Family holiday Brazil

19 days - from € 4.350 per person

family trip - Pantanal - self-drive - history

  • Go snorkeling in Rio de Prata, a river clear as an aquarium
  • Spot the giant anteater during an exciting walk through the Pantanal
  • Sail just below the Iguaçu Falls (and bring your raincoat)
  • Bike the lively streets of Rio de Janeiro from Copacabana

Travel itinerary

Day 1: Amsterdam – São Paulo 

Today you will fly from Amsterdam to São Paulo. Upon arrival you will be welcomed by our local English-speaking staff and brought to your hotel. You will spend the night in an accommodation near the international airport, as you will fly on to Campo Grande the next day.
Overnight stay: Mercure Guarulhos Aeroporto Hotel | bed & breakfast

Day 2: São Paulo – Campo Grande – Bonito

(approx. 300 km | 4 hour drive)
From your hotel you will be taken to São Paulo airport, from where you will take a domestic flight to Campo Grande. A rental car will be waiting for you upon arrival. You will drive to your accommodation in Bonito. The place where Bonito is now, was 550 million years ago still a sea. Today it is one of the most fascinating water recreation areas in the world. You will stay in Pousada Boyra, located about 17 km (partly unpaved road) from the center of Bonito. The name Boyra comes from the indigenous Tupi language and means something valuable. Because of its beautiful location on the banks of the Formoso River, this accommodation offers you a nice starting point to get acquainted with the surroundings of Bonito. In the Formoso river near the hotel you can snorkel and around the hotel you will find some hiking trails that offer the opportunity to spot Capuchin monkeys, toucans and macaws. Various activities are also offered from the accommodation, such as hiking, mountain biking, zip-lining, kayaking and stand-up paddling. 
Overnight stay: Pousada Boyrá | half board

Day 3: Bonito 

Today you will go snorkeling in the Rio da Prata and visit the Buraco das Araras. From your hotel you can drive with your rental car to the Rio da Prata (River of Silver). While snorkeling you will be surrounded by different species of fish such as the Piraputangas, Pacu, Cachara, Pintados, Curimbatás and Dourados. The rays of light, branches, broken/fallen tree trunks, rock walls and rock formations form an amazing underwater landscape. Because of this you will be surprised every time with different fish. After snorkeling in the Rio de Prata you drive on to the Buraco das Araras. Buraco means hole in Portuguese, this is a 124 meter deep and 500 meter wide crater where you can admire red-blue macaws. The so-called hyacinth macaws have made this crater their home and nestle here at the edge of this crater. At the bottom of the crater there is a lake with caimans. 
Overnight stay: Pousada Boyrá | half board

Day 4: Bonito 

Today you will go to Estancia Mimosa, where you will make a nice hike. The tour starts with a trekking of approx. 3.500 meters through the ewe forest along the Mimoso river. On the way you will stop several times at beautiful waterfalls where you can take a refreshing swim and at viewpoints to enjoy the view. Part of the route is covered by rowing boat. You will stop at several viewpoints, where you have a beautiful view over the Serra da Bodoquena mountain range. The main building of the fazenda, where you will have lunch, retains its original features and here you can relax in the hammocks.
Overnight stay: Pousada Boyrá | half board

Day 5: Bonito – Pantanal

(approx. 260 km | 4 hour drive)
Leave Bonito and drive with your rental car to the special nature reserve of the Pantanal. The Pantanal is Brazil's most important nature reserve after the Amazon rainforest. It's a kind of seasonal swamp that is flooded for half the year and falls dry for the other half. In the rainy season the water flows from the surrounding regions to the Pantanal which now forms a kind of bowl that fills up. As the water 'gradually' flows out again, the nutrients that make the Pantanal a biologically very rich area are left behind. The rivers are bursting with fish and the banks are bursting with birds and caimans. Other characteristic animals of the Pantanal are the giant anteater, the giant otter, the anaconda, the capibara and the beautiful hyacinth macaw. 
Overnight stay: Pousada Aguapé | full board

