Your Private Amazon
Brazil is so darn gigantic that there are many ways to access the confusingly vast Amazon region. Of the four or five main entry points to reach this marvel of mother nature, the most popular one is Manaus. From here you can visit the Amazonas Opera House and take a seaplane to one of the great land-based lodges, like the Anavilhanas. However, there is a rather special alternative that we have recently discovered, through a town called Santarem.
Further eastward toward the mouth of the Amazon, entering through Santrarem allows you to visit three different ecosystems: the Rio Tapajós (also known as the blue river), the Rio Amazonas (brown) and Rio Arapiuns (black). On arrival into Santarem, you will be whisked off through the colourful town to the river’s edge, where your private vessel awaits. The Tupaiú is a lovely, rustic boat with just five cabins and your own crew, including skipper, naturalist guide, and host. We can pretty much guarantee you will not see another tourist here, or spot any other travellers whilst cruising the varied waters. What you will see are an array of amazing birds, a multitude of exquisite trees and plants, and some truly epic sunsets.
Perhaps most surprisingly, none of our party experienced any mosquito bites; in fact, there were very few flying pests. One of my personal favourite moments on the Tupaiú was coming across a wee island paradise in the middle of the river. It was almost Maldivian with its gorgeous, silky soft sand, but, I would argue, more remote and unspoiled. Here you can enjoy a barbecue and a reviving swim (don’t worry, the piranhas don’t bite), and think about your desert island disc choice, while contemplating that sunset (sundowner in hand obviously).
The river here is so wide that sometimes you cannot see the other side, and there are some incredible excursions if you want a break from sunbathing, swimming, or jumping off the top of the boat. Enjoy a hike to see the oldest (known) tree in the Amazon, which I can attest is well worth the effort spent. What I recommend even more heartily, however, is spending ample time aboard the Tupaiú, sipping a caipirinha and soaking up the wondrous views on all sides.
Anton Lynch is a talented professional relaxer (when he isn’t planning trips in Latin America and all over the globe) with plenty of experience in the field. If it’s sundowners abroad you’re after, you’ve found the right man for the job.