Stuck ... which companies to trust for Amazon tour?

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1. Posted by uclapoca (First Time Poster 1 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Hi Travellers!

Trying to plan 4 or 5-day Amazon tour from Manaus in mid-June. Reading a lot about scams and last-minute cancellations. Anyone have experience with a group they really liked?


2. Posted by thespis (Budding Member 39 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

The best tour agent I know for the Amazon is Jill Siegel , from Check with her and she will tell you all about Manaus and nearby spots.

3. Posted by KST (Budding Member 8 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

In 2004 my wife and I took a two day tour out of Santarem with Gil Serique -- -- he designed it around what we wanted, leaving out a few of the standard things we could do on our own. He is an excellent guide. The author of a recent book on the Amazon rubber boom (The Thief at the End of the World, Joe Jackson) named Gil in his acknowledgements and called him "the best guide in the Amazon."

In mid-June the river is still very high, although the rainiest season should be over (might be a little different this year as the heavy rains were later and heavier than usual). You will be able to canoe into the flooded forest -- with a guide of course, as it would be easy to get lost. To me that was the Amazon at its most mysterious.

And the tambaqui will be at their best after fattening up on fruit in the flooded forest -- best fish I've ever had. Had it in a white sauce at the restaurant of the Hotel Manoas (cattycorner from the Manaus opera house) and prepared several ways at a restaurant in Santarem (next to Praca da Pescador).

Santarem is two days downriver from Manaus by traditional riverboat, one day by fast boat (Ajato) if that service is still running (has an airport with regular service, also). I've now travelled the Amazon from Pucallpa, Peru, to Belem and Santarem is my favorite place. Not as hectic as Manaus. People come out in the evening and walk along the waterfront levee where most of the riverboats dock (Something you wouldn't do in Manaus).

There is a huge festival in Panintins near Manaus (about a day downriver) that usually starts around June 20 or a bit later. Called the Bumba-meu-boi, it has become the Amazon's answer to Rio's carnival. Many, probably most, maybe almost all of the smaller riverboats that might be used for tours get chartered for this as they function both as transportation to Parintins and for accomodation when there. Normal tour activities could be disrupted for a few days by this at the time you are going.

Boa Viagem,

4. Posted by Steve-Kay (Budding Member 24 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

We went on a tour with Gero Tours which was fantastic - go to their office to be sure it's the real deal!