- The bustling jungle metropolis and gateway to deep Amazonia
- Visit of past and modern attractions
- Excursions to “Meeting of the Waters” and Rubber Museum
- The Amazon Pink Amazon River Dolphin Inia geoffrensis
- Handy craft from the warrior tribe of the Waimiri-Atroari
- Port and traditional Amazonian shipyard
Anavilhanas Archipelago National Park
A labyrinth of 400 islands and the biggest sweet water archipelago on earth amidst the Rio Negro River
Jaú National Park
Whether on board our Amazon cabin – boat, gliding with our silent canoes through flooded forest or hiking terra firme terrain, you will be deeply touched by the untamed wilderness of Brazil's biggest National Park. The Park encompasses 2,272,000 ha and is home to uncountable species of birds, macaws, alligators, anacondas, giant otters, tapirs, jaguars. The Parks’ aquatic system is composed of 3 big rivers (Unini to the north, Carabinani to the south and Jau at the centre) and an infinity of small black water rivers. The water level of the rivers varies drastically during the year. It is the only conservation unit in Brazil that covers totally the basin of a big river, the Jáu with its 450 km extension. The forest at the margins of the rivers are called igapó forests, and are submitted to periods of 6 to 8 months of flooding during the year. The parts of the forest that do not flood are known as terra firme. This type of forest is tropical, dense and humid, with trees that measure up to 40 meters high, like the Samaúma. In this very diverse climate there can be up to 200 species per hectare.
Madada, and Airão Velho, the abandoned city on Rio Jaú
Mystical caves, wall carvings and ruins of a once prosperous, now lost city amidst the Amazon
We pick you up at the airport and transfer to the conveniently located down-town Hotel do Largo, only a few minutes away from the Opera house. After check-in we take you for a guided city tour. We will visit the main attractions, which are there is no doubt, the opera house Teatro Amazonas with its delicate fountain; a splendid neoclassical building of the size of the Scala (the opera house in Milan, Italy). After 15 years of construction it was inaugurated in 1896 as the symbol of the rubber boom, one of the most prosperous economic cycles in Brazil's history.
Another beautiful example of the rich past of Manaus is the Palácio Rio Negro, constructed at the end of 19th Negro today host a cultural centre. century by a the excentric German rubber baron Waldemar Scholz. The Palácio Rio Negro today host a cultural centre.
From here we walk down to the port area and visit the Mercado Municipal, the city's marketplace, where regional food, exotic fruits, unbelievable quantities and varieties of fish, and handicrafts are displayed. The iron structures of the market, inaugurated 1883, were designed by a famous Frenchman called Gustave Eiffel, the builder of the Tour d'Eiffel in Paris.
We then visit the fascinating floating port of Manaus, called Porto Flutuante. A colourful mix of people running busily around to embark or disembark, load or unload the boats that reach practically every corner of the Amazonian universe, except where waterfalls or rapids block the way. The 3 story boats are significantly called gaiolas, which literally means cages! Here, at the banks of the Rio Negro, we stop for an exotic drink before we have dinner in a typical Amazonian fish restaurant. For the evening and, depending on what is on stage, we could watch a performance in the historic Teatro Amazonas.
We leave the hotel after breakfast at 8:00 am in direction to the “Meeting of the Waters”, to watch the phenomena of two rivers, the black Rio Negro and the white Rio Solimões running next to each other for 6 miles before they join and form the Rio Amazonas which is a spectacular and unrivalled sight. From here we visit the Janauary Eco Park, to marvel at giant Victoria regia water lilies.
Around 2:00 pm we will be back in Manaus, picking up your luggage at the hotel and heading now for Novo Airão, the gate-way to the Anavilhanas archipelago, which should be reached after 3 hours by car. We check-in at our Pousada, charmingly situated above the mighty Rio Negro River. At dinner we will be joined by our guides who will be with us the next couple of days to unravel the mystery of the unique Amazonian environment.
After an early breakfast we board our typical Amazonas boat and get settled into our air conditioned cabins. Those who like it more adventurous and closer to the Amazonian night, can string their hammocks on the upper deck.
Soon we will reach the Anavilhanas islands. If the environment is intriguing for the visitor, it poses no problem for our native pilot. He navigates by eyesight and experience. Two hours later we will drop anchor to visit a cabóclo family. Cabóclos are people who live from the river and the forest by exploiting rationally their environment, practising a sustainable economy of resource extraction. They are descendants from native Brazilians and either Afro-Brazilians or Europeans.
