There are numerous points to consider when trying to determine which Amazon cruise or tour to do and nowadays there are many choices to pick from. What factors should you consider when deciding the best idea option for you?
* Do you wish to get an in-depth experience or would you just need to get a “taste” from the jungle?
* How many days do you want to be in the jungle?
* Are you currently only going to the jungle or have you been planning on planning to other areas? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active do you want to be?
* Do you possess specific things you wish to do inside the jungle, that the package tour might not offer?
Some individuals just need to get an idea 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 inside the jungle, because the 1st and last days are normally mostly for travel through the airport and back to the airport. They shouldn’t plan on seeing much wildlife or primary jungle though because they’re just not receiving far enough away from the cities and nearby people. For example, Manaus has about 1.5 million inhabitants, so you need to get pretty far out of the city to feel like you happen to be in a wilderness area.
People who wish to really get yourself a sense of the jungle have to stay longer. It always takes a few days for people to wind down towards the rhythm in the jungle and you need to 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 thinking about the Amazon Basin, however it is also in Peru, Ecuador, and many other countries. You can have good experiences in those countries, which means you don’t have to fly around South America to find out the Amazon, unless you have a special reason. In order to go to Machu Picchu, then you definitely might as well do an Amazon trip in Peru. If you wish to begin to see the Galapagos, then do an Amazon trip in Ecuador.
Don’t just rely on pretty brochures or websites. I had been told with a local that one particular lodge in the Iquitos area was probably the prettiest one there – however guides had all been fired using their company lodges. Among the cruise companies shows a number of boats on their site, 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 the buildings have gotten run down. Another gives 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 an issue within the Amazon and guides aren’t immune from that problem. I remember 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 during the night and would go following 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 in the Peruvian Amazon, person who was the main topic of several videos about jungle survival, etc., had been fired, while he had become an alcoholic. His father had also been one of many top guides, but he suffered exactly the same fate. Good operators count on repeat business and word of mouth marketing advertising, so that they can’t afford to keep guides which will cause publicity problems.
An excellent guide can make all the difference over a jungle trip. If you walk into the jungle by yourself, all you will see is actually a sea of green plants and a symphony of sounds. A great guide knows what all those different plants are and what uses they have. He can tell precisely what is making those sounds, their relationship to the plants in the area and where to search for them. They have an uncanny eye for spotting seemingly invisible things. I recall an evening walk where we switched off our flashlights and were at nighttime, but our guide somehow spotted a large black spider on 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 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 going to have well-maintained facilities either. From the same token, the cheaper lodges are also often close to the city, so they are certainly not in areas that are as pristine or which have as much wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways including Iquitos and Manaus was once havens for scam artists. They knew that many people would arrive without reservations therefore would offer exciting trips at great prices, nevertheless they frequently would not deliver the things they had promised. The governments work hard to try to eliminate these types, nevertheless they can be a difficulty for unsuspecting budget travelers.
Most travel agencies will offer some of the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays offering the activities they think most people want to do, but in order to camp or kayak or do anything whatsoever unusual, then you will need to look elsewhere since the majority of travel agencies tend to be more informed about mass market locations, like Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland than they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. A number of the highly marketed properties are like big resorts within the jungle. If that’s what you’re considering, then fine. But some people want something more intimate and authentic and much less intrusive. So it’s better to get in touch with somebody who has more experience with the type of trip that you are looking for.