There are numerous facts to consider when trying to determine which Amazon cruise or tour to do and there are now many choices to choose from. What factors should you consider when deciding which is the best option for you?
* Would you like to receive an in-depth experience or do you just want to get a “taste” in the jungle?
* How many days do you want to remain in the jungle?
* Are you only visiting the jungle or have you been considering likely to other areas? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active do you want to be?
* Do you possess specific things you should do inside the jungle, that a package tour might not offer?
Some individuals just would like to get an idea about what the jungle is like. To them, a 3 day lodge stay or cruise might suffice. That will allow them 1 full day in the jungle, because the 1st and last days are normally mostly for travel from the airport and back towards the airport. They shouldn’t intend on seeing much wildlife or primary jungle though because they’re just not receiving far enough from the cities and nearby people. As an example, Manaus has about 1.5 million inhabitants, so you need to get pretty far from the city to feel like you are in a wilderness area.
People who would like to really obtain a feel for the jungle need to stay longer. It usually takes a few days for folks to wind down to the rhythm in the jungle and you have to get into many different ecosystems so that you will stand a better chance of seeing more varieties of plants and animals.
Many people think “Brazil” when taking into consideration the Amazon Basin, but it is also in Peru, Ecuador, and many other countries. You can have good experiences in those countries, which means you don’t must fly around South America to view the Amazon, unless there is a special reason. If you want to visit Machu Picchu, then you certainly might as well do an Amazon trip in Peru. If you want to see the Galapagos, then do an Amazon trip in Ecuador.
Don’t just depend on pretty brochures or websites. I was told by way of a local that certain particular lodge in the Iquitos area was most likely the prettiest one there – but their guides had all been fired from other lodges. One of many cruise companies shows a variety of boats on their website, but only one is now kept up for normal cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, however the service has deteriorated badly as well as the buildings have gotten run down. Another gives you great interaction with 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 in the past, where people said that the guide they hired knew a great deal regarding the jungle, but he would get drunk during the night and would go following the female clients and wouldn’t bother with cooking dinner, therefore they needed to fend by themselves. I was recently saddened to understand that among the top guides in the Peruvian Amazon, one who was the topic of several videos about jungle survival, etc., have been fired, because he had become an alcoholic. His father had been among the top guides, but he suffered the same fate. Good operators count on repeat business and word of mouth marketing advertising, therefore they can’t afford to keep guides that will cause public relations problems.
A great guide can make a big difference on a jungle trip. In the event you enter the jungle alone, all you will observe is actually a sea of green plants as well as a symphony of sounds. A good guide knows what all of those different plants are and what uses they have got. He can tell precisely what is making those sounds, their relationship to the plants in the community and where to look for them. They have got an uncanny eye for spotting seemingly invisible things. I remember an evening walk where we turned off our flashlights and were at night, but our guide somehow spotted a huge black spider on a tree trunk. So he can turn a monotone experience in to a Technicolor experience. Just like in every business, an excellent guide can command a better salary when compared to a trainee, so don’t expect to be with a top guide should you go on the cheapest trip you can find. (the weather needs a toll on buildings and boats, so low budget operations are probably not planning to have well-maintained facilities either. From the same token, the cheaper lodges will also be often close towards the city, so they are not in areas which can be as pristine or that have just as much wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways such as Iquitos and Manaus was previously havens for scam artists. They knew that lots of people would arrive with no reservations and thus would offer exciting trips at low prices, nevertheless they often times would not deliver what they had promised. The governments are working hard to try to eliminate these kinds, however they can still be an issue for unsuspecting budget travelers.
Most travel agencies will offer you some of the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays that offer the activities they think a lot of people wish to accomplish, but if you want to camp or kayak or do anything unusual, then you will have to look elsewhere because most travel agencies are more informed about mass market locations, including Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland compared to what they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. Some of the highly marketed properties are like big resorts inside the jungle. If that’s what you’re interested in, then fine. However, many people want something more intimate and authentic and fewer intrusive. So it’s better to communicate with someone who has more experience with the type of trip that you are interested in.