Gil has been endorsed by so many more knowledgeable, more famous and more interesting people than me that I was hesitating for a while before starting to write this post. That being said, I think the more people know about his hospitality and expertise, the better for this world.
First things first, Gil speaks fluent English (better than me, for sure), he was born and grew up in this very area of the middle Amazon, and not only knows its secrets, but also enjoys to help you to find those treasures. He took me, together with some truly entertaining companions, to a two-day trip. Probably the most condensed version possible in this region full of natural-cultural wonders.
On the first day we trekked and camped in the forest enjoying all its otherworldly sounds during the night and learned about the history of rubber plantations, the expansion of soy fields, and the sexual life of insects, among other things.
On the second day, we cruised out to a wonderful floodplain on the Maica river (lake?), spent the night on the boat in hammocks, ate piranha for dinner, had a very close encounter with a sloth, and saw all kinds of birds whose names I cannot remember (sorry Gil!), but the ones on the water buffalos’ backs were probably the most memorable.
In early morning, we visited a forest in a small boat. We literally had to cut through our way across bush and liana to get to this forest, which is half under water with small human-made canals and garden-like ponds where birds follow the “footsteps” of monkeys who chase insects on the trees. An experience somewhere between an Indiana Jones movie and a psychedelic journey.
The whole trip was just breathtaking, and if you happened to forget about it, Gil will always remind you of this by his emblematic “Aieeeee” scream of amazement. He also helped me a lot with medicinal plants (my hobby and research and work) from the market to a garden to the forest. If you’re out for a tailor-made, exciting and truly Amazonian adventure spiced up with historical and personal anecdotes and some (for others maybe “many”) Caipirinha, this tour is perfect for you.
Muito obrigado, Gil! You’re the best.
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