Hello, wild people! How are you?

Lately, we’ve been very busy organizing tours, improving on logistics, consolidating partnerships and overall improving as much as we can Amazon Experience for you.

We are very happy with the feedback we are getting, the friendships we have formed and the smiles that people give us after exploring the Jungle. All of this wouldn’t be possible without you, the visitors, so please accept a big Thank You from our team. *standing ovation*

To be able to welcome visitors from all over the world to Iquitos, and show them the beauty and magic of the Amazon Rainforest, it’s truly a blessing for us.

Here you can see from where people visit our website:

Visitors of all over the world for Amazonexperience.net
Map of visitors – amazonexperience.net

And the Top 5 countries with more visitors (up to this date):

Peru, United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Chile
Peru, United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Chile

Big news and updates

We wanted to share with you some important news and milestones we have reached:

Solar panel and solar battery in the Amazon Jungle

Since the end of 2016, we are equipped with a solar panel and a solar battery for our expeditions. This is a starting point for us in our journey towards more sustainable tourism practices in the Amazon. It also facilitates things for our visitors, making for them easier to charge their cell phones, cameras or video cameras while in the jungle.

Solar panel and solar battery in Amazon jungle tours
Solar power!

All our permits are up to date

When you book a tour or an expedition that goes into a Natural Reserve (Pacaya Samiria for example) in Peru, it is wise to check if the agency you are going to trust has its SERNANP permit up to date. You can check authorized agencies for entering Pacaya Samiria National Reserve here

Pacaya Samiria entry permit by SERNANP, Peru
Pacaya Samiria entry permit by SERNANP, Peru

We started supporting Rainforest Trust and being part of their Roots program

We strongly believe in supporting organizations that are committed to the environment. That’s why we decided to be part of the Roots program and support the work that Rainforest Trust does protecting areas around the world for endangered species.
If you wanna join too, you can do so in this link

Roots - Rainforest Trust
Roots program – Rainforest Trust

We have received over 50 reviews on TripAdvisor

We are super happy with your feedback! As of today, we have over 55 reviews in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Greek. We believe in taking an active part when it comes to seeking feedback from our visitors, and we really appreciate the time everyone that gave us their honest opinion put into it. We will keep adapting, learning and optimizing along the way so we can offer you the best experience in the Amazon jungle. That’s our commitment.

You can check our TripAdvisor profile here.

Our Facebook community keeps growing, more than 11.000 friends!

Not long ago we celebrated our 10.000 friends in Facebook with a giveaway. Thanks to all of you who participated.

Amazon Experience reaches over 10000 Facebook fans
10.000 Facebook friends!

If you wanna see some pictures of Amazon adventures, see what we are up to or engage with us just jump in!

Partnering with Santa Maria de Fatima.

At the end of March of this year, we started working together with the Santa Maria de Fatima community. This community, composed of around 65 families, started developing an ecotourism project in conjunction with NGO “Naturaleza y Cultura Internacional” to protect the biodiversity of the area while at the same time create jobs for the local community.

Amazon Experience and Santa Maria de Fatima representatives
Amazon Experience and representatives of Santa Maria de Fatima in March 2017

They have built a massive 3-floor wooden tower in the heronry (Garzal) to look for wildlife and enjoy the landscape.

Impressive 3 floor wooden tower in the Amazon jungle
Santa Maria de Fatima’s wooden tower
View from the wooden tower in Santa Maria de Fatima
This view only gets better when you are standing there.

Recently, on August 22th, we were part of an extraordinary meeting in Santa Maria de Fatima, along with representatives of public institutions like Maynas tourism division and local municipalities of Belen and Indiana, to discuss and engage in the future development of this community. The local newspaper “Diario La Region” made an article about this. You can read it here (Spanish)

If you wanna visit them you can do so in our 3d/2n, 4d/3n or our new 5d/4n tour for the Amazon river itineraries.

Awarded LTG Service Excellence 2017

This year we received the LTG “Service Excellence” 2017 award. We felt great! *high fives*. You can find more details in this post along with our own definition for luxury and luxury travel here.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies accepted here

We started accepting payments for any of our tours using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH, Lisk, Ark, PIVX, among others. If you wanna see a list of all cryptocurrencies supported please check our FAQs or contact us directly.

Pay your Amazon Jungle tour with Bitcoin
Pay your Amazon tour with Bitcoin!

Web updates

We’ve been adding some common questions we receive from people wanting to visit Iquitos and the Amazon Jungle. Here you can check the FAQs (Frequently asked questions).
Also, we added our new tour 5 days/4 nights on the Amazon lodge, with one more day focused on deep Amazon jungle trekking and survivor skills.

Final words

All in all, we are delighted! Stay tuned for more posts, we have a couple of interviews in the oven, like the one we did with Don Julio and some exciting things coming up later this year.

Thanks again for all your support, you really make us love our work.
Peace out and…

Stay Wild

How do people live in the Amazon rainforest? What it’s like to live in the Amazon jungle?

Don Julio, Santa Maria de Fatima
Don Julio, member of the Santa Maria de Fatima community

On March, 2017 we went to Santa Maria de Fatima community, located in the Amazon river and we talked with Don Julio to share how Amazon rainforest people live.
Don Julio is part of a group within the community that is in charge of developing this area in the context of sustainable ecotourism.

He shared some insights with us in how people live in his community.

What is your full name?
My name is Julio Cahuachi Sanda.

How old are you?
I’m 67 years old.

