Explore UNESCO World Heritage sites including the pastel-hued historic district of Salvador and the Atlantic Forest Southeast Reserves, biodiversity hotspots that edge the Brazilian coast.
Soak up the spirit of two of South America’s most vibrant cities: Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.
Spot tropical wildlife in coastal forests and look for humpback whales and other marine life at Abrolhos Marine National Park.
Take an exhilarating ride on the Serra Verde Express, a mountain railway that clings to steep slopes on its way to the seaside.
Itinerary - 18 Days
Days 1, 2, & 3 — U.S./Salvador, Brazil/ Ilhéus
Our voyage begins in the vibrant city of Salvador, the capital of the Bahia region and a hub of Afro-Brazilian culture. Settle into your cabin aboard the National Geographic Explorer, and set out to explore this well-preserved 16th- and 17th-century town. Wander past brightly painted baroque buildings in the historic district of Pelourinho, a World Heritage site, and see embroidered linens and woodcarvings at the local market. Then set sail for Ilhéus, once Brazil’s flourishing cacao capital. See the Cathedral of São Sebastião, visit a cacao plantation, and stop in at the world’s only sloth sanctuary. There’s also time to take in a musical performance, go birding, or relax on a lovely beach. (B,L,D)
Days 4 & 5 — Abrolhos Marine National Park/ At Sea
Spend two days navigating the volcanic isles of the stunning Abrolhos Archipelago. Go snorkeling along the coral reefs of this national park, known for its rich marine biodiversity, and kayak the island’s turquoise shores. Keep an eye out for masked boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, and the humpback whales that come here to breed and calve. (B,L,D)
Days 6 & 7 — Rio de Janeiro
Discover legendary Rio on a variety of excursions. Stroll the beach at Ipanema; visit a golden lion tamarin reserve; or explore Floresta da Tijuca, one of the world’s largest urban forests. Ascend to the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer for panoramic views of the city and its island-speckled bay. Choose to experience the unique culture of a local favela, or shantytown or take in a live performance of some of the music for which Brazil is famous. (B,L,D)
Days 8, 9, & 10 — Parati/Anchieta/ Curitiba & Paranagua
Follow the Costa Verde to Parati, once an important center of the gold trade. Stroll the cobbled lanes past whitewashed cottages and colonial buildings, and visit the waterfront, a World Heritage site. Continue to the tiny island of Anchieta, and swim or relax on its beautiful beaches. Then board the Serra Verde Express train in Curitiba for a remarkable mountain rail trip across 30 trestle bridges and through more than a dozen tunnels to the tropical lowlands. Alternatively, travel by boat to Guaraquecaba, with opportunities for forest walks and waterfall views of the Atlantic rain forest.
Days 11, 12, & 13 — At Sea/ Rio Grande
Follow one of the longest sandy beaches in the world on our way to Brazil’s southernmost port city of Rio Grande. Here begin the Pampas, vast lowlands that stretch all the way to Patagonia. Discover the history, wildlife, and unique culture of these plains. (B,L,D)
Days 14 & 15 — At Sea/ Montevideo, Uruguay
In Montevideo, view elegant architecture, ranging from colonial to art deco. Then experience the culture of the gauchos and savor an asado (traditional barbecue) at a private estancia (ranch). (B,L,D)
Days 16, 17, & 18 — Buenos Aires, Argentina/ U.S.
Cap off our voyage in vibrant Buenos Aires, where we’ll visit beaux arts palaces and the bohemian quarters of La Boca and San Telmo before transfering to the airport for your overnight flight home. (B,L,D)
Book by December 31, 2013 and receive complimentary round-trip airfare from Miami to Salvador and returning from Buenos Aires.
Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author Kike Calvo has traveled in more than 85 countries, and transformed his fascination with Latin America into a career focus. He is a guest lecturer for the Leica Akademie and a freelancer for the New York Times. His cultural and environmental documentary photography has also been published in National Geographic, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, as well as other publications. His book Habitats, with forewords by famed National Geographic marine photographer David Doubilet and Jean-Michel Cousteau and launched at the Reina Sofia Museum, showcases ecosystems from around the world.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single cabin in 2014, add $4,220 in Category 2 and $4,410 in Category 3. Airfare is not included in the expedition cost. Economy airfare between Miami/Buenos Aires and Salvador/Miami, or vice versa, is $1,350 (subject to change).