AMAZON JUNGLE SAFARI
This educational, Amazon travel adventure includes stays in four different jungle lodges, exploring the Amazon's longest canopy walkway - located deep in rainforest reserves where great wildlife viewing just comes naturally! At under $240USD per day is a travel great value and one of the very best Amazon tours for the those interested in nature and cultures.
Surrounded by the rainforest's "sea of green", the accommodations at the lodges are rustic, comfortable and very scenic. Go to sleep, to a symphony of jungle sounds and awake to morning bird calls! You will also experience the rainforest from over 118 feet up on the Treetop Canopy Walkway! By boat, you will travel more than 300 miles on the Amazon River and its tributaries. You will witness subtle and grand spectacles as you observe and participate in the flow of life in Amazonia.
Walk amongst the treetops and get a birds-eye view of the forest! The Canopy Walkway offers spectacular views over the top of the rainforest and by overnighting at the nearby lodge and research station, you have time for personal exploration of this little known world. Over a third of a mile long and with a maximum height of 118 feet, the walkway is an engineering marvel. Without the need for specialized climbing equipment and skills, the canopy walkway introduces you to a seldom seen part of this world. From its conception the walkway was designed and built not only with safe access in mind, but also to be unobtrusive and not destructive to the surrounding forest. The suspended walkway is bordered by cable handrails and strong safety netting, which provide the security to enjoy the refreshing tropical breezes and a myriad of beautiful plants and wildlife. The safe design and gradual, "go at your own pace" has allowed many, who thought it impossible due to fear of heights, to experience the upper reaches of the rainforest and share in the thrill of discovery! By virtue of overnighting near the canopy walkway, you even have the options of witnessing a jungle sunset, the nighttime sky and/or sunrise over the expansive rainforest!
For many people, the word Amazon evokes images of colorful birds amidst a green carpet of ferns under towering trees covered with orchids and bromeliads. Such Amazon rainforest scenes provide memories that last a lifetime. The statistics of Amazonia's wildlife and plant diversity are incredible, but not as incredible as seeing a colorful macaws flying overhead or watching pink dolphins frolic in the Amazon waters.
8 Day, Amazon Lodge Tour Itinerary (Custom itineraries may be shortened or extended if desired.)
DAY 1: (Normal start day is Saturday, however it is usually possible to start any day of the week)
Upon arrival in Lima, Peru, you are met at the airport and the local staff personnel will assist with your luggage and then transfer you into town to the colonial- style Hotel Antigua Miraflores for the overnight.
(Note: We suggest you consider arriving into Lima a day early to avoid an next day early flight and allow for an overnight in Iquitos or Lima for a more leisurely start of the tour.)
An early morning flight to Iquitos takes you from the urban jungle to the rainforest jungle and your first look at the world's largest river, the Amazon! After a short city tour of Iquitos you board a boat to begin your rainforest adventure. After a two hour journey down river to the first of the four jungle lodges, you enjoy a welcome drink and orientation session upon arrival. The first lodge is about 50 miles Northeast of Iquitos and is located off the Amazon River on a small tributary, called the Yanamono. After two nights, you will travel about 50 miles further to the other two overnight locations including the ACT Field Station where the Canopy Walkway is located. These lodges are located up the Napo River on the Sucusari tributary. Your accommodations the last night is at the new Ceiba Tops Resort, complete with swimming pool and air-conditioned bungalows that have private baths and hot water.
DAYS 2 - 7:
In these 6 days you will experience some of nature's greatest wonders! By collectivos (long, passenger boats) you will navigate on three different river systems and stay in three different nature reserves! A great variety of activities are planned for your enjoyment and education on the culture and nature of Amazonia. You can take advantage of it all or just enjoy some simple pleasures. Even a lazy afternoon in a hammock immersed in the rainforest's "sea of green" can be memorable. Just as nature is in a constant state of change, the prearranged, daily schedule will be responsive to the current weather, water levels, plant and animal cycles, and cultural events. You can choose an active or leisurely personal schedule.
