Tailor-Made Holiday

Brazil and Galapagos Ultimate Wildlife Holiday

Flying safari in the Brazilian Pantanal and the Galapagos Islands by boat

15 days

from £8,395pp

Combine two of the best wildlife viewing areas in South America, the huge wetlands area of the Pantanal in Brazil with the Galapagos archipelago off the coast of Ecuador

  • Flying safari in the less visited Southern Pantanal
  • Best places in South America to view wildlife
  • Stay in small family run farm properties in the Pantanal
  • Explore the unique wildlife in the Galapagos Islands by small boat
  • Snorkel, kayak and walk the trails, in the Galapagos with an expert guide 

Begin this adventure in the depths of the Southern Pantanal, the best area in Brazil and possibly the whole of South America for wildlife viewing. Travel by small charter plane to reach remote family run ranches, a stunning journey in itself, crossing the largest wetland area in the world. Based at a traditional fazenda, spend days with experienced guides on foot trekking through grasslands and forest, floating along the rivers and lagoons in handmade canoes or on horseback with Pantaneiro (local cowboys). At night travel by 4WD looking for caiman and other nocturnal creatures and listen to the sounds of the Pantanal. This is the perfect habitat for so many creatures including monkeys, capybara, armadillo and giant otter as well as a huge variety of birds. 

Fly across the South American continent and onto the Galapagos Islands, a truly unique area for fauna. Travel by small boat, maximising the islands visited. Although part of an archipelago these volcanic islands vary greatly, from flat sandy land masses to rugged lava fields and everything in between. Observe the bizarre courtship ritual of the blue footed boobie, the slow plodding of the giant tortoises or the marine iguanas piled high, warming in the sun. With wildlife unafraid of humans there is no place better to get up close to these fascinating creatures. Spend days walking the different islands with expert guides, kayaking the bays or snorkelling with playful sea lions. 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Full board meals except Quito which is B&B
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Galapagos National Park fees
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Madrid

Fly Madrid to Sao Paulo overnight

Day 2

Fly Sao Paulo to Campo Grande

Scenic Flight from Campo Grande to Baia das Pedras

The Pantanal or wetlands of Mato Grosso are one of nature's last frontiers, the world's largest animal reserve and home to more than 600 different species of birds and 230 varieties of fish, it is made up of a huge lowland plain, entirely overgrown by lush vegetation and covered with flowers that bloom during the rainy season (December-April). The Pantanal includes many rivers and crystalline lakes as it used to be a vast inland sea. Rare species of birds and other animals seek shelter along their shores and cluster around the diminishing pools during the dry season from May through to November.

You will be staying at Baia das Pedras

Day 3

Pantanal Activities and Excursions
Over the next few days explore the Pantanal with a guide by 4wd, on foot, by canoe or small motor boat observing the rich fauna and flora of this ecological sanctuary. Animals include capybara, caiman, deer, iguanas, possums, anacondas, incredible amounts of birds, raptors and if you are lucky a jaguar. Fazenda Barranco Alto offer the services of a naturalist guide locally, shared between the guests.

You will be staying at Baia das Pedras

Day 4

You will be staying at Baia das Pedras

Day 5

Scenic Flight from Baia das Pedras to Barranco Alto

You will be staying at Barranco Alto

Day 6

Pantanal Activities and Excursions
Over the next few days explore the Pantanal with a guide by 4wd, on foot, by canoe or small motor boat observing the rich fauna and flora of this ecological sanctuary. Animals include capybara, caiman, deer, iguanas, possums, anacondas, incredible amounts of birds, raptors and if you are lucky a jaguar. Fazenda Barranco Alto offer the services of a naturalist guide locally, shared between the guests.

You will be staying at Barranco Alto

Day 7

You will be staying at Barranco Alto

Day 8

Scenic Flight from Barranco Alto to Campo Grande

Fly Campo Grande to Sao Paulo

Fly Sao Paulo to Quito

With Pichincha Volcano one side, Machangara Gorge on the other and the equator passing directly through, few can rival Quito's setting. Few also can match the splendour of its old town, with its colonial churches, mansions and plazas. Quito was named as the first World Cultural Heritage Site in the world by UNESCO in 1978. This historical city has the largest and best preserved historic centre and colonial quarters in Latin America.

As old gives way to new, broad avenues and parks host international hotels, restaurants and shopping centres.

