Travellers to Brazil generally miss the amazing jewels that lie to the north of Rio de Janeiro. This trip has been designed to open up these seldom visited regions. We will explore some of the most beautiful sand landscapes on the planet, visit towns which no motorized vehicles can enter, hike to stunning waterfalls and through beautiful mountains. We visit all these remote places that few non Brazilians have even heard of; Jericoacoara, Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Chapada Da Diamantina National Park, Itacare or Sao Luis, to name a few… google them!
There are Brazil’s two coolest cities, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador de Bahia but it just gets better and better as we unlock the hidden gems of French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana; Caribbean beaches, the Amazon jungle and wildlife, ranches and horses, hiking, dugout canoeing and kayaking, not to mention the European Space Centre…. Yes that’s correct, it’s in French Guiana.
Welcome to Rio de Janeiro! Today there will be a group meeting day at 18:00hrs, please meet in the hotel reception.
The rest of the day is yours to enjoy Rio. If you would like to book additional nights of accommodation to really explore the city, please contact your Sales agent.
Border information: If you are arriving in Rio, enter Brazil at Rio Galeão International Airport International (IATA code: GIG) Airport.
In Rio we will stay in a comfortable hotel
Today we will drive to the beautiful old colonial mining town of Ouro Preto.
Along the way we will stop at Petropolis, the cool hill-side hideaway for local Cariocas escaping the heat of Rio. We will have 2 hours to explore the Museu Imperial, the former Imperial Palace, wander the town or visit the Palacio de Cristal, the site where the last slaves of Petropolis were released.
Approximate Drive Time: 450km / 8hrs
In Ouro Preto we stay at a comfortable hostel
Today we will enjoy a half day guided tour of Ouro Preto, well known for its colonial architecture and the first Brazilian town to be considered a UNESCO world heritage site. In the afternoon enjoy some free time to explore the town, visit the museum or some of the stunning baroque churches. There are some fantastic cafes and restaurants in Ouro Preto. Don't forget your camera today, Ouro Preto one of the most picturesque towns on our itinerary!
We will stay at a local hostel.
We have a full day drive through the Brazilian countryside. We will find a nice spot and camp for the night near Tres Marias.
Approximate driving Time - 400km / 8hrs
Today we arrive in the futuristic capital of Brasilia. In the morning we will enjoy a guided tour of this fascinating city, which was designed and built to be the Brazilian Government's headquarters in 1960. The city is designed to resemble a plane, and is a UNESCO heritage site, housing some incredible, futuristic style Cathedrals and Monuments.
Approximate driving time - 550km / 10hrs
In Brasilia we will camp in a campsite on the edge of town
After our morning tour of the city, we will drive to the chilled out town of Alto Paraiso, which will be our base for exploring the Chapada dos Veadeiros. Alto Paraiso is crossed by Parallel 14 (in the same way as Machu Picchu) and is at the centre of some fantastic stories of space ships and aliens!
Drive time approx 3hrs, 150km
We will camp in a well equipped camp site.
We have two full days to explore the National Park. The Chapada dos Veadieros is one of Brazil's hidden gems, one of the oldest and most beautiful tropical ecosystems in South America and home to incredible waterfalls, rock formations, caves and grottoes.
This morning we will have an included visit to the Vale da Lua or the Valley of the Moon, so called due to the rock formations giving it an appearance similar to the moon.
This area is perfect for hiking, horse and bike riding and of course swimming in natural pools and soaking up the parks atmosphere. It is said that due to the high amount of quartz in the ground, that this Chapada is glows from space!
Over the next two days we will travel overland across the central Brazilian countryside, towards the town of Lencois and the stunning Chapada Diamantina, bush camping en route.
On Day 9 we will aim to travel approximately 500km / 9hrs and find a nice bush camp along the way.
On Day 10 we will aim to travel 400km / 8hrs, we stay in an eco-tourism campsite in the laid back town of Lencois.
The Chapada Diamantina could be one of the most striking national parks in South America and Lencois is the perfect base for our adventures. Here we have the opportunity to hike, ride, kayak, relax by awesome waterfalls, take a dip in the rivers and explore intriguing cave systems.
We will camp in Lencois for two nights.
We head to the coast today, to the beautiful beach town of Itacare, with it's stunning Atlantic rainforest, laid back eco-friendly cafes and bars, and the opportunity to surf, relax and explore.
Approximate Driving Time - 515km / 9hrs
Tonight we will camp in a Campsite with facilities
Today we have a free day to explore the area, enjoy the beach, take part in some of the many adventure activities available here, or visit the stunning Peninsula de Marau, stopping off at Praia Taipus de Fora and Lagoa Azul.
