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Santiago to Rio De Janeiro

Overlanding is the best way to see South America by far! Dragoman have been leading the way in South American overland expeditions since 1990, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading to some unique hidden gems, well away from the usual tourist trail. Starting at the stylish Chilean capital of Santiago, we journey south into the Chilean and Argentinian Lake District to enjoy the wealth of optional activities and beautiful scenery in Pucón and Barlioche. From there we journey to the fabled land of Patagonia, famous for its hauntingly desolate scenery, its huge glaciers near El Calafate, the phenomenal mountain scenery of El Chaltén and Torres del Paine, and the chance to get out trekking, climbing and horse riding! We will see all of Patagonia's highlights, visit the world's southernmost town of Ushuaia, before making our way up the rugged Atlantic coast to the cosmoplitan Argentinan capital of Buenos Aires. From Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan capital of Argentina, we head north along the classic route to the iconic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro - there is so much to see through this region, such as the two iconic cities themselves including the latter's incredible Christ the Redeemer statue, the phenomenal paradise of the Emerald Coast, the wildlife-rich wetlands of the Pantanal, and of course the mighty Iguazu Falls! On arrival in Rio de Janeiro, it's time for the greatest party on Earth - the world-famous Rio Carnival! During this week the city bursts to life with music, dancing, street parties, colour, and fun - and Dragoman will get you right into the heart of the action! Join Dragoman for this wonderful and unforgettable trip!

Latin America
  • Duration: 57 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: JSAR1/158316
  • Starts: Santiago, Chile
  • Finishes: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Santiago
  • Buchupureo
  • San Javier
  • Pucón
  • Bariloche
  • Cueva De Las Manos
  • Rio Pinturas
  • Argentinian Patagonia
  • El Chaltén
  • Los Glaciares National Park
  • Tierra Del Fuego
  • Ushuaia
  • Torres Del Paine National Park
  • El Calafate
  • Jaramillo
  • Camarones
  • Puerto Madryn
  • Monte Hermoso
  • Buenos Aires
  • Yapeyú
  • Foz do Iguaçu
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Bonito
  • Southern Pantanal
  • Campo Grande
  • Brotas
  • Paraty
  • Rio De Janeiro

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Santiago

Border information: if you are joining in Santiago, you will most likely enter Chile at Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (IATA code: SCL).

Welcome to Santiago, the cosmopolitan Chilean capital! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Santiago before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Santiago.

In Santiago we will stay in a centrally-located hostel.

02

Day 2: Santiago

Enjoy a full free day in Santiago to explore the city.

03

Day 3: Buchupureo

Today we will leave the bright lights of Santiago behind and head to San Javier, to take a wine tour at one of the famous vineyards of the region.  After lunch, we will head to the laid back farming village of Buchupureo, on the Chilean coast, where we can relax by the beach for a couple of hours.

Tonight we will camp in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours 

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

04

Day 4-5: Pucón

We will have two free days in Pucón to enjoy a range of optional activities, including a sunrise expedition to climb the Villarica volcano which looms over Pucón, heading out horse riding through the surrounding forests, or an evening visit to the nearby natural hot springs.

05

Day 6: Bariloche

Border information: Exit Chile at Mamuil Malal, enter Argentina at Mamuil Malal.

Today we cross the Andes into Argentina and continue our journey to the picturesque town of Bariloche via the scenic Ruta de los Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Route).

In Bariloche we stay in dorm rooms in a hostel

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

06

Day 7-8: Bariloche

We will have two free days to enjoy the beautiful mountain town of Bariloche and the stunning surrounding lakes, mountains and forests. We have the options to explore the area by foot, mountain bike, kayak or boat.

07

Day 9: Cueva De Las Manos

Today we continue our drive south to the Rio Pinturas area, where we have an included visit to the mysterious Neolithic cave-art site of Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands), some of the most well-preserved ancient art in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Tonight we will wild camp near the Cueva de las Manos.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

08

Day 10: Argentinian Patagonia

Today we embark on a full day drive south towards the Patagonia region on the legendary Ruta 40 (Route 40).

