Adventures and Group Travel

 

 

                                                                    The Amazon!

Dates: July 28-August 5, 2017.

For the two-weeks trip (Amazon, Pantanal and Iguaçu Falls) CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR DEPOSIT

Let's go on yet another amazing tour to South America. This time we're going to my native country Brazil, to see the biggest jungle in the world on an amazing and breathtaking adventure.

This is going to be another must-do, unique trip. There are several companies that go to the Amazon, however nobody does all the things we are going to be doing. I once again drove tour operators crazy saying "we must do this, this, this and that". And we once again made it happen.

A unique characteristic of the Brazilian culture is that, maybe because of a lack of refined marketing, a lot of the really interesting places and attractions don't get shared with the world for a long time after they have been discovered. Only the locals know about them. So a lot of times it takes a Brazilian to actually be able to show you the most amazing things in Brazil. And that's where I come in. So in this trip we will go see the Amazon that everyone hears about and wants to see, but we'll also see places that you didn't even know existed and do things you didn't even know about.

Our trip will span over 9 days, but as usual, I took advantage of the weekends so we will only have to take 7 days off work.

Here are some of the things we're going to do:

- We'll see the Amazon Jungle, one of the official Seven Wonders of Nature.

- Go on a private three day river cruise deep into the Amazon Jungle. Mosquito free! More below.

- Spend one night camping in the jungle .

- Learn how to survive in the jungle.

- Do a panoramic flight over the Amazon Jungle (optional)

- Go on guided hikes in the jungle to see unique Amazon Jungle wildlife.

- Go on guided NIGHT walks in the jungle.

- Go on river canoe trips through the Igapós, seasonal flooded forests that are formed yearly in the Amazon.

- Go fishing for piranhas and then have piranhas for dinner (that's right!).

- Go on a night boat trip where we will see and interact (yes, interact) with alligators.

- Swim-not only see them, but swim- with the beautiful pink dolphins, the unique and endangered fresh water dolphin species unique to the Amazon river.

- See anacondas up close.

- Visit a tribe of Amazonian Indians. 

And more. Can't list everything we'll be doing or we'd run out of space in the Internet. :-D :-D


Here is our day-by-day itinerary:

THURSDAY, JULY 27: ARRIVE IN MANAUS. FREE DAY IN MANAUS.

The trip officially starts at 8:00 AM on Friday, but since it would be extremely inconvenient to arrive right on time for that, we'll have a hotel available for us on Thursday so we can arrive on Thursday and relax for the rest of the day.  Our check in time at the hotel will be 3PM. 

Overnight: Amazon Seringal Hotel or similar

Meals: Not Included.

 

DAY 1- FRIDAY, JULY 28: OFF TO THE AMAZON!

We leave our hotel at 8:00 AM towards the Port of Manaus, the biggest freshwater port in the world, where we will start our cruise. On the way to the port we will see the Fruits and Fish Market of Manaus with some exotic Amazonian fruits.

Our first stop in the cruise will be the Meeting of the Waters: the breathtaking beginning of the famous and colossal Amazon river, where the black waters of Rio Negro (Black River) and the brown waters of Rio Solimoes meet but don't mix for miles. A few interesting facts about the Amazon River: It is the second longest river in the world (although some argue it is the longest) and by far largest in the world in water volume.  It is known as the "River Sea". It reaches depths of 600 ft. and it is so massive that in certain areas you can't see the other side of the river. Marajó Island, one of many islands of the Amazon River is bigger than Switzerland! 

We will then head up Rio Negro towards Parque Ecológico de Janauari, where we will see the beautiful Victorias, water lilies with leaves that are up to 9 ft. long.

We'll have lunch on the boat and continue up the Rio Negro where we will visit a tribe of Amazon Indians and witness an indigenous ritual.

Later in the afternoon we will watch our first Amazon Jungle sunset, have dinner and have some free time sit on the deck and enjoy the night in the Amazon forest. One of the reasons why we picked Rio Negro for our cruise is the fact that due to the slightly acidic PH of the Rio Negro waters, it does not attract mosquitoes! That is a major, major advantage that only Brazilian Amazon cruises can offer. So we'll sit on the deck, have a drink, and enjoy a night on the forest without mosquitoes. :-)

Overnight: Private Boat

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

 

DAY 2- SATURDAY, JULY 29: FULL DAY IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE

Today we will wake up at 6:00 AM to see the sunrise in the jungle.

After sunrise we'll have breakfast and keep sailing upriver to a location where we will have a chance to see and swim with the beautiful pink dolphins of the Amazon River. Yup, we will swim with them. They are wild dolphins but they are used to humans and when we offer them fish, they come swim with us!

We will then have lunch ad have a little free time before we go on our first canoe ride. We will ride through smaller places where the big boat can't go and have the chance to see sloths in their natural habitat, birds, anacondas (cool!!!) and the gigantic Samaúma, the biggest tree in the Amazon forest.

Later we'll once again see the sunset, have dinner and sit on the deck to enjoy the nigh in the forest.

