.
Approximate value: $78 USD per person
Travel to the neighborhood of Urca where one of the largest symbols of the city is located: Sugar Loaf. You'll travel all the way to the top in two steps by cable car. The first cable car takes you to Urca Hill, a vantage point over 1,000 feet high offering beautiful views of Guanabara Bay and its islands as well as Corcovado Mountain. The second cable car takes you to the top at 1,300 feet where you will enjoy splendid views of Copacabana beach, the Santa Cruz fortress and several beaches of Niteroi.
Approximate value: $55 USD per person
The Bird Park, near Iguassu Falls, offers visitors the opportunity to spot birds up close is their native rainforest environment. Huge aviaries are home to over 900 tropical birds of 150 species. On a walking tour learn about the various birds found here and the ongoing effort to protect and conserve these native birds. Among other attractions, there is a butterfly aviary, hummingbird aviaries, and a reptile sector with caimans and snakes.
Approximate value: $50 USD per person
In Argentina ranches dedicated to cattle breeding and to growing grains are called Estancias. Today, enjoy a complete day at and estancia in the pampas, where Buenos Aires ends and home to the gauchos! This full-day excursion is an ideal opportunity to absorb the atmosphere of rural life and a colorful feast in the heart of the pampas. Lunch includes world-renowned Argentine beef and live entertainment by gauchos in their native costumes. After lunch, the folklore show will began with its music and dances. The day will end with demonstration of typical activities at an estancia: regional games on horseback such as the "carrera de sortijas", where two teams gallop at full tilt under a wooden arch and try to pass a pin through a small ring hanging from the arch.
Approximate value: $144 USD per person
Know Before You Go
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for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).