Tonight we will wild camp in the Rio Mayo area.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

09

Day 11: El Chaltén

Today we will drive into the heart of the Patagonia region and reach the tiny town of El Chaltén, situated in Los Glaciares National Park and famous for its incredible mountains, glaciers and world-class trekking opportunities.

In El Chaltén we stay in dorm beds in a hostel. 

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

10

Day 12-13: Los Glaciares National Park

We will have three free days to enjoy the stunning Los Glaciares National Park and the incredible scenery of the nearby Mt. Fitz Roy. There are lots of trekking and walking opportunities here, as well as boat trips, ice climbing on the Viedma Glacier, horse riding, and many other fantastic options.

11

Day 14: Argentinian Patagonia

Today we will leave El Chaltén and head south, overlanding across the Patagonian steppe and heading towards the southern island of Tierra del Fuego.

Tonight we will wild camp at a stunning ancient crater called Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon).

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

12

Day 15: Tierra Del Fuego

Border information: Exit Argentina at Integracion Austral, enter Chile at Integracion Austral

Continuing south, we head back into Chile to cross the Magellan Straits over to the island of Tierra del Fuego. Here we will visit the small King Penguin colony that have recently set up home at the remote Bahia Inutil (Useless Bay).

Tonight we will wild camp near Bahia Inutil.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

13

Day 16: Ushuaia

Border information: Exit Chile at San Sebastian, enter Argentina at San Sebastian.

Today we cross over to the Argentine side of Tierra del Fuego and drive to the incredible port town of Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world!

In Ushuaia we stay in dorm beds in a friendly local hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

14

Day 17-18: Ushuaia

We will have two free days in the wonderful remote town of Ushuaia, with plenty of time for optional activities such as a visit to the hauntingly beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park, boat trips to see the scenery and wildlife of the Beagle Channel, or heading out horse riding along the coast.

15

Day 19: Tierra Del Fuego

Border information: Exit Argentina at San Sebastian, enter Chile at San Sebastian.

Today we start heading back north on a full day drive back across the Magellan Straits and up the Chilean side of the mainland.

Tonight we will wild camp close to the Magellan Strait.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

16

Day 20: Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we will drive to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. This is one of the most outstanding areas of natural beauty in the world and the main highlight of the trip for many of our passengers and leaders! We will stop en route in Puerto Natales to stock up on supplies and pick up our local guides and cook who will accompany us during our time in the National Park.

Tonight we will camp at Camping Pehoe, a stunning campsite inside the National Park with incredible views of Los Cuernos mountains, which we will refer to as our 'base campsite'.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

17

Day 21: Torres Del Paine National Park

From September 2018, the full W-Walk will be included as part of your trip Kitty.

Embark on the full W-Walk with a local guide. Places at the campsites are limited by the National Park, so we book them in advance of your trip.  We will be trekking the W-Walk from West to East, to enjoy the spectacular views.

This morning we will wake early and transfer by truck for the morning Catamaran, to cross Lago Pehoe.  We will then set up camp at Paine Grande, before continuing on our hike towards Glacier Grey.  

You can choose to hike to the first look out to enjoy views of the Glacier (approx 4hrs round trip) or to continue to the second look (approx 8hrs round trip)!! Both walks return by the same route.

18

Day 22: Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we depart from our camp at Paine Grande and hike into the stunning French Valley. In the afternoon, we will make our way to Camp Cuernos.

The hike is approximately 8 hours

19

Day 23: Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we have a slightly easier day, we will hike from Camping Cuernos along the edge of Lago Nodenskjold, around Almirante Nieto and stay just outside Valley Ascencio.  We will arrive an Camp Central after approximately 5 hours hiking

20

Day 24: Torres Del Paine National Park

This is our final day of the W-Walk and the most spectacular.   The day begins with a steady climb from our camp site up Rio Asencio. Be prepared for the final hour which is a relatively steep scramble up to the Tarn and Mirrador Las Torres, affording great views of the iconic Towers. 

We will transfer back to Camping Pehoe, our base camp at the end of the day.

