More than just a tour company, it’s memories of a lifetime that can’t be experienced anyway other... read more
More than just a tour company, it’s memories of a lifetime that can’t be experienced anyway other... read more
When your plans are to visit Alter do Chao and Santarem, I suggest you book the best tour guide... read more
I was recommended Gil as a guide on our day trip to Santarem by cruise ship and the recommendation couldn't have been better! Gil was extremely knowledgeable, welcoming, enthusiastic and generous with his time. It was a delight to see a guide still get so excited seeing the wildlife he must see on a daily basis and it was infectious. We were kept entertained with the stories of his childhood and family life in Brazil as well as being very well fed and watered throughout the trip. This was by far the best trip of our cruise and we wouldn't hesitate to use Gil again in Santarem or elsewhere. Highly recommended, one of the best out there. :)MoreShow less
Thank you very much indeed Emma for the review and the time we had together. Keep warm in the UK
More than just a tour company, it’s memories of a lifetime that can’t be experienced anyway other than in person. Gil Serique and his team went above and beyond anything I could have imagined in my life.
The back story:
I found Gil quite by accident, and I’m lucky that I did. I’d been riding my motorcycle around the world and it was suggested to me that if I make it to the Amazon in Brazil I try to spend a night camping at Gils place. I arrived after a three day boat trip with my motorbike from Manaus to Santarem, and then road into Alter Do Chao where Gil is located. I don’t think I’d slept for the three days on the boat and Gil had messaged to say he wouldn’t be home, but to make myself at home at his place. I awoke later in a hammock on his patio to a fan blowing across me that someone had put to cool me down. Awaking to a welcome fan would set the tone for an entire month of ongoing hospitality.
While riding my motorbike on the crazy amazon roads near Gils I had broke my rear shock. Gil and his team jumped in to help me with the Portuguese language, organizing parts and getting them shipped to his house. During my month waiting for parts I was part of three of Gil Seriques Amazon tours. Wow, I could not have been more blessed. I got to be part of two historical tours into the Tapajos rainforest forest where Gil’s family once lived. The tour is about 5-hours long and focuses heavily on the history of the area and Brazil’s significance during the rubber boom, and where it is headed now with the Soya bean boom.
The Tapajos rainforest tour included:
• King Vulture sightings
• Roasting nuts in the rainforest & season local fruit sampling
• Visual demonstration of how a swarm of ants are used as mosquito repellant
• A tour to a GIANT Kapok tree
• A brisk rainforest hike
• Rubber tree extraction demonstration
• View of the barren remains of where Gils family used to live in the rainforest
• Snacks and drinks at Gils property in Alter DO Chao afterwards
• 45-minute bus ride each to the rainforest and back on “Amazon Roads”
• A full English explanation of the history of the area
• A drive through Bellatara for a brief explanation of its history along with Henry Ford and the rubber boom
The Tapajos rainforest tour is excellent for anyone with a keen interest in the history of the Amazon rainforest, the rubber boom and knowing the relationship the Gils family had with rubber boom.
The Floodplains river explorer tour
• Picked up at the docks in Santarem
• 5-hour boat tour on a two-story boat that could hold 5-50ppl
• Pink and grey dolphin watching
• Hoatzin spotting
• Three-toed sloth spotting
• An amazing ride down the river on fun and spacious boats
• An interactive explanation of the area and it’s history, flora, and fauna
• Snacks and drinks on the boat. Including sample some of the local fish
For me this tour focused heavily on wildlife spotting, which Gil and his team have an amazing eye for. I personally enjoy wildlife more than history, but here you get a bit of both. The animals are wild but on this day we were blessed with pink & grey dolphins, parrots, turtles, hoatzins, sloths and more. To see pink dolphins in the wild is an experience I will never forget.
Gil Serique, his partner Loic, cousin Celso, friend Pierre, and everyone else who looked after me for my month in Alter Do Chao and during the tours went unimaginably out of their way to make me feel like family and right at home. The hospitality was 5-stars just like the tours, and with glowing reviews from people like Alan Dean Foster, the author of Star Wars, Star Trek and Alien. You are sure to be in professional hands.