We will camp this evening at a campsite with facilities.
Today we drive to the beautiful town of
We stay just by the old centre of Pelourinho in a lovely hotel.
Approximate driving time - 250km / 7hrs
Free time to explore the energetic and vibrant city of Salvador, known around the world for its Carnaval festivities. Salvador is home to over 300 churches, the historic centre is recognised by UNESCO and full of interesting architecture, brightly coloured buildings and cobblestone streets. It's an excellent place to witness the African culture in music and dance and enjoy some delicious street food.
Welcome to Salvador! Today there is an important group meeting at 18:00hrs, please meet at the Hotel reception. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy Salvador.
Border information: If you are starting in Salvador, enter Brazil at Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport (IATA code: SSA)
In Salvador we stay in a comfortable hotel
Today we head north up the coast of Bahia, into the state of Sergipe. Along the way we will make a stop at the Projeto Tamar - a research station involved in the protection of Brazil's fives species of turtle, which spans 1000km and 9 of Brazil's states. The best time to visit is September to March when the spawning occurs.
Afterwards we will continue our journey north to Aracaju, where we can chill out in one of the town's seafront eateries, listen to some traditional forro music and enjoy the fresh crabs that the town is known for.
Approximate Driving time - 332km / 7hrs
We will spend the night in a local Pousada
We have a full day drive to the stunning colonial gem of Olinda, considered one of Brazil’s most important historic sites.
Approximate Driving Time - 540km / 9hrs
We will spend the next two nights in a local Pousada
Explore the beautiful town of Olinda, once known as 'small Lisbon' and the richest town in Brazil. Enjoy wandering the cobblestone streets, check out some of the exquisite churches and definitely make time for lunch at Alto de Se to enjoy the views!
Today we have a drive day to the seaside town of Canoa Quebrada.
In Canoa Quebrada we will stay in a local Pousada
Approximate Driving Time – 629km / 10hrs
Huge pinkish sand dunes dominate the area of Canoa Quebrada, it's a fantastic spot to kick back and relax after a week of overlanding, or for the more energetic; try your hand at kite surfing, take an evening horseback ride along the beach, head out on a beach buggy. There's a laid back small town to explore too.
We will stay in a local pousada
An all day drive brings us to the laid back beach town of Jericoacoara, or 'Jeri' as it's affectionately known. Access to Jericoacoara is only by 4x4 through unpaved tracks through the dunes, making it a wonderfully hard to reach place.
Approximate Drive time - 440km / 8hrs
Jericoacoara is a magical place to spend some time; wander the sandy lanes, enjoy the sunset with a caipirinha on the dunes whilst the locals practise their Capoeira, head out on a quad bike adventure to remote lagoons where you can take a dip, laze in a hammock and enjoy a seafood lunch. Jeri is also one of the prime spots for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing!
We will stay in a local Pousada
Today we drive to the town of Barreirinhas, the gateway to the Parnaiba delta and the Lencois Maranhenses National Park.
We will stay the night in a local pousada.
Approximate Drive Time - 466km / 9hrs
Today our adventure into the Lencois Maranhenses National Park begins; we head out in 4WD to the port, where we will take a boats to explore the delta, stopping off at some dunes and islands of the famous Parnaiba Delta. Seen from the sky, the meeting point of the Rio Parnaiba and the Atlantic Ocean looks like a giant puzzle, made up of 85 tiny islands.
Today we continue our exploration of the delta, we will take a trip to Grandes Lençois. In the afternoon we will return to our base and have some free time for those who wish to take a flight over the delta.
We will spend the night in a Pousada in Barreirinhas.
This morning we will depart for the beautiful UNESCO town of
We stay in a local guesthouse.
Approximate Driving Time - 250km / 4 hrs
Today we can enjoy the UNESCO world heritage site of Sao Luis, the only city of Brazil to be founded by the French. The city is full is interesting museums and the historic centre houses beautiful, pastel coloured colonial mansions. You can take a boat trip to the more laid back town of Alcantara, you may spot the Scarlet Guara birds on your way.
We will stay in a local Guesthouse.
Our final drive day brings us to Belem where the mighty Amazon River meets the Atlantic.
We stay in a local hotel.
Approximate Driving time: 574km / 11hrs (including a ferry journey)
Today is yours to enjoy the port town of Belem, one of the first Portuguese settlements. Explore the historic centre which houses various museums and cathedrals and be sure to visit the Ver-o-Paso Market, considered the largest in South America, with its stalls scattered with Amazonian fish, baskets of Acai, herbs and crafts.