Overnight: Private Boat

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

DAY 3- SUNDAY, JULY 30: CRUISING DOWN RIO NEGRO, AMAZON AND JUMA RIVER.

Today after breakfast we will visit a native community where we will have the chance to buy crafts made by the locals.

We will then sail 100 kilometers to arrive at Juma River Natural Reserve where our lodge is located. On the way we will see a variety of jungle wildlife and can stop at natural beaches where we can swim in the river.

Dinner will be served either on the boat or at the lodge, depending on our arrival time. We will spend the night at our lodge at Juma Natural Reserve. Our lodge is called Tarzan Lodge! And the owner of the lodge is actually known as The Amazon Tarzan! :-)

Overnight: Amazon Tarzan Lodge or similar.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

DAY 4- MONDAY, JULY 31: HIKE IN THE JUNGLE, CANOEING AND ENJOYING A DAY IN THE JUNGLE

Today after breakfast we will go for a hike in the jungle. Our guide will teach us about medicinal plants, life in the jungle and a little bit about survival in the jungle.

We'll come back to have lunch at the lodge and free time after lunch.  At around 3 PM or so we'll go on a canoe ride through Juma Natural Reserve.

In the evening we'll have dinner and free time at the lodge.

Overnight: Amazon Tarzan Lodge or similar.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

DAY 5- TUESDAY, AUGUST 1: BIRDWATCHING, FLOODED FOREST, FISHING FOR PIRANHAS AND NIGHT BOAT RIDE TO SEE ALLIGATORS

Today we'll get up early again to watch the sunrise and observe early morning birds and wildlife at the forest.

We'll then come back to the lodge to have breakfast and then go on a boat ride through the Igapós where we will see a different variety of monkeys, birds and wildlife.

The Amazon River tributaries can have a water level variation of up to 45 feet! Because of that, the Igapós, or seasonal flooded plains are formed. The Igapós have an incredible variety of unique wildlife that has adapted to this amazing change of water level. We're going in a time of the year where the water level is very high, so we will enjoy the Igapós in their full glory!

We'll come back and have lunch early in the afternoon and have some free time after lunch.

In the middle of the afternoon we'll go fishing for piranhas (yikes!) and later see the sunset.

Tonight after dinner we'll go on an amazing boat ride to see alligators at night. Alligator's eyes glow when we shine our flashlights on it. Seeing alligator's at night is and amazing spectacle. Our guide will try to catch an small alligator with his bare hands (hopefully he will survive because we need him to get back to the lodge! :-D). He will bring it into the boat where he will explain more about them and then release it back, unharmed, into the water.

Overnight: Amazon Tarzan Lodge or similar.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

DAY 6- WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2: CAMPING IN THE JUNGLE!

Today after breakfast we'll go into the jungle where we will learn how survive in the jungle. We'll learn how to start a fire (very hard, since everything is so wet), get water, get food, make our plates out of leaves, collect wood, etc.

We'll spend the whole day in the jungle and depending on the water level, we'll go either on a canoe ride or hike after lunch. We'll come back, have a little free time, have dinner and sleep in the jungle on net covered hammocks.

This is going to be a special day and it's lauded as one of the greatest experiences you can have in the Amazon. However, if this does not entice you, you can opt out and spend a free day in the lodge.

Overnight: Jungle Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

 

DAY 7- THURSDAY, AUGUST 3: OUR LAST DAY IN THE JUNGLE. :-(

Today we'll have breakfast at our jungle camp and then go visit a native home. There we will learn about their lifestyle, which is different than that of the Indians.

We'll get back to the lodge, have lunch and then head back to Manaus. We should arrive in Manaus mid-to-late afternoon and will have the rest of the day free in Manaus.

Overnight: Amazon Seringal Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch.

DAY 8- FRIDAY, AUGUST 4: PANORAMIC FLIGHT OVER THE AMAZON FOREST

Today we'll have one of most rewarding experiences of our trip. After spending 7 amazing days in the Amazon Jungle, we'll board a hydroplane to fly over the amazing forest we just saw. We will see the meeting of the waters from above and then fly over the jungle all the way the breathtaking Anavilhanas Islands, one of the largest river archipelagos in the world. The flight over Anavilhanas is one of the most beautiful sights of the Amazon.

We're making the flight optional because of the cost: 295.00. I didn't want to include it in the price knowing that a few people might not want to do it. The last time we had a flight as one of the activities (in Peru), we had a few people who didn't want to do it, so this time it will be optional. You will have the chance to RSVP for it once you register for the trip. I can't recommend it enough (imagine seeing the Amazon forest from above!) but if for any reason, you're not up for it, you can take a free day in Manaus or schedule your return flight for Friday.

Overnight: Amazon Seringal Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast.

DAY 9- SATURDAY, AUGUST 5: DEPARTURE

Today we get transferred to the airport to fly back to the U.S. after 9 days of exploring the most amazing jungle in the world. :-)


Meals: Breakfast.

PRICE and PAYMENT TERMS

- 1,695.00 (includes almost every meal. See INCLUDED below).

