Manaus Trip Summary

I.                   Airline—There are many options for airline tickets.  We paid a little more per ticket so that we could get a direct flight.  There are lots of cheaper flights but most have very long layovers, anywhere from 8 to 20 hours.  We also purchased flight insurance but I’m not sure that you need it.  It was only $20 but still perhaps not needed.

II.                Hotel—The first thing you need to remember is that a “5-star” hotel in Brazil is not the same thing as a “5-star” hotel in the states!  Our hotel in the city, Tropical Manaus Ecoresort, was fine.  It is a very old hotel and very spread out.  Depending on your room you have to walk about a half a block from the front desk to get there.  They did have a nice restaurant and it had a free breakfast, which wasn’t advertised.  It was also right on the river and that was nice.  I think a “5-star” hotel in Brazil means that there is a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, bathtub, shower, a little shopping, etc.  (Our bathtub didn’t have a way to plug the drain so it was useless.)  Fernando just told me that the Tropical Hotel is the nicest hotel in Manaus.  It was only about $82 per night (two nights).  It is very close to the temple, meaning about a mile.  We could have walked but didn’t want to be drenched in sweat by the time we got there.  We took a taxi which was only around R$13.  The temple president actually took us back to the hotel, but that isn’t a guarantee in the future.

III.             Tour—We booked a tour from the  This is directly from their website. “We work together with BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Arte TV and other TV stations.  We offer airport transfers, hotel reservations, car and boat charter. We sell bus, boat and airline tickets.  We are a registered US corporation with offices in Las Vegas, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus.
We accept all major credit cards, Bank transfer, PayPal and Bitcoins.”    
            We chose the 3 day Amazon Jungle Tour/1 day Manaus city tour option.  There are many other tour companies to choose from.

IV.             What we learned from our tour—Things often look better on paper than in real life! 
A.     We thought that on the city tour we would go to one place and then drive to another and another, etc.  No.  We went to one place and then walked a lot and it was very hot.  Shirley ended up with a huge blister on the bottom of her foot and that prevented her from enjoying the rest of the trip as much.
B.     We thought that we were staying in a treehouse lodge in the jungle.  That is my fault for not reading the information closely enough.  We stayed in the “Anaconda Lodge” while we were in the jungle.  When I think of a lodge, I think of something really nice.  No.  Our accommodations in the jungle were about like boy’s camp or maybe not quite that good.  There weren’t any towels or soap in the rooms and the water was orange!  We had electricity for only three hours a day in the evenings, so there wasn’t any air conditioning and it was very hot and humid.  They did provide us with fans that didn’t work.  L  The beds were comfortable enough but were dirty.  Both Ferron and Shirley got bit badly on their legs during the night.  Why I didn’t I don’t know.  Ferron’s bites have gotten infected and he had to go to the dr. this morning.
C.     Our tour guide was really great!  We really enjoyed our trips out on the river but we were in a row boat that held 10-12 people.  We finally discovered that the life jackets worked best as seat cushions!  Those wooden slats got very hard to sit on after three hours.  I looked at the bigger boats going by with envy as they had cushioned seats and seat backs.
D.    The food at the lodge was okay.  It was pretty much the same each day.  Be prepared to eat fish, complete with the heads. J

V.                We learned this morning, too late for us, that you can just stay in a hotel in Manaus and take day trips on the river to see the jungle, wildlife, native Indians, etc.  That probably would have been a better option.  It might have cost a little more but maybe that would have been worth it.

VI.             The cost for our tour was $250 per person and that included pick up/drop off to and from the airport, all our food, guides, etc.

VII.          Conclusion—Am I glad that I went?  Yes.  Would I go again?  I don’t think so.  I think that it is a place that you should all try to see while you are here, just be aware of what you are actually getting into.  It probably would have been much more enjoyable for Ferron and I had we stayed in the city and gone out each day.  It would have cost more but now, with the medical bills, it probably would have been cheaper.  However, we were out in the fresh air and we could see the stars.  I found the Southern Cross constellation which is something I have wanted to see but it is impossible here in São Paulo because of all of the lights and buildings.

So there you have it.  We had quite the adventure!  My perception is probably different from the others.  Because I made the plans, I felt badly that the conditions were so poor.  Everyone was good sports about it though.  The jungle is beautiful and amazing.  The Indian village was very interesting, even though the natives were only half-dressed, including the women!  This trip could be made much more enjoyable if you plan differently.  We met some wonderful people from all over the world and because we were with them for three days we were able to do some missionary work.  Some seeds were planted and that made it all worth it! 

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