Our hike today is approximately 8 hours for the return trip (16km).

21

Day 25: El Calafate

Border information: Exit Chile at Cerro Castillo, enter Argentina at Cerro Castillo.

Today we re-enter Argentina for the final time and drive to El Calafate, the gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

In El Calafate we stay in dorm beds in a lovely hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

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Day 26: El Calafate

Today we will head out on an included full day guided visit to view the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the most spectacular sights in Patagonia.

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Day 27: Jaramillo

Today we will have a full day drive across the plains of Patagonia towards the South Atlantic coast. 

Tonight we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

24

Day 28: Camarones

Today we continue our drive north up the Atlantic coast to the small town of Camarones. If time and conditions allow we might visit the Jaramillo Petrified Forest en route.

In Camarones we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

25

Day 29: Puerto Madryn

This morning we have an included visit to the incredible remote colony of Magellanic Penguins in Cabo Dos Bahias (Cape Two Bays), close to the town of Camarones. After seeing the phenomenal sight of thousands of penguins nesting on the shore, we will continue our drive north to the coastal town of Puerto Madryn.

In Puerto Madryn we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

26

Day 30: Puerto Madryn

Today we will have a free day for optional activities in and around Puerto Madryn. There is the opportunity to take a tour to the Valdes Peninsular to see its desolate scenery and abundant marine life, head out on a boat trip in search of dolphins and whales, or perhaps go for afternoon tea in a Welsh tea house in the nearby towns of Gaiman or Trelew.

27

Day 31: Monte Hermoso

Today we have a full day's drive heading north towards Buenos Aires. We will see a definite change in the landscape today as the vegetation becomes more and more lush and green as we come out of the Patagonia region and into the pampas of Buenos Aires.

Tonight we will wild camp en route, possibly in the coastal village of Monte Hermoso.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

28

Day 32: Buenos Aires

Another full day drive will take us across the beautiful grasslands of Buenos Aires province and to the cosmoplitan Argentine capital itself.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

29

Day 33: Buenos Aires

Today is a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

30

Day 34: Buenos Aires

Border information: if you are joining in Buenos Aires, you will most likely enter Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code: BUE/EZE).

Welcome to Buenos Aires, the wonderful capital of Argentina! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Buenos Aires before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Buenos Aires.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

31

Day 35: Buenos Aires

Today will be a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

32

Day 36: Yapeyú

Today we have a full day drive north though the provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes, aiming to reach the beautiful village of Yapeyú on the banks of the River Uruguay. Yapeyú is very famous amongst Argentines for being the birthplace of their national hero General Jose de San Martin, one of the liberators of South America from Spanish colonial rule.

In Yapeyú we will stay in a municipal campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

33

Day 37: Foz do Iguaçu

Border information: Exit Argentina at Tancredo Neves, enter Brazil at Tancredo Neves.

Today we cross the border into Brazil and drive to the city of Foz do Iguacu.

In Foz do Iguacu we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities and a pool.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

34

Day 38: Foz do Iguaçu

Today we will visit the Brazilian side of the phenomenal Iguazu Falls, to get some incredible panoramic vistas of the mighty waterfalls. There is also plenty of time to visit the bird park, take a helicopter ride over the falls, see the incredible Itaipu Dam, or quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearcy Ciudad del Este.

35

Day 39: Iguazu Falls

Today we will take a day trip back into Argentina to see the incredible Iguazu Falls from the other side. This is well worth doing as the views are even more spectacular, and you'll be able to look right down into the mighty Garganta del Diablo (the largest waterfall here) from a gantry walkway viewing point). We will have a full day at the Argentine side of the falls, allowing us lots of time to freely explore the site, hike some nature trails, or perhaps take an exhilarating (and very wet) boat ride!

We will return to our base in Foz do Iguacu tonight.

36

Day 40: Bonito

Today we have a full drive day north to the Brazilian eco-tourism capital of Bonito.

In Bonito we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel with a pool and good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

37

Day 41-42: Bonito

We have two full days in Bonito to take part in the plethora of incredible optional activities here. You could go out on a world-class snorkelling trip, explore the nearby caves, or go abseiling down some of the largest waterfalls in the area, amongst many other possibilities!

