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Big Decision: Stay in a Lodge in Manu National Reserve OR...

Frisco, Texas
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Big Decision: Stay in a Lodge in Manu National Reserve OR...

...from Manaus (Brazil) take an Amazon Cruise or stay in a lodge on the Amazon?

When my friend and I go to South America, we will also be seeing Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires, Rio, and so forth...we only have time for ONE "jungle adventure" of several days. So among these options, which should be? Or is there a better option?


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1. Re: Big Decision: Stay in a Lodge in Manu National Reserve OR...

Best advice would depend on what time of year you are going and what you want to see.

If you want to do walking around Manu better to go in dry season. Pink dolphins are not found in Manu but a lot of people want to see the clay licks.

For seeing wild ife along the Amazon (Iquitos or cruise) high water season or a month or two after is better since you can get farther into the jungle via launch. Although there are some trails that may be inaccessible until the water goes down.

The monkeys, sloths, frogs, butterflies, birds & snakes you will see both places.

Edited: 29 April 2012, 07:36
Lima, Peru
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2. Re: Big Decision: Stay in a Lodge in Manu National Reserve OR...

Hi Sanjuro,

We believe lodges and cruises offer different experiences - each interesting. What you choose depends highly on what you are looking to achieve in your travels.

Lodges are very nice, especially those which offer true "off the grid" experiences such as no electricity, sleeping open air with mosquito nets, etc. The location of the lodge is critical to the experience as deforestation has caught up to many older lodges that were constructed when pristine forest was surrounding them in all directions.

It helps if you choose a lodge that has sustainable certification of some kind, such as by Rainforest Alliance. This way you know that the money spent is being reinvested in sustainable activities and toward improving the livelihoods of local residents. Some lodges are located in places where larger boats cannot navigate, such as in Tambopata or Manu, Peru, where some of the best macaw activity can be observed.

Cruises, on the other hand, have the advantage of mobility and comfort. Riverboats can navigate into areas that offer incredible experiences, adjusting to changes in water level, migratory patterns, seasonality, etc. As you are taking you "flotel" with you as it were, you can see a larger area of the forest and still enjoy incredible hikes, fishing, wildlife observation, and so forth. Cruises are primarily available from Iquitos in Peru and Manaus in Brazil. There is a boat in Ecuador and one in Bolivia also. The two parks that receive most attention are Pacaya Samiria in Peru, and The Central Amazon Corridor in Manaus. They are the two largest parks in the entire Amazon, and like Manu, are very rich in wildlife.

There are many types of cruises out there, ranging from budget to luxury throughout the Amazon. As you will find in your research, there are many lodges offering lots of different experiences.

Hope this helps.

Rainforest Cruises

3. Re: Big Decision: Stay in a Lodge in Manu National Reserve OR...

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