White Waters & Black: The Two Worlds of the Amazon

Mamirauá Reserve and Jaú National Park, Amazon Rainforest

Amazon tours cruisesl

Search for the rarely-seen Golden-backed Uakari Monkey.

Cacajao melanocephalus, Jaú National Park, Brazil.
Photo: Luiz Claudio Marigo. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

“A unique voyage of disovery…”

Dr. Charles A. Munn

 

Miraculously, the greatest wilderness on Earth, the Amazon, still resists our most strenuous efforts to force it to our will. Despite dire reports over the past four decades, more than three-quarters of the Amazon forest is still standing, storing trillions of tons of carbon. The Amazon basin, strictly defined, is the size of the United States, and that doesn’t even include the mighty Orinoco, which anywhere else in the world would seem huge, but in the context of the world’s great rivers, is dwarfed by the Amazon.

How did the Amazon develop over geological time? What are the facts about the biology, geology and anthropology of the pre-Columbian Amazon? What has happened to the Amazon since 1492 and what are the possible futures of the world’s greatest rainforest? What can we do to change the outcome for the better? These questions and more are the topics to be examined on a unique voyage of discovery to the two great and very different worlds of the Amazon rainforest: The prolific Whitewater World of the Amazon River and the mysterious Blackwater World of the Río Negro.

The tour will travel to the two extremes of the greatest protected area of tropical rainforest on the planet. It will begin with a visit to the greatest of the reserves in the Whitewater World – the 2.7-million-acre (1.1-million-hectare) Mamirauá Reserve, which lies at the western end of the 15-million-acre (six-million-hectare) Central Amazon Conservation Corridor. Mamirauá is an amazing reserve that protects the largest flooded forest in the world – a huge triangle of rainforest that lies between the confluence of the Amazon River and the much smaller Río Japurá. In most countries of the world, the Japurá would be considered an enormous river, but in the water world of the Amazon, the Japurá is like a tiny European stream that one might expect to hear extolled in a Schubert lied such as Die Forelle (The Trout). The Japurá is, in fact, the size of the Thames, Rhein or Danube. The tour will continue and conclude at the eastern end of the Conservation Corridor with a contrasting visit to the world’s largest and most pristine reserve of tropical rainforest in the Blackwater World – the 5.8-million-acre (2.3-million-hectare) Jaú National Park.

 

“So many experiences and new concepts to explore further.”

“Thanks very much for sending the Google Earth overflights. It was a wonderful trip, made all the more so by your presence and careful arrangements. There are so many experiences and new concepts to explore further. I think the thing that surprised me the most was how similar rather than different the forest is to the ones I know. Guess I was influenced by the old Tarzan movies… I hope our paths cross again sometime in the future and send you very best wishes concerning your work in preserving the Amazon.”

–Dr. Michael Brines

 

It was truly memorable.

“I am still re-living our trip and thinking about all we did and saw. It was awesome. I showed my best photos twice today to two groups; as soon as I winnow it some more, I will send the best ones to the team. I haven’t seen Mike’s photos yet but expecting with his HD camera and monopole, he will have some great ones. I also saw Gil’s on his blog, and some he put on my flash drive. Thank you for making the expedition as interesting, informative and rewarding as it was. It was truly memorable.”

–Dr. Michael Yamin

 

 

Amazon tours cruisesl

The two great ecosystems of the Amazon – whitewater and blackwater.

Central Amazon Conservation Corridor, Amazon, Brazil.
Map: Arcana Mundi Expeditions
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

Introduction

 

White Waters & Black: The Two Worlds of the Amazon

Location: Mamirauá Reserve and Jaú National Park within the Central Amazon Conservation Corridor. Corridor size: 15,000,000 acres, by far the largest stretch of protected tropical rainforest on Earth. This expedition visits both ends of this gigantic conservation complex of the central Amazon. Wildlife it protects: Common Woolly Monkeys, Pink Dolphins, Gray Dolphins, Scarlet Macaws, Harpy Eagles, Black Caimans, Spectacled (or White) Caimans, Red Howler Monkeys, Brown Capuchin Monkeys, Common Squirrel Monkeys, Vanzolini’s Squirrel Monkeys, Festive Amazon Parrots, herons, egrets, Neotropic Cormorants, Hoatzins as well as the rare White Uakari Monkeys and rarely-seen Golden-backed Uakari Monkeys.

