amazon rainforest

The Amazon is the largest rainforest with the biggest biodiversity on Earth. One in ten of the known plant and animal species are living there. The big forest always attracted adventurers for centuries. Some were looking for hidden secrets like Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett who disappeared in the Amazon looking for the Lost City Z, others were just simply trying to explore the most unknown exotic lands for a pure love of achievement.

Last year we decided to visit the Amazon to experience another exciting adventure! Our starting point was Manaus where we arrived early in the morning from São Paulo. You can visit the Amazon rainforest from other countries as well because it is spread across 9 South American states though we took the most accessible trip through Manaus because the city lies in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. You simply fly there and you are in close proximity of everything.

Another reason to access it from Manaus is that in the Amazon one easy rule particularly applies. The farthest you go the more money you pay. The further you go the further they have to take supplies for you. That’s why for example reaching the Amazon from the Peruvian side is totally expensive because this part is cut off from everything.

In the Amazon you can’t just go everywhere alone. It is not an ordinary forest where you go for a quick stroll. In the Amazon something can actually eat you or you get lost and no one will ever find you again. Therefore, you have to book your stay in advance. The Brazilian part of the rainforest has quite good infrastructure along the river Negro. That meaning there are a lot of options to choose from. You can pick up a lodge or a room on the boat. All packages usually include everything so once you arrive at the airport in Manaus, there is already someone waiting for you.

All 5 exciting things we booked with the Tariri Amazon Lodge. Once you book the place, you have multiple options what to do at the place, some for free and other for money. Everything is super organized because as said you just can’t put your backpack on and go on your own. Most lodges have standardized packages.

tariri amazon lodge
Tariri Amazon Lodge where we stayed is truly charming place!

1. The walk in the rainforest

The most common part of the trip to the Amazon Rainforest is to have a nice walk in the jungle. It is one of the must-do activities because you will only understand the Amazon when you experience it at first hand. All jungle walks don’t typically take too much time because the Amazon heat and humidity are unbearable for most people visiting the place for the first time. Be sure to take enough water with you. We heard stories of people who fainted after few steps to the forest. We walked for a full hour in the jungle and it was nice experience. We learned a lot about the complexity of the ecosystem. It is quite amazing how the rainforest works. Every tree has its own purpose. Our local guide knew everything about venomous trees or trees used for the communication and other interesting facts. We even ate a maggot to get some protein. Living healthy style is a new level in the Amazon, ha ha ha. You can be Tarzan of the jungle by swinging on lianas too. The walk gave us a nice introduction of the environment. All the way we had a nice company of the wild pig Cholito.

The price: For free. Already included with the Tariri Lodge booking. As said every lodge has activities that are for free and that are paid.

2. Swimming with the pink dolphins

The first time we heard that the river Negro has dolphins we were like “whaaaat?!” but yes, in the Amazon they have dolphins and they are completely pink! The so called Botos are living in fresh waters only and they are absolutely adorable. They come in many shades of pink and they live in small groups in comparison with their buddies from ocean. Still, they love meeting people! You can go feeding them. It is just incredible. They are extremely friendly and curious. After we fed our new friends, we moved to fish the Amazonian giant called Pirarucu. It is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world.

PS: In the last year’s National Geographic issue there was an article about Instagram mania to take pictures of animals whose owners usually are cruel to them. The article particularly mentioned the Amazon pink dolphins and their scars and bruises which they do to each other when fighting about food. In the Brazilian part of the Amazon local people are extremely careful and they are protecting the nature incredibly well. That’s why you can’t go feeding the dolphins every day and it is only possible twice a week. Otherwise, they wouldn’t feed themselves.

The price: R$100,00 / 23 USD (per person)

boto pink dolphin in the amazon river
Pink dolphins are cute!

3. Visiting local tribes

Once densely populated, nowadays it is much harder to see any truly local culture in the Amazon. That’s why we picked up a trip to the local village where the local Indian tribe “lives”. It is a nice refreshment because you will spend some time in the boat on water and you can see the true size of the river Negro. Later we arrived to the village where Indians were already welcoming us. They introduced themselves and took us to their main house where we could see their dance full of indigenous rituals. We were lucky enough because our group wasn’t that big so we could enjoy more. As a negative side we have to mention that the whole place seemed to be overcrowded by many tourists because the village is quite close to Manaus. Also, this tribe just created it from scratch for the sole purpose of tourism and they are sending 20 families to live there. After some time they exchange them. The reason for this is that their real home is deeper in the jungle and not many tourists would try to reach such place. We wouldn’t mind!

The price: R$200,00 / 46 USD (per person)

local amazon tribe
The local tribe in the Amazon

4. Overnight in the jungle

The best activity of all in the Amazon rainforest and we would say the most epic one! We were so excited to go for the overnight in the jungle and it was worth. They gave us local men who was very knowledgeable about surviving skills. He taught us many survival tips.

In the late afternoon we went to the distant place with his boat. First we had to fish our dinner, without it we would be hungry all night. You have to deserve your stay. We went for the most difficult prey – piranhas. Small fish with razor-sharp teeth and love for red meat. We have to say it is quite tricky to fish piranhas. They are clever and quick. After you lower your fishing rod with a small piece of meat, sometimes it is gone so quickly that you even don’t realize something happened. Then when you finally have your first piranha within a reach, it is so aggressive that it’s constantly trying to get back to water. Imagine fighting with such beast on very small boat in which you feel taht any move can cause you fall into water. At the end we were able to get few fish to eat.

We returned to our camping place where we prepared our nets. It was getting dark soon so we just had time to quickly prepare our dinner and rest a bit before another adventure. The night was gorgeous. There is something magical about sleeping under stars in an open nest in the middle of the Amazon! We have to say we walked up a lot during the night. We heard strange noises all the time and sometimes you had a feeling animals were literally sniffing right next to you. Late night we even heard the famous onça-pintada (brazilian jaguar). According to our guide the animal was few kilometers from us! What an amazing experience.

Early in the morning we packed up our things into the boat and we departed towards our lodge. Our adventure was almost at the end.

The price: R$150,00 / 35 USD (per person)

Our barque in the rainforest 🙂
Matej preparing our fireplace

5. The Meeting of Waters

Most of the fun happens on the river Negro so during your stay in the Amazon you mostly see only this river but you also have an amazing opportunity to visit the place where the rivers Negro and Solimões form the famous Amazon River. The rivers Negro and Solimões flow side by side. You won’t miss this confluence because the first one is completely dark and the second one has very sandy brown color. They both never mix because of different temperatures, speed and density. It is nice to see and the confluence is easily reachable by a boat from any lodge or from Manaus directly.

The price: R$200 / 46 USD (per person)

sunset over the river negro
Sunsets over the river Negro are just beautiful

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