These photos were taken during our trip to the Ariaś Amazon Towers: a few in Manaus and the rest around the hotel, the Rio Negro and the Anavilhanas Islands. The hotel is a cross between a resort and camp, and I mean camp like the ones you went to as a child...The wooden structures don't allow for much privacy—either everyone goes to bed and gets up at the same time or nobody sleeps—and there's no hot water, but the food is superb, our guide Max ( who says that "no one should die without seeing the Amazon") was the most knowledgeable, intelligent and lovely person you can imagine and the whole experience is an absolute must for anyone who loves and wishes to preserve our Mother Earth for future generations.
There were numerous canoe trips, bird watching, a visit to a nearby village and a swim in the Rio Negro (one of the highlights of the trip for me), which is between 25 and 35 km wide at that point. The river is appropriately named, since the waters are very dark, so it's like swimming in iced tea, better yet, maté tea. You can tell the difference in the waters of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimões that meet near Manaus to form the mighty Amazon River (see last two photos below). The pink dolphins or botos proved too elusive for me, but I saw a sloth hanging from a tree and befriended a spider monkey (it was rather the other way around, actually); he's got his own page!
Recently, one of our friends has highly recommended Cristalino Jungle Lodge and Uacari Floating Lodge at Mamirauá. Take a look!
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