You will be staying at La Casona de la Ronda

Day 9

Fly Quito to Galapagos Islands

San Cristobal Island
Upon arrival at San Cristobal Airport a guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbour.

In the afternoon, visit Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Centre, located 40 minutes by bus to the south east of the island. This centre was built to improve the status of the population of the island tortoises and includes a large corral, Visitors centre, breeding centre and an interpretative trail. Along this trail it's possible to see different species of native and endemic plants and birds, such as the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Yellow Warblers and many species of finches and the Galapagos flycatcher.

It was Charles Darwin's 1835 exploration of the Galapagos Islands, whilst serving as a naturalist on HMS Beagle, and his subsequent 1859 publication On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection that first brought the world's attention to these fascinating islands.

Today the Galapagos remain a living laboratory of evolution where birds and animals have no fear of man. Blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, land and marine iguanas and giant tortoises roam freely and for anyone with an interest in natural history, wildlife and ecology, a visit to these islands is an unforgettable experience. Located some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the archipelago is now a National Park and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are 13 islands (isles) in total and dozens of smaller islets and rocks - all the result of volcanic activity with exotic plant life, unique wildlife species and an extraordinary landscape fringed with blue sea.

You will be staying at Galapagos Odyssey

Day 10

Española Island
Gardner Bay, located on the north-eastern coast of Española, provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here we can also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters.

Punta Suarez sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea affording spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow hole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf.

You will be staying at Galapagos Odyssey

Day 11

Floreana Island
Punta Cormorant offers probably the best and one of the largest flamingo lagoons in the Galapagos. It's situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: "The Green Beach" (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the "Flour Sand Beach" which is made up of coral.

Historically, Post Office Bay is the location of a wooden barrel that was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since this time by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from the Post Office barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. Continue to the north of the island and ascend an elevated slope to enjoy a beautiful vista at the Baroness Lookout. It is said that Baroness Eloisa von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. Within walking distance (30 m) are the ruins of what is known as her house. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from Enderby Islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and a wide forest of Palo Santo.

You will be staying at Galapagos Odyssey

Day 12

Santa Fe & Plazas
Located in the south-eastern part of the Galapagos, Santa Fe was formed by an uplift rather than a volcanic origin. This is why it is mostly flat. There are some theories which assure this could be the oldest island in the archipelago. Santa Fe is home to a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of Galapagos lands iguanas. After disembarkation in the beautiful and clear waters you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail many salt bushes can be seen as well giant prickly pear cacti. Gigantism is a characteristic of oceanic islands. There are great possibilities of snorkelling with playful sea lions and tropical fish.

North and South Plaza are located at the east of Santa Cruz Island. Despite their small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than their relatives found at other islands. Throughout the island are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana. They are unique, recognisable at first glance by their black/grey colour, with a land iguana's crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favourite food. Swallow tailed gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other sea birds such as: Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and brown pelicans.

You will be staying at Galapagos Odyssey

Day 13

North Seymour & Santa Cruz Islands
Seymour is another uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found bodysurfing. Watch your step, as the boobies don't worry much about where they nest, and you might just step on one.

Bachas Beach is found to the west of Turtle Cove. The sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favourite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind the beach there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The longer beach has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War, when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategically point to protect the Panama Channel.

You will be staying at Galapagos Odyssey

Day 14

Mosquera Islet
Mosquera Islet is located between Baltra and North Seymour. This is a small islet formed by geological uplift, with a reef of rocks and coral and a great white sand beach with a big population of sea lions lies. You can observe several species of shorebirds. This site offers great snorkelling and swimming. Along the rocks are commonly running red lava crabs or Sally light-foot crabs.

Transfer to the airport for the flight back to mainland Ecuador.

Fly Galapagos Islands to Guayaquil

Fly Guayaquil to Madrid overnight

Day 15

Fly Madrid to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

La Casona de la Ronda

La Casona de la Ronda

Situated on one of Quito's most traditional streets, La Casona de la Ronda Hotel has been wonderfully restored maintained its original colour, stone walls and keeping the traditional character of the mansion alive....

View Accommodation

Barranco Alto

Barranco Alto

Fazenda Barranco Alto is a located in the southern Pantanal, best reached by a 45 minute flight by small plane....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Brazil

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

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Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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