Our country has incredible places and I always end up falling in love even more with what I visit! In 2016, Paulo and I went to the Amazon to explore this region so different from what we are used to. Needless to say, I thought the place was amazing, right?
I learned a lot about the local culture and was delighted with the variety of new things I saw in the cities I visited. In addition to recommending the experience to everyone I know, I have set out some very important guidelines for you who plan to go there someday ?
Before going to the Amazon you need to get the yellow fever vaccine to prevent any possible illness. Ah, remember that this needs to be done at least 10 days in advance for the vaccine to take effect. The application doesn’t hurt at all and is super fast!
Take the opportunity and ask for the international vaccine certificate, so you are prepared for future trips.
What to pack
Pay close attention to this tip because it is very important, huh? For you to enjoy the Amazon tours without much hassle, you will need some essential items. I confess that I only discovered their need when I got there.
The first thing is: take a galosh or a specific boot for the trail. These two types of shoes are ideal for walking in the woods. It is good to protect the cinnamon against possible snake bites – they do not attack us, but it can happen that someone accidentally steps on it and the first part that it will bite is the cinnamon.
As for the clothes, try to take more greenish or neutral tones. Branch, black and strong colors attract mosquitoes and other animals, you know? Even better if you have a long sleeve shirt that is fresh! This way you are even more protected from bites.
Other than that, those basic things that can never speak: raincoat, insect repellent, sunscreen and, preferably, a waterproof backpack.
Paulo and I went in November and found it very hot. In general, between August and January it gets hotter and the water recedes, leaving the parts previously covered by the water on display. From February to July, it is the period of flooding of the rivers, so the experience of a person who is at that time is quite different.
In particular, I loved going in November because, despite the heat, I had a wonderful experience and I wanted to go at another time of the year to see how it is.
We stayed at the Hotel Villa Amazônia, in Manaus, and I highly recommend it. The location is great because it is close to the city center, so it is perfect for getting to know the region. Give preference to those hotels closer to the center because it facilitates various aspects of the trip, such as transportation and getting around the place.
In the time we spent in Mamirauá we stayed at the Pousada Flutuante Uacari, which was very simple, but the atmosphere was very nice. Try to book the hostel well in advance because, as they live farther from the city, they take longer to respond!
The Amazon was very surprising to me in terms of cuisine. I saw things to eat there that I had never seen in my life! They have several typical foods with very different flavors. I tried tucumã and genipapo, two fruits that are more sour. I can’t even say whether I liked it or not, because I had never eaten anything like it.
Tambaqui is one of their main foods, so you’ll find it in several restaurants with preparations of all kinds. Another very different and somewhat controversial food is turtle meat. In this vlog we talk a little more about this turtle issue for those who want to better understand how it is used.
All the things I ate were very spicy and delicious. In short, for those who like to try new and unusual foods, they will love the Amazon ? It is worth mentioning that in Manaus you find many good options, see? One of the places I liked the most was, definitely, the Banzeiro restaurant.
What to visit
First of all, I recommend that you hire a guide or travel company to get to know the places. It is not very easy to do things there without help, so Paulo and I hired Amazon Eco Adventures. They were super friendly and the tours were amazing!
Now, let’s talk about some of the places: don’t leave the Amazon without diving, or at least know, the Rio Negro. In addition, you can interact with dolphins and meet floating communities. But that’s not all you have to do there! I’ll talk a little more about other places in the tips below.
Presidente Figueiredo is a municipality located in Manaus with more than 100 waterfalls – a true paradise! We went to the Maroaga Reserve and, from there, we left for the Refúgio do Maragoa Cave. The trail to the caves and caves lasts about two hours and is a bit complicated, but it is very worth it for the landscape of the place.
We visited the waterfalls and the caves with a guide and he told us that some caves do not allow visitation so as not to damage the spaces. Therefore, only small groups are allowed in this type of location.
The tour there was one of the most beautiful we did there, but I must confess that I was sad because I saw a lot of garbage near the Iracema waterfall. So, here’s the tip: if you go there, don’t collaborate with that kind of thing. We have to preserve the beauty of our country, right?
Paulo and I wanted a complete experience, so we chose to go to Tefé by regional boat. From what we understand, there is a boat for each day of the week. We went on Saturday with the vessel Irmãos Miranda!
If you want to sleep a little in the hammock, along with the rest of the staff, try to arrive early and put yours in the middle of the boat that is more “stable”. Ah, preferably at the beginning of the boat, because the bottom makes a lot of noise. The tour was amazing and as a bonus we saw a surreal sunset.
As soon as we arrived in Tefé we took a speedboat to go to Mamirauá. We got to know the Amazon Forest and did some trails, all with a guide and in small groups. It was a lot of fun walking through the woods, seeing trees so big and also animals like the white uacari monkey.
The community itself is responsible for preserving the reserve, which is why they take all possible care with the environment, not least because they live there. As we stayed in a floating inn, we had an idea of how they live. A very curious fact is that the community is flooded for three months a year. Spend at least a day in this place to get a sense of how beautiful it is. I’m sure you will love it!
MUSA and the National Amazon Research Institute
In our last days of travel, we met MUSA and INPA. The first is a museum that proposes a new look in relation to the forest. There is also a very tall tower with a surreal view of the forest, don’t miss it!
INPA, on the other hand, is an institute that rescues animals and takes care of them until they are able to return to nature. They do an intense job of recovering these animals and have several legal and important projects for the preservation of these species.
The Amazon is a wonderful place and I really wanted to go back there at another time. If you want to know even more about the places we visit, just watch our vlogs and also take a look at our script ?