There are several points to consider when trying to choose which Amazon cruise or tour to do and now there are many choices to pick from. What factors should you consider when deciding the best idea option for you?
* Would you like to have an in-depth experience or do you just need to get a “taste” in the jungle?
* How many days do you want to maintain the jungle?
* Are you currently only visiting the jungle or are you thinking about going to other areas? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active do you want to be?
* Have you got specific things you wish to do in the jungle, that the package tour might not offer?
Many people just want to get an understanding as to what the jungle is like. To them, a 3 day lodge stay or cruise might suffice. That will allow them 1 full day in the jungle, because the 1st and last days are normally mostly for travel from 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 from the cities and nearby people. As an example, Manaus has about 1.5 million inhabitants, so you need to get pretty far from the city to feel like you happen to be in a wilderness area.
People who wish to really get a feel for the jungle need to stay longer. It usually takes a few days for individuals to wind down to the rhythm of the jungle and you should get into many different ecosystems so you stand a better chance of seeing more varieties of plants and animals.
Most people think “Brazil” when thinking about 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 must fly all over South America to see the Amazon, unless you do have a special reason. In order to head 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 rely on pretty brochures or websites. I had been told by a local that one particular lodge inside the Iquitos area was probably the prettiest one there – however guides had all been fired using their company lodges. One of many cruise companies shows a variety of boats on their site, only the initial one is now kept up for regular cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, nevertheless the service has deteriorated badly as well as the buildings have gotten run down. Another offers you great interaction with all the local Indians, but those Indians also still hunt, so that you won’t see much wildlife around there.
Alcoholism is a problem in the Amazon and guides aren’t immune from that problem. I recall reading many trip reports in the past, where the people said that the guide they hired knew a whole lot about the jungle, but he would get drunk at night and would go following the female clients and wouldn’t bother with cooking dinner, therefore they needed to fend on their own. I was recently saddened to understand that among the top guides in the Peruvian Amazon, one that was the topic of several videos about jungle survival, etc., was fired, as he had become an alcoholic. His father had already been one of many top guides, but he suffered the same fate. Good operators rely on repeat business and word of mouth advertising, therefore they can’t manage to keep guides which will cause pr problems.
A good guide can make a huge difference over a jungle trip. If you enter the jungle by yourself, all you will notice is really a sea of green plants and a symphony of sounds. A great 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 area 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 in the dark, but our guide somehow spotted a big black spider on the tree trunk. So he can turn a monotone experience into a Technicolor experience. Just like in any business, an excellent 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 weather needs 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 for the city, so they are not in areas which are as pristine or that have the maximum amount of wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways such as Iquitos and Manaus was previously havens for scam artists. They knew that many people would arrive with no reservations and so would offer exciting trips at low prices, but of course they frequently would not deliver the things they had promised. The governments are working hard to try and eliminate these kinds, nevertheless they can be an issue for unsuspecting budget travelers.
Most travel agencies will provide many of the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays that provide the activities they think many people might like to do, but if you want to camp or kayak or do anything out of the ordinary, then you will need to look elsewhere because most travel agencies are more informed about mass market locations, like Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland than they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. A few of the highly marketed properties are like big resorts inside the jungle. If that’s what you’re interested in, then fine. However, many people want something more intimate and authentic and less intrusive. So it’s preferable to communicate with someone who has more expertise in the kind of trip that you are searching for.