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Known as the ‘Paris of the Americas’, Buenos Aires is a vibrant city full of life. Visit the districts of La Boca, Recoleta, and San Telmo or catch a tango show at one of the many famous tanguerías. Wander the pedestrian walkways and see some dancing in the streets. Whatever you do, Buenos Aires is sure to leave lasting memories.
The capital city of Argentina is the ultimate cosmopolitan city. The city is comprised of a number of distinct neighbourhoods, some of which have become top tourist draws. For many, the highlight of their time in the capital is a visit to San Telmo for the weekend antiques market and street artistís displays.
La Boca and its brightly coloured walls and buildings draw Porteños and tourists alike, and it is here that the world-class football team, Boca Juniors, plies its trade. A Sunday afternoon match at the fabled Bombonera is not to be missed. Posh Recoleta, with its cafes, museums and cemetery, is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.
At the heart of Buenos Aires is the Plaza de Mayo, with the historic Cabildo (Town Hall), where the Independence movement was first planned, the Casa Rosada (Government Palace) and the Cathedral where San Martín, the father of Argentine independence, is buried.
Our visit to Brazil begins with the magnificent Foz do Iguaçu, or Iguassu falls, bordering Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. The Brazilian side of the falls offers the grand overview, and the Argentinean side, a closer look.
The contrast between the green of the vegetation and the dark colour of the basalt rocks with whirring waters plunging from a 72 metre high cliff is magical. At Iguassu there are 275 falls in all, spread over a 3-km area, some over 80m (262.4 ft) in height,
Tours utilise trails and catwalks adapted to the landscape of the area, and walking is easy for all ages; guided tours of the complex are available several times a day.
Film buffs will remember that Iguassu was the site of several scenes from the film “The Mission.” Not far from the falls, the ruins of the Jesuit missions of the era can still be visited on a day trip. Also of interest in the area is Itaipú, the largest hydroelectric complex in the world.
Enjoy a visit a nearby Afro-Brazilian community for a unique cultural interaction. Here we have options to participate in handicraft demonstrations or dance classes, followed by a traditional meal.
Paraty is a quaint colonial town renowned for its architecture. The pace is slow but do not let this fool you as there is a lot to choose from. Considered one of the world's most important examples of Portuguese colonial architecture by UNESCO, the historic centre is a well-preserved national historic monument. During high tide, the Portuguese cobblestone streets are partly flooded by seawater, adding to the fairy tale atmosphere.
Paraty's bay is filled with over 65 tropical islands and dozens of beaches, each offering something different, and all covered with vegetation that remains lush and colourful year-round. The water of the bay is always the right temperature for swimming, diving and snorkeling. The national parks that encircle the town are filled with trails, wildlife and waterfalls. Hiking or horseback riding, for the sports minded, or a jeep or van tour are both excellent ways to appreciate this natural wilderness.
Rio de Janeiro
We continue along the coast through superb scenery before rounding the cliffs at Vidigal, where we get our first glimpse of one of the most memorable cities in the world: Brazil’s ocean-side jewel, Río de Janeiro. Enjoy any free time by exploring the wonders that this city has to offer from our centrally-located hotel in Copacabana or take an optional city tour.
Referred to as the “cidade maravilhosa” (Marvellous City), few cities enjoy such a dramatic setting as Rio. Brilliant, white beaches at Copacabana and Ipanema, deep blue waters of the Atlantic, the luminescent green of Guanabara Bay, the bare blue slopes of the Sugar Loaf combine to make Rio unique. Standing over it all, atop Corcovado (Hunchback), is the huge statue of Christ the Redeemer, the best place from which to appreciate the city. Superb panoramic views of the city and area can also be found from the top of the Pao do Açucar (Sugar Loaf), reached by cable car. Head to some of the famous beaches, and prepare yourself for an experience unlike anything else on Earth.
Modern Rio is perhaps best known for the contrasting images offered by the favelas (shanty towns), and the glitz and glamour preferred by the Samba schools and their Carnival celebrations.
Rio de Janeiro
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