This White Waters & Black: The Two Worlds of the Amazon expedition has been designed by and will be led by world-famous field biologist, conservationist and Amazon expert, Dr. Charles A. Munn (B.A. Summa cum laude Princeton, M.Sc. Oxford, Ph.D. Princeton). Dr. Munn has decades of field experience in wildlife research, park creation and ecotourism planning in the two most important Amazonian countries – Brazil and Peru. His work there now guarantees the protection and sustainable viewing of wild Jaguars, Giant Otters, Tapirs, Anacondas, Maned Wolves, Giant Anteaters and many species of large monkeys in the 15 million acres of new parks and Indian reserves that Munn and his teams have established during his 35 years in the Amazon. These conservation successes have appeared in two cover stories in National Geographic as well as in numerous, award-winning TV documentaries.

What will make this expedition unique? Crucial is Dr. Munn’s sophisticated itinerary, his expert guiding and original lectures on the Amazon. The set of six lectures will shed light on the welter of biological, geological, historical and anthropological detail of the two great ecosystems of the Amazon – whitewater and blackwater. A month of pre-production activity by local guides and biologists will identify fruiting trees where we are most likely to encounter the rare and rarely-seen wildlife we seek, including the White Uakari and Golden-backed Uakari Monkeys. To implement our search, a private yacht will take our band of explorers to those secret places.

 

 

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Heralds the glory of a bygone era of opulence during the peak of the rubber trade…

Teatro Amazonas, Manaus, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: David Leventi
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

Itinerary

International arrival in Manaus, Brazil, Day 1, Noon

Day 1: International arrival in Manaus

Upon arrival around noon, you will be met by Dr. Munn, who will escort you to Canto da Peixada (“The Fish Dish Spot”), one of most traditional restaurants in Manaus (an alternative will be available for vegetarians). In spite of its outward appearance, this restaurant is an excellent introduction to the marvels of Amazon cuisine based on – what else? – fish. Afterward, walk to the city’s amazing opera house. The imposing and ornate “Teatro Amazonas” was designed by Italian architect Celestial Sacardim in the Renaissance style, but was planned to be state of the art and to include electric lighting. It was inaugurated on 31 December 1896 and the first performance occurred on 7 January 1897 with the Italian opera La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli. The opera house heralds the glory of a bygone era of opulence during the peak of the rubber trade in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is featured in the film Fitzcarraldo, directed by the German director Werner Herzog in 1982. At the beginning of the film, the opera-obsessed character “Fitzcarraldo” makes his way to the opera house to hear Enrico Caruso sing in Verdi’s Ernani. He arrives right at the end of the opera and there are scenes of the interior of the house. While it is believed that the house was constructed to attract Caruso to perform at its opening, there is some doubt that he ever did perform there.

Recommended film: Fitzcarraldo, directed by Werner Herzog.

 

 

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Amazon EcoPark Jungle Lodge – the best introduction to the Amazon.

Amazon EcoPark Jungle Lodge, Manaus, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Amazon EcoPark Jungle Lodge
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

After taking in this curiously-located tribute to European culture, transfer to the dock on a small tributary of the Río Negro and board a quiet motorboat for the short trip to the Amazon EcoPark Jungle Lodge. The EcoPark is a simple but comfortable and entertaining rainforest lodge that most scientists consider the best introduction to the Amazon. Its bungalows are scattered strategically among tropical trees on the edge of its private reserve. Sundowners on the boat, arrival and time to rest. During cocktail hour, Munn will deliver the first of six lectures written especially for this expedition, each about a half-hour long. Tonight’s lecture, titled An Introduction to the Amazon, is an overview of the geography, history, biology and current trends in the Amazon basin. After dinner, a short boat ride, using a spotlight to search for Spectacled (or White) Caimans, Caiman crocodilus, one of the two most widespread of caiman species. The other is the Black Caiman, Melanosuchus niger. Early to bed. Full board and overnight in Amazon EcoPark Jungle Lodge – Air-Conditioned Bungalow with Private Bath.

