There are several things to consider when trying to decide which Amazon cruise or tour to do and there are now many options to pick from. What factors should you consider when deciding the best idea option for you?
* Do you wish to have an in-depth experience or would you just want to get a “taste” in the jungle?
* The number of days do you want to maintain the jungle?
* Are you only coming to the jungle or are you considering planning to other areas? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active do you want to be?
* Do you possess specific things you want to do within the jungle, that the package tour might not offer?
Some individuals just want to get an idea in regards to what the jungle is like. To them, a 3 day lodge stay or cruise might suffice. That will enable them 1 full day in the jungle, since the 1st and last days are typically mostly for travel from your airport and back towards the airport. They shouldn’t plan on seeing much wildlife or primary jungle though because they’re just not getting far enough out of the cities and nearby people. For example, Manaus has about 1.5 million inhabitants, so you need to get pretty far from the city to feel like you are in a wilderness area.
People who would like to really get a feel for the jungle have to stay longer. It usually takes a couple of days for individuals to wind down towards the rhythm of the jungle and you have to get into many different ecosystems so that you will stand an improved chance of seeing more species of animals and plants.
Most people think “Brazil” when thinking about the Amazon Basin, yet 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 around South America to view the Amazon, unless there is a special reason. If you want to go to Machu Picchu, then you might as well do an Amazon trip in Peru. If you wish to view the Galapagos, then do an Amazon trip in Ecuador.
Don’t just count on pretty brochures or websites. I used to be told by a local that certain particular lodge in the Iquitos area was most likely the prettiest one there – but their guides had all been fired from other lodges. Among the cruise companies shows a number of boats on their website, but only the first is now kept up for regular cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, but the service has deteriorated badly and also the buildings have gotten run down. Another gives you great interaction with the local Indians, but those Indians also still hunt, which means you won’t see much wildlife around there.
Alcoholism is a problem inside the Amazon and guides aren’t immune from that problem. I recall reading many trip reports years ago, in which the people stated that the guide they hired knew a great deal concerning the jungle, but he would get drunk during the night and would go right after the female clients and wouldn’t bother with cooking dinner, so 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., have been fired, while he had become an alcoholic. His father had already been one of many top guides, but he suffered the same fate. Good operators count on repeat business and word of mouth advertising, so they can’t afford to keep guides that will cause public relations problems.
A great guide can make a big difference on a jungle trip. Should you enter the jungle on your own, all you will see is a sea of green plants and a symphony of sounds. An excellent guide knows what those different plants are and what uses they may have. He can tell precisely what is making those sounds, their relationship towards the plants in the community and where to look for them. They may have 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 huge 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 good guide can command a much better 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 climate needs a toll on buildings and boats, so low budget operations are most likely not going 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 numerous people would arrive without reservations and thus would offer exciting trips at great prices, but of course they frequently would not deliver whatever they had promised. The governments are working hard to try to eliminate these types, nevertheless they can certainly be a difficulty for unsuspecting budget travelers.
Most travel agencies will provide some of the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays offering the activities they think most people wish to accomplish, but if you wish to camp or kayak or do just about anything uncommon, then you will need to look elsewhere since the majority of travel agencies tend to be more informed about mass market locations, like Las Vegas, Cancun and Disneyland compared to they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. A few of the highly marketed properties are like big resorts within the jungle. If that’s what you’re thinking about, then fine. But many people want something more intimate and authentic and less intrusive. So it’s preferable to contact someone who has more experience in the sort of trip that you are searching for.