We were invited by Amazonastur, the local Tourism Office for a week Amazon program in which we would not only visit attractions, but also meet local vendors, to see new and refurbished programs. It was an amazing Adventure.
For over 30 years I have been visiting the Amazon. With groups of tourists, on inspection trips, famtours, for meeting with clients, on our cruise ship operations.
It is always great to see the Amazon region. It is always a pleasure to be in Manaus.
Things that caught my attention in the past.., like dirty areas in the river banks around the city during low tide season. And a certain lack of good hotel structure after the closing of the Tropical Hotel.., seem now to be really left in the past.
Manaus and the surrounding Amazon area is gorgeous, beautiful, well taken care of and ready to receive international tourists back, once recovering starts at full steam.
There are some very nice boutique hotels around the Opera House area. Some are more expensive, as the Juma Opera (which offer great value); others, like Hotel dos Frades, are really affordable.
There are also Jungle Lodges at various price ranges, like Mirante do Gavião, or Juma Jungle Lodge, which are deluxe Jungle Lodges, and Evolucao EcoLodge, a beautiful Jungle Lodge located at Acajatuba Lake. Superb location, excellent and friendly service, affordable rates.
New programs: the old “Meeting of the Waters” tour is now combined with a visit to an Indian Tribe and to the “swim with the Dolphins” activity. One of the nicest excursions I have ever made. The guys at the Dolphin platform seem really to know what they are talking about. Safety is very important on all Amazon activities and the guys seem to be really prepared for that.
If you have some time, I strongly suggest you to visit Presidente Figueiredo (I am talking about low waters season – Sep/Jan), a town located about 2 hrs by car from Manaus. It waterfalls, river lakes and caves are awesome!
Manaus can be reached after a 3,5 hour direct flight from Sao Paulo (sometimes also from Rio, hopefully once we have fully recovered). American Airlines also plans to re-start with its Miami-Manaus service soon (it is about 5,5 hour flight).
We prepared a mini-doc about our visit. It will show you the places we saw! It is a 28 minute video, and I consider this a nice tool for those that have no idea about the region.
We see the Amazon many Brazilians have no idea that exists.
Some people say the Amazon is burning. No.., it is not burning. You wont be burned by simply debarking out of a plane at Manaus airport!
The issue is much more suptile than that. The Amazon is beautiful, it is bright and ready to be visited. The programs include the local community. Another reason why our visits are so important. There is though a struggle to control the “Agro-Border” (South Amazon with northern Mato Grosso), as to avoid farms from coming deeper and deeper into the legal Amazonia. This is decisive to what happens to the Amazon.
Brazilians as a people have a better understanding the Amazon needs to be taken care of. And the Brazilian society is working to keep the Amazon safe!
We are launching new packages as result of our visit to the Amazon. “Desafio” Amazon River Cruise, visit to an Amazon Indian Experience @ Alto Solimões in a village 36 hours away from Manaus; a “Amazon Like A Native”: a Jungle Survival Program with 1 night stay in the Amazon; Evolução EcoLodge Package. These are also to be found on the “Jungle Lodges & Regional Boats” area of our website!
And there is more to come.