After acquaintances our group will be shown the manioc plantation, the Brazil nut trees Bertholletia excelsa and exotic fruits. There are also rubber trees Hevea brasiliens. The extraction techniques from the rubber tree and the latex processing, the operation of the manioc press and other equipment will impress us because of its simplicity and functionality.
We continue now our boat ride through the archipelago until we arrive at the Jaú National Park authorities for identification. Inside the Park we continue our journey until we reach the home of another cabóclo family. We invite the family for lunch on board. After a siesta we take the canoe for wildlife observation inside the igapó. The igapó is a permanently flooded forest and host many species of birds but also monkeys, tapirs, giant otters, anacondas and other mammals and reptiles. To glide silently over the tree tops of a flooded forest is an adventure only possible in the Amazon. We will anchor near the Carabinani rapids for overnight. Note: during the dry season, from October through April, we will not be able to pass the rapids and would have to have to anchor underneath them at the water level control outpost.
The day will be spent canoeing through surrounding igarapés in search of more wildlife and to marvel at the overwhelming vegetation of the rain forest. We should be able to observe several kinds of monkeys, giant otters, snakes, tarantula. Before dinner and armed with flash lights we take our canoe again for a ride through the Tabatinga igarapé for some night fishing. Perhaps a delicious piracurú or jaú will be on the menu for dinner. Again we will also engage for some wildlife spotting at night with our powerful flash lights. After dinner we take the canoe for wildlife search of nocturnal animals and in particular the jacaré açu, the Amazonian giant cayman.
This morning we get up early to watch on board a canoe the beautiful Amazonian sunrise and listen to the early morning song of the birds welcoming a new day in the jungle. We then return for breakfast. The Tabatinga igarapé is an area distant from civilization and rich in wildlife, which we will be observing and photographing during the next three days. The wildlife list of the region includes among other animals, brown–throated and three-toed sloth, giant cayman, several species of monkeys, tapir, giant and lesser anteater, jaguar Felis onca, or the Felis incolor, the puma, eventually anaconda, tarantula, macaws, toucans several kinds of parakeets.
Again we start early today for a long walk into the jungle. We take provisions with us so that we don't need to go back to the camp for lunch. We will discover the secrets of the deep forests and our guide will explain some of the miracles of interaction of the species in plant life. Usually we discover also rare species of orchids and bromeliads on these hikes. The pristine and untouched region is also appropriated for some survival demonstrations performed by our guides, including identification of eatable plants and animals, water supplies, building of shelter, manufacturing of weaponry and traps from materials of the forest. We are back at the camp in late afternoon. The rest of the day is for leisure. Take a refreshing bath in the clear water river and a well-earned rest in the hammocks is the best thing to do now. In the meantime the cook has lit the fire and dinner will be ready soon. While the guides hit the river to catch next day's provisions you may either join them or are in for some story telling around the fire place.
We will break off the camp and get ready to start our way back to Novo Airão travelling on the Carabinani, Jaú, Rio Negro rivers, before we enter the Anavilhanas archipelago again. We will be stopping by the mysterious wall carvings at the Unini River not fully elucidated by science, caves at Madada and the ruins of the abandoned village of Airão Velho, The town was founded during the rubber boom period 1879-1912 when it experienced it´s golden age of prosperity. The mercy less jungle has claimed his toll and overtaken most of the mansions of a better time. In Novo Airão we have check-in at our Pousada before we join the last time for Dinner at a local restaurant. Tonight we have hot showers and sleep in a real bed!
The activities planned for the morning are swimming with the joyful pink river dolphins Inia geoffrensis right down at the harbour, visit the shipyard to watch the constructions of the typical Amazonian river boats without plans and maps. The Almerindo Malaquia Foundation – a social project, founded by a Swiss master carpenter and a Brazilian idealist, to promote labor by on-the-job-training for local artisans and the youth of the region, is also worth a visit. At the foundation you can purchase beautiful wooden handicraft made from burned or otherwise wasted Amazonian trees. There is also a shop that sells authentic handicraft made by the famous Waimiri-Atroari tribe. Now it is time to drive back to Manaus airport for your return flight and connections.
End of our services.
Our itineraries depend on your arrival and departure times. Please consult us before booking your flights.
Changes to the itinerary may be made due to weather conditions, regulations of national park authorities and other unexpected occurrences. In case we have to adapt your itinerary on short notice before or during your trip, our clients will be notified immediately.