The day I left I cried as I drove away, and for a grown man who stumbled upon Gil completely by mistake, you could only be so lucky to spend the day on one of his tours…
The amazon rainforest is like nowhere else on earth, and Gil Serique is like no other character on earth either.
Kix! What a pleasant surprise reading your words.
You are a great adventurer and a fantastic chef. Thank you forr being generous when exercising your cooking skills.
I truly appreciate the time you spent with us and we were happy you got in good shape and in time in Chile.
I wish you success in your coming adventures.
Thank you buddy
When your plans are to visit Alter do Chao and Santarem, I suggest you book the best tour guide: Gil Serique. Gil is an internationally known as one of the best Amazon nature guides, and is a published author. He may be short in stature but is definitely long on enthusiasm, passion, friendliness and charm. Gil is very eager to share his love of nature as well as information about wildlife and issues of the Amazon. If you have the opportunity to book a tour or tours with Gil, do not hesitate to do so.
Thank you for your words. I promise you I shall be better than everybody combined.
Happy New year!!!!
We had booked this tour of the Rain Forest at the suggestion of our ship roll call on Cruise Critic. What was supposed to be a small group turned out to be 30+. The group was met on shore and told that Gil would meet us at the entrance of the forest. No one had a list and really anyone could have just hopped on board. We took a very long ride to reach the Tapajós National Rain Forest. We made a quick restroom stop at the entrance and we were given a bottle of water. We then journied into the Forest. We suddenly stopped along side the road and we were escorted a hundred feet or so into the forest. It was very cool because there was just a Path like when you were a kid and had worn a Path into the woods. We learned about various plants and trees and got to try various things that grow in this area of the forest. We then went to an area that had been staged to draw king vultures. It smelled so disgusting because of the dead fish they had left. Sadly the vultures had already had their feast and we saw very little. We went to the area where Gil has been raised before the government bought his families land to make it a National Rain Forest. When we left the area, Gil asked if anyone needed to use the restroom and before anybody could respond he said “Oh good.” And we started the journey back to Alter Do Chow. We went to the site of Gil’s current home which has a great view of the beach area. There were some nice drinks and snacks and yes, a restroom! Several of us walked a few minutes back to the tenders. This trip was very inconsiderate of the customers. A long day with one bottle of water offered and only one restroom break. Because transportation took so long we did not get our tour of the town and no time for browsing. For $120 this trip should have included a lunch of some sort or a refund for missing part of the tour. I’m sure Gil and his helpmlaughed all the way to the bank. $120 x at least 30 is $3600, plus tips is a huge profit for what was received. We opted out of the next day tour because we did not want a seven hour tour with no lunch and the possibility of only one bottle of water and one restroom break.
Sir thank you and congratulations for being an avid traveller.
1. True about the restroom and next time I will consider everybody to synchronize their bowl movement, which did not happen during our tour.
2. King Vultures are amongst the rarest and most magnificent bird in the world, In the Amazon they only occur in pristine, authentic Rainforest and there were at least ten, plus other vulture(no black vultures alloed on the banquet) What was smelling bad was a 5 metre boa constrictor I collected from the road the previous day that I went there to arrange the place for your visit including tipping someone to clean the loo, Please add that to the expense list with the only bottle of water you were given. (Of course there were plenty of fluids including cold beer).
3. Sir you only have about 5 hours, I expect my guest to focus on enjoying Nature, observe local fauna and flora outside addressing environmental and social issues. I have to time to seat and eat and discuss cousine. However there were available Cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, water melon, pineapple and several other fruit you can only find in the Amazon Rainforest. I do want to give time for people to shop, but sometimes it doesnt flow like i want
I remain appreciating your time and my admiration for your travels, I sincerely wish you better ones.
PS As for my profit, I am Jewish. A generous one!
Outside Tours – Gil
Gil is particularly proud of his tours and has numerous good recommendations from cruise passengers while visiting the Amazon. Unfortunately, I can't give Gil high marks. Gil is especially proud of his family's history in this area and has added it to his tours. We can only compare Gil's tours with a tour by Amazon Explorer in Manaus and Gil's were a poor second. His rain-forest walks were less than 100 yards and the one in Santarem wasn't even in the rain-forest, it was a walk through a field which included a lecture about his family while we stood there in the heat and humidity. This could have been done while on the boat. It was the cruise line that caused our delay starting this tour but Gil assured us nothing would be missed; wrong, we should have been given a price reduction but Gil held to his original price claiming, wrongly, that we did not miss anything. Several people who took the first tour did not take the second because of not getting their money's worth. Had Gil lowered the cost of the first tour this may not have been the case and Gil would have made more money.