Day 6 and 7 : Pantanal 

Enjoy the surroundings where you are staying in these days. Join the various activities included in your stay. You can go horseback riding, hiking, take part in a photography safari tour and spot animals during a boat tour. You will experience the real Pantanal culture. The guides of this lodge do not always speak English, but will do their best to show you as much of the area as possible.
Overnight stays: Pousada Aguapé | full board

Day 8: Pantanal – Campo Grande 

(approx. 190 km | 3.5 hour drive)
In the afternoon you will drive from the Pantanal back to Campo Grande, where you will stay one night before continuing to Foz do Iguaçu.
Overnight stay: Hotel Vale Verde | bed & breakfast

Day 9: Campo Grande - Foz do Iguaçu 

Today you will drive to Campo Grande airport (approx. 5 km | 10 min drive) where you can drop-off your rental car and board your domestic flight to Foz do Iguaçu. Once here, our local staff will welcome you and take you to your hotel.
Overnight stay: Vivaz Cataratas Hotel Resort | bed & breakfast


Day 10: Foz do Iguaçu

After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel and together with your guide you will visit the Brazilian side of the waterfalls. The word Iguaçu means "big water" in the indigenous language Tupi-Guarani. Foz do Iguaçu consists of about 275 waterfalls and these are best visited in the morning because the light on the water is at its most beautiful. When the sun rises, rainbows appear on all sides. There is a path all the way down to the bottom of the thundering mass of water with several beautiful viewpoints. In the afternoon a fast boat will take you on a spectacular trip to the bottom of the thundering mass of water. Afterwards you will be brought back to your hotel.
Overnight stay: Vivaz Cataratas Hotel Resort | bed & breakfast

Day 11: Foz do Iguaçu

Today you will visit the Argentine side of the waterfalls. When you look straight into the "Garganta del Diablo" (Devil's Throat) from above, you will immediately understand how this part got its name. Here nature shows its true beauty. It really is an unique experience to be so close to this waterfall. You will have to pay for this with a wet suit, but in the form of the sun nature also provides a dry suit! 
Overnight stay: Vivaz Cataratas Hotel Resort | bed & breakfast


Day 12: Foz do Iguaçu – Rio de Janeiro

In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the airport of Foz do Iguaçu, from where you will take a domestic flight to Rio de Janeiro. Once you arrive here, our local staff will welcome you and take you to your hotel. You will stay in the Santa Teresa district, the oldest part of the city. The beautiful villas in this part of town almost all date from the end of the nineteenth, beginning of the twentieth century. A number of these villas have been renovated in recent years into small boutique hotels. An attraction in the Santa Teresa district is the Escadaria Selarón, the colorful staircase with all kinds of tiles made by the Chilean artist Jorge Selaron and of course the Santa Teresa tram. It is a nice neighborhood with lots of life, nice bars and good restaurants. The neighborhood is located next to Lapa, the entertainment area including Rio Scenarium and the real center of Rio de Janeiro. By taxi you can reach Copacabana or Ipanema, the busy beaches of the city, in about 20 minutes.
Overnight stay: Mama Shelter | bed & breakfast


Day 13: Rio de Janeiro

This day you will visit the famous Corcovado with its huge statue of Christ the Redeemer, the symbol of this vibrant city. At the statue you have a great view over the city. After this you drive through the city to the Sugarloaf mountain where you go up by cable car. This mountain was discovered by the indigenous Indians who called it 'pau-nd-acuqua', which means high pointed peak. To the Portuguese this sounded like 'pão de açucar', the size reminded of the earthenware pointed pots used in refining sugar. The Sugarloaf mountain is an imposing and natural monument that cannot be ignored in the skyline of Rio de Janeiro. From here you have a completely different view over the city and you can see the statue of Christ the Redeemer where you just stood. A very impressive experience in this beautiful city! Afterwards you will be brought back to your hotel.
Overnight stay: Mama Shelter | bed & breakfast

