There are many points to consider when trying to choose which Amazon cruise or tour to do and there are now many options to select from. What factors should you consider when deciding the best idea option for you?
* Do you wish to receive an in-depth experience or do you just need to get a “taste” in the jungle?
* How many days do you wish to be in the jungle?
* Are you only going to the jungle or are you currently considering likely to other areas? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active would you like to be?
* Have you got specific things you want to do in 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. On their behalf, a 3 day lodge stay or cruise might suffice. Which will allow them 1 full day within the jungle, since the 1st and last days are usually mostly for travel from your 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 would like to really get yourself a feel for the jungle must stay longer. It usually takes a couple of days for individuals to wind down to the rhythm from the jungle and you need to get into a number of ecosystems so you stand an improved chance of seeing more species of plants and animals.
Most people think “Brazil” when thinking about the Amazon Basin, however 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 around South America to see the Amazon, unless you do have a special reason. If you wish to visit Machu Picchu, then you certainly 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 depend on pretty brochures or websites. I was told with a local that one particular lodge within the Iquitos area was possibly the prettiest one there – however their guides had all been fired off their lodges. One of the cruise companies shows many different boats on their website, but only the first is now kept up for normal cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, but the service has deteriorated badly and also the buildings have gotten run down. Another offers you great interaction using 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, where the people stated that the guide they hired knew a lot concerning 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 on their own. I was recently saddened to understand that one of many top guides within the Peruvian Amazon, one who was the subject of several videos about jungle survival, etc., was fired, because he had become an alcoholic. His father had also been one of the top guides, but he suffered exactly the same fate. Good operators count on repeat business and recommendations advertising, therefore they can’t manage to keep guides that will cause public relations problems.
A great guide can make all the difference on the jungle trip. Should you enter the jungle on your own, all you will see is really a sea of green plants and a symphony of sounds. A good guide knows what those different plants are and what uses they have got. He can tell what is making those sounds, their relationship to the plants in the community and where to find 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 at night, but our guide somehow spotted a big black spider on the tree trunk. So he can turn a monotone experience right into a Technicolor experience. Just like in almost any business, a great guide can command a better salary than a trainee, so don’t expect to get along 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 most likely not planning to have well-maintained facilities either. Through the same token, the cheaper lodges are also often close towards the city, so they are not in areas which can be as pristine or who have just as much wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways including Iquitos and Manaus was once havens for scam artists. They knew that lots of people would arrive without reservations and thus would offer exciting trips at great prices, nevertheless they often would not deliver whatever they had promised. The governments are working hard to attempt to eliminate these types, nevertheless they can still be an issue for unsuspecting budget travelers.
Most travel agencies will offer probably the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays offering the activities that they think most people want to do, but if you want to camp or kayak or do anything uncommon, then you will need to look elsewhere since most travel agencies tend to be more informed about mass market locations, like Las Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland than they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. A number of the highly marketed properties are like big resorts in the jungle. If that’s what you’re considering, then fine. But many people want something more intimate and authentic and much less intrusive. So it’s preferable to contact someone who has more experience with the type of trip that you are looking for.