There are several facts to consider when trying to decide which Amazon cruise or tour to do and now there are many options to choose from. What factors should you consider when deciding which is the best option for you?
* Do you wish to have an in-depth experience or do you just would like to get a “taste” in the jungle?
* How many days would you like to be in the jungle?
* Are you currently only going to the jungle or are you currently thinking about planning to other areas? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active do you wish to be?
* Do you have specific things you should do inside the jungle, which a package tour might not offer?
Some individuals just would like to get an idea in regards to what the jungle is like. To them, a 3 day lodge stay or cruise might suffice. That will allow them 1 full day within the jungle, since the 1st and last days are normally mostly for travel through the airport and back to the airport. They shouldn’t intend on seeing much wildlife or primary jungle though because they’re just not receiving far enough out of 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 obtain a feel for the jungle must stay longer. It usually takes a few days for folks to wind down for the rhythm in the jungle and you need to get into many different ecosystems so you stand an improved chance of seeing more species of animals and plants.
A lot of people think “Brazil” when taking into consideration the Amazon Basin, yet it is also in Peru, Ecuador, and several other countries. You can have good experiences in those countries, so that you don’t must fly throughout South America to see the Amazon, unless you have a special reason. If you want to head to Machu Picchu, then you might as well do an Amazon trip in Peru. In order to see the Galapagos, then do an Amazon trip in Ecuador.
Don’t just depend on pretty brochures or websites. I used to be told with a local that one particular lodge in the Iquitos area was possibly the prettiest one there – but their guides had all been fired from other lodges. One of the cruise companies shows a variety of boats on their site, but only the initial one is now kept up for normal cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, but the service has deteriorated badly and the buildings have gotten run down. Another provides you with great interaction with the local Indians, but those Indians also still hunt, so you won’t see much wildlife around there.
Alcoholism is an issue in the Amazon and guides aren’t immune from that problem. I recall reading many trip reports years ago, where people claimed that the guide they hired knew a great deal regarding the jungle, but he would get drunk at nighttime and would go following the female clients and wouldn’t bother with cooking dinner, so that they were required to fend for themselves. I had been recently saddened to understand that one of the top guides inside the Peruvian Amazon, one that was the topic of several videos about jungle survival, etc., was fired, because he had become an alcoholic. His father had been one of many top guides, but he suffered exactly the same fate. Good operators count on repeat business and word of mouth marketing advertising, therefore they can’t manage to keep guides which will cause pr problems.
An excellent guide can make all the difference on a jungle trip. In the event you enter the jungle alone, all you will notice is a sea of green plants along with a symphony of sounds. A good guide knows what all those different plants are and what uses they have. He can tell what is making those sounds, their relationship for the plants in the community and where to search for them. They have got an uncanny eye for spotting seemingly invisible things. I remember an evening walk where we switched off our flashlights and were in the dark, but our guide somehow spotted a large black spider on the tree trunk. So he can turn a monotone experience into a Technicolor experience. Just like in almost any business, a good guide can command a much better salary than a trainee, so don’t expect to get along with a top guide in the event you go on the cheapest trip you can find. (the weather needs a toll on buildings and boats, so low budget operations are most likely not planning to have well-maintained facilities either. From the same token, the cheaper lodges are also often close for the city, so they are certainly not in areas that are as pristine or which have as much wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways including Iquitos and Manaus was previously havens for scam artists. They knew that many people would arrive without any reservations and thus would offer exciting trips at low prices, however they often times would not deliver the things they had promised. The governments are working hard to try to eliminate these types, however they can still be a difficulty for unsuspecting budget travelers.
Most travel agencies will offer you many of the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays that offer the activities they think most people wish to accomplish, but if you wish to camp or kayak or do just about anything uncommon, then you need to look elsewhere since the majority of travel agencies are definitely more informed about mass market locations, like Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland than they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. A number of the highly marketed properties are like big resorts within the jungle. If that’s what you’re considering, then fine. But some people want something more intimate and authentic and much less intrusive. So it’s safer to get in touch with somebody who has more experience with the kind of trip that you are searching for.