A typical day's schedule is likely to include: a daybreak trail walk from the lodge for birding and other wildlife viewing, breakfast at 7 AM , and after breakfast is the morning's main activity (nature walks, boating excursions, village visits or a combination). A few hours midday are allotted for a refreshing shower before lunch and siesta, the late afternoon provides a cooler time for another main activity with return to the lodge around sunset. After the 7 PM dinner, (and weather permitting), a variety of night excursions provide excitement and wonderment. (B/L/D)
DAY 8: (Saturday)
After breakfast, you have free time to explore the rainforest or go for a swim before the afternoon boat trip back to Iquitos. The local staff personnel will assist with the late afternoon transfer to the airport and check-in for the flight to Lima and connections to night USA return flights, arriving back into the USA early Sunday morning. (Notes: For an additional $75/pp/dbl you may overnight in Iquitos, and/or for $125/pp/dbl you may overnight in Lima on this Saturday night and fly out to the USA the next morning - hotel and transfers included. For those continuing on our Andean Inca Exploration, an option for this day includes overnighting in Iquitos and flying to Cuzco on Sunday.) (B/L)
[Below highlights just some of the daily activities and adventures.]
- Walk through the treetops on the longest canopy walkway in the world. Truly, an unforgettable life experience! An incredible place to witness a sunrise / sunset over the rainforest or to experience the jungle at night!
- Great birding excursions! (Contact us for birding list of the over 500 species seen.)
- Explore orchid and bromeliad filled, primary (virgin) rainforests.
- Observe the enchanting freshwater (pink & grey species) dolphins at home in their watery kingdom.
- Experience nighttime excursions on foot and by canoe to look for nocturnal birds, insects and mammals, spot caiman, enjoy the sounds of the rainforest at night, and witness the star-filled sky of the southern hemisphere.
- Visit nearby Indian villages to learn of their native cultures and maybe a little bartering for trade items.
- Examine exotic plants and flowers and learn about the ecosystem in which they live.
- Try your skill with a blow gun.
- Test your fishing skills with the piranha. If you succeed, you can have your catch for dinner; they are delicious!
- Hike to a black-water lake to see the unusual hoatzin. They are the only flying birds which feed almost exclusively on leaves and must be seen to believe.
- Examine the giant Victoria Regia water lilies.
- Paddle a dugout canoe on a jungle tributary, if desired.
- Hike along the "Medicine Trail" used specifically to show the local rainforest plants used in modern medicine today. Also learn of plants used in native remedies and which scientists may use in the future.
- Tour and learn about a unique ethnobotanical garden, directed by the shaman Antonio Montero Pisco. This impressive collection of wild medicinal Amazon plants is an experiment in propagation and identification with currently over a 161 species represented.
- Take boat rides on narrow waterways among a labyrinth of lush vegetation where orchids and bromeliads abound.
- Visit with the local ribereños, the name for the local people who live along the river, and gain insight into their daily lives. While most are "westernized" to some degree, many still hold to tribal affiliations and have a life-style that has changed little over the last few thousand years. Native tribes you may encounter include the Boras, Yaguas, Orejone and Yanamono.
- Or, just swing in a hammock and let the world go by!
• Pickup / Drop-off at Iquitos Airport or Hotel
• Round trip transportation via Amazon River to and from the lodge
• 3 meals a day
• Bottled water and juice
• All excursions of your choice
• English / Spanish speaking guide
• Flights to Iquitos
• Personal expenses
• Drinks other than bottled water and juice
• Tips to guides
• Hotel stay in Iquitos if required
The canopy of the rainforest is truly one of the great biological frontiers of the world! More than half the species of life on earth are found in the tropical rainforests, and of those, more than half are found in the forest's canopy. As an example, twice as many species of insects are found in the canopy as are found on the ground. Some estimates of the number of insect species found in the rainforest canopy range as high as 20 million, with as many as 80% of these species still unknown to science. With this incredible diversity of life and 90% of the forest's photosynthesis taking place there, the canopy is clearly the place to be in order to understand how rainforests work.
You will have the opportunity to experience the world's longest canopy walkway! Walk amongst the tree-tops and get a birds-eye view of the forest! Situated on a ridgetop amidst a nature reserve, the walkway offers spectacular views over the top of the rainforest. You will overnight in the nearby lodge and research station, allowing time for personal exploration of this little known world and possible night walk!
