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g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

Royal Oak, Michigan
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2 posts
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g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

My husband and I are looking at g adventures' 6 day Amazon Riverboat Adventure.

Can someone who has taken this tour before comment on how they liked working with g adventures and how they liked the tour?

(i.e. g adventures were professional; it was educational; it was worth the $ and time)

Thanks!

Amazon Expeditioners
Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Angels Amazon Adventures
Sightseeing Tours, Eco Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Sydney, Australia
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269 posts
24 reviews
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1. Re: g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

I have not done this trip but remember trying to find info on it last year. I did go on the Selva Viva and have posted a review in this forum because I did not know where else to post it. If you are looking for a good trip that is value for money, have a look at my review. I also have photos which would give you a better idea of what the boat looked like etc.

Duncan, Canada
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2 reviews
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2. Re: g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

My husband and I are taking this Amazon River Cruise this coming October11, 2013 and I will try my best to give you an idea what it's all about.

Nassau, New...
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3. Re: g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

@signinsareapain - I can't help you, sorry, but I was wondering, do you have a link to the tour? Thanks!

Minneapolis, MN
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42 posts
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4. Re: g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

We're booked on the Oct. 26th departure for this tour. Here is the link.

gadventures.com/trips/…

Nassau, New...
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5. Re: g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

Sno - thanks for the link.

I think there was a thread by someone else who did this recently....

@Minerva & @snochasr - hope you guys have a great time! and, that you'll come back & share how it went....!!!

Timmins, Canada
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6. Re: g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

Have a great trip!

Please, please, please, give us feedback because I am looking at this trip too. Overall my all previous trips with Gadventures (formerly GAP) were great.

P

Minneapolis, MN
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42 posts
343 reviews
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7. Re: g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

In one word, Wonderful! We managed to do and see everything that was on our list for this destination, except for an anaconda, and I'm thinking now that may be a GOOD thing. :-) They are called "adventures" for a reason! Now rather than bore you with a list of things that were right and wrong about this trip, let me just be as helpful as I can, with a list of things that I might have wanted to know before we left home.

First of all, we only took this G Adventures tour because the boat we were originally booked on sank, and the boat that replaced it canceled our tour and went into drydock. Fortunately, we were able to take this (October 26) cruise at a reduced price (I see they are running that special deal again) and it included round-trip airfare Lima-Iquitos so we saved almost $3000 over our original plan, and that higher price was only half the price of some of the other Amazon cruises! High marks for "good value."

Of course, such trips are worthless unless they are going where you want to go and seeing what you want to see. On that score, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that if you are going to be a stickler for the itinerary you are going to be sadly disappointed. Any resemblance between the published itinerary and the actual, even including mealtimes, is purely coincidental. The good news is that this adds to the sense of adventure and that we actually did everything on the itinerary, at some point, plus more! We only got caught outdoors in the rain one time, for the last couple minutes before getting back on board from one of our excursions. Take raingear with you, even though the showers are short but heavy and the high heat almost makes them welcome.

I can only speak, I think, about this one tour date because the fluctuating water level on the Amazon hit its low point just before we got there, and in fact came up almost 3 METERS in the week we were there! 80% or more of what we saw will be underwater by December. The high water marks were clearly visible on the trees some 30 feet above where we were. It is simply unimaginable. But a trip at any time other than the one we took, especially during the high water season-- roughly December through June-- is going to be a completely different experience.

The boat, the Queen Violeta, was quite a surprise. The cabins were spacious, including the bathroom, well air-conditioned (expect condensation on the large picture window every morning, at least). Noise from the engine and generator bordered on intolerable in the air-conditioned dining room, but was barely noticeable in the forward cabins on the 2nd deck, where we were. But I heard only one mild complaint from those on the lower deck, next to the dining room. The crew was great but English, except for our guide and our CEO, was somewhat limited. My Spanish is pretty good so I'm not sure if this is a problem for you but I thought it worth mentioning. I didn't notice anybody else having a problem. And the crew are entertainers, too! All the water is treated, so the 2 or 3 showers per day that you will need aren't a problem. There is plenty of bottled water for drinking, and remember to use that to brush your teeth. Like everywhere in Peru, toilet paper goes in the basket, not in the toilet. There is a nice air-conditioned observation room forward, a plush seating area outside on the 3rd deck which, with a breeze, is pretty good, and some wonderful hammocks on the 4th deck, perfect for an afternoon siesta. We got that most days. 110 V outlets in the rooms, as well as at the hotel in Lima.

