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Amy recommendations for small ships/travel companies with which to cruise the Amazon? Interested in going fairly deep, maybe at headwaters, unless someone has a better recommendation. Shore excursions, hikes, etc. should be available or included. Also, when is the best time to go (thinking of September, either 2010 or 1011)? Anything I should know before planning this kind of trip? Thanks.
From Manaus these are the possibilities (all are long established companies that offer a good and safe experience and their main market is foreign tourists ):
a) Clipper Cruises (owned by Carlos Probst, an ecotourism pioneer in Brazil) http://www.amazonclipper.com.br/regularcruises.php
b) Ecotour Expeditions with the Tucano http://www.naturetours.com/tucano.html - More in-depth in terms of learning about the Amazon
c) Swallows and Amazons(Mark and Tania Aitchison) http://www.swallowsandamazonstours.com/pagina_interna.php?cod=30&am...
The sites give you good information about when to go and how to prepare. September is a great month for birdwatching. The rainy season (you will still get showers though) is over and the water level is lower.
My favourite places to go in the Amazon are lodges : Cristalino Jungle Lodge (Alta Floresta) - www.cristalinolodge.com.br and the Uakari Floating Lodge in the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve (www.uakari.com.br and www.mamiraua.org.br)
A good site for general information on the possibilities (lodges, cruises etc) is http://www.amazonastravel.com.br/