There are several things to consider when trying to determine which Amazon cruise or tour to do and nowadays there are many options to choose from. What factors should you consider when deciding the best idea option for you?
* Would you like to get an in-depth experience or do you just want to get a “taste” in the jungle?
* The number of days would you like to maintain the jungle?
* Are you only visiting the jungle or are you currently planning on going to other areas? (Machu Picchu, Rio, Galapagos, etc.)
* How active would you like to be?
* Do you possess specific things you wish to do within the jungle, that a package tour might not offer?
Some people just want to get an idea about what the jungle is like. To them, a 3 day lodge stay or cruise might suffice. That will enable them 1 full day within the jungle, because the 1st and last days are usually mostly for travel from your airport and back towards the airport. They shouldn’t anticipate seeing much wildlife or primary jungle though because they’re just not getting far enough out of the cities and nearby people. As an example, Manaus has about 1.5 million inhabitants, so you need to get pretty far out of the city to feel like you are in a wilderness area.
People who want to really obtain a feel for the jungle have to stay longer. It usually takes a few days for individuals to wind down for the rhythm in the jungle and you have to get into a number of ecosystems so you stand an improved chance of seeing more varieties of animals and plants.
A lot of people think “Brazil” when taking into consideration the Amazon Basin, however 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 view the Amazon, unless there is 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 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 certain particular lodge within the Iquitos area was most likely the prettiest one there – however guides had all been fired from other lodges. Among the cruise companies shows many different boats on their website, only the first is now kept up for normal cruises. Another lodge looks nice on the website, however 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 concern in the Amazon and guides aren’t immune from that problem. I recall reading many trip reports in the past, in which the people claimed that the guide they hired knew a lot concerning the jungle, but he would get drunk at nighttime and would go right after the female clients and wouldn’t bother with cooking dinner, so they had to fend on their own. I had been recently saddened to understand that one of the top guides in the Peruvian Amazon, one who was the subject of several videos about jungle survival, etc., had been fired, as he had become an alcoholic. His father had also been among the top guides, but he suffered exactly the same fate. Good operators depend on repeat business and recommendations advertising, therefore they can’t afford to keep guides that are going to cause public relations problems.
A good guide can make a huge difference on the jungle trip. If you enter the jungle alone, all you will observe is actually a sea of green plants and a symphony of sounds. A great guide knows what those different plants are and what uses they may have. He can tell precisely what is making those sounds, their relationship to the plants in the community and where to look for them. They may have an uncanny eye for spotting seemingly invisible things. I remember a night walk where we switched off our flashlights and were at night, but our guide somehow spotted a large black spider over a tree trunk. So he can turn a monotone experience in to a Technicolor experience. Just like in any business, a great guide can command an improved salary than 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 takes a toll on buildings and boats, so low budget operations are most likely not planning to have well-maintained facilities either. By the same token, the cheaper lodges can also be often close for the city, so they are not in areas which are as pristine or who have the maximum amount of wildlife.)
Airports at Amazon gateways such as Iquitos and Manaus was once havens for scam artists. They knew that lots of people would arrive with no reservations and thus would offer exciting trips at low prices, however they frequently would not deliver what they had promised. The governments are working hard to try and eliminate these kinds, but they can certainly be a problem for unsuspecting budget travelers.
Most travel agencies will offer you probably the most highly marketed cruises or lodge stays that provide the activities they think many people wish to accomplish, but in order to camp or kayak or do anything whatsoever 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 what they tjxdwn about specialized Amazon trips. Some 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 some thing intimate and authentic and less intrusive. So it’s preferable to communicate with someone who has more experience with the kind of trip that you are searching for.