38

Day 43-44: Southern Pantanal

Today we have a short drive to Brazil's amazing Southern Pantanal region, where we have a visit a local eco-tourism ranch (or 'fazenda').

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

We will spend 2 nights here and have a comprehensive package of included activities such as exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside on horseback, trips down the wildlife-abundant rivers in boats and canoes, and safaris on the ranch's trucks and on foot where we hope to spot capybaras, caimans, and (if we are very lucky) jaguars and ocelots. Our stay here is an incredible highlight!

In the Southern Pantanal we will stay in dorm accommodation in a well equipped lodge with all the meals and activities included.

39

Day 45: Campo Grande

After our morning activities and one final lunch in our beautiful ranch, it is time to leave the Pantanal. We will start driving east towards Sao Paulo state, and wild camp towards the end of the day.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

40

Day 46: Brotas

Today we will drive to the remote town of Brotas in southeastern Brazil.

In Brotas we will stay at a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

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Day 47: Brotas

Today is free to take part in optional adventure activities such as white water rafting or canyoning, or to simply relax by the pool!

42

Day 48-50: Paraty

Today we have a full day drive to the colonial town of Paraty on the Emerald Coast of the Atlantic!

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

On our first full day in Paraty, we will have an included boat trip around the incredible islands and beaches off the coast. 

On our second day, we will have free time to explore the town, take a historical tour, walk along the stunning scenery of the coastline, head out snorkelling or diving, or simply relax on the idyllic beaches.

In Paraty we wil camp at a well equipped campsite.

43

Day 51: Rio De Janeiro

This morning we will drive to the incredible Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world! This afternoon we will have the opportunity to take an optional visit to a community favela project that Dragoman supports.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

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Day 52: Rio De Janeiro

The first day of Rio Carnival is free time as everyone will be arriving at various times throughout the day to start the package. Our hotel check-in is from midday, and Dragoman staff will be on hand to give you assistance.

There will be a joining meeting in the late afternoon - please check the notice board in the lobby/reception area for the exact times for your meeting. 

After the meeting we have a table booked at a nearby buffet restaurant if you would like to join your leader and group for a meal.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, accommodation is in shared rooms in twins, triples and quadruple rooms.  Our hotel is close to the beach and the metro station.

45

Day 53: Rio De Janeiro

This morning we will go for an orientation walk with our local guide to get to know the local area and orientate ourselves.  Afterwards you will have free time, perhaps head to one of the local 'bloccos' or street parties. If you do go to a blocco, just remember that they are hot and crowded so be prepared for a squeeze! the locals cariocas will be all dressed up, so don't forget to dress to impress!

In the evening there is an option to join us for a night of dancing and live music at the Rio Scenarium, one of the best nightspots in Rio - it's like an antiques warehouse, music venue, bar and restaurant all housed in one amazing colonial mansion. Often it's best to eat beforehand, as during carnival the food service can be slow! It's 65BRL entrance, plus your food and drinks.

46

Day 54: Rio De Janeiro

Today is a free day for you to explore Rio until this evening, when we will head to the Sambadrome!

Early this morning, we will be running an optional guided tour to Corcovado - please pre-book with your agent if you'd like to join us. We will head to Corcovado and its world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer for a half-day guided tour. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the most iconic sights of Rio de Janeiro, and if the weather is clear there is also a fantastic view over the rest of the city including Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain). If you have opted for this tour you will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel in an air conditioned bus. We normally charter a private tram to the top of Corcovado mountain which means that we are the first ones to arrive and have the statue to ourselves for a short time - a fantastic privilege at any time of year but particularly during the busy carnival time. We will aim for the same arrangements this year but please note that there is no guarantee that we will be able to secure a private tram.