Gil's six hour tour in Alter Do Chao included two separate one hour van rides over rough dirt roads. We also had to wait for another tender to come ashore to be sure all participants were there. No list was ever checked and the delay cost us a shopping stop later that day. Organization is not Gil's strong suit. The Santarem tour did not include a scheduled canoe ride and both tours we took ran out of time before all planned activities could be completed. Don't let me comments discourage touring the Amazon; just find the right tour. The best rain-forest tour we took in the Amazon was with Amazon Explorer out of Manaus as it included a boat ride on the Amazon, a lengthy jungle trek with explanations of how the locals survive, and refreshments at the end. We booked this with the cruise ship but I would book it as private tour if I ever come back.
Whatever tour you take in the Amazon be prepared for humidity like you have never experienced before. We had temperatures from the mid-80s to mid-90s but humidity too high to measure. Long pants and closed toe shoes are a necessity and I suggest a long sleeved shirt. There were no mosquitoes, just ants to watch out for. Saw no wildlife in the Amazon; could have been the time of day.
Thanks TA and you for your time Sir.
Sir I am not here to make money I am here to do my best to people who has limited time to learn about the area and make a dream come true. That is also my dream but when you want discount it turns into a nightmare.
It takes me lots of time to organise a tour, particularly in November when the river is at its lowest and groups large, still we had sloths, Toco toucans, herons, egrets, kingfishers, Horned screamers, Terns, Ibises, Pink dolphins...Another amazing attraction on the floodplain tour is the meeting of the waters,
As for our second day, I was working on a second ship in Santarem or I had another problem that was mentioned on the tour. My colleagues mentioned the waiting problem I am sorry about it.
The hikes we did were short but you have not time. The trails go through PRISTINE RAINFOREST!!!!(I am using capitals to emphasize it, I am not screaming at you or disrespecting you), something they dont have in Manaus area since i lived and guided there for 5 years and know well the area. How come you did not see the KING VULTURES!!!!!
If I had given you a discount and you as a result you would have written a more positive review I would certainly prefer to charge you twice more.
I love you all!
Our ship docked at Alter do Chao and were met bt a colleague of Gills. We were kept waiting on the bus in the heat for almost half an hour. We wer then driven to our meeting place , which tirned out to be a square of concrete described as Gills parents old house.
We walked a short distance to look at a tree and were informed that Gill would not be joing us as he was off with anothe tour group.
We were then driven a short distance and walked to a clearing in "The rain forrest to look at some fruit and nuts and for some strange reason ......a hammock!"
By this time it was passed lunch time and we we driven to another path and walked to a clearing to see a feast ( I thought that we were being fed!) laid out to tempt some eagles that remained steadfastly in the trees.
We were then driven around for about two hours ( hungry and thirsty) I suspect in circles!
We then arrived at Gills home where some melon and other fruit was laid out while a disinterested youth wafted away the flies.
We were then driven back to the pick up place and walked to our ship.
Sorry we wished you'd enjoyed the day more. We respect a your comments. Unfortunately on this day we had been waiting for another group to arrive that did not show up. This delayed the start of our tour significantly. As well there was also another cruiseship that arrived this day and we tried to accommodate both groups for their day in the rainforest. Perhaps bad timing all around on this day.
Were sad to hear that you did not enjoy the full day. We were certain there was plenty of snacks during our rainforest stop and plenty of drinks in the vans, as well as food at the finally of the tour at my house. Perhaps there was not enough in your van.
As for you enjoyment of the tour, the closest and only remaining rainforest in the region is approximately 45mins to 1hour away. So the drive cannot be helped. You interpretation of the day can be seen as accurate, and we regret you did not enjoy it to the fullest.
We do our best to keep everyone entertained and inform them of this history of the area.
Thank you for stopping by our part of the planet, Gil.