There are numerous things to consider when trying to decide which Amazon cruise or tour to do and nowadays there are many choices to select from. What factors should you consider when deciding which is the best option for you?
* Do you want to have an in-depth experience or would you just need to get a “taste” from the jungle?
* How many days do you want to remain in the jungle?
* Have you been only coming to the jungle or are you currently considering planning to other places? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active do you want to be?
* Do you have specific things you want to do within the jungle, that the package tour might not offer?
Some individuals just would like to get an understanding about what the jungle is like. On their behalf, 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 normally 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 failing to get far enough out of the cities and nearby people. As an example, Manaus has about 1.5 million inhabitants, so you must get pretty far from the city to feel like you are in a wilderness area.
People who would like to really get a sense of the jungle must stay longer. It always takes a few days for individuals to wind down for the rhythm in the jungle and you should get into a variety of ecosystems so that you stand a better chance of seeing more varieties of animals and plants.
A lot of 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, so you don’t must fly around South America to see the Amazon, unless there is a special reason. If you want to go to Machu Picchu, then you definitely might as well do an Amazon trip in Peru. If you want to begin to see the Galapagos, then do an Amazon trip in Ecuador.
Don’t just count on pretty brochures or websites. I was told with a local that one particular lodge in the Iquitos area was probably the prettiest one there – however their guides had all been fired off their lodges. One of many cruise companies shows a number of boats on their website, but only the first is now kept up for normal cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, however the service has deteriorated badly and the buildings have gotten run down. Another gives you great interaction using 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 remember reading many trip reports years ago, where people said that the guide they hired knew a whole lot regarding the jungle, but he would get drunk at night and would go after the female clients and wouldn’t bother with cooking dinner, therefore they were required to fend for themselves. I was recently saddened to understand that one of the top guides in the Peruvian Amazon, one that was the main topic of several videos about jungle survival, etc., was fired, as he had become an alcoholic. His father had already been one of the top guides, but he suffered the identical fate. Good operators count on repeat business and recommendations advertising, so that they can’t afford to keep guides that are going to cause pr problems.
A good guide can make a big difference over a jungle trip. If you go to the jungle alone, all you will notice is actually a sea of green plants as well as a symphony of sounds. A great guide knows what those different plants are and what uses they have got. He can tell what exactly is making those sounds, their relationship to the plants in the community and where to look for them. They have an uncanny eye for spotting seemingly invisible things. I remember an evening walk where we turned off our flashlights and were at nighttime, but our guide somehow spotted a huge black spider on the tree trunk. So he can turn a monotone experience into a Technicolor experience. Just like in any business, a great guide can command an improved salary compared to a trainee, so don’t expect to get along with a top guide if 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 likely to have well-maintained facilities either. By the same token, the cheaper lodges can also be often close to the city, so they are not in areas that are as pristine or who have as much wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways such as Iquitos and Manaus was previously havens for scam artists. They knew that numerous people would arrive with no reservations and thus would offer exciting trips at low prices, however they frequently would not deliver whatever they had promised. The governments work hard to attempt to eliminate these types, but they can certainly be an issue for unsuspecting budget travelers.
Most travel agencies will offer you probably the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays that offer the activities that they think many people wish to accomplish, but in order to camp or kayak or do just about anything out of the ordinary, then you need to look elsewhere since most travel agencies tend to be more informed about mass market locations, such as Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland compared to what 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. But many people want something more intimate and authentic and fewer intrusive. So it’s safer to communicate with somebody who has more expertise in the sort of trip that you are interested in.