Trip to Amazon where to start

Old Jan 20th, 2017, 10:48 PM
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Trip to Amazon where to start

I would like to go to the Amazon, go down some part of the river and explore the rain forest I never been to South America before. I leave in Cape Town South Africa and I'ma lady in my fifties fit and active and loving nature and not really enjoying touristic group travel. I'll probably be solo and wouldn't mind to even go as a volunteers in the rain forest. In the same trip I would like to go to Peru to see the site of the Incas civilisation. I would like to do this trip in June and July between 6 to 8 weeks but I have no clues how to go about it and where to start from.. Manaus is apparently the "capital" of the amazon in the rain forest in Brazil, would it be the best place to start? I would be very grateful to receive some advice, tips and directions from anyone who has done that trip on budget as well.
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Old Jan 21st, 2017, 12:53 AM
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The amazon basin is huge and there are many places in which to experience it. As well as Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia all have relatively straightforward access to the amazon basin. We got our amazon fix in Madidi National Park in Bolivia a few years ago. We had a fantastic time and it was also one of te least expensive places to experience the amazon. Some photos and detail on our blog @ http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/6/tpod.html entries 27/28 .

This year we spend several months travelling in South America. Lots of info and photos on our current blog https://accidentalnomads.com

I find the following website is useful for Peru

http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/index.html

Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos are the main entry points for the Peruvian amazon. The former can easily be reached from Cusco which is the main centre for the Inca Civilisation. You could easily spend your entire time in Peru as there is so much to see, or combine it with another country, Bolivia is close and has a lot to offer and is possibly the least expensive country in South America.
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Old Jan 21st, 2017, 09:32 AM
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The Amazon isn't a place to go exploring without a guide. But that doesn't mean you need to go on a tour, just book into a lodge that includes t

As crellston said, there are Amazon lodges in Peru, Bolivia, as well as Ecuador and Colombia

I stayed at the Tahuayo Lodge (requires a flight in and out of Iquitos.) They do a lot of work with the local villages but I don't know that they offer discounted volunteer packages.

http://tahuayolodgeiquitos.com/

I know Amy likes Explorama.

If you fly into Lima, Peru, you can also combine it with Machu Picchu. June/July tend to be high season there, though, because those are the driest month. Early June migh be less busy..
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Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 12:25 AM
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Thank you so much Crellston and Migb to reply to my first forum and it's really great to be able to get information and advice from people who are not selling but experiencing travel. I'll definitely going to your blog.
If anyone had experienced volunteers work in Amazon please give me some advice I really would like to experience the Amazon in a different way and get more involve than just a other tourist.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 01:02 AM
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what would be the most important thing to bring along for that trip?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 02:35 AM
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You are very welcome ubuntu.

The most important things to bring along on a long trip to South America are common sense, a sense of humour, an open mind and lots of mosquito spray . Otherwise, you will find my packing list on our blog - I have been urging my wife to post her packing list - without success so far!


We have done volunteer work in several places including a long term placement with VSO in Africa and several weeks with http://www.livingheartperu.org I think they only operate in the highlands of Peru rather than the amazon, but I can attest to the ethics of that organisation and they may well have links with other organisations.

When volunteering I would urge anyone to consider the ethics of the organisation and the placement itself. Many, if not most of these organisations are just tour operators in disguise. Volunteering for a day or two often does more harm than good. If one has specialist skills such as teaching, medicine, engineering then great. If not then ask the question "am I just taking work away from a local person?"

On our travels in Colombia last year I did meet a lady who had set up a community based tourism initiative in Leticia, Colombia. It did sound like an intriguing and worthwhile project and a little different from the usual "volunteer" projects around. Sadly, I think I have mislaid her contact details - if I find them , I will post here.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 08:30 AM
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A contact for charitable work along the Tahuayo River would be Dolly Beaver, if her group isn't what you need I'm sure she can give you some other ideas. Her group is called Angels of the Amazon,

perujungle at hotmail.com
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Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 10:53 PM
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Thank you so much again crellston and migb for all your information they are very valuable and I really appreciate your time to answer me. I think I'm going to stay in Peru for the all trip and experience the Amazon from there as well as the Incas trail. Have you heard of a volunteering organisation call Workingabroad.com/projects/amazon-rainforest-volunteers-intership they are not cheep but apparently the money goes back into the projects, let me know if you know about them it will help me a lot.
Doing my trip only from Peru will save me quite a lot on air ticket side I will have to get Cape Town-Lima-Cape Town. Would it be better to get the national ticket to go to Cusco and Puerto Maldonado from Peru? And the last question....Must I book place to stay in advance when I get to Cusco and Machu Picchu? or can I get there and look for a hotel?
Once again thank you so so much for all your advice and patience!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2017, 11:19 AM
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Nope, I have not.. I am wary of that type of organization. If you want to make a donation, just make a donation.

For your time frame it's best to book your MP train and hotels in advance. I would look at staying in Ollantaytambo first and possibly doing your MP visit as a day trip from there. I have supported Awamaki in the pst, their website some general info about volunteering in the Sacred Valley..note that they require a minimum of 3 weeks. You can also do homestays, cooking and language classes with them, which supports their sustainable tourism program

https://awamaki.org/volunteer/

https://awamaki.org/visit/
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Old Jan 24th, 2017, 11:26 PM
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Thank you migb for your info I'll check on that website.
I'll still have some time to think about everything and organize that trip. I hope to have a very nice story to talk about when I come back and some beautiful pics too.
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Old Jan 25th, 2017, 08:53 AM
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Ubuntu--

Also, get your ticket to Machu Picchu well in advance and plan your trip around that.

Second the idea of going straight to Ollantaytambo and doing the trip to MP from there, but I would probably stay overnite in Aguas Calientes and see MP in two days. That way, you can be there after the tourists leave the first day and before they arrive the second day. Then take the train back to Ollantaytambo and a cab to Cusco. The train to Cusco takes quite a long time to arrive at the station.

Cusco is much higher than either Ollantaytambo or MP and it would be better to get used to a slightly lower altitude.

Also, I stayed with Explorama out of Iquitos and enjoyed my visit to the Amazon, FWIW.
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Old Jan 25th, 2017, 09:02 AM
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PS--you have time for a lot more than Lima, MP, Cusco and the Amazon. And there are lots more pre-Hispanic civilizations in Peru than the Inca. If you are interested in seeing some of them let us know and we can advise. In fact, Peru has just about everything to do, so let us know what your interests are.

For the most part, you don't need reservations for hotels or transportation or tours in Peru--MP (Aguas Calientes), Inca Trail, and the Amazon are exceptions. And you get better prices if you wait to reserve until you arrive. That's true for Cusco as well, unless you go during the solstice and the fiesta of Inti Raymi, when the town is packed. But if you go early in June or wait until early July, you can find good lodging at the last minute. I use booking.com and am very pleased with it.
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