Brazilians love children nearly as much as they love beaches, beer, and music. Maybe more. This route combines Brazil's top destinations in ways that will allow both you and your kids to have fun.
Days 1 & 2: Rio de Janeiro
To get into the Brazilian spirit, start off your trip in Rio de Janeiro. See the must-sees such as the Corcovado, Sugar Loaf, and Copacabana beach, while discovering the typically Brazilian joie de vivre and the late-night Carioca lifestyle -- spend an afternoon at the beach, watch the sunset at Arpoador, drink beers in an old-fashioned bar in the hillside neighborhood of Santa Teresa, dance to samba in Lapa, start dinner after midnight (assuming you aren't traveling with small children). More than seeing the sights, it will acclimatize you to the Brazilian way before you set off to explore the rest of the country.
Days 3-6: Olinda & Porto de Galinhas
From Rio, it's only a short flight to Recife and Olinda. As historic as Salvador, Olinda is more lived in, full of artists, among them the famous puppet makers who show works in the Puppet Museum. Spend a day here, then head south to the beachside village of Porto de Galinhas. Snorkel the shallow reef pools full of fish. Look for sea horses in the tidal mangroves.
Days 7-11: Amazon
Catch an early flight to Manaus. It's time to experience a bit of the largest standing rainforest on earth, the Amazon. On your first day you should have time to see the highlights of Manaus, including the famous Manaus Opera House. Set off early the next morning for a jungle lodge. Choose a smaller lodge farther from the city. Don't go to the Ariaú. Although the area around Manaus is hardly unexplored, a few days will allow you to experience the fauna and flora of a tropical rainforest. Enjoy the trees, the monkeys, the caiman, and the bright pink dolphins.
Days 12-15: Belém & the Island of Marajó
From Manaus, fly to Belém, and hop on a ferry for the big river island of Marajó. Spend a few days on a buffalo ranch -- we recommend the Fazenda Sanjo -- with a Marajó family, riding horses, herding buffalo, and seeing caiman and flocks of bright red roseate spoonbills.
Days 16 & 17: Iguaçu Falls
A final must-see on a first-time visit -- one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders of the world -- is Iguaçu Falls. You can easily spend 2 days exploring the falls from various angles and in various ways: on foot, by boat, by train, and by helicopter.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.