Verena And Patrick Dengler
yes, we arrived back home sound and safe. We had fantastic holidays. Everything went the smoothies possible ways, pick up at the airport, transfers, a wonderful boat and great crew. Thumbs up for everything. It has also been a privilege to have Mo, Your guide, with us. We will highly recommend him and your company. Thank you very much for this outstanding experience.
Our best greetings
Verena and Patrick
Bruni, Rebecca and Clarissa
back to our everyday life in Germany, we would like to thank Southern Cross Tours & Expeditions sincerely for the excellent organisation of our Amazon tour. My daughters and I loved it – what a contrast to Rio and Sao Paulo. We have returned from the Amazon full of new impressions and great memories. The decision to explore parts of the Anavilhanas and the Jau National park by boat was the only right one, and as you had predicted we did not feel ready to leave this paradise yet after 5 days.
As I said, the trip was amazing. I was sceptical at the beginning, also because of the long distance from Rio. However, my daughter Rebecca was being so stubborn about this, so I finally gave in, and I do not regret this decision. I was simply fascinated and I wish we could have stayed a lot longer. The boat ride was beautiful, informative and very relaxing. No hectic, no tourist crowds, jungle excursions, swimming in the Rio Negro river, no noise, only the sounds of the jungle and its overwhelmingly beautiful nature. Thanks as well to Sebastiana, who has prepared outstandingly delicious meals for us, and of course to Valmir, the Southern Cross Guide who was accompanying us. All of you have contributed in order to make this trip an unforgettable experience for us.
One can only hope that environmental protection will bring about an end to the destruction of this paradise called Amazon rainforest soon.
Antje Weißenberger, Axel Köhler and Johann Pressl
its been 4 weeks that we arrived back home from our holidays. If I would have to give a short resume on our Amazon tour I would say: it was something very, very special and a small part of our hearts have remained there. Your guides have decisively contributed to make the time there unforgettable and did everything to make it as pleasant as possible for us.
There was Ben, the always good humoured story teller and there was Keka whom we admired for his always alert senses for that what surrounded us and what we have not been able to detect. His trained eyes and his ear for sounds of the jungle, his patience and instinct to make us actually see the animals of which we have heard only their noises before. Also his cooking skills were extraordinary, when you consider the simplicity of means at hand. The fish we catched ourselves and he cooked to perfection, covering it with a Banana leaf, was something out of this world. Unforgettable.
When the boat glided silently through the Igarapé flooded forest we were totally and absolutely disconnected of the hectic and stressy life back home. We also never thought it possible to go for a swim in a river that is home to anacondas, sting rays, piranhas and cayman. In short, we experienced a pristine jungle first hand - Adventure holiday was what we wanted and what we got.
We also would like to thank you, dear Peter, for the perfect organization and the great guides. We definitely will recommend Southern Cross Tours & Expeditions.
Antje, Hans & Axel
Heike Stock and Matthias Richter
Well, the weather was just bad luck but as I said, both of our guides put their shoulders to the wheel to make even. We had many great moments together with Bernhard and Keka.
Except of the misfortune with the Indians we had no complains regarding organization, equipment, guides, the tour,etc. It was a fantastic trip with super competent guides, very good equipment and excellent cuisine. Keka even had packed beer together with the other provisions. It was served ice cold.
Also the Hotel in Manaus was good and our guide Mario there really put in all efforts to show us around in Manaus. All worked out fine and we will recommend the tour.
Regarding the Pantanal we expect to see many animals & as bigger as better. The whole program: anacondas, jaguars, giant anteaters, other snakes, spiders and everything what nature there has to offer.
The pictures you sent were great. I look forward to receiving some more .......Good crew and good food.
I especially liked the staff telling us about where they are from.
Accommodations were good both in the hotels and on the boat. Liked visiting the native villages and the wood artisans.
Also, I wouldn't have wanted to miss the village on the last day so it was worth being rushed. And all this time I thought you were an expert on everything! You are right about the cost. When I went on a Lindblad cruise to the Galapagos they had nightly talks about geology, oceanography, animals, plants, etc., but it was an expensive trip and I'm sure they paid those experts well.
It was a good trip with Amazon Travel Brazil and I would recommend it to others. Have a good summer (or I guess its winter for you),
Nancy Jean Lust
this is Nancy writing. You asked for feedback on the trip and here it is. I had a blast! As an educator, I found it very interesting that we got to go to some places not typically associated with tourism...like the Manioc farm with explanation of how to make it, and the artisan wood studios. Obviously, I wish we could have done all of the things on the original itinerary (like learning more about how the natives use which plants for what purpose...Day 6), but I understand why we had to deviate from this original plan.
