The two largest countries in South America are now united in one trip! Visit ‘barrios’ like San Telmo and colourful La Boca in the coolest city of the world, Buenos Aires. On the border of Brazil and Argentina, near Foz do Iguaçu, the world's most beautiful waterfalls are surrounded by tropical rainforest. The Pantanal is the world's largest wetland and home to hundreds of fish and birds. You can even fish for piranha! Based at the foot of a mountain range and surrounded by large bays: Rio de Janeiro. For many synonymous with the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. While enjoying a cold caipirinha, overlooking the sea, you’ll look back on a wonderful trip!
Travelling with the correct travel documentation is your own responsibility. Please ensure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond the finish date of your trip.
For Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay a visa is not required for many nationalities. Please check this information in good time before your trip commences as this information is always subject to change. You can check this information through a site such as this one
. To arrange your visa, you should either contact your nearest relevant embassy or use an agency such as CIBT
Accommodation and transport
For the largest distances, namely from Buenos Aires to Posadas and from Foz do Iguaçu to Campo Grande, we travel in a comfortable public (night) bus with air conditioning. For other routes we use a private (mini) bus. On board the buses, it is not permitted to smoke. All transportation, except the transfers to and from the airport, is included.
The domestic flight from Campo Grande to Rio de Janeiro (with a change, usually in São Paulo) is operated by a reputable local company. Please note that domestic flight schedules in Brazil are subject to modification, for example more transfers and stopovers may be made. Unfortunately we can not control this so a flexible attitude and patience is required here.
The roads are generally good, but delay or detour can occur (E.g due to road or weather conditions). In these cases changes in the itinerary can be necessary. You must therefore have a flexible attitude towards your travels.
During the tour we stay in comfortable mid-range hotels in 2-person rooms with private bathroom. Typically the rooms have air conditioning. The quality of the hotels may vary by location. A triple room is usually possible but please indicate this to us in advance. Most hotels have a restaurant and sometimes a garden or a (roof) terrace. You stay on a bed and breakfast basis.
On the occasions that you overnight in a 'night bus', you will find the spacious seats recline almost 180 degrees. Your larger luggage is checked and stowed in the luggage compartment underneath the bus. You will be provided with a pillow and blanket (it is still recommended to take a jacket or cardigan onto the bus because of the air conditioning). On the route from Buenos Aires to Posadas usually a light dinner and breakfast is served on board.
Some of the planned hotels have a swimming pool for you to enjoy! This applies to those accommodations in Encarnacion, Foz do Iguacu and Pantanal. In exceptional cases it is possible that we use other hotels that do not have pools. Should this occur we will try to find a suitable alternative.
In the Pantanal you stay in a so-called "pousada", deep in nature. On the grounds of Pousada Santa Clara (subject to change), you will get to know the fauna of the Pantanal directly! The stay in the Pantanal is inclusive of an excursion program. Depending on the water level you will either do this on foot, on horseback or by canoe and motorboat. You will always be accompanied by local guides. Breakfast is included. The meal contribution in the Pantanal is about 25 real per person per lunch and dinner.
Travellers booking alone will be put together with another traveller (keeping in mind ones gender). It is also possible to ensure a single room for the entire trip. If you would like to do this then there is a supplement to be paid (at time of booking).
Once a year, the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro expend their energies at one of the world's biggest parties: the carnival. Carnival in Rio has an almost magical appeal. Images of the splendour of the exuberant carnival parades can be seen every year around the world. And no other town celebrates carnival as intensely as Rio de Janeiro.
Music is made and people are dancing throughout the street. Beautiful girls in tiny bikinis are dancing on large samba floats, accompanied by large groups of beautifully costumed dancers. Anything goes during carnival!
Carnival Associations called samba schools, begin their preparations for the big parades almost a year ahead. The music, the steps and the costumes, everything is very carefully designed and extensively practiced. The competition between the carnival associations is reminiscent of a football league, with fans who commit themselves wholeheartedly to their association. Each year during the parades, the prize for the best performance is hotly contested.