Over 1,500 feet long and with a maximum height of 115 feet, the walkway is an engineering marvel. Without the need for specialized climbing equipment and skills, the canopy walkway introduces you to a seldom seen part of this world. From its conception the walkway was designed and built not only with safe access in mind, but also to be unobtrusive and not destructive to the surrounding forest. The suspended walkway is bordered by cable handrails and strong safety netting, which provide the security to enjoy the refreshing tropical breezes and a myriad of beautiful plants and wildlife.
The safe design and gradual, "go at your own pace" has allowed many, who thought it impossible due to fear of heights, to experience the upper reaches of the rainforest and share in the thrill of discovery! By virtue of overnighting near the canopy walkway, you even have the options of witnessing a jungle sunset, the nighttime sky and/or sunrise over the expansive rainforest!
NOTE: You are welcome to add overnights in Iquitos before or after the Amazon rainforest tour. We normally use the Hotel Dorado Plaza. We also arrange day tours to such places as: Manatee Rescue Center, Quistococha Zoo, Pillpintuwasi Butterfly Farm and Animal Orphanage, Fundo Pedrito in Barrio Florido village, Belen Market, Boras Indian village, the Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve and more. All our Amazon tours may be combined with other explorations in Peru.
You are welcome to call us anytime at 1-239-992-9660, or toll free at 800-446-9660, or email us at travel "at" GoExploring.com for a detailed TRIP BROCHURE.
The Amazon Rainforest Reserves Visited
Ceiba Tops Reserve
The Explorama Inn Reserve is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) down the main Amazon River from Iquitos. This is the smallest of Explorama's protected areas, consisting of 100 hectares (250 acres) in total. Of this area, 34 hectares (85 acres) is primary or virgin rainforest, while 66 hectares is secondary rainforest, gradually returning from farm land to forested secondary growth. A strongwire and a cut boundary area several meters wide, as well as company guards, gives protection to this area. This is the closest stand of primary rainforest trees which can be found along the river from Iquitos to Ceiba Tops. As all of the area around the reserve has been cut down for farming and harvesting wood, this reserve is an excellent "island" which is being used by scientists to study the effects of a small area of rainforest cut off from a large block of undisturbed forest.
Explorama Lodge - Yanamono Reserve
The Explorama Lodge Reserve, located 80 kilometers down the Amazon from Iquitos, has been protected by Explorama since 1964. This is the oldest reserve shielded from destruction by the company. This reserve consists of over 200 hectares, or 500 acres, of mainly high Tierra Firme, or non-flooding forest. One small section is lowland or flooded forest. The Missouri Botanical Garden has found this reserve to be one of the highest in biodiversity of trees per square hectare in any area studied by scientists to date. The main reason believed to cause this high biodiversity is the lack of any defined dry or wet season in the area of Iquitos, unlike most tropical areas. The rainfall here may be at highest in any month of the year, depending upon the year studied. This lack of a defined dry or wet season, through which many species of plants and animals would be unable to survive, is believed to be the major reason for the extremely high diversity in both flora and fauna, which has given this part of the Amazon Basin the title of "The Biodiversity Capital of the World". In the vicinity of the Lodge is a small community of Yagua Native Americans which have clear title to their own reserve of 1,622 hectares (4,055 acres). This property surrounds the Explorama Lodge Reserve, acting as a buffer zone to help protect the area from the continual encroachment of the ever-expanding population of river people. Explorama helped with the legal process of obtaining this reserve for the community, provided the workers and supplies necessary to cut the boundary line around the property, and to obtain the accurate measurements of the land for the Peruvian Department of Agriculture.