The next four days of our itinerary will be flexible to suit the sailing times of our ferry and the road conditions.
We hope to board the Amazon passenger boat today or tomorrow at 10am, sailing to the port of Macapa - this crossing usually takes around 24hours and is a real local experience. Be sure to bring some snacks, playing cards and a good book for the journey. Meals will be provided on the ferry but these are quite basic. Snacks and drinks are sold on board.
The truck will depart on a separate ferry the night before, as it takes around 36 hours to reach Macapa.
Whilst on board we sleep in hammocks on deck. It is possible to upgrade in advance to a cabin, please contact your Sales agent for further information.
We will likely spend a night in Macapa on arrival, followed by 2 days overlanding to the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. Our itinerary will depend on road conditions and the arrival times of the passenger and truck ferries.
Welcome to French Guiana!, today there is an important meeting at 18:00, please meet in the hotel reception. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy Cayenne.
Border Information - If joining the trip at Cayenne, you will fly into Cayenne Félix Eboué International Airport (IATA code: CAY)
In Cayenne we stay in a comfortable hotel.
Today we will enjoy a half day walking tour around Cayenne. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy, perhaps even take a Kayaking trip to the Ilets du pont. Depending on departure days we may choose to visit the Space station at Kourou ths morning.
Today we will head out to the town of Kourou; the site of the European Space station and the starting point for boat trips around the former penal colony on Devil’s Island, one of the infamous Iles du Salut, off the coast of French Guiana. The ordeal of Frenchman Henri Charriere, who spent 12 years here, would later inspire the book Papillon.
We will camp this evening in the surrounding area.
100km / 2hrs
Today we will visit the European Space Centre near Kourou, en route to the town of Saint Laurent du Maroni.
During Turtle viewing season (March to August) we will spend tonight at Plage les Hattes, in the hope of spotting a Olive Ridley or Leatherback Turtle.
Approximate drive time - 3hrs / 190km
We will stay in a local guesthouse or sleep in hammocks if we visit Plage Les Hattes
Today we have a free day to explore the border town of Saint Laurent du Maroni, located on the Maroni river, with its interesting and dark history as an arrival point for prisoners during the 19th Century.
We continue our journey west and cross to Suriname and to the lively capital Paramaribo.
This evening we may choose to take an evening sunset boat trip in the hope of seeing some Dolphins playing in the Suriname River.
Approximate Driving Time: 145km / 3hrs
Border information: Exit French Guiana at Saint Laurent du Maroni, Enter Suriname at Saint Laurent du Maroni
In Paramaribo we stay in a locally owned hostel in dorms and twin rooms with shared bathrooms.
Today we have a full day to explore Paramaribo's historic inner city and the Commewijne area. You can easily explore the historic centre on foot, visiting Fort Zeelandia and the Suriname museum, and enjoying the fantastic architecture of Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, one of the largest wooden buildings in the western hemisphere, or hire a bike and take a boat across the river to cycle the peaceful Commewijne Plantation Loop, visit the star shaped fort at Neiu Amsterdam. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
This morning we leave the truck behind and set off for an unforgettable adventure into the interior of Suriname. We will travel by minibus for approximately 190km to the port at Atjoni, we then hop on a boat for approx 1hr trip along the Suriname River, deep into the rainforest where we will stay for two nights on our own private island!
Be sure to pack light for this excursion, as we can only take a small bag each with us.
We will stay in comfortable cabins and enjoy our own pool. All meals are provided during our visit, though you will need a small amount of money for drinks and tips for our local guide.
During our stay we can visit local villages, walk around the island in the hope of meeting some of its furry inhabitants and learn about the medicinal plants, try to spot Caiman on a night time canoe trip, take a dip in the river at the Ferulassi rapids - a natural Jacuzzi, and relax on the island by our pool, spot the kingfishers on the banks of the river and enjoy the tranquillity of the Amazon Rainforest.
We will stay in comfortable cabins.
All meals are provided.
This morning is free for you to enjoy how you wish, walk, swim or relax and after lunch we will transfer back to Paramaribo.
Paramaribo and its surroundings definitely deserve at least one more day for exploration. Today is yours to spend as you wish; take a boat trip to Jordensavanne, take part in a Moengo Cultural experience, go walking in the Peperpot Nature reserve or Brownsberg Nature Park, learn the art of Surinamese cookery, or take part in one of the many day tours available.
