Which country for an Amazon Rainforest Tour?

Old May 22nd, 2014, 06:39 PM
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Which country for an Amazon Rainforest Tour?

We are a very well traveled senior couple wanting to take an Amazon Rainforest Tour. We are normally active but not interested in Extreme type sports or anything too extremey demanding. We want to see flora and animals in a relaxing atmosphere. I've been reading for days trying to decide on the country that would be the best choice but I think I must be on overload as each thing I read seems to be 'it'. I've looked at Peru, and Ecuador primarily. Here are the things that are needing refining in my mind so I'm hoping some of you have been to these areas and can clarify them for me.

(1) We are planning to go in the September/October time frame and spend about 5-6 days in the Rainforest. Is that a reasonable length of time for this? Then we will go to some other location yet to be determined.

(2) The lodges appear to be (from the pictures) open air and I am wondering what the night temps are at that time of year. I have a serious but stable pulmonary condition and need to know the night time temperature as I've read that it can get quite chilly at night. Perhaps I'm being overly concerned about that but we were in Botswana as the seasons changed and it really was quite cold and of concern to me health wise so I think it's better to ask.

(3) While looking at the sites in Ecuador, it seems difficult to get to the lodges from the airport. Am I reading too much into that or is it that difficult.

(4) Does anyone know what the luggage weight restrictions are on the commuter planes?

(5) If anyone has stayed at specific lodges, I would appreciate your in put on that.

Thanks in advance for your information. Any other suggestions or suggestions for the second week would also be appreciated.
1Caroline is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2014, 07:26 PM
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I've been to the Peruvian Amazon twice, and seriously considered a trip to Sacha Lodge in Ecuador during our 2010 trip. A report of our 2013 trip is available at http://safaritalk.net/topic/11322-ma...and-polynesia/

I would think that temperatures would be quite high in the Amazon region in September/October and that an August date might be more comfortable. Both trips we have done have been in Peru because it dovetails very nicely with the cultural sights of Cusco and Machu Picchu.

I would recommend the drive over the Andes from Cusco down the Manu Road and then down the Madre de Dios River into the Manu Reserve. The agent we used in 2010 recommended we didn't use this road after August due to expected weather conditions, however a lot of work has been completed on the road and it may be usable for a longer season now. Manu Expeditions offer tailor made itineraries (expensive) or scheduled departures (reasonable) into this area. They are a top outfitter, very safety conscious and provide a pleasant level of comfort.

The local birding companies may provide a tailor made itinerary at a more competitive rate, just let them know that your interests are wider than birds! Both trips we have stayed at Cock of the Rock Lodge between Cusco and the river. The nights and mornings were chilly, if you require less temperature variation a lodge closer to the river may be more suitable.

The Brazilian Amazon also beckons, especially the Uakari Floating Lodge, http://www.pousadauacari.com.br/index.php?lang=en There are other lodges offering contrasting experiences in the area, together with the much publicised 'meeting of the waters'. The reason we haven't managed to include this in either of the Brazil trips is that the connections to Manaus and to the lodge take 2-3 days - just getting thee is an adventure in itself.
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 10:42 PM
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Live42day posted an excellent trip report which included time in the Ecuadorian rainforest.

http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...nd-ecuador.cfm

Ecuador is around midway through the post.

Can't help myself as we took our jungle fix in Madidi in. Bolivia

For your second week I would suggest Cusco and the Sacred valley. A huge amount to see - more than enough you keep you occupied for a week. Do check with your doctor to see whether your pulmonary condition may be affected by the high altitude.
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Old May 24th, 2014, 04:16 PM
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I suggest staying at a top of the line lodge with great guides. I think which country you go to the Amazon in is less important than how nice a lodge you go to, and there are nice lodges in Peru, Ecuador and Brazil (and I'm sure other countries). By staying in a nice (though usually expensive) place, you will get a smoother trip and generally more knowledgeable guides.

Sacha Lodge in Ecuador is a good choice. you can fly from Quito, but then still have a boat trip of 1 to 2 hours, a short walk, and a short boat trip to get there. At Cristalino jungle lodge in Brazil, you have to fly to the interior city of Cuiaba, then a short (30 min) flight to Alta Floresta, then an hour jeep trip and an hour or so boat trip.

There are other good choices. Check trip advisor. If you say you are a bird watcher, you will often be given the better guides and sometimes be treated better as a client, from my experiences.
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Old May 25th, 2014, 06:05 AM
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I appreciate the comments. I keep flip/flopping between choosing Ecuador and Peru but if history serves me, I tend to do this and eventually settle on one, so I will look at each of the things you mentioned. Any other comments will be appreciated too. Thanks.
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Old Jun 4th, 2014, 05:57 AM
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Amazon Rainforest Tour--

My response offers two twists to your request:
Twist #1
You mentioned lodges, not a boat. I debated between lodges and boat also for the time of year you are going. I ended up choosing a boat that departed from Iquitos, Peru and went into Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (Amazon Rainforest). A boat has the advantage of allowing more mobility to seek out wildlfe, which was the focus of my trip (may not be focus of yours.)

There was no commuter plane needed for the boat.
Night temps were pleasant, not too hot. The Ayapua (boat used) had A/C, which I usually turned off.

The report is here.
http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...gle-lodges.cfm

The part in pink text relates to the Amazon boat trip. I did other things too.

Same report with embedded photos is here:
This same report, illustrated with photos, is linked here:
http://safaritalk.net/topic/9397-per...jungle-lodges/

Twist #2
If you want to see a lot of interesting creatures that inhabit South America's jungles and marshes, consider The Pantanal. I've done several Amazon trips and several Brazil Pantanal trips. There is no comparison in the abundance and variety of wildlife found in the Pantanal vs. the Amazon. Pantanal is the winner. Lots of nice lodges there: Barranco Alto, Refugio da Ilha, Caiman Lodge, Baiazinha Hotel, Pousada Rio Clara, Jaguar Lodge in N. Pantanal.

Maybe the other parts of your trip that you allude to will include the Pantanal. Pantanal and Amazon is a great combo.

Another great combo that keeps you in just Peru and offers tremendous variety is:
Amazon
Machu Picchu
Tambopata at Heath River Wildlife Lodge and Sandoval Lake

Have fun planning and have a great trip.
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