ExplorNapo, Shimigay and Sucusari Reserve
These reserves are located near the Napo River, and are reached by traveling 160 kilometers (100 miles) down the main Amazon and up the Napo River to the Sucusari Stream, a tributary of the Napo. Explorama has purchased three areas from the Government at different times to protect here. The Shimigay Reserve contains an interior black water lake with giant Amazon lilies and the prehistoric-looking Hoatzin bird, the only flying bird which is a pure leaf-eater. The ExplorNapo reserve includes the area occupied by ExplorNapo which started as a very rustic palm-thatched covered split-palm sleeping platform and is now a lodge with rooms, a large hammock house and screened dinning room. The newest of the Explorama reserves in this area is the Sucusari Reserve, a recently purchased piece of land with over 50% secondary forest which we hope to nurture back to primary status. The ReNuPeRu Ethnobotanical Medicinal Plant Gardenis located between the ExplorNapo and Sucusari reserves. In total, the three reserves cover 2,000 hectares, or about 5,000 acres. Adjacent to these reserves and acting as buffers are the CONAPAC Biological Reserve and a large 4,770 hectare reserve (11,925 acres) belonging to the Orejone Native American Community.
CONAPAC Biological Reserve
Located to the North and East of the Explorama ExplorNapo Reserves is the largest reserve in which visitors to Explorama may admire the beauty and grandeur of the undisturbed Amazon Rainforest. This reserve consists of a little over 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres), with a 4 meter boundary line cleared all around the area. Satellite photographs using reflected light and digital representation of differences in this reflected light, show an unbelievable biodiversity in this area which has yet to be studied by scientists. The forestry engineer and crew who work on the boundary lines have compiled an impressive list of animal species which coincides with reports of zoologists and biologists who have visited the area. The reserve is in the possession of "Conservacion de la Naturaleza Amazonica del Peru, A.C.", CONAPAC. This NGO is responsible for construction and maintenance of the Canopy Walkway, and is in charge of its maintenance, the walkway is presently the longest walkway in the canopy of kind in the world. CONAPAC also organizes a program of adopting river village schools, supports research with graduate students and professional zoologists and biologists who wish to work in the area, and is working together with other NGO's to support teacher training of the local rural school teachers in conservation and sustainable use of the rainforest. CONAPAC, as well as it's close affiliate Explorama, strongly believes that without education there is no hope in saving the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest, but that with proper education this important goal is definitely obtainable.
Our Amazon Jungle Safari tour can be customized for Academic field-schools and work-shop itineraries
The Amazon River and Rainforest can as the classroom for natural history, ecology, biology, physics & chemistry with itineraries tailored for University or High School educational grade levels. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually take your students out of their classroom and immerse them in a rain forest environment where an abundance of plant, animal, fish, bird and insect habitat flourishes, and where over 50% of the plant and animal life on Planet Earth lives?
Trading classroom seats and textbooks for trails and open-air lectures, the students find themselves in nature's laboratory listening to experienced, indigenous instructors & guides who are expert in their respective disciplines. Why do columns of ants march in unison carrying tiny parasols cut from leaves? What animals, insects and birds live on the Forest Floor? In the Understory? In the Canopy, and in the Emergent levels of the rain forest? Or, while rocking gently along river's edge in one of Explorama's exploratory-equipped boats, students are exposed to the amazing diversity of fishes found in the waters of the Amazon that contain the largest variety of freshwater fish on earth. Cast a net. Haul it in and hundreds of brightly colored species are flipping ready to be examined. Students learn the identity of random species and their habits, and how some interact with the forest as major seed dispersers - but all are released back to the water, unharmed except of course the piranhas that you might want to try for dinner!
One hundred miles down river from Iquitos, along trails in a privately owned primary rainforest, a shaman caresses his medicinal plants and patiently explains how medicines derived from his plants are used to treat various ailments of the local indigenous people, and the student is reminded that approximately one fourth of the pharmaceuticals used in the industrialized world come from similar plants of the tropical rain forest. And everywhere, students observe first hand the epiphytes that cling to trees: beautiful orchids, bromeliads and ferns and are shown how a bromeliad's leaf tank can hold less that a pint to more then 10 gallons of water, and how the tank is home to communities of small creatures including bacteria, mosquitoes, tadpoles and other animals. The experiences of the rain forest are endless and constantly befuddle and amaze even the most learned visitor, and it is truly a living laboratory of timeless discoveries.
An itinerary can be designed to match your particular area of study, and we would be pleased to work with you on developing a personalized program. You may also choose to add a community service project, volunteer component. We will help you with obtaining the best air fares from your home town/city to Iquitos, Peru and we will also walk you through such items as suggested clothing, recommended health precautions, and what to expect when visiting villages along the Amazon.
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