Day 1: Manaus arrival. Pick up at airport and transfer to the hotel. End of the day open. Meals not included. Night in hotel.
Day 2: Manaus – Malocas jungle lodge. Departure from the hotel at 07:30 for the site where the waters encounter. The dark and amber water of Río Negro seem to hesitate before mixing with the more yellowish water of Solimoes. We go and observe from a motorboat the surprising show of these two waterways, running side by side over a few miles before mixing. We, then, return to the Lodge. After 50 miles on the road (1-hour), we reach the village of Rio Preto da Eva, charming little beach resort visited during the weekends by the Manaus’ inhabitants.
There we exchange our vehicle for a motor-pirogue loaded with food. We follow Río Preto da Eva. The last traces of civilization disappear as we enter deeper in a labyrinth of water and vegetation. We follow the meanders of the river resembling a ribbon reflecting the sunlight. Once we arrive at the lodge, we are welcome with a cocktail. After settling, we are invited to share a typical local lunch (fish/feijao (beans)/rice/raw vegetables/fruit).
In the afternoon, excursion by pirogue on the igarapés (canals flooded after the rainy season, dry the rest of the year) to meet a family of Caboclos. Caboclos is the name given here to the people of mixed descent (Indians and Portuguese colons) living in the heart of the forest and keeping a very traditional rural lifestyle (subsistence agriculture, especially of manioc, fishing, domestically used handicraft). On the way back to the lodge, our guide will rapidly set up a fishing line equipped with a piece of white wire serving as a hook. He attaches a piece of chicken to the end and in a few minutes, the piranhas arrive. The lodge cook will gill them, and shortly after serve them to us (their flesh, although full of bones, is delicious). All included. Night in the lodge.
Day 3: Amazon forest. After a hearty breakfast, we enter the forest in the company of our guide. The Indians have acquired empiric knowledge of the local wildlife and fauna that doesn’t cease to impress visitors. The animals with which they co-habit do not hold any secrets for them. They know their habitat, their eating habits; know if they are comestible, and the best way to hunt them. Some plants are used in everyday life (construction, weaving, tool fabrication, utensils or arms); others are known for such and such medicinal virtue. Each pain has its remedy. We become aware that we are walking through an immense outdoor pharmacy.
The adaptation of the Indians to their natural habitat is equally manifested in their capacity to orient themselves, precisely, without obvious landmarks and without the help of any navigation instruments, in the heart of a jungle where everything looks alike. We return to the lodge for lunch. On the way back, we can cool down in the crystal clear waters of a waterfall. If we are lucky, we might spot of few of the forest’s animals: a group of monkeys snacking, a tapir loudly escaping in front of us, a few snakes sleeping in the middle of a path, a toucan.
The rest of the day is dedicated to a pirogue tour on the nearby waterways/or a bath in the cool waters of Río Preto da Eva. After dinner, our hosts invite us to take place around a blazing campfire on the white sand beach. A frozen caïpirinha in our hand, we enjoy the magic of the Amazonian night and the silence of a nature that nothing disturbs, except the crickets and the noise of the palms agitated by the breeze. All included. Night in lodge. Option: extra day (lodge or survival in the jungle), check with us.
Day 4: Malocas jungle lodge - Manaus. Before sunrise, our guide takes us to attend the ballet of the birds leaving their night shelter. Another walk in the forest can follow breakfast. After lunch, we return to Manaus (we take the same trail as on the way in). We may be lucky enough to see some sloths on the way. Loving tender leaves, we frequently find them on the highest branches of the trees, where they are easily visible. The observation of these mammals is easier after the rain, the sloths looking then for open places to dry their coat. Arrival in Manaus around 19:00. Lunch included. Dinner open. Night in hotel.
Day 5: Manaus - São Luis. Departure from the hotel with a private vehicle, for a transfer to the airport, 2 hours before departure time. Domestic flight Manaus – São Luis (not included). Pick up at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Meals open. Night in hotel.
Day 6: São Luis – Lençois Maranhenses – Barreirinhas. Departure from the hotel in a regular minibus at 05:15 in the company of our English-speaking guide. A 4 ½-hour trip to Barreirinhas, quiet town washed by the waters of Río Preguiças. In the afternoon, we leave to the discovery of the lagunas and dunes of the surrounding area. After an hour in a 4WD on rutted sandy tracks, we reach the desert. Each one can walk independently at the discovery of the landscape hidden behind each dunes and enjoy a cooling bath. Return to Barreirinhas in the afternoon. Lunch included. Dinner open. Night in a pousada.
Note: The lagunas are filled from May to November. Between the month of December and the month of April, depending on precipitations, they can be more or less dry. This period corresponds to the rainy season, characterized by short heavy showers. During this time the program can be modified so that the excursion in the dunes takes us to an area where the lagunas are still full. Option : 1/2 hour flight above the desert.
Day 7: Barreirinhas - Rio Preguiças – Caburé. In the morning, by private motorboat, we follow Río Preguiças, until we reach the Atlantic Coast. The shores of the river appear in their entire splendor: mangrove, igarapés (waterways), buritis, açaizeiros (a palm tree native to the rain forests of northern Brazil), coconut trees, tucunzeiros and never very far, a colorful fauna: herons, kingfishers and if we are lucky, guarás (a striking red ibis typical of this area).
As we approach the coastline, the dunes appear; we stop at Vassouras and at Mandacaru, a village endowed by a lighthouse offering from its top a panoramic view of the surroundings. At the Rio’s Delta, we rest in the minuscule and picturesque village of Caburé. The river runs along one side of the village while, on the other side of the dune, the ocean spreads over miles of deserted beaches. Open program of a few hours allowing for bathing (fresh, brackish or salt water?), enjoying a nap in a hammock or taking a hike in the sand dunes. Meals not included. Night in a pousada.
Day 8: Caburé – Barreirinas – São Luis. n the morning, we follow the River in a motor canoe to Barreirinhas. Lunch in Barreirinhas. Then around 16:30 we take the road to São Luis in a regular minibus. 4½-hour trip through babaçu and buriti (2 varieties of palm trees) plantations. Arrival at the end of the day. Meals not included. Night in a pousada.
Day 9: São Luis. Open day to explore São Luis. Meals not included. Night in a pousada.
- Half day visit of the historical center of São Luis
- Full day tour to Alcântara.
Day 10: São Luis departure. Departure from the hotel in private transportation 2 hours before the take off and transfer to the airport. Meals not included.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Brazil Nature & Wildlife Rainforest Cultural Journey
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