There are many points 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?
* Would you like to receive an in-depth experience or can you just want to get a “taste” in the jungle?
* The number of days do you want to be in the jungle?
* Are you currently only coming to the jungle or have you been thinking about planning to other places? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active would you like to be?
* Do you possess specific things you wish to do within the jungle, that a package tour might not offer?
Many people just want to get an understanding about 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 usually mostly for travel through the airport and back towards the airport. They shouldn’t intend on seeing much wildlife or primary jungle though because they’re just not getting far enough from the cities and nearby people. For example, Manaus has about 1.5 million inhabitants, so you need to get pretty far away from the city to feel like you are in a wilderness area.
People who wish to really obtain a sense of the jungle need to stay longer. It usually takes a couple of days for people to wind down to the rhythm from the jungle and you need to get into many different ecosystems so that you stand a better 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, so you don’t need to fly all over South America to view 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. In order to view the Galapagos, then do an Amazon trip in Ecuador.
Don’t just count on pretty brochures or websites. I used to be told by way of a local that one particular lodge within the Iquitos area was probably the prettiest one there – however their guides had all been fired off their lodges. Among the cruise companies shows many different boats on their website, but only the first is now kept up for regular cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, nevertheless the service has deteriorated badly and the buildings have gotten run down. Another offers you great interaction with all the local Indians, but those Indians also still hunt, which means you won’t see much wildlife around there.
Alcoholism is a problem in 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 great deal concerning the jungle, but he would get drunk at night and would go right after the female clients and wouldn’t bother with cooking dinner, so that they needed to fend by themselves. I had been recently saddened to understand that one of many top guides inside the Peruvian Amazon, one that was the subject of several videos about jungle survival, etc., have been fired, because he had become an alcoholic. His father had been one of many top guides, but he suffered the identical fate. Good operators depend on repeat business and word of mouth advertising, so that they can’t manage to keep guides which will cause public relations problems.
An excellent guide can make all the difference on a jungle trip. Should you enter the jungle by yourself, all you will observe is a sea of green plants as well as a symphony of sounds. An excellent guide knows what all of those different plants are and what uses they may have. He can tell what exactly is making those sounds, their relationship for the plants in the community and where to look for them. They may have an uncanny eye for spotting seemingly invisible things. I recall an evening walk where we switched off our flashlights and were in the dark, but our guide somehow spotted a big black spider over a tree trunk. So he can turn a monotone experience in to a Technicolor experience. Just like in every business, a great guide can command a better salary than a trainee, so don’t expect to be with a top guide should you go on the cheapest trip you can find. (the climate takes a toll on buildings and boats, so low budget operations are probably not likely to have well-maintained facilities either. Through the same token, the cheaper lodges can also be often close for the city, so they are certainly not in areas which are as pristine or who have just as much wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways like Iquitos and Manaus used to be havens for scam artists. They knew that many people would arrive with no reservations therefore would offer exciting trips at great prices, nevertheless they frequently would not deliver what 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 provide probably the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays that provide the activities that they think many people wish to accomplish, but if you want to camp or kayak or do anything whatsoever unusual, then you will need to look elsewhere because most travel agencies are more informed about mass market locations, including Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland than they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. Some 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 much less intrusive. So it’s preferable to get in touch with a person who has more experience with the type of trip that you are interested in.