There are numerous points to consider when trying to choose which Amazon cruise or tour to do and now there are many options to select from. What factors should you consider when deciding the best idea option for you?
* Do you wish to have an in-depth experience or can you just need to get a “taste” of the jungle?
* How many days do you want to be in the jungle?
* Are you only going to the jungle or are you thinking about likely to other areas? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active do you want to be?
* Have you got specific things you want to do within the jungle, that a package tour might not offer?
Many people just need to get an understanding as to 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, because the 1st and last days are typically 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 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 might be in a wilderness area.
People who would like to really get a sense of the jungle need to stay longer. It usually takes a couple of days for individuals to wind down for the rhythm from the jungle and you should get into a variety of ecosystems so that you will stand an improved chance of seeing more types of animals and plants.
A lot of people think “Brazil” when considering the Amazon Basin, however it is also in Peru, Ecuador, and many other countries. You can have good experiences in those countries, so that you don’t must fly all over South America to view the Amazon, unless you have a special reason. If you wish to head to Machu Picchu, then you might as well do an Amazon trip in Peru. In order to begin to see the Galapagos, then do an Amazon trip in Ecuador.
Don’t just rely on pretty brochures or websites. I was told with a local that one particular lodge inside the Iquitos area was most likely the prettiest one there – however 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 first is now kept up for regular cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, but the service has deteriorated badly as well as the buildings have gotten run down. Another gives 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 an issue within the Amazon and guides aren’t immune from that problem. I remember reading many trip reports years ago, in which the people stated that the guide they hired knew a great deal about the jungle, but he would get drunk at night and would go right after the female clients and wouldn’t bother with cooking dinner, therefore they had to fend by themselves. I was recently saddened to understand that one of many top guides inside the Peruvian Amazon, person who was the topic of several videos about jungle survival, etc., had been fired, while he had become an alcoholic. His father had been among the top guides, but he suffered the identical fate. Good operators rely on repeat business and recommendations advertising, so they can’t manage to keep guides which will cause public relations problems.
A great guide can make a big difference on the jungle trip. If you go to the jungle by yourself, all you will notice is really a sea of green plants along with a symphony of sounds. An excellent guide knows what all of those different plants are and what uses they have. He can tell precisely what is making those sounds, their relationship for the plants in the area and where to search 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 in the dark, 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 almost any business, a good guide can command an improved salary when compared to a trainee, so don’t expect to get along with a top guide should you go on the cheapest trip you can find. (the weather takes a toll on buildings and boats, so low budget operations are probably not going to have well-maintained facilities either. By the same token, the cheaper lodges will also be often close towards the city, so they are certainly not in areas that are as pristine or who have as much wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways such as Iquitos and Manaus used to be havens for scam artists. They knew that many people would arrive with no reservations and thus would offer exciting trips at great prices, nevertheless they frequently would not deliver what they had promised. The governments are working hard to try and eliminate these kinds, but 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 that provide the activities which they think a lot of people wish to accomplish, but if you want to camp or kayak or do just about anything out of the ordinary, then you will have to look elsewhere since the majority of travel agencies tend to be more informed about mass market locations, such as Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland than they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. A few of the highly marketed properties are like big resorts in the jungle. If that’s what you’re interested in, then fine. However, many people want something more intimate and authentic and much less intrusive. So it’s safer to communicate with somebody who has more expertise in the type of trip that you are interested in.