white uakari

 

 

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The floating Uakari Lodge was designed for minimum environmental impact…

Bungalow, floating Uakari Lodge, Mamirauá Reserve, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Uakari Lodge
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

Intra-tour flight Manaus – Tefé, Day 2

Day 2: Manaus – Tefé – Mamirauá Reserve

Depart the EcoPark at 4:30 am and transfer by boat to the Manaus Airport for the 6 am flight west, up the Amazon River. After a 7:50 am arrival in the small city of Tefé, it is a ninety-minute speedboat ride to the floating Uakari Lodge, in the Whitewater World of the Mamirauá Reserve. The prize-winning yet rustic lodge is composed of seven floating structures made of wood, covered with thatch and connected by floating runways. It was designed for minimum environmental impact on the 2.5-million-acre reserve, a huge triangle of flooded forest between the Japurá River and the Solimões River, the name that Brazilians use for that stretch of the Amazon River. During your two days at the Uakari Lodge, Dr. Munn will translate and amplify the running commentary in Portuguese delivered by your local, non-English-speaking guides.

Mamirauá is the western part of the great Central Amazon Conservation Corridor that also includes the Amanã Reserve and the Jaú National Park. The forests of the Mamirauá Reserve spend nearly half the year flooded up to 18 meters (60 feet) deep during the annual ebb and flow of the entire Amazon basin. Most of the main rivers of the Amazon lie south of the equator and swell during the austral rainy season, which is from November through April. This massive pulse of water, unlike anything else on the planet, works its way east and northeast from the rain-drenched eastern slopes of the Andes (the only mountain chain in the world that runs from far north of the equator to far south of it) until it backs up along the Amazon in Mamirauá, reaching an annual peak on or near the 4th of June.

 

 

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The rare, emblematic white monkey, known as the White Uakari…

The rare White Uakari Monkey (Cacajao calvus calvus), Mamirauá Reserve, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Luiz Claudio Marigo
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

The nutrient-rich sediments of the rivers that are cutting into the young, growing Andes provide natural fertilizer that makes trees in the floodplain of these rivers grow 10 times faster than the trees in the floodplains of the blackwater rivers, all of which originate in the lowlands, far from the Andes. The production of fruit in the whitewater floodplains is so much more massive than that in the blackwater floodplains that the density of animals, whether monkeys, macaws, or caimans, is very obviously much higher than in the black waters of the Río Negro and the “small” tributaries of the Río Negro such as the Danube-sized Jaú River. In fact, animal densities are 20 to 50 times greater per square mile in such forests than in blackwater forests. The reason is that the Guyanan and Brazilian Shields, north and south of the Amazon, are among the oldest soils and landscapes on Earth. Each is a billion years old and with no more nutrients to give to the rivers that start there. It is incredible that rivers as big as the Río Negro, Río Tapajós, Río Tocantíns, Río Xingú and others in these two ancient shields have so little nutrients in them, even during full flood. They are nutrient deserts, those rivers, and the whole structure of the plant and animal communities are infinitely diverse, but also infinitely nutrient-limited.

Morning outing in small motorboats and canoes at the Uakari Lodge, during which we will try to find troops of the rare, emblematic white monkey, known as the White Uakari, which lives only in the flooded forests of the Upper Amazon. Extensive pre-production work by local guides and biologists will increase our chances of glimpsing beautiful monkeys, including the White Uakari. Lunch, a nap and an afternoon outing. Sundowners on the river before returning to the lodge. During cocktail hour, Munn will deliver his second lecture: The Geological & Biological History of the Amazon: 1 Billion B.C. to 1500 A.D. Dinner. Full board and overnight in the Uakari Lodge – Room with Private Bath and Forest View Terrace.

