A spell-binding trip that brings together some of the most iconic experiences of the Amazon. You visit both Manaus and Belem, and three protected areas - the beautiful Anavilhanas Archipelago not far from Manaus, the impressive flooded forests of the Mamirauá Reserve deeper inland, and Marajo Island close to the mouth of the river. Your journey ends at Fortaleza, where you might either wind down at the beach or travel onwards.
Day 1 You are met at the airport on your arrival in Manaus and transferred to an upper range hotel in extensive grounds on the shores of the Amazon, where you stay for the next three nights.
Day 2 B After a leisurely start, you are collected from your hotel and taken on a half-day tour of Manaus, visiting the Opera House, the Rubber Museum, the Mercado Municipal and the Indian Museum. After the tour you are returned to your hotel where you have the rest of the day free to relax and acclimatise.
Day 3 BL Today you experience the Amazon itself. After breakfast, you set out on a full day tour along the Rio Negro, to the point at which the Amazon river forms at the confluence of the Solimőes and the Negro. The two rivers run side by side without mixing for over 6km, due to a great difference in temperature of their waters and velocity of their currents. The width of the river is impressive, although you are still nearly a thousand miles from the ocean.
You make a stop at the January Ecological Park, which unites several ecosystems of the region, containing terra firme, varzea, and igapó forests. Here you can also see the huge lily-pads of the Victoria Regia water-lily. Take lunch at a floating restaurant by the edge of the river.
The Anavilhanas Archipelago
Day 4 BLD Up early this morning for an early transfer of 3 hours by asphalt road to the port of Novo Airăo, where you board a motorised boat for a 15 minute trip to the Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge, set among the remarkable river islands of the Anavilhanas Archipelago - the largest river archipelago in the world - next to a vast stretch of untouched rainforest.
The lodge is a small and stylish and provides an all-round experience of the Amazonian forest, its ecosystems and its wildlife. Here you stay on a full-board basis in comfortable suites with twice-daily wildlife excursions led by experienced English-speaking local guides.
You should arrive in time for lunch, and will be staying here for the next 2 nights.
After lunch, you embark on an afternoon tour of the Anavilhanas islands by boat. You will have an opportunity to disembark at one of the islands to experience the unusual ecosystems of an Amazon river island, with good chances to see some wildlife. After dinner at the Lodge get ready for a night-time alligator-spotting excursions where you are likely to see alligators and other nocturnal animals and birds.
Day 5 BLD A full day discovering the natural Amazon. After breakfast you set off on a 2 hour forest hike (in the dry season, by boat at other times) accompanied by a local guide who will escort you through the mainland forest. In the afternoon you set out in wooden canoes around the regional riverbanks, hoping to see Amazon river dolphin and trying your hand at a spot of piranha fishing. After dinner, you can relax or have a chance to hear about the Amazon environment and the Anavilhanas Lodge in a lecture given at the lodge.
Day 6 B A full day discovering the Amazon as you make your way back to Manaus. To start the day a guide from the lodge takes you to a quiet lake in the archipelago, leaving before dawn for the best time of the day to see birds and other wildlife. After returning to the lodge for breakfast, you visit craft studios in Novo Airăo, where local craftspeople from indigenous communities have their workshops, and artisanal boatyards where skilled shipwrights toil to build and repair the wooden boats that ply the river. After lunch, transfer by boat and then road back to Manaus, to stay for the night at the same hotel as before. There may be some free time to relax by the hotel pool, or perhaps take in some more of the sights.
Day 3 BLD Early morning transfer from your hotel to Manaus airport for your 1hr flight to Tefe. On arrival at Tefe airport, you are driven to the Areia Branca pier for your 2«hr trip by boat to your base for 3 nights, the award-winning Uakari Floating Lodge in the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve, the largest protected area in Brazil devoted to conservation of flooded-forest (varzea).
The reserve consists of a rich eco-system of endemic and threatened species such as the elusive uakari monkey, as well as sloths, pink river dolphins, toucans, macaws, hoatzins, howler monkeys and black caimans. The Uakari Lodge offers a large variety of ecotourism activities and ample opportunities to observe the abundant wildlife within the Mamirau Reserve.
Accommodation is in floating lodges, made out of timber and covered in thatch, connected by a series of floating walkways designed to create minimal environmental impact. Each room has a private bathroom, terrace and netted windows. The lodge also has a central floating structure with reception area, restaurant, bar, TV room, library and conference room. Here you stay on a full-board basis with twice-daily wildlife excursions led by experienced naturalist guides from the local community, who have an active involvement in the management of the Reserve, as featured in the recent Bruce Parry BBC documentary 'Amazon'.
