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Departing from Manaus, Brazil this four night compact Amazon cruise visits some of the most essential areas to observe the wildlife and culture of the Amazon rainforest. Our journey especially concentrates on the Amazon River where we explore tributaries with high forest and also flooded grasslands that stretch from horizon to horizon. On the expedition vessel, the Motor Yatch Tucano, with our small groups and very experienced naturalist guides, we experience many different rainforest environments, teeming with life. In addition to seeking the wildlife of the Amazon we also visit villages along the river to see what life is like living on the edge of the greatest wilderness on earth.
Vogage to the heart of the Amazon in the most thorough, detailed and sophisticated trip offered in the entire Amazon. Our guides are accomplished naturalists and we see creatures almost never seen by other visitors. The trip is rather like being on a time machine in that we are able to visit places that have not changed for millions of years. Truly the trip of a lifetime.
Embark: Monday, Day 1: Passengers meet our guide at 04:00PM in the lobby of the Hotel Tropical, Manaus, Brazil.
Disembark: Friday, Day 5: Passengers disembark at the Hotel Tropical at 07:30am. It is possible by pre-arrangement for guests to disembark the previous evening to catch early flight transfers.
Green Category Cabins have bunk beds with above and below berths.
Yellow Category Cabins are larger and have beds side by side.
This afternoon we embark on the MOTOR YACHT TUCANO in Manaus, Brasil. We depart upstream on the Rio Negro and as the vessel glides upstream we will have our first talk about Amazon environments. By late afternoon we enter one of the world's largest river island systems, the Anavilhanas Archipelago. The boat will weave along a winding channel with rainforest on both sides in a riot of brilliant vegetation. Weather permitting, we will go for an excursion in the gnarled and dense flooded forest known as the Igapó. Along the river bank we may see some Squirrel Monkeys and we may hear the other-worldly growls of Howler Monkeys echoing through the primitive rainforest. The Amazon has one of the greatest collection of birds in the world and we are sure to see some of these brightly colored jewels perched in the treetops.
We return to the M/Y TUCANO for hors d'oeuvres on the observation deck and a toast to the rainforest sunset. Following dinner we will embark in our launches in search of nocturnal creatures such as the Caiman, the Amazon's crocodilians. We may also see one of the large night birds such as a Potoo with its bulging eyes and large mouth adapted to swallow the huge Mariposa Moths, Later this evening our vessel will weigh anchor and we will voyage downstream through the night to the Xiborena Peninsula that divides the two of the world's most storied rivers: the Rio Negro and the Amazon River.
Rising early, we will excursion in the Lago Janauari Ecological Park, a dense forest that is flooded with the coffee colored water of the Amazon River. We explore a labyrinth of small channels overhung with gargantuan trees and vines. Listening to the chatter of creatures in the undergrowth we also keep our eyes open for monkeys, Three Toed Sloths, and the occasional Collared Anteater. By mid morning we return to the M/Y TUCANO for a hearty breakfast and some time to relax. By late morning we foray off the vessel again to explore this environment rich in life.
Near midday, following lunch, we navigate downstream to the "Encontra das Aguas", the several mile long joining of two of the world's greatest rivers, the Rio Negro and The Amazon. The dark and light waters run side by side for several miles without mixing. Often Pink River Dolphins and also Grey River Dolphins leap and cavort along this stark line of contrasting currents. We then will begin to navigate upstream on the Amazon River until the late afternoon. On Brasilian maps this river is given the name Rio Solimões - but it is the same vast, turbulent, mighty river that we know of as the Amazon. At this point in its course, it has truly become the most magnificent river on the planet and carries fully 20% of all the fresh water on Earth.
We will travel upstream on the Amazon River into the late afternoon when we should reach a channel on the south bank of the Amazon where, conditions permitting, we can access a large lake called Lago Janauacá. Here we encounter a new and fascinating environment known as the Varzea. In our launches we glide down narrow channels where we expect to see creatures found only on the South side of the Amazon River. Tonight we will foray out in our launches to hunt for nocturnal life. In the beam of our powerful spotlights we should see the glowing eyes of Caiman, the Amazon's crocodiles.
We begin our day with an early launch excursion, but for our mid-morning excursion will go for a walk in a small village. We will appreciate the slow pace of life that follows the rhythms of the seasons and river cycles. About midday the M/Y TUCANO will return to the deep brown and forceful current of the Amazon River. Our destination this afternoon depends on the vessel's Captain. We will go either to the north or south side of the Amazon River depending on the season and the weather. Our choice will be whichever offers us the best chance of observing wildlife. Late afternoon we will further explore the wilds of this tropical paradise.
This morning we will scout for more of the bizarre creatures of the Amazon. On our mid-morning excursion we visit a local homesteaders and walk through their gardens and learn how traditions help families survive in the remote interior. Time permitting we will also visit one of the river towns where trade still thrives in goods that have been grown, caught, or collected in this vast rainforest.
During lunch we turn the bows of the M/Y TUCANO downstream on the Amazon River and we will navigate east with the swift current. Through the afternoon we weave in and out of islands that dot the North bank of the river and we will enjoy vistas of forest and homesteads along the river banks. In the late afternoon we should be near the Rio Negro and we will venture out for one more excursion along a narrow channel called Parana Xiborena or we will return to Lago Janauari Ecological Park. At sunset we slowly ascend the Rio Negro, passing along but not stopping at the Porto de Manaus, one of the world's great ports. More than a thousand miles from the sea, Manaus is the major port for much of the entire Amazon. We will see boats of every imaginable shape and purpose that serve this continent sized forest. Tonight we will sample the national drink of Brasil, the Caipirinha and have a farewell dinner.
Early this morning travelers will disembark the vessel at the riverside dock of the Hotel Tropical.