- As always, we are doing a unique itinerary and using very reputable operators at a very good price. However, we are not a "cheap trips" group. If you do online searches you will certainly find cheap trips to the Amazon. Those companies will put you in cheap hotels, and give you a cheap itinerary with lots of hidden costs. Our itinerary is unique, inclusive, and combines amazing activities that no other company combines, so you can't really compare anyone else with us. Still, if you goal is just to save money, we are not for you. But if your goal is to do an amazing and unique trip at a great overall price, than we are your group!

- A deposit of 450.00 (non-refundable) secures your reservation. Then you have until April 28 to finish making your payment. Once I receive your deposit, I will send you an invoice for the remaining amount (MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN E MAIL YOU CHECK LISTED WITH PAY PAL. THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL RECEIVE YOUR INVOICE AND QUESTIONNAIRE).

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR DEPOSIT

- As I mentioned before, the hydroplane flight over the Amazon is optional. However, I think it will be an AMAZING activity and highly recommend it. The flight will cost 295.00.

- Full payment is only due on April 28, 3 months before the trip. So you have a lot of time to pay. You can make payments in any way you prefer so long as you are fully paid by at the due date.

- If you make payments or pay in full before the due date, your payments (minus the deposits) are refundable before the due date (April 28). After that, all payments are entirely non-refundable. We STRONGLY suggest that you get travel insurance to cover you in case you need to cancel your trip for any reason.

INCLUDED

- All the hotel stays at double occupancy (please see ABOUT OCCUPANCY below).

- All transportation to our scheduled activities as well as to and from terminals to hotels while with the group (if you do your own activity, arrive or leave at a different day, you’ll have to arrange your own transportation. That should not be a problem, though).

- Entrance to all the activities listed.

- Almost all meals are included. Breakfast included in all hotels. Most lunches and dinners included as described in the itinerary.

 

NOT INCLUDED

- Flights (see FLIGHT below).

- Optional activities, including the panoramic flight over the Amazon forest

- Meals not specifically stated in the itinerary.

- Travel insurance (highly recommended). We do offer Travel Guard travel insurance and can send you a quote once you pay your deposit. You can also get insurance with any company you would like.

- Tips to guides, drivers, staff, etc.

- Rentals.

- Souvenirs or anything extra you would like to get.

- Anything or any activity not described in the itinerary.

 

ABOUT OCCUPANCY

- Double occupancy: you will be paired up with someone of the same gender as a roommate. Unless you have someone that you are already coming with, of course. 

 - Single supplement (if you want a room at the lodge and hotel for yourself. Single room is not available for the two nights on the boat at this time): 395.00.

- The last people to RSVP and pay the deposit MAY have to be put in triple occupancy rooms (if we end up with an odd number of men or women).

 

RSVP DEADLINE AND GROUP SIZE

- We're limiting the group size to 20 people.

- I’m not setting a deadline because as of right now we can take as many people as we want. HOWEVER, the time we’re going is extremely popular and they expect to have everything sold out very soon. Once that happens, the trip is closed. Done. No more! I STRONGLY recommend that you put your deposit down ASAP. This way I can reserve your place. For all my trips there are people who come in too late because they kept thinking about it too much. They ask me to make an exception or try to get them in somehow but I can't. This is a once in a lifetime trip. Many companies do trips to Brazil, but NOBODY combines all the places we're combining and does all the things we'll be doing. So jump in right now!!!! :-)

FLIGHT

Flight is NOT included. Flights are very easy to book on your own and some people want to do side trips, so it gets really unpractical to include flight. Besides many of you can use miles or other ways of making your flight free or saving money if you book it by yourself.  So instead of including air, I will suggest the flights so you can go to Kayak.com, Cheapoaire.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, or any booking website and book your own. The best time to book a flight is usually 3-4 months before (the best day is Tuesday and the best time is between 12:00 and 3:00 PM). I will book mine at that point and then will e mail the group telling you what I got.  If you do book the flight I suggest from LA, we’ll meet at LAX. If not, I’ll just meet you in there. Shuttle to the hotel is included regardless so long as you arrive at the same day as the group. 

FLIGHT GUIDELINES

- Arrives in Manaus International Airport (MAO) at any time on Thursday, July 27. Our check in time at the hotel is 3:00 PM.

- Leaves Manaus International Airport (MAO) on Saturday, August 5. Our check out time at the hotel is 10:00 AM.

 

SOME OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW

- You will need a visa. You should get on it ASAP to avoid last minute complications. Here is the Brazilian consulate page: http://losangeles.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/.
 

- Brazil is a “country of taxes”. Everywhere you go they charge you a small fee (tax), especially when dealing with government-maintained places. I tried to find out about all the taxes so I could include them in the final price of the package. I think I did a good job, but there might be taxes that I wasn’t aware of and we’ll only find out when we get there. Be aware that we may have to pay a small fee here and there. If we do, it probably won’t be more than a few Reais (even fewer dollars), but be aware that it can happen.

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