While researching amazon jungle treks, we knew we wanted to get remote, we wanted the experience to be authentic, and as always–off the normal tourist beaten path. Then we heard about this group Amazonas Indian Tourismo, so we checked them on Google…no site. So we decide to call them….dead number. We had pretty much written them off but then randomly on a tamale run for lunch, we saw their sign up a stairwell! We went inside, sat down and heard some amazing stories…..and then decided to create some of our own.

 

Day Zero


Considering their MIA track record, we were a little wary paying Amazonas Indian Tourismo a visit,  but when we walked into the founder’s  office, this adorable Native Brazilian man didn’t need to say a word. We knew we wanted to go into the jungle with his family.

 

Day 1: Amazon Jungle Trek


Admittedly the tour started out with a few bumps in the road. This is Anne and myself guarding our food for the jungle from about eight stray dogs on the side of the road, about 150 kilometers from Manaus. Meanwhile, the founder’s wife who had chaperoned us this far went to track down a new guide for us, as our guide had “gone up river the day before without telling anyone.” Great start!

 


After our bus ride, we took a one-hour small boat further up river, and watched the density of houses dwindle from one every 10 minutes at the start, down to one every half hour by the time we arrived. When we pulled into this place, we knew the trip was going to be amazing. The hut on the left was our house (the one wall you see was the only wall, the other 3 were wide open). The middle structure (also one wall) was the dinning room, and the hut on the right was the open-air kitchen. The native family that we stayed with lived directly behind our hut with no running water or electricity.

 


The day we arrived we set up our hammocks, had an amazing meal, checked out the surrounding forests, took a siesta, then headed our for our first adventure: Piranha Fishing. We heard a lot about piranhas (as anyone who grew up watching horror movies surely knows, they eat you the moment you put your finger in the water, right?…Did I mention our handmade wooden canoe had a serious leak). Horrifyingly enough, there are an insane amount of them in the river and they hang out in shallow water but they aren’t that scary close up and most importantly, they taste delicious over an open fire.

 


The water in this part of the Amazon was so beautiful and calm this time of year, it made for some solid photographs. I give mother nature 90% of the credit for this one! You can see our dinner in the base of the boat, and if I had a wide angle lens you would see Anne’s feet way up in the air.

 

Day 2 – Full day hike into jungle, camp with “los animales”


If you look real hard you can see our mini-fridge (a wicker basket), our kitchen sink (the green tub of amazon water on the right), our air conditioner (3.5 missing walls), our super comfy beds (mine in blue, Anne’s in red, our guide’s in white), and our dresser (a table made of trees.  And one thing we learned on this trip, you really don’t need much more than that.

 


This came straight off a rubber tree, which are so prolific throughout the Amazon it was the main catalyst for growth in the region starting with the Industrial Revolution, then again during WWII. Our guide was amazingly knowledgeable with various plants and their uses, we tasted leaves that Indians used to stave off malaria, drank sweet liquid from the “milk-tree,” we used hardened tree-sap to make a torch for night hikes, and countless other ways to live off the land.

 


This was a common site, our guide patiently waiting for us to catch up. This was also one of many logs we crossed, and Anne made it across all but one (see the slide show for her shoe full of mud photo, made for a great trek back to base camp).

 


This was a fairly large Tarantula that our guide found about 12 inches from our hiking path. After the spider was out of its hole and we took a few photos, he finally told us this spider had a very deadly bite (I just did some digging on Wikipedia and found out the Brazilian Wandering Spider is more deadly than a Black Widow….eeeek….guess I shouldn’t have been using the Macro camera setting!)

 


As we hiked through this sandy part of the jungle, we spotted (and by we, obviously, I mean our ninja of a guide) Jaguar tracks. We followed them as long as we could (much to Anne’s chagrin), but never saw anything more than the paw prints, but they were huge, and you could feel his presence around you all the time (especially when the lights were out and you are sitting in your hammock like a piece of chicken on a rotisserie.)