After an afternoon introductory talk you will set out on a walk on one of the trails, (or small paddle canoes during the wet season) accompanied by a naturalist guide.
In the evening, you will have a chance to hear about the ecosystem and the Mamiraua institute in a presentation given by a naturalist guide. After the presentation, prepare for a night-time jungle tour where you are likely to see local nocturnal fauna.
Day 4 BLD Full day activities based at the Reserve, including visits to local communities. In the morning you might explore the forest on foot (or canoe during flooded season May-August) to experience the life of the rainforest at firsthand and learn some of its secrets. In the afternoon you might visit scientists compiling research in the reserve or participate in a further wildlife viewing activity. After dinner you might make a short night tour to see nocturnal fauna such as opossum, two-toed sloth, brown throated three toated sloth, amazon bamboo rats, bats and tarantulas.
Day 5 BLD Full day activities based at the Reserve, including visits to local communities. A person from a local village community will meet you and show you around where you may have the opportunity to buy locally produced handicrafts. If you don't wish to visit the local community you can choose to do an interpretive trail together with your the local guide. In the afternoon you go by motorised canoe to Mamirau Lake, to see pink river dolphins, hoatzins and perhaps the pirarucu fish. Stay until sunset in the hope of spotting black caimans, bats and other nocturnal birds species.
After dinner there's a presentation by a naturalist guide about the reserve, its ecosystem and recent research work.
Day 6 B An early departure from the lodge, for the 2˝ hour boat ride back to the landing strip at Tefe Fly Tefe/Manaus
Day 7 B In the morning you are collected from your hotel and driven to Manaus airport for your flight to Belém, where you are met on arrival and transferred to an upper-range hotel for a two night stay.
Day 8 BL After breakfast, you guide collects you for a full day tour of Belem, the first European colony on the Amazon and the focus of the nineteenth-century rubber boom. You will visit the famous Ver-O-Peso waterfront market selling fish, fruits, seeds, herbs, medicines and handicrafts from the forest, and explore the Emilio Goeldi museum, founded in 1866: an important centre for the study of the natural history of the Amazon.
Day 9 BLD An early morning start, driving to Belem’s river port where you will board a regular passenger ship for the 3hr trip to Marajó Island - the largest river island in the world.
On arrival at the pier in Marajó, you will be transferred by motorized canoe up the Camará river to the Do Carmo ranch, where you will stay on a full-board basis for 2 nights in a basic, rustic ranch house based on the cattle ranch. During your stay at Do Carmo, which rears water buffalo, you will experience typical ranch life and the flora and fauna of the surrounding area on a variety of excursions and activities, accompanied by an English speaking guide. After check-in, you will tour the grasslands accompanied by Marajó cowboys, hoping to see capibaras, anacondas and wild pigs. After lunch and a siesta in the hammocks on the veranda at the ranch, you will be taken on a tour of the mangrove creeks around the Camará river on a motorised boat to spot birds, alligators, monkeys and sloths. Dinner at the ranch will then be
Day 10 BLD Full day discovering Marajó island based at the Do Carmo ranch. a.m. wildlife safari p.m. canoe and short jungle hike to archaeolgoical site linked to Marajoara indian tribe. Rest of the day free to swim & sunbathe
Day 11 BL a.m. wildlife safari p.m. return on the regular passenger boat back to Belem Return to your hotel for a final positioning night at around 18.00h. Perhaps go for dinner tonight at Belem's recently renovated docklands, a happening spot with great atmosphere and live music at the weekends.
Day 12 B Morning transfer to Belém airport for your flight to Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará state in north-eastern Brazil.
On arrival in Fortaleza, you will be met by a local English-speaking guide you will take you for lunch, (at your expense) where you may choose to sample local seafood specialities such as lobster and crab at the beach kiosks at Praia do Futuro, and help you pass the time in the city e.g. city tour, shopping, people watching at the beach before transferring you to the airport for your international flight home.
tailor-made Brazil holiday.
12 days / 11 nights.
using Anavilhanas Lodge: Łcall
using Mamiraua Lodge: Łcall
based on two participants sharing a double/twin room.
All transport within Brazil including domestic flights Manaus-Tefe return, Manaus-Belem and Belem-Fortaleza in economy class, 11 nights accommodation, all meals as indicated: B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner, all excursions as described in the itinerary (most on a private basis except for shared services of guides at Uakari/Anavilhanas Lodge and Marajo island)
International flights with e.g TAP Air Portugal London-Manaus/Fortaleza-London return; travel insurance; Brazilian departure tax, (allow USD$36 pp); items of a personal nature, e.g drinks, tips, laundry, any optional excursions.
Places visited on this Brazil tailor-made holiday:
Combines well with the following Brazil holidays:
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