I LIKED travelling on a slow boat, rather than a speed boat. I live in such a fast-paced world, that travelling slowly up the river was just plain relaxing. Plus it makes for better bird watching. I have never taken a trip by boat before, and I've never really been interested in taking your typical "cruise" but this was completely different. Having a small boat, with a small group, is key. If our group had been bigger, I think it would have gotten on my nerves. You would have to wait too long for people to get ready, there would be constant jockeying for position to get the 'great shot' with the camera, and in this instance, small is just generally better. Our size group allowed us to all get to know each other, without overly separating into cliques. So, despite the fact that more people might be more profitable ...I would recommend keeping the boat and group size small.
As far as the itinerary, one thing that I might try to intentionally plan for is a shopping excursion in Manaus. When I go overseas, I usually try to get some of my Christmas shopping done, and while I appreciated and purchased several items from the local Indians and from the stores in Novo Airão, it would be fun to see what the city had to offer.
Thanks again to Amazon Travel Brazil for helping us to have such a wonderful experience in the Amazon!
Nancy Jean Lust
My trip went well with some floating times, without gravity. After 2 weeks in Venezuela, I crossed the border in night bus, I joined Manaus, 11 hours of travel but very comfortable. The Seringal Hotel great location and comfortable. I attended two performances at the Amazonas Theatre, costume contest for the carnival, lots of atmosphere.
It was expected Anavilhanas 7 days but after 5 days we returned to Novo Airão, according Gean guidelines. The problem has been resolved and we left two days in the forest, in a very interesting place. We found 3 friendly natives, we could fish in the igarape.
Return to Manaus. Flight to Salvador, visiting the city with a very interesting guide and French. A good day, I tasted the specialities of Bahia. The hotel also good, near the historic centre.
Departure to Lençóis in comfortable bus. Eight fantastic days with Tony, a very friendly guide, which has a lot of charisma also very available. I learned a lot with Tony, he knows the Chapada as his pocket! Chapada is great, only negative there was little water in the rivers, the Cachoeira da Fumaça was dry, not a drop of water, damage!
Back in Salvador, tired, many km. up and down, and more hot, fortunately rivers for swimming.
Dense trip went too fast but very satisfied with this trip to Brazil. I still have many places to see in this country. I think go next year in the Pantanal, but as usual take my time, several days, no express trip.
J. D. Scheurer
prices & dates
Prices and Travel Dates
Amazon Adventure: Jaú National Park and Further
|6 participants as from 1,560 US$ per Person|
|8 days / 7 nights|
|Arrival/departure Manaus 2 x month on Saturdays|
Prices for groups of less than 6 and for private groups over 6 participants on request.
The boat size and accommodations vary depending on the number of participants for each departure.
Best time to travel
The tour takes place throughout the year. Recommended time for travelling is June - November.
Easy jungle hikes. Normal physical fitness required
Equatorial, average 80 % humidity, hot average + 25° C, precipitation 3,496 mm/year!
To bring and clothing
Clothing should include two set of shorts, shirts with long sleeve, light cotton socks, swim wear, several sets of t-shirts and underwear, rain cape, warm clothing for the night. Solid rubber trekking sandals to ford or bath in creeks, streams are recommended for hiking.
travel bag pack and small attack bag pack for day hikes, sleeping bag, termo flask, binocular, photo equipment, flash light, Swiss army knife or similar,hut, sunglasses, insect repellent.
Vaccines mandatory: yellow fever, hepatitis, tetanus.
Vaccines not mandatory: malaria prophylaxis.
Mineral water available
Granted by guides, bring your personal medicine.
Fresh meat and fish, soups, rice, beans, pasta, fresh vegetables, crackers, cookies, biscuits, banana and guava sweets, coffee, tea, milk.
Upon confirmation a deposit of 30% to our German bank account becomes due. The remaining amount must be deposited on our account 30 days before beginning of journey. The dead-line for reservations is 40 days.
Disclaimer of warranty
This journey has the character of a light expedition. Rivers and rainforest replace highways, streets and roads. The conditions which are encountered on route will be completely new for the traveller. A correct attitude and mental preparedness for a different and fascinating environment is imperative. The unexpected can happen, whereupon the traveller is expected to react flexible and, depending on the situation, relaxed or immediately. The guides with their knowledge of the environment, are experienced trekkers and expedition leaders and absolutely reliable. The willingness of the traveller to cooperate and interact tolerantly with other participants is required also in strenuous situations. As operator we disclaim ourselves of any warranty for any risk during this journey.