 

 

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The White Uakari lives only in the flooded forests of the Upper Amazon.

White Uakari, Mamirauá Reserve, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Luiz Claudio Marigo
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

Day 3: Uakari Lodge

As we continue our search for the White Uakari on our morning and afternoon outings, we won’t neglect observing the other abundant wildlife of the flooded forest, such as the Paichi, a living fossil from the Miocene era (23 to 5 million B.C.). We are also likely to see Gray Dolphins, Scarlet Macaws, Harpy Eagles, Black Caimans, Spectacled (or White) Caimans, Red Howler Monkeys, Brown Capuchin Monkeys, Common Squirrel Monkeys, Vanzolini’s Squirrel Monkeys, Festive Amazon Parrots, herons, egrets, Neotropic Cormorants and Hoatzins. Sundowners on the river before returning to the lodge. Cocktails and dinner. Full board and overnight in the Uakari Lodge – Room with Private Bath and Forest View Terrace.

 

 

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The Paichi, a living fossil from the Miocene era (23 to 5 million B.C.).

Paichi (Arapaima gigasi), a 10-foot-long Amazonian fish, Mamirauá Reserve, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Uakari Lodge
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

Intra-tour flight Tefé – Manaus, Day 4

Day 4: Uakari Lodge – Tefé – ManausAmazon EcoPark Jungle Lodge

Speedboat to Tefé, snacks and flight back to Manaus this afternoon. Transfer by a quiet motorboat to the EcoPark, late lunch and relax for the rest of the day. You may wish to take a nap or swim in the clean black water at the small, white sand beach in front of the lodge, or in the extraordinary natural swimming hole inside the cool, shady rainforest next to the lodge. Sundowners served on the beach. During cocktail hour, Dr. Munn will deliver his third lecture: The Human History of the Amazon: 12,000 B.C. to 1960 A.D. (from the arrival of the Indians through European contact and colonization). Dinner. Full board and overnight in Amazon EcoPark Jungle Lodge – Air-Conditioned Bungalow with Private Bath.

 

 

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Fly up the Río Negro to swim with, pat and even hand-feed wild Pink Dolphins.

Float-mounted Cessna Caravan on the Río Negro, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Keith Kaneko. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

Day 5: Amazon EcoPark Jungle Lodge (Meeting-of-the-Waters – Lago do Bin – Anavilhanas Archipelago – Treetop Canopy)

After an early breakfast, we transfer to our chartered plane, a high-winged, float-mounted Cessna Caravan. Flying up the mighty Río Negro at first, we land on the river at the closest point to an amazing natural experience. A small motorboat picks us up and transfers us to Lago do Bin, where we will have a chance to swim with, pat and even hand-feed a number of wild, amazingly gentle, powerful Amazonian Pink Dolphins. The dolphins visit the spot early each morning to take just a few fresh fish from the local family who took years to befriend these intelligent marine mammals. Dolphin specialists have evaluated this relationship for years and decided that it poses absolutely no threat to or problem for the animals. These self-confident, friendly cetaceans are healthy, free-ranging, entirely unconfined and choose of their own free will to spend some minutes with the helpful humans. Then, the dolphins swim off and disappear for most of the day. We plan to reach the dolphins early enough to enjoy these creatures in private before other visitors arrive. By 9 am or 9:30 am at the latest, we motorboat back to our plane and take off again, upriver to the Anavilhanas National Park, an intricate archipelago of narrow green ribbons of forest, scattered like green tiger stripes in line with the flow of the water. Anavilhanas is best seen from the air – it is hard to grasp its complexity from a boat.

 

 

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Wild, amazingly gentle, powerful Amazonian Pink Dolphins.