 


One of my favorite shots from the trip. This mushroom was so small and hidden as we hiked down a fairly steep trail but it caught my eye and I had to capture it.

 


We arrived at our camp site, basically some cleared area with three wood logs staked in the ground for a DIY shelter. After a few tips from our guide Anne and I were off with our machete to bring home a palm leaf roof. What do you think of our construction job? Kept us dry all night even through a decent bit of rain!

After a long hike, with a few fruits and some tree milk as our sustenance, this meal tasted amazing. Grilled chicken, some rice with onions, and a salad with fresh papayas. Cristovo carved us spoons from a tree near-bye, and our plates were created by Anne out of palm leaves.

 

To be continued…

So that is the first few days of the trip, three more days to come in post #2 of 2, read about us swimming with piranhas, making blow dart guns (and using them), building our second shelter in a major rain storm, drinking water from the Amazon, and good-bye meal with our host family. Click here to read post 2 of 2 of our Amazon adventure.

 

Hope you had fun reading. If you have any thoughts/questions at all about our Amazon jungle trek, please post them in the comment section below.

42 thoughts on “Our Amazon Jungle Trek: Part 1

  • February 10, 2012 at 2:27 am
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    Great post! I love your choice for tour operator; off the beaten path is always the best.  Super jealous of your adventures so far and the ones to come.  Good luck!

    Reply
  • February 10, 2012 at 6:29 am
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    What a great start! I am looking forward to upcoming adventures. Nice job in documenting, how did you upload all info, keep batteries charged, etc.? Be safe guys.

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    • February 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm
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      Oh yeah Steere! doing our best to document, hope to get more videos live soon. Uploading videos and pics has been a challenge as the internet isnt as strong as in the states, but it is totally workable. we will get in a better rhythm with blog posts over the next week or so especially once the madness of carnival has passed. batteries, i have 6 of them for our Canon S100s (we both have the same camera), two 32 GB SD cards, 2 * 16 GB flash cards,and have yet to use up even one of them, so more than enough space there.

      Reply
  • February 10, 2012 at 7:41 am
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    That sounds incredible. I look forward to going on this adventure with you. I grew up in north Africa and kenya and was born in Paris and went to Germany. Ironically I am afraid to fly now so I love to read about it. One place I still remember from my kid days is mombassa. White sands…the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. Check it out! Nice to meet you and congrats on your recent wedding.

    Reply
  • February 10, 2012 at 10:14 am
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    This is going to be a good book that I can’t put down!

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  • February 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm
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    I am truly amazed by what you guys are doing and enjoy this site very much. I’m excited to follow you on your trip. Be safe!

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    • February 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm
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      so glad you are enjoying reading along Jennifer, and thanks so much for the comment, they mean a lot to us while we are on the road so far from family and friends!

      Reply
  • February 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm
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    So far it all sounds amazing! You’re seriously living off the land! 🙂 I like how you’re doing the “off the beaten path” tourist adventure. It all sounds so unique and life-changing…can’t wait to read more!

    Reply
    • February 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm
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      thanks for the love chelsea, yeah it has really been amazing seeing how little you really need to survive, have an amazing time, share smiles, and become more in tune with nature & yourself at the same time. great stuff.

      Reply
  • February 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm
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    Incredible Stuff Mike.   Man, I’d love to check that out live.   Piranhas eh?  Good luck with that!

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    • February 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm
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      Thanks Nat, yeah i have a few videos of us fishing and building things in the jungle, just trying to find an internet connection that can handle a 300-500 meg upload, and they are few and far between.

      Reply
  • February 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm
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    The things you two fall into.  Super incredible.  Makes me psyched to not have running water and toilets in two weeks!!!  Much love to you both!

    Reply
  • February 11, 2012 at 4:47 am
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    This gets me excited (and maybe a little nervous ) 🙂 for our own trip into the Amazon – Can’t wait to read about the second half and what you liked/didnt like! send us your suggestions!

