- Featured, Travel Experiences

Journey into the Amazon Jungle from Manaus, Brazil

I awake at 0830 and went directly for breakfast. Go Inn Manaus had an extensive selection of options to choose from. It was the 1st time I’ve ever had cashew nut juice.

breakfast go inn manaus

After breakfast I took a short walk around the hotel. 2 or 3 blocks in either direction. I saw what looked like a minaret and on closer inspection found a mosque just 2 blocks in front of Go Inn Manaus.

manaus mosque masjid brazil

The mosque was closed at that time of the morning. There was a small public square nearby.

praca da saudade square manaus brazil

I checked out a little street art but had to rush back to the hotel when it started raining.

graffiti art manaus brazil

I packed, showered and rested a little. By 12pm I checked out.  It was pouring outside but I still wanted to go out for a walk.

heavy rain manaus

The first stop was a pharmacy opposite the Amazon Theatre to buy some antibiotics and anti-histamine just in case I’d need it in the jungle. I also bought some local anti-mosquito lotion which made my collection of insect repellents total up to 4.

Amazonas THeater tourist bus

The pharmacy is next to Palacio Justice. I checked out a local restaurant with fresh produce from the Amazon jungle.

restaurant manaus

And a local shopping center.

Rio Negro Center Manaus

It was strange to see fishing rods being sold on the street.

manaus street lights fishing rod

I walked a little further on to see some of the local restaurants but then headed back to Go Inn which has a little mini-market in the reception.

Go Inn Manaus eating area

I purchased a tuna sandwich and a soft drink called Guarana Antarctica Zero. I’d seen this brand on Instagram many times before under the hashtag #Antarctica (when I used to post pictures of my Antarctica trip). It was nice to finally try out this drink.

quick lunch sanwich antarctia manaus

I was expecting a pickup at 1pm but the guide for Amazon Tupana Lodge only arrived at 1340. We left by 2pm when the shuttle which just picked up a Brazilian family of 3 from the airport arrived to collect us at Go Inn Manaus. There would be 4 transportation legs to get to Amazon Tupana Lodge, 200km south of Manaus and approximately 3.5 hours away.

The shuttle took us to the river Port Ceasa (20 minutes drive). There’s a vibrant fish market here.

I saw my first frozen piranha. From here we took a speedboat to the village “Careiro da Varzea” (30 minutes across the river).

We had the opportunity to witness and feel the “meeting of the waters”. This is where the Rio Negro River and Rio Solimões meet but do not mix.  Rio Negro flows at nearly 2 km per hour at a temperature of 28°C, while the Rio Solimões flows between 4 to 6 km per hour at a temperature of 22°C. This is the Amazon River.

On arrival at Careiro da Varzea it was interesting to see a filling station in the river.

rio negro amazon petrol station

I guess the boats have to fill up somewhere and this makes it convenient.

Zaid Amazon Rio Negro

Onto the 3rd leg of the journey, a shuttle collected us at Careiro da Varzeo and would drive us to Rio Tupana, about 2.5 hours away.

shuttle transfer to amazon tupana lodge

Ten minutes into the ride we pulled over to see some Amazon Water Lily’s.
Zaid Amazon Water Lily

These flowers are huge.

Amazon Water Lily flower

A hundred meters away we pulled over again at a petrol station.

petrol station Rio Castanha

While the shuttle filled up I went into the store with the Brazilian family.

convenience store amazon

They told me to try out Guarana Bare. Apparently you can only get the Bare flavour in this part of Brazil. I also bought some Yogurt and Pringles for the ride.

guarana bare cola and pringles

We mostly passed by farmland on the drive.

Somewhere along the ride the driver pulled into a little village to pick up some people. 1.5 hours later we arrived at the small town Castanha where the driver dropped us off near some public restrooms and restaurants while he dropped off his passengers.

Rio Castanha town

I took a little walk to check out Rio Castanha.

Rio Castanha river

Back at the restaurant the Brazilian family was having ice cream.

Rio Castanha restaurant

They told me to try out the cupuasu ice cream.

cupuasu ice cream amazon brazil

I’d never heard off or eaten cupuasu fruit before. It was great to have some locals around to make these recommendations to me.

45 Minutes later we arrived at Rio Tupana.

rio tupana amazon. bridge

The sun was just setting at this time. It was now time for the 4th and final transfer by boat though the mangrove forest to Amazon Tupana lodge.

rio tupana amazon zaid.

All of us were thrilled to be heading into the forest.

boat ride tupana river dusk

We reached the lodge in almost pitch black darkness.

The lodge had its diesel generator online and the lights within the buildings were switched on.

amazon tupana loge arrival dusk

We were offered a welcome drink (cupuasu juice) at 1830.

Robinson, our guide from British Guyana explained the program to the Brazilian family in Portuguese, and then to me in English.

I then went to check out my room.

amazon tupana lodge dinner bedroom

After a quick cold shower and resting a little I came out to the main building for supper at 1930.

amazon tupana lodge dinner buffet

amazon tupana lodge dinner

There was a caiman spotting tour that night but Robinson recommended we do it on our final night as he had 9 guests already on the boat (In total there were 13 of us at the lodge that night).

I ate fish and rice for supper and sat with the Brazilian family. They were from Brasilia and planning to visit  Panama and Costa Rica after Manaus. They said that not many Brazilians visit Manaus as it’s quite expensive for local Brazilians to discover the Amazon. On the way to Amazon Tupana Lodge many of the people we met along the way were surprised to see the Brazilian Portuguese family. They are used to seeing foreigners most of the time.

The rooms had power from the generator all night until 0730am, That means there was power for the 2 lights, one power socket for the fan and 2 extra power sockets to charge my cameras. I slept by 9pm.

About Zaid

Zaid is an intrepid traveler from South Africa that has traveled to all 7 continents. He loves to explore new destinations, experience new activities and go off the beaten path.
Read All Posts By Zaid

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.