Pink Dolphins, Lago do Bin, Río Negro, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Kevin Schafer
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

We continue our flight back downriver and circle over the amazing Meeting-of-the-Waters, where the name of this expedition comes alive. Because of its huge scale, the Meeting-of-the-Waters also is best seen from the air. Here, the white waters of the Amazon River meet the black waters of the Río Negro, the Amazon’s largest tributary. For several miles, the waters run side by side without mixing. This phenomenon is due to the differences in temperature, speed and water density of the two rivers. What do we mean by “white water” and “black water”? White water refers to the sediment-laden, opaque, “café con leche” appearance of all the Amazonian tributaries that originate in the mighty Andes to the west, the world’s youngest (and still rising) major mountain chain. Black water refers to the outrageously pure, virtually sterile, transparent, tea-colored, tannin-laden waters of the Río Negro. Any exploration of the Amazon that visits only one of these two ecosystems cannot possibly provide an understanding of the geological and biological underpinnings of the past, present and future of Amazonian biodiversity that is necessary to develop conservation options.

After circling over the Meeting-of-the-Waters, our flight ends with a water landing near the site of our next adventure – an ascent into the tree tops for a canopy view of the Amazon. In the heart of the forest live centuries-old trees, some 60 meters (200 feet) tall. At these heights, one can find a unique, exotic and unexplored world, full of orchids, bromeliads, birds and many other canopy creatures – an exuberance of life that only the greatest tropical forest on earth can offer. We will be safely hoisted up one of those trees by experienced tree-logistics specialists using top quality mountaineering equipment. The trees have been inspected previously and the “climb sites” are carefully chosen in primary forest areas, which gives a better chance of observing the full complement of life. Seeing the magical beauty of the rainforest from this perspective will further your understanding of this fragile ecosystem. After descending from the canopy, we return by speedboat to the EcoPark.

Time to relax. After lunch and a nap, visit one of the lodge’s most interesting locations. The Monkey Forest is a tract of protected Amazon forest only one kilometer away from the lodge across a blackwater bay. Once there, you will have the chance to enjoy views of wild, free-ranging monkeys of a number of species. The monkeys are rehabilitated animals that were confiscated from the illegal pet trade, nourished well, given veterinary care and vitamins, then released in an enormous rainforest and allowed to go wild. The monkeys now are visible twice a day because the lodge’s nonprofit conservation foundation gives the happy, wild primates a modest supplement of varied, fresh fruit to keep them in top shape and tide them over even during the annual, natural shortage of wild fruits that is typical of virtually all Amazonian forests. Guests are not allowed to feed the monkeys, and the monkeys ignore the humans, while going about their lives at close range, which makes for superb photo opportunities.

 

 

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At EcoPark’s Monkey Forest, enjoy views of wild, free-ranging monkeys…

Common Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus), Monkey Forest, Manaus, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Amazon EcoPark Jungle Lodge
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

Professional biologists and conservationists agree that these wild monkeys are in excellent condition both physically and psychologically, so there is no reason at this point to feel sorry for them. It is heartening to see them forming natural social groups and dominance hierachies, which is normal for their species. The EcoPark monkey release program is a standout success in the proper rehabilitation and reintroduction into nature of primates that in captivity would have a life of misery and social deprivation. Even if you were to do nothing else at all on your entire trip to the Amazon, a visit to the EcoPark and their rainforest reserve full of happy, newly “rewilded” monkeys is a sign that there are successes in the Amazon and hope for the future.

Check out of the lodge and drive to the dock near the Hotel Tropical to board the Santana I, our comfortable yacht, which will be our lodging and floating base for five nights as we explore the Río Negro and the remote, seldom-visited Jaú National Park. Toast the setting sun as the yacht makes its way upstream and chef Fábio Silva, who has been retained exclusively for this cruise, prepares a welcome dinner of Amazonian specialties. During the cocktail hour, Dr. Munn will deliver his fourth lecture: Biodiversity in the Amazon. This lecture presents the facts of biodiversity; considers why are there so many species of birds, butterflies and other creatures in the Amazon compared to other parts of the tropics; and makes the case for and against the Pleistocene Refugia hypothesis. This hypothesis proposes that during periods of Pleistocene glaciation – every 100,000 years or so – the Amazon got cold and dry. When that occurred, the forests shrank in area until there were a number of forest “islands” (the size of U.S. states). All forest species receded into these “Pleistocene Refugia” and only when things warmed up – 30,000 or 50,000 years later – did the forests expand and eventually meet each other. When the forests met again, the creatures and plants of all kinds had diverged enough genetically to have become unique species. This hypothesis, if true, would have profound implications for conservation strategies. After dinner, we retire to our cabins for a restful night’s sleep in air-conditioned comfort. Full board and overnight on the Santana I – Air-Conditioned Cabin with Private Bath.