In the evening it's time for the main event of the week - the parade in the Sambadrome. The top samba schools parade their fantastic floats and costumes and the party goes on well into the early hours of Monday morning. You'll be situated in sector 13, the most lively of the sectors where local Cariocas are supporting their favourite Samba schools by singing and dancing. The sector is at the very end of the runway and you have the chance of collecting parts of the costumes as some dancers will throw them up in to the stand. You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included), accompanied by English speaking guides who will also be with you inside the Sambadrome. As people wish to leave at different times, there will be pre-determined times when you will be able to go back to the hotel with a guide. 

Please note that sector 13 is set back a bit from the actual runway so does not offer the best close up views of the parade - if you should wish, there is the option to upgrade to sector 11 for a much closer view of the parade, which is highly recommended if you're interested in photography and would like the best pictures of the costumes and floats. The same guide and travel arrangements as for sector 13 will apply. Please book with your agent if you'd like to upgrade.

47

Day 55: Rio De Janeiro

This morning is free for you to recover from last night in the Sambadrome! It's a great chance to hit the beach, explore the city or simply have a lie in.

In the afternoon we have the chance to go on an optional guided visit to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), rising almost 400 metres above the harbour. If you have opted for this tour you will be picked up at the hotel by an English speaking guide and travel in an air conditioned bus. We will take the cable car up to the top, from where there's a chance of seeing the wonderful vistas over the city and Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. If the weather is clear you will also be able to see Christ the Redeemer looking down at the city from the top of Corcovado mountain. 

In the evening we have the chance to re-visit the Sambadrome to see the last 6 of the elite Samba schools parading. The seats tonight are in Sector 5, situated at the start of the runway and offering close up views of the parade. You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included) with an English speaking guide.

There is also the option to don a costume and take part in the parade itself, dancing your way down the Sambadrome runway - a once in a lifetime experience! You will travel between the hotel and the Sambadrome by Metro (tickets included) with an English speaking guide who will also accompany you during the parade.

Please note you will need to pre-book these activities in advance with your agent or direct with Dragoman

48

Day 56: Rio De Janeiro

Today is free day for you to explore the city and an opportunity to have a walk along the beaches, maybe a swim or maybe just a long lie in! The famous sweep of Copacabana Beach is probably the most talked about length of sand on the planet. It is a fantastic location with Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) at one end whilst far in the distance you see further peaks covered in Atlantic rainforest. There are plenty of small cafes serving drinks and snacks along the beachside pavement, when you are ready for a break from the sand. In this stunning location even the pavements are beautiful, with white and black tiles forming waves and patterns. Late evening there's the option to attend the famous gay ball!

We have one final optional activity, a visit to a Community project within one of the Favellas, which usually takes places on a Tuesday afternoon, though the day is yet to be confirmed for 2018.  Morrinho is the name used by the youth of the Pereira da Silva favela for their scale model of a favela made basically with bricks. The Morrinho began in 1998, when Nelcirlan (14 years old at that time) starting building the Morrinho, together with his brother Maycon. Today, the Morrinho model occupies an area of 300 square metres in the community Pereira da Silva and has a wealth of details such as funk clubs, police, drugs sales points, alleys, staircases, small bars etc. The model is now being used to generate money by the NGO Morrinho, a charity that provides professional qualifications to the residents of the Pereirão Community through workshops including audiovisual production, art-education, Brazilian culture, and youth and citizenship. The charity is also involved in utilising the project as a film set, which has raised awareness of how harsh life is for shanty town dwellers. The trip includes a donation of 50 BRL to the charity.

 

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Day 57: Rio De Janeiro

The Carnival package finishes after breakfast today. Our hotel check-out is at 12 noon, and you can depart at any time or spend the day exploring further or relaxing.

If you are joining one of our Overland Tours, there will be an important Pre-Departure meeting this evening.

Border information: if you are leaving in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Whet your palette during winetasting at a vineyard in San Javier
    • 4 days to explore and trek the rugged Torres del Paine National Park
    • 2 full days to discover the unbelievable Iguazu Falls
    • 2 night wildlife safari into the Pantanal
    • Boat Trip Out To Islands And Beaches
    • Party all night to the fantastic sights & sounds of the Sambadrome in Sector 13
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 50% Camping - 50% Hotels
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