Canoe trips in the Amazon Rainforest Jungle
toucan
 

...and you can experience the adventure of the Amazon rainforest
in our Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve canoe trips.

RECOMMENDATIONS

 
Traveling in the Amazon Rainforest can be an extremely pleasant experience - if you are prepared.
As a North American living in the Amazon jungle for over 15 years and traveling in the jungle for more, I have found that most of the common worries of visitors are really unfounded or exaggerated.

Yes, there are dangerous snakes but you will probably never see one. I have only seen a few in all these years, most of the snakes you will see are boas or other harmless species, if you really want to see a fer-de-lance or a bushmaster we can probably find one for you. We do carry snake bite kits, we do not bring anti-venom for injections because it has a short shelf life, requires refrigeration, is very expensive and usually unavailable.
 
Malaria is not presently a problem in the area around Lagunas, the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve or Tarapoto. There has been a problem of malaria near Iquitos in recent years. Those who are worried about malaria should see their doctor a month before entering the amazon basin to begin taking one of the commercial preventatives. There was an outbreak of Yellow Fever about 120 kilometers from Tarapoto in 1999 and all visitors to the amazon should have a Yellow Fever shot (they are effective for at least 10 years). Hepatitis is endemic in the Amazon and vaccination is recommended as well as a Tetanus booster.
 
On our trips we use chemical treatment of water, also a good idea for all travelers to Peru is to buy one of the commercial water bottles with a built in filter to carry with you. Tarapoto has safe drinking water from the tap but most of the cities of Peru don't.
 
Bugs can be pests and can carry disease, so too much protection is never enough. I recommend bug suits and repellent. DEET is very effective and some of the herbal nontoxic repellents work well also. We use tents rather than mosquito nets because its harder for mosquitoes and no-see-ems to get in if you are careful. The insect problem is sometimes exaggerated, I have found sites in the jungle where we slept for weeks in the open air without being bitten by mosquitoes.
 
Be sure to bring you prescription medications and any over the counter medications you might need, many items are available in pharmacies but often with local names.
 
It is best to have lightweight long sleeved pants and shirts. The sun in the tropics will burn you quickly. Try to find one of the fabrics that dry quickly because even in the dry season showers are frequent. A wide brimmed hat, sun glasses and sun block are also necessary and chap stick is a good idea, the glare from the sun and reflection from the water after a few hours can cause burning.
A PVC rain poncho is also necessary.
 
Boots should always be worn in the jungle, sandals or athletic shoes are OK at camp but when walking in jungle you need protection from sharp spines and possible bites. Locals use knee high rubber boots that can be bought for about $6.00 US in Tarapoto, but only in sizes up to 10 (43) if you wear a larger size you should bring them from home.
 
We provide tents and foam pads for sleeping, if you want, bring an air mattress or a sleeping pad. We do not use sleeping bags in the low jungle because of heat, we suggest you bring along a sheet for a cover.
 
Personal safety--
Tarapoto was a violent place between 1985 and 1995 due to antigovernment guerilla activity and drug related violence, since then it has become very peaceful again and except for some common crime it is safe in spite of any recommendations or advisories that different countries may make to their citizens. Compared to any city of the same size in the USA it is probably safer, but as anywhere, there are petty thieves that will take an unwatched bag.
 
Lagunas was for several years a major center of operations for the Peruvian and Colombian Drug Cartels. The local population was held hostage by outsiders who used their town for transshipment of drugs between the Upper Huallaga Valley and Colombia. About 5 years ago these "Companies" left Lagunas when the drug traffic of the Huallaga Valley moved to other areas and the shipment routes changed. See the United States Consular Information Sheet on Peru for their recommendations.

 
Al Twiss
Los Chancas Expeditions
 
 
For more information contact:
Los Chancas Expeditions
Jirón Rioja 357, Tarapoto, Peru
Telephone: 51-94-52-2616
E-mail: chankas@terramail.com.pe
 
 
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