There are many things to consider when trying to determine which Amazon cruise or tour to do and nowadays there are several choices to choose from. What factors should you consider when deciding the best idea option for you?
* Do you wish to receive an in-depth experience or can you just need to get a “taste” of the jungle?
* The number of days do you want to remain in the jungle?
* Are you only going to the jungle or have you been considering planning to other places? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active would you like to be?
* Do you possess specific things you want to do in the jungle, which a package tour might not offer?
Some people just need to get a concept about what the jungle is like. To them, a 3 day lodge stay or cruise might suffice. Which will allow them 1 full day in the jungle, since the 1st and last days are typically mostly for travel through the airport and back towards the airport. They shouldn’t plan on seeing much wildlife or primary jungle though because they’re just not receiving far enough away from the cities and nearby people. As an example, Manaus has about 1.5 million inhabitants, so you have to get pretty far from the city to feel like you are in a wilderness area.
People who wish to really get a feel for the jungle have to stay longer. It always takes a couple of days for people to wind down towards the rhythm from the jungle and you should get into a number of ecosystems so that you will stand an improved chance of seeing more varieties of plants and animals.
Most people think “Brazil” when taking into consideration the Amazon Basin, but it is also in Peru, Ecuador, and several other countries. You can have good experiences in those countries, which means you don’t need to fly throughout South America to find out the Amazon, unless you have a special reason. If you wish to go to Machu Picchu, then you definitely might as well do an Amazon trip in Peru. If you wish to view the Galapagos, then do an Amazon trip in Ecuador.
Don’t just count on pretty brochures or websites. I had been told by way of a local that certain particular lodge inside the Iquitos area was probably the prettiest one there – however guides had all been fired from other lodges. Among the cruise companies shows a variety of boats on their site, only the initial one is now kept up for regular cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, however the service has deteriorated badly as well as the buildings have gotten run down. Another offers you great interaction using the local Indians, but those Indians also still hunt, so you won’t see much wildlife around there.
Alcoholism is a problem within the Amazon and guides aren’t immune from that problem. I remember reading many trip reports years back, where the people claimed that the guide they hired knew a whole lot regarding the jungle, but he would get drunk at nighttime and would go after the female clients and wouldn’t bother with cooking dinner, so they had to fend by themselves. I used to be recently saddened to find out that one of many top guides inside the Peruvian Amazon, one who was the main topic of several videos about jungle survival, etc., was fired, while he had become an alcoholic. His father had also been among the top guides, but he suffered exactly the same fate. Good operators count on repeat business and recommendations advertising, therefore they can’t afford to keep guides that will cause public relations problems.
A great guide can make a huge difference over a jungle trip. Should you enter the jungle by yourself, all you will notice is 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. He can tell what exactly is making those sounds, their relationship to the plants in the community and where to search for them. They have an uncanny eye for spotting seemingly invisible things. I recall an evening walk where we switched off our flashlights and were at night, but our guide somehow spotted a huge black spider over 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 much better salary compared to a trainee, so don’t expect to be with a top guide if 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 going to have well-maintained facilities either. From the same token, the cheaper lodges are also often close to the city, so they are certainly not in areas which are as pristine or who have as much wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways including Iquitos and Manaus used to be havens for scam artists. They knew that lots of people would arrive without reservations therefore would offer exciting trips at low prices, nevertheless they frequently would not deliver the things they had promised. The governments will work hard to try and eliminate these types, however they can certainly be a problem for unsuspecting budget travelers.
Most travel agencies will offer some of the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays offering the activities they think many people wish to accomplish, but if you want to camp or kayak or do anything whatsoever uncommon, then you will have to look elsewhere since the majority of travel agencies are more informed about mass market locations, like Las Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland than they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. A few of the highly marketed properties are like big resorts inside the jungle. If that’s what you’re interested in, then fine. But some people want some thing intimate and authentic and less intrusive. So it’s safer to get in touch with someone who has more experience with the type of trip that you are searching for.