The parades of these associations take place in a street with stands and v.i.p boxes specially built up along both sides, the ‘Sambadrome’. Here the members of the samba schools, from young to old, parade themselves. To be able to participate in a carnival parade in Rio's Sambadrome is the dream of many Brazilians!
In recent years, street carnival has come back with a vengeance. There is more and more music on the streets and on the beach, usually played by bands in huge trucks full of boxes. Very slowly these bands make their way through the streets, followed by a dancing crowd. From authentic samba to the Beatles, in a Brazilian jacket or AC/DC in a samba version; there is a band on the street for every taste.
Our tours are led by trained, local English speaking tour leaders. We know that our travellers appreciate being accompanied by these local tour leaders who, compared to their counterparts (living outside of the destination) have more detailed knowledge of their country. He/she knows the area well, can provide background information and ensure that the trip goes smoothly. He/she knows what to do if something were to go wrong, but is not a "walking encyclopedia". Therefore we would like to refer you to study a good travel guide (book) in advance of travel.
Your tour leader understandably expects a tip at the end, if she/he has completed the job well. Shoestring pay the tour guides a wage which is higher than that of most adventurous travel companies. Our guideline for tipping is between € 1, - and € 2, - per passenger per day (the equivalent thereof).
This journey is classified as Category B
The difficulty of our trips varies greatly. Added to this is the fact that travel difficulty is a very personal perception. To give an impression of the difficulty of a particular journey, we have developed a classification system.
Category A: Light travel for everyone to do. Short distances, good hotels, travel at a slow pace.
Category B: For everyone to do as well. Sometimes long distances. Good hotels and camping facilities, sometimes an adventurous overnight experience, travel at a normal pace.
Category C: Good to do for anyone who prepares themself well and is flexible. There are tougher parts of the journey, such as longer distances or walking tours. Several nights can be spent in basic accommodation.
Category D: A relatively difficult journey, travelling long distances, often primitive accommodation or tents, and challenging walking tours.
The tour of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil falls into category B. This trip is doable for anyone who prepares properly and is flexible. The travelling distances are often quite long and the roads sometimes bad. It is generally good to remember that you are travelling in a developing country with much lower living standards than you are used to at home. Hotel rooms can be less comfortable, the electricity can sometimes fail and it could be that you suddenly have a shortage of hot water whilst taking a shower. Also, roads may be temporarily blocked because of the weather or owing to their state of repair, in which case a detour is unavoidable. A flexible and positive attitude is just as important as a good physical condition.
We know that travelling to remote corners of this planet has its effects. At Shoestring we really try to make an effort to keep our impact to a minimum. We try to avoid the use of plastic water bottles on our treks through Nepal and we do not dump our litter during our trips through Africa. All of our staff have been trained to take special care to ensure we make as little impact on the environment as possible.
Furthermore we support a lot of local projects which are mostly related to clean drinking water or making sure that children get vaccinated against illnesses such as tuberculosis. On most tours you will be able to visit some of the projects we support through our local agents. Find out more about the different projects Shoestring are involved with, how you can make a difference and our environmental policies here
Travel insurance, including medical repatriation insurance, is mandatory. It is not included with our packages and it is your responsibility to purchase suitable travel insurance. Make sure that it covers all the activities that you are likely to undertake, such as rafting and trekking. Many ‘free’ insurances that come with banking packages, credit cards etc, are quite often inadequate to cover you on our tours, so make sure you check the policy before you travel. You should enter your travel insurance details via your my.shoestring account and you are required to give a copy of your insurance policy to your tour leader upon arrival. Without proper insurance like this, you will not be allowed to join the tour as we will not be able to respond adequately in case of an emergency if you do not have the right insurance.
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You can call us on number +31 20 6850203 or +44 (0)1306 744797 and email us at email@example.com
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More country information about Brazil
More country information about Argentina
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about Brazil
Frequently asked questions about Argentina