Photos of the Santana I.

 

 

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Explore the Río Negro and the remote, seldom-visited Jaú National Park aboard a yacht.

Santana I on the Río Negro, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Cia. de Iates Santana
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

Day 6: Jaú River

Breakfast while cruising up the Río Negro (and what a great breakfast venue this will be!). Arrival this morning at the mouth of the Jaú River. After lunch, we motorboat upriver to register our permits with the national park’s floating base, then proceed upriver in canoes for our first view of this extraordinarily pristine, blackwater river. Among our explorations will be bird watching, searching for primates – including the rarely-seen Golden-backed Uakari monkey – and “spotting” crocodiles at night. The Jaú may be 250 meters (800 feet) wide, but it is considered a small Amazonian river. Its isolation and formal protection from any hunting make it an ideal place to catch glimpses of Black Caimans, the largest and most dangerous crocodilians of the Amazon basin. This caiman can reach 5.5 meters (18 feet) in length – we hope to see one or more of at least 4 meters (13 to 14 feet) in length, a veritable living dinosaur! At sunset, enjoy sundowners on the motorboat before heading back to the yacht to freshen up. During cocktail hour, Dr. Munn will present his fifth lecture: Conservation and Development Trends in the Amazon Basin: 1960 until Today. Amazonian dinner by chef Fábio. Sleep in a beautiful spot near the mouth of the Jaú River or, if weather permits, up the river itself. Full board and overnight on the Santana I – Air-Conditioned Cabin with Private Bath.

 

 

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Witness and even photograph species that have never been described to science.

Jaú National Park, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Luiz Claudio Marigo. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

Day 7: Jaú River

Morning and afternoon outings in the Jaú National Park. These outings will include some exploration on trails in the forest as well as time exploring the riverbank and lakes in small motorboats and canoes. We will do our best to find interesting primates in this blackwater ecosystem, including the Golden-backed Uakari, which we believe has never been seen by travelers – only by local subsistence hunters and a few professional field biologists. This shy, beautiful monkey is found only in the extensive watershed of the Río Negro. We will visit particularly promising patches of the Jaú rainforest after considerable pre-production work by local guides and biologists, who will spend a month before the arrival of our group trying to identify fruiting trees where we have the best chance of glimpsing beautiful monkeys, including the Golden-backed Uakari. Views of the monkeys are not guaranteed, but there is a good chance. Sundowners on the river before returning to the yacht. Cocktails before dinner by chef Fábio. Full board and overnight on the Santana I – Air-Conditioned Cabin with Private Bath.

 

Day 8: Jaú River

We continue our outings in the Jaú National Park, increasing our chances of observing the Golden-backed Uakari and other wildlife. Since most of Jaú has not even been surveyed for plants or animals, it is likely that guests will witness and even photograph species of flowering plants, perhaps birds, and certainly insects, that have never been described to science. Sundowners before returning to the yacht. Cocktails and dinner by chef Fábio. Full board and overnight on the Santana I – Air-Conditioned Cabin with Private Bath.

 

 

Amazon tours cruisesl

Marvel at the beauty of the shimmering Río Negro reflecting the verdant rainforest…

Santana I on the Río Negro, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo: Cia. de Iates Santana
. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

Day 9: Jaú River – Manaus

Morning outing in the Jaú National Park, followed by lunch aboard the yacht. As we start cruising downstream, marvel at the beauty of the shimmering, black Río Negro reflecting the verdant rainforest along its banks. After a nap, get up in time to enjoy the last couple of hours of late afternoon sun as it bathes the eastern bank of the south-flowing Río Negro. During this time, Dr. Munn will present his sixth and final lecture: Possible Futures for the Amazon, during which he will discuss projections and different directions with vastly different outcomes. Sundowners while watching the sun set over the rainforest. After cocktails and dinner, early to bed as the yacht cruises downstream toward distant Manaus. Full board and overnight on the Santana I – Air-Conditioned Cabin with Private Bath.

