For about two months of our South American RTW trip, we took an overland tour with Tucan Travel. The tour started on July 6 in Rio de Janeiro but we arrived in Rio de Janeiro early on June 26. During that time, we visited the Christ the Redeemer statue:
And visited the Copacabana Palace Hotel and beach:
We stayed a little outside of Rio in a neighborhood called Barra before the tour started. So when July 6 came, we had to drive about an hour (or more because of traffic) to the Lapa neighborhood of Rio, where we would meet our group and stay for the night. Upon arrival, we walked to Escadaria Selarón, the world famous steps.
The next day, our group met Frank, the truck that would be taking us all the way from Rio de Janeiro Brazil to Lima Peru. Frank is so big and yellow that people would stare as we drove by. Some even took pictures! But it is comfortable inside. There were only 13 of us in the group and 34 seats, so we had plenty of space.
After driving for a few hours, we arrived in our campsite, right across the street from a beach in Paraty Brazil.
We camped that night and the next day, our group went on a boat where we had lunch and sailed around. But that evening, it started raining. Then pouring. We decided not to camp because of the rain and instead stayed in a hostel close by.
We ended up having 10 of us sharing one room with four bunkbeds and two other twin sized beds, all sharing one bathroom. That was an interesting experience.
The next day, we had a free day but it was raining again. Most of us just stayed at the hostel. There was WiFi but it was so slow that I couldn’t get anything done. We were supposed to stay in Paraty for another night, but instead we decided on leaving early since it was going to rain for the next few days. The itinerary was changed to where we decided on arriving in Foz do Iguazu a day earlier.
So the following day, we all got into the big yellow truck and drove from early in the morning to around 8pm, when we were in Curitiba. We stayed at a random motel that mostly truckers stayed at with a really creepy bathroom. Then it was back into the big yellow truck where we drove from early in the morning again to evening when we arrived in Foz do Iguazu, the city where the Iguazu Falls are.
We camped at Hostel Natura which I think was the best campsite we stayed at during our overland trip. The bathrooms were clean and there was really fast WiFi at the reception area.
Since we arrived one day earlier, we had a free day. One of the popular things to do when visiting the Iguazu Falls in Brazil is to take a helicopter ride over the falls. It was a very clear and sunny day on our free day so we changed the itinerary to where we’d go to the Brazilian Iguazu Falls that day and have a free day on the day before a long driving day to Paraguay.
The helicopter ride was one of my favorite travel experiences. Read about it here.
After the helicopter ride, we went across the street to the Parque Das Aves, or Bird Park. Obviously, there are lots of birds (including toucans!) but there were also lots of butterflies! We stayed in the big ‘cage’ for the butterflies for a long time, trying to get a good shot. Here’s mine:
The Bird Park is just down the road from the Iguazu Falls. We walked there and our tickets were included with our tour. We had to take a bus from the entrance to the falls.
The falls were definitely one of the Tucan Travel overland tour highlights. The views were amazing. This is one of the falls called the Devil’s Throat. There was constantly a rainbow over the falls. We were at the falls until right before the sun set.
We spent a total of nine nights in Brazil with Tucan Travel. Our next country to visit with Tucan Travel was Paraguay!
All photos in this post were taken with Instagram. Are you on Instagram? Follow my travel photos at http://instagram.com/bethanylooi