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Booking a Very Short Amazon trip from Lima

Old Oct 10th, 2010, 05:07 PM
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Booking a Very Short Amazon trip from Lima

I am a 60 year old woman, in fairly good physical condition. In January 2010 I will be part of a volunteer group organized by Developing World Connections (developingworldconnections.org) helping to rebuild a local community center in a suburb of Lima. We will be working everyday but there may be an opportunity to travel a bit on the weekends. Maccu Pichu has been taken care of already but there will be some of us who would really like to make a short trip to the Amazon area (perhaps 3 days?)
Might anyone out there have any suggestions, probably booked locally, and flying on a domestic airline, for a short Amazon River cruise. Probably out of Iquitos. Perhaps a good and reliableestablished local outfit that might not be listed on the traditional travel sites and guides?
On another note, what about MANU Park? Is that also worth a weekend visit?
Thank you for your comments!
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Old Oct 11th, 2010, 04:35 AM
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There are direct flights now from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado and to Iquitos. If you are just heading to the Amazon from Lima, I would suggest going to Iquitos first. Iquitos is the best place for an Amazon River cruise and boats range from luxurious to very basic, however most cruises are from 4 days and 3 nights or longer.

Manu is great for wildlife watching, but you'll most likely need to stay in a jungle lodge. You can easily do a 2 night 3 day stay in Manu, although of course more time is always recommended.
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Old Oct 11th, 2010, 05:55 AM
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www.inkanatura.com

from Cusco/MP Manu your best bet for short visit or

for true AMAZON experience

www.starperu.com Lima Iquitos avoid LAN

$178.50 rip off tourist surcharge

www.explorama.com or www.otorongoexpeditions.com

Careful lots of dodgy operators around Iquitos

ALWAYS pay with CC never wire money and www.insuremytrip.com

Have fun,

Have fun,
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Old Oct 11th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Your best bet is probably to stay at one of the lodges on the Amazon or its tributaries. Three or four days would be better than just two though. You could choose one of the ones closest to Iquitos to maximize your time there.
http://www.go2peru.com/amazon_lodges_iquitos.htm

Tip: a small umbrella gives you protection from the sun and is not hot on your head like a hat in the humid heat. Of course, if you have a parasol........
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Old Oct 11th, 2010, 02:56 PM
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Ellgie,

I can recommend Ceiba Tops which is an Explorama property. One of the reasons we chose this accommodation was that it is readily accessible from Lima - about a 90 minute flight and 40 minutes by boat from Iquitos.

Other Explorama properties will deliver a more rustic experience which other travellers enjoyed. They have some good value packages, http://www.explorama.com/itineraries.php and offer a range of activities that include the canopy walkway, wildlife, village visits and river trips.

Lodge managers seem willing to customise activities when boats and guides are available. There were never any more than 6 people on any of the activities with us and all except one activity was undertaken with our guide, Abelardo.

Manu also is great, however if you are pushed for time be sure that getting there and back doesn't eat into your available days for wildlife activities.

Happy planning,

Pol
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Old Oct 11th, 2010, 03:25 PM
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Ceiba Tops would be a good choice if you want luxury (Air Conditioning!) and Explorama is a good outfit.

If you fly Star Peru to Iquitos you arrive in the afternoon, which means you will lose that day and will have to leave the following morning (they probably will not run the launches in the afternoon). And you will probably leave just after lunch on the last day. So a three day trip results in really 1.5 days in the jungle. Four days is really better so you have at least 2 1/2 days there.

My tip is to bring a head net and a sweatband...I can't even imagine how hot it will be in January.
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Old Oct 11th, 2010, 03:30 PM
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My post is a bit unclear. If you arrive in the afternoon to Iquitos, chances are you will spend the first night in Iquitos and won't go to the lodge until the following morning. Then you will have 1.5 days in the lodge, returning mid day on your third day.
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Old Oct 11th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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Thank you all for the very good advice. I will look into the company that many of you have mentioned called EXPLORAMA.
...and I consider myself well warned about the January heat, humidity and mosquitos.
Our free time is very precious and I want to spend it to best advantage, so please continue with any more thoughts or inspirations you may have.
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Old Oct 11th, 2010, 09:48 PM
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Ellgie,

we flew LAN and arrived at Iquitos mid-morning and at Ceiba Tops for lunch and an afternoon activity. On the last day, we left after lunch and stayed overnight in Iquitos.

This allowed us to have a private bird-watching trip with Abelardo on the last morning followed by lunch. Beautiful birds and lots of up close views of life along the river bank.

Cheers,


Pol.
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Old Oct 12th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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LAN... be warned that they are MUCH more expensive than Star Peru to Iquitos. Also, if you spend the extra to fly LAN, be sure you are extra clear with the lodge that you expect to leave immediately upon arrival that day and do not want to spend the day in Iquitos!
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 08:27 AM
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This might help.http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...rip-report.cfm

I love the Peruvian Amazon! I flew Peruvian airlines.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 08:26 AM
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Amy, I loved your travelogue, you have a wonderful attitude to new and different experiences (eg bats in the latrine) thank you so much everyone.
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 12:51 PM
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