Day 14: Rio de Janeiro

Today you will make a cycling tour through Rio de Janeiro. You will get acquainted with the southern part of the city, with famous attractions but also traditional districts. You will start at the beach of Copacabana, an important meeting place for the Cariocas (inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro). From here you will cycle to the Sugarloaf mountain. You will also make a stop at the Praia Vermelha (literally translated red beach), a small oasis in the metropolis. From Praia Vermelha you will cycle further to the lively Botafogo district, where you will get a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Cariocas when they are not on the beach. Here you will find the colorful favela of Dona Marta, the first pacified favela of the city. The last part of the bike ride takes you to the Lagoa, the city's large lake, which is surrounded by green hills and chic neighborhoods.
Overnight stay: Mama Shelter | bed & breakfast

Day 15: Rio de Janeiro – Paraty

(approx. 250 km | 4.5 hour drive)
After breakfast you will be brought to the airport of Rio de Janeiro, where you will pick up your rental car and drive to Paraty. The town is located on the waterfront and has its own characteristic, colonial atmosphere. The village was founded in 1667 and has fulfilled an important function in history as a transit port of sugar cane, gold and diamonds to Portugal. The center is completely car-free, so you can relax and stroll through the streets. Paraty experienced its heyday in the 17th century when the mined gold and diamonds from the state of Minas Gerais were shipped from Paraty to Europe. However, after the independence of Brazil in 1822 this came to an end, but the beautiful colonial buildings remained intact and since 1966 the car-free center has been on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Enjoy the scenic views of Paraty and its surrounding green hills. A must is to visit the fish auction and the fruit and vegetable market. You can also visit the Igreja Santa Rita, a church that houses a small museum. 
Overnight stay: Pousada Porto Imperial | bed & breakfast

Day 16 : Paraty

In the morning you leave the port of Paraty and sail to the densely forested islands with crystal clear water and secluded white sandy beaches. In this paradise you will make three one-hour stops in the Emerald Bay where you can sunbathe, swim and snorkel. Including the islands of Comprida, Algodäo, Cotia and Praia Vermelha. Because of the wind direction the destination can vary and this makes each trip unique. You will also be served lunch during the trip. 
Overnight stay: Pousada Porto Imperial | bed & breakfast

Day 17: Paraty

Day off planned. Enjoy the lovely surroundings. You can also take your rental car to get acquainted with the various beaches in the area of Paraty. You can drive to Ubatuba, which is often visited by Brazilians. Or the small fishing village Picinguaba.
Overnight stay: Pousada Porto Imperial | bed & breakfast

Day 18: Paraty – Rio de Janeiro – Amsterdam

Your Unique Journey through Brazil is coming to an end. You will drive with your rental car to the airport of Rio de Janeiro (approx. 250 km | 4.5 hour drive) where you drop it off. From Rio de Janeiro you will board your international flight to Amsterdam. Here you will arrive the next day.

Day 19: Amsterdam

You will arrive in Amsterdam today.


From € 4.350 per person

  • Based on 4 persons traveling together, staying in double/twin rooms
  • Depending on time of booking, availability of the local flights and accommodations, and the period of travel


  • local flights, economy class
  • 13 overnight stays, meals as mentioned
  • 3 overnight stays in Pousada Aguapé, with full board and offered excursions accompanied by professional guides
  • 8 days rental car (cat. GX: Renault Duster Dynamique 2.0 or similar alternative) including basic insurance from vanuit Campo Grande
  • 4 days rental car (cat. GX: Renault Duster Dynamique 2.0 or similar alternative) including basic insurance from Rio de Janeiro
  • all transfers and excursions as stated
  • our backup 24/7; locally and in the Netherlands
  • extensive travel documents package with small attention

Not included:

  • international flights, if you wish, we reserve these for you
  • early check-in / late check-out, based on availability, this is sometimes provided by the hotel. If you want to be sure that you have this, ask us about the additional cost
  • (Dutch) public contribution Calamity fund; € 2.50,- per booking
  • SGR contribution of € 5,- per person per booking
  • travel and cancellation insurance

Request travel proposal

Would you like to make this journey yourself? We can arrange this itinerary for you, but we are also happy to put together a programme based on your wishes and ideas. Do not hesitate to contact us. Send an e-mail to info@sapapanatravel.nlcall us on +31 73 610 62 04 or ask us to plan your trip. We are happy to help.

Request travel proposal

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