 

 

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Meeting-of-the-Waters, where the Amazon River meets the Río Negro.

Meeting-of-the-Waters, Amazon, Brazil.
Photo:
VisitAmazonas. Amazon Photo Tours.

 

International departure from Manaus, Day 10

Day 10: Jaú River – Meeting-of-the-Waters – International departure from Manaus

At or before dawn, the yacht will be at the Meeting-of-the-Waters, where the Whitewater World of the Amazon River meets the Blackwater World of the Río Negro. Having seen this phenomenon from the air, you can now examine the mixing from water level. After we enjoy a full, farewell breakfast, the Santana I will sail up the Río Negro to the best docking point for your transfer to the airport. Leave the ship with chef Fábio about 11 am to visit an Amazonian market, where he will tell you about all of the amazing foods and show you how you can safely eat the fruit. After the chef has pampered you for days, you will be quite spoiled for new taste treats. If you like, he will help you buy some fruit and cooked snacks made at the best places in the city to take with you to the airport or onto the plane. The expedition ends with your flight to Miami, during which you can ponder the whitewater and blackwater worlds of the Amazon, the greatest wilderness on Earth.

 

Inclusions

The expedition includes all non-alcoholic drinks, all mineral waters, Brazilian beers, all red and white wines (from a good selection), all spirits (from brands that the guests suggest – favorite scotches, favorite vodkas, favorite gins, favorite rums, favorite bourbons), all mixed drinks within a certain good selection (including the classic Brazilian caipirinha and some of its variations made with other tropical fruits) and all fruit juices (from a good selection). All tips to all bellmen, waiters, chefs, boat drivers and local guides. A few items of laundry per person, given to us on the morning of Day 6, 7, 8 or 9. All guiding, both local and by Dr. Charles A. Munn. All outings and park entrance fees, all meals and snacks throughout the expedition with Amazonian specialties by chef Fábio Silva during the cruise, all lodging, all domestic air flights in Brazil and all of the nights on the yacht. Prices are per person based on two people sharing a guest room.

 

Flights

The Manaus – Tefé – Manaus flight on Trip Airlines as well as the Anavilhanas Archipelago and Meeting-of-the-Waters charter flights are included. International flights are not included. The recommended flights are TAM Linhas Aéreas flight JJ8077, with departure from Miami at 5:40 am and arrival in Manaus at 11:45 am, and TAM Linhas Aéreas flight JJ8076, with departure from Manaus at 2:10 pm and arrival in Miami at 6:25 pm.

 

Visas

A visa is required for residents of some countries, including the United States. Contact your nearest Brazilian Consulate for details.

 

Health Advice

Travel insurance for United States and Canadian residents through the age of 59 years is included (over that age, there is a supplementary fee). Residents of other countries will receive an allowance to purchase the obligatory travel insurance in their own country. No vaccinations are required to enter Brazil. A yellow fever vaccination is recommended. Malaria is very low risk, but since there is malaria in some parts of the Brazilian Amazon (which might be transmitted by a human carrier to the mosquitos in the Manaus area), malaria prophylaxis also is recommended, Malarone is the treatment of choice. It is important to prevent mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. In addition, apply an insect repellent that contains 30% to 35% DEET to exposed skin. If you prefer a natural repellent, one possibility is TheraNeem Leaf & Oil Herbal Outdoor Spray by Organix South, Inc. We further recommend a cap or a hat with mosquito netting to keep insects away from your face. Such items are available at outfitters and should be purchased before leaving home. Take an ample supply of your medications with you and your doctor’s prescription for each, in case you need refills. Further health information for travelers to South America is available from the Centers for Disease Control.

 

 

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