Today we will leave the bright lights of Parbo behind and head to the Bigi Pan, designated an 'Important Bird Area' for its spectacular bird life, particularly the country's largest colony of Scarlet Ibis.
We will spend the night in comfortable rooms with all meals included.
Estimated Drive: 5hrs
Today we head across the border by Ferryboat to the Guyana Capital, Georgetown.
Border information: Exit Paramaribo, Enter Guyana
In Georgetown we stay in a central located, basic but cosy, locally run hostel, with shared bathrooms in a combination of twin and dorm rooms.
Estimated Drive: 5hrs
Take a morning tour of the city, explore the old canals and great sea wall, visit incredible wooden cathedrals, the huge market and try to spot the manatees swimming in the National park's lake. Georgetown is a busy place, and feels happily free from mass tourism. Be sure to take your camera!
Today we have a second free day in the city.
Perhaps one of the greatest highlights of Guyana is the spectacularly remote and impressive Kaieteur Falls, one of the tallest single drop waterfalls in the world, and reachable only by light aircraft. Take a half day flight to the falls and then enjoy a walking tour to the Falls and search for the tiny golden rocket frogs, hiding in the tank bromeliads leaves, as well as an impressive variety of butterflies, you may also be lucky enough to spot the bright orange Guayanan Cock of the Rocks.
Today the adventure really begins, as we travel south into the Guyanan Interior. We enjoy the comforts of a tarmac road for around 120km, as far as the town of Linden, and then the dirt road begins! it's the only road that connects Georgetown to Brazil, at some times of the year it becomes impassable due to the rains, but most of the time you'll find trucks and minibuses happily bumping along the road transporting people to and from Lethem. Many people choose to fly to the jungle resorts, but as overlanders we will get to enjoy the pristine rainforest - keep your eyes peeled in case of the illusive jaguar road crossing!
Please note we will likely set off very early today in order to make the most of the cooler parts of the day.
Driving Distance: 12 hours
Today we will camp just north of the Essequibo river, with basic facilities.
This morning we will cross the River on a small barge and head deep in the Guyanan rainforest, which gives us some unique wildlife spotting opportunities in one of the most pristine and untouched eco-systems in the world. We have a variety of options for us including walking, bird watching, canoeing trips, nocturnal wildlife spotting and even a spot of swimming (if the watre is low enough).
Today we will have an opportunity to visit the Iwokrama Forest Canopy Walkway, set 30metres above the forest floor and providing a unique opportunity to experience the jungle's mid-level canopy through a series of suspension bridges and decks. Visits during dusk or dawn are best for bird spotting of Macaws and Tucans, you may even be lucky enough to see Red Howler Monkeys.
Today we leave the dense rainforest behind and head towards a village settlement in an area of Savannah, where we will take a walk in the village and a short river trip in Canoes on the Burro Burro River. Afterwards we will head to our camp, which is a little further south further into the Savannah region.
Estimated Drive: 2-3hrs
We will camp with basica facilities, all meals are included.
Today we have a free day for activities such a horse riding, hiking and further opportunities for spotting wildlife.
This is our final day in Guyana, we will head south past the town of Lethem and onto the city of Boa Vista in Brazil
(Please note that it is possible to fly from Lethem to Georgetown for approximately 150USD, for outbound international flights).
Drive time - 245km / 5 hrs
Today is the final day for passengers finishing their trip in Boa Vista. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking an extra night of accommodation in order to fully explore the area.
Border Information: if you are finishing in Boa Vista, you will most likely exit Brazil at Boa Vista-Atlas Brasil Cantanhede International Airport (AITO code: BVB)
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Dragoman has a proud history, of nearly 40 years of pioneering overland adventures in their fleet of iconic, orange trucks. They aim to get you completely off the beaten track and really under the skin of the places that they visit, taking the road less travelled, mixing with the locals, learning about their culture, and ensuring that every part of the journey counts towards an amazing adventure.
Dragoman’s life changing overland adventures, visit over 55 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Many trips are a convenient 14-21 days, offering a great snapshot of a region getting you off the tourist trail on a perspective-changing journey.
These short trips can also be combined to create epic journeys lasting several months be it along the fabled Silk Route, a trans-Africa expedition from Cape Town to Cairo, or travel the entire length of the Americas from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Or journey from Mongolia down through China, and South East Asia – or in India you can circle the continent. These are incredible journeys that will change your life!
Group sizes are limited to 22, creating a personal experience with the most popular tours having frequent departures so you can easily find a date to suit you. They guarantee more trip departures than comparable operators and strive to offer value with more inclusions, so you don't have to pay extra on the road.