    Reply
    • February 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm
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      the second half of the amazon post is live. what questions came out of reading those posts? happy to answer any and give you a good expectation of whats to come 🙂

      Reply
  • February 11, 2012 at 8:53 am
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    Obrigado! (for a some great footage) So interesting.  I really liked how you showed the water purification (Not sure Anne is convinced hehehe). And the backpack creation, should put those on Amazon.com (no pun inteneded).  Our Trip to St Kitts Nevis was fun … great beaches, sun/surf, mahi mahi grilled lobster… no as rough as you guys hahahhaa. Take care, loving this a lot. 

    Reply
  • February 16, 2012 at 9:29 am
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    Hey Anne and Mike —
    Your jungle trek looks amazing!  I hope you’re having an incredible trip.
    XOXO
    Lisa

    Reply
  • February 16, 2012 at 10:36 am
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    You had me until tarantula! So sweet of you to offer Anne the top hammock! Can’t wait to read more about this trip! Sounds like you are having a great time!

    Reply
  • February 16, 2012 at 10:11 pm
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    Did you eat the mushroom?  It looks tasty! 

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    • February 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm
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      dude when you are a 6 hour hike from the nearest flashlight, then a 2 hour boat ride to the nearest road, then 3 hours to a hospital that you probably dont even want to have a hangnail removed….you do NOT eat the mushrooms. lmao.

      Reply
    • February 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm
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      yeah dude, i am going to do a full post on the Pen soon, but basically it saves us around $6-10 PER DAY in bottled water costs. worth its weight in gold!

      Reply
  • February 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm
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    Did you eat the mushroom?  It looks tasty! 

    Reply
  • February 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm
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    Dude, this looks AMAZING. We are infinitely jealous! Love the pics, keep them coming!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 at 7:58 am
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    Hey your trip looks amazing! My friend and I are heading there this May, do you mind me asking how much your tour of the Amazon cost? We would like to book before we go do you know if that would be possible with Amazonas Indian Tourismo? Thanks!

    Reply
    • March 31, 2012 at 10:45 pm
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      awesome Emma. our trip was by far one of the cheapest, and i dare say the most real of all the trips. truly one with nature (as i think you can see from the two blog posts). the cost was R$700 (which when we went was approx $420USD per person). that covered your bus to and from, taxis, boat down and up the river, lodging, food, the private guide for 5 days, and everything in between. it was amazing.

      we cant recommend Indian Amazonas enough. Ask for the guide Christovo, and when you call you will probably speak with Suarez.

      https://foursquare.com/v/amazonas-indian-turismo/4f26018ee4b05160b028f568 should have their phone number there.

      their site was down when we last looked, and their phone number didnt work….but we are SO glad we went their offices. let me know if you can not find their contact info, i will look it up in my camera.

      Reply
  • May 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm
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    Hey, so was this trek in Manaus, Brazil?
    I just want to confirm to be sure

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    • June 2, 2012 at 11:16 am
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      Eric, the trek was amazing. it was about 3 hours from Manaus (which is a cool city). Wespent 5 days trekking, canoeing, camping around the jungle. we can HIGHLY recommend this to anyone with a sense of adventure!

      Reply
  • October 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm
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    Hi there Mike,
    Thanks for posting your trip, it looks really great. I think just the thing my wife and myself would like to do. Could you tell me whether there is anyway to store packs when you go on the trip, so as not to have to bring all your baggage with into the Amazon with you. Thank again

    Reply
    • October 14, 2014 at 3:22 am
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      You should go for it! Indian amazonas can likely store your bags in their office or your guest house. We had a Pak safe for our backpacks so felt comfortable leaving it behind even in our even slightly shady guest house “Hotel Ideal” ask for Cristavo as a guide if possible!

      Reply
  • September 16, 2017 at 6:34 am
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    Hey Mike & Anne I would like to discuss your Amazon trip with you further. Can we discuss via email? Please reach out to my contact.

    Reply
  • February 8, 2018 at 7:46 am
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    Interesting article guys! Looking forward to visiting someday myself

    Reply

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