There are many facts to consider when trying to determine which Amazon cruise or tour to do and there are now many choices to select from. What factors should you consider when deciding the best idea option for you?
* Do you want to get an in-depth experience or can you just need to get a “taste” of the jungle?
* The amount of days do you want to maintain the jungle?
* Are you only coming to the jungle or are you planning on going to other areas? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active do you want to be?
* Do you have specific things you should do in the jungle, that a package tour might not offer?
Some individuals just want to get a concept about what the jungle is like. On their behalf, a 3 day lodge stay or cruise might suffice. Which will allow them 1 full day inside the jungle, since the 1st and last days are normally mostly for travel through the airport and back for the airport. They shouldn’t plan on seeing much wildlife or primary jungle though because they’re just not getting far enough out of the cities and nearby people. For instance, Manaus has about 1.5 million inhabitants, so you must get pretty far out of the city to feel like you are in a wilderness area.
People who would like to really obtain a feel for the jungle must stay longer. It always takes a couple of days for people to wind down to the rhythm from the jungle and you need to get into a variety of ecosystems so that you will stand a better chance of seeing more types of plants and animals.
A lot of people think “Brazil” when taking into consideration the Amazon Basin, however it is also in Peru, Ecuador, and lots of other countries. You can have good experiences in those countries, which means you don’t need to fly all over South America to find out the Amazon, unless you have a special reason. If you want to visit Machu Picchu, then you might as well do an Amazon trip in Peru. If you want to view the Galapagos, then do an Amazon trip in Ecuador.
Don’t just rely on pretty brochures or websites. I was told by a local that certain particular lodge in the Iquitos area was probably the prettiest one there – but their guides had all been fired off their lodges. One of the cruise companies shows a number of boats on their site, but only the initial one is now kept up for normal cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, nevertheless the service has deteriorated badly as well as the buildings have gotten run down. Another provides you with great interaction with all the local Indians, but those Indians also still hunt, so you won’t see much wildlife around there.
Alcoholism is a problem inside the Amazon and guides aren’t immune from that problem. I remember reading many trip reports years back, where people stated that the guide they hired knew a whole lot regarding the jungle, but he would get drunk at night and would go after the female clients and wouldn’t bother with cooking dinner, therefore they needed to fend for themselves. I used to be recently saddened to find out that one of many top guides in the Peruvian Amazon, one that was the subject of several videos about jungle survival, etc., have been fired, while he had become an alcoholic. His father had been one of the top guides, but he suffered the same fate. Good operators depend on repeat business and recommendations advertising, therefore they can’t manage to keep guides that are going to cause pr problems.
A good guide can make a big difference on the jungle trip. If you go to the jungle by yourself, all you will observe is actually a sea of green plants as well as a symphony of sounds. An excellent guide knows what those different plants are and what uses they have got. He can tell what exactly is making those sounds, their relationship to the plants in the region and where to look for them. They have got an uncanny eye for spotting seemingly invisible things. I recall an evening walk where we turned off our flashlights and were in the dark, but our guide somehow spotted a large black spider over a tree trunk. So he can turn a monotone experience right into a Technicolor experience. Just like in every business, a great guide can command a better salary compared to a trainee, so don’t expect to be with a top guide in the event you go on the cheapest trip you can find. (the climate needs a toll on buildings and boats, so low budget operations are most likely not planning to have well-maintained facilities either. Through the same token, the cheaper lodges will also be often close to the city, so they are certainly not in areas which are as pristine or who have the maximum amount of wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways such as Iquitos and Manaus was previously havens for scam artists. They knew that many people would arrive with no reservations and so would offer exciting trips at great prices, but of course they often times would not deliver what they had promised. The governments are working hard to try to eliminate these kinds, but they can certainly be a difficulty for unsuspecting budget travelers.
Most travel agencies will provide many of the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays that provide the activities that they think most people wish to accomplish, but in order to camp or kayak or do anything uncommon, then you need to look elsewhere since the majority of travel agencies are definitely more informed about mass market locations, including Las Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland compared to they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. A few of the highly marketed properties are like big resorts within the jungle. If that’s what you’re thinking about, then fine. However, many people want some thing intimate and authentic and fewer intrusive. So it’s safer to contact someone who has more experience in the type of trip that you are interested in.