The food on board, once you got past wondering what it was, was excellent. Now I know some Amazon cruises offer "five-star cuisine" but this isn't it and isn't intended to be. This is just a very good, somewhat Americanized I think, version of what the locals eat. Lots of fresh fruit, yucca (quite good), plantain, chicken and fish, and rice at every meal except breakfast. It's all buffet style and nobody went hungry. We even had piranha one night, after catching them ourselves. Woo hoo!

Our local guide Victor was extremely knowledgeable of the river and jungle and could spot wildlife that some of us couldn't find even with binoculars. Being from the area, we were able to share in his appreciation of, and relationship with, the local people on a number of delightful occasions, whether planned or serendipitous.

Other boats make a big splash about their large picture windows, and the Queen Violeta has them, too, but you won't get much good out of them, in my opinion. First of all, you are off the boat and onto the wide, comfortable skiff most of the day, or walking through the jungle someplace. The often-spectacular sundown comes pretty reliably around 6 PM, and the "lights of the city" are not one of the attractions. :-) What does come out at night is the mosquitoes, so take plenty of 50% DEET with you. We didn't get bitten even once, but we didn't go out in the jungle at night, either. When you ARE on the boat, you will discover that the Amazon and both of its tributaries-- where you spend most of your time-- are so wide that you don't see much on the shore. The windows face the "promenade" so everybody walks past your room and you may want to have a little privacy. The kids come down to the riverbank whenever we tie up, and can see in, too. Take sunscreen; the sun can be relentless and I don't think the temperature ever dropped below 80°. Alternate between shirts-- long sleeve off the boat, short/tees on the boat, letting the other dry out. Laundry on board is very handy, too.

General logistics, I suggest NOT bringing local currency with you because the US bank here locally took a 25% cut on the exchange between out and back. The huckster on the street in Iquitos had a far better rate, and even with the fees, an ATM in Lima is a better choice. Be aware that the first day of this tour starts before sunup, about 5 AM. For that reason alone I would suggest arriving in Lima a day earlier, but if you can book a tour with "Peruvian Local Friend" and include the water show (see reviews) I think you will be very happy. Be aware that Lima weather is cool and the Amazon is hot. Dress accordingly on your travel days at the start and end. You will need 2 pairs of shoes because one pair will get muddy every time you step off the boat or skiff.

That's all I can think of at the moment. Feel free to ask anything else.

Timmins, Canada
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8. Re: g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

snochasr

Thanks a lot for your review. Glad you had great time. I thought you would like Gadventures...

What was the group size? Age range? Countries of origin? Our last group was great!

What is your impression of Iquitos? Is this still off bitten track or too touristy?

Thanks,

P

Minneapolis, MN
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42 posts
343 reviews
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9. Re: g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

23 guests, including one host from another G Adventures boat. Age range, 28-85. Surprising majority from Canada, an Aussie, two from New Zealand, two from UK, rest from US. Iquitos? Hustle-bustle, very poor but with a rich past. Remarkable combination of the two visible downtown. The Belen market (on the tour) made you cringe, with the folks trying to make a living. Vultures all over the place-- and I mean the flying ones.

As for G Adventures, we don't usually like organized tours but we have made exceptions in "strange places" and we're glad we did on this one, but it's highly unlikely we'll do another. As I said, it has to be someplace you want to go and lets you see everything you want to see. That's fairly uncommon in my experience, because group tours must of necessity cater to the common denominator. G did take the highly unusual step this trip of allowing a choice. Half of us went to the jungle seeking poison dart frogs and the other went to town to shop and get a drink. Without that choice, half of the group would have been unhappy. Other cruises offer too much choice. For example, they give you 6 hours in Ketchikan, Alaska, and offer 8 different tours, each of which takes at least 4 hours. You really need 3 days there.

Nassau, New...
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10. Re: g adventure 6 day Amazon Riverboat tour

@snochasr - That was a great review, thank you for all the details and tips. Sounds like a wonderful trip, especially that you saved $ doing it, and saw all but the anaconda from your 'list'... Did you ever post any photos...?

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