How long have you been living in the Santa Maria de Fatima community?
I’ve been living here my whole life, since 1950, the year I was born. I’ve lived my childhood, when i was young and, well, now I’m an elder.
I’m permanently here, I haven’t been out that much, just to work in some other places. Mostly I dedicate myself to my community.

Amazon rainforest people
Don Julio and his house

What is your role in the community?
I work permanently with my group, we are about 20 people working in this paradise -I’m going to just call it like that, he says-. We have an environmental conservation area and we love that our tourist friends visit us and go deep into the Amazon jungle. Usually they enter in the afternoon and they come back in the morning after staying in the jungle.

Santa Maria de Fatima
Surroundings of Santa Maria de Fatima, a true paradise

Which animals can we find in the surroundings of Santa Maria de Fatima?
The jungle here is really charming. Many times you find animals like monkeys. We have 2 types here, the mono ardilla (squirrel monkey) and the cervecerita (pichico pardo, saddle back tamarin), that has a white mouth.
By night while walking you can find snakes in some ocassions, frogs like the sapo hualo and others.

Of the birds you can see here, the Herons are the most known?
Yes, the herons and the shansho (hoatzin). In the season you can find snowy egrett (garza blanca), white and brown boat billed herons (huapapa blanca y huapapa marron) and others.

Tower Santa Maria de Fatima
3 floor wooden tower. Built by the community to enjoy the landscape and look for herons.

When it’s the best time for seeing Herons?
The best season it’s from May until September.

How many people live in Santa Maria de Fatima?
In the community we are 65 families. Older than 18 years are considered part of the community. Counting childs and adults we are 232 persons.

What do you do for a living?
Here the work we have is the agriculture and fishing. We sow so we can produce banana, yuca, corn and other vegetables.

What do you like the most of living here?
I like my community a lot. I love living here and that is why I stay here.

school santa maria de fatima
Santa Maria de Fatima community: Blue buildings are the school

What are the problems that your community has?
We need many things here to improve. For example, an infrastructure to receive our friends that visit us like a community house, between other things that we have permanently delayed because we just can’t.

Do you feel supported by the regional government?
No. We belong to the Belen district but politically we belong to the Indiana district. In election times we go to Indiana, and to the Belen district, only 2 or 3 people go.
For example, in front of my house, there are documents for making a new local building but that has been like that for 3 years. The thing is we don’t have support.

What is the thing that visitors most like when they come?

I’m one of the local guides, when the visitors come I come with them and show them the jungle. They say to me that this place is charming.

What message would you like to give to the world, to the people who read this?
I would give a message to our tourist friends:

Visit our community, we will be glad to welcome you.

Thank you, Don Julio
Thank you, good day.


We are in the process of updating our tours in the Amazon river to include this destination. If you wanna visit them just send us a message. We strongly believe in the development of communities throught practices of self leadership and sustainable eco tourism. That’s why we support them.

If you wanna contact Santa Maria de Fatima community you can do so through their Facebook page

This is the first post of a series showing some perspectives from Amazon rainforest people.

Interview by Luis Bustamante

What does luxury mean to you? What do you think it means to others? What constitutes luxury travel?

All natural skin luxury treatment
Does an all-natural-mud skin treatment count as luxury?

We’ve been pondering on this question lately so we started researching different sources and brainstorming around this concept.

Definitions usually helps us grasp the meaning, features and limits of a word. So we will start with 5 definitions from across the web.

Definitions of luxury

1) Wikipedia
Running a search on mighty Wikipedia we get no definition for luxury, but a series of disambiguations, being the most prominent:

Luxury goods:
“An economic good or service for which demand increases more than proportionally as income rises”

Wow, take it easy Wikipedia. Next.

2) Webster’s NewWorld Dictionary

Luxury:
“a) the use and enjoyment of the best and most costly things that offer the most physical comfort and satisfaction
b) anything contributing to such enjoyment, usually something considered unnecessary to life and health
c) the unusual intellectual or emotional pleasure or comfort derived from some specified thing or something producing such pleasure or comfort”

Why the “best and most costly things” produce only physical effetcs, while some apparently different “specified thing” (independent of the price) can bring intellectual and emotional pleasure?
I get the point of not being necessary for life as in being vital. That luxury is not a basic need for survival. But unnecessary to health? Not entirely sold on this definition.
The use of the word “unusual” sparked some fire in our brains. Why does it need to be unusual?
Besides from that it gets the award to most confusing luxury definition.

3) Cambridge Dictionary

Luxury:
“a) Great comfort as specially provided by expensive and beautiful things
b) Something expensive that is pleasant to have but is not necessary
c) Something that gives you a lot of pleasure but cannot be done often”

Okay. So we have comfort, expensive, beautiful, pleasant, not necessary, not often. Nothing new over the horizon so far.

4) Investor Words Dictionary

Luxury:
“A good or service that is not considered a necessity but is considered as something that brings pleasure and happiness”

This is a cool one. It doesn’t restrict it in frequency (have as many luxurious experiences as you want) and states one amazing word that was missing: Happiness

5) Merrian-Webster Dictionary

Luxury:
“A condition of abundance or great ease and comfort”

Abundance. Nice word. And it doesn’t restrict it to physical plain only.

Putting together all those definitions we get our new one:

Luxury:
“A good, service or experience that brings a condition of abundance and happiness without being a necessity for life. Could be associated to beautiful, expensive and scarce things.”
fried bananas luxury travel food
Having delicious fried bananas while camping in the jungle must be a luxury

The evolution of the word luxury: From sex to time

The first recordings of the word luxury (in English) are from 1340. It comes from France, imported by the Normans and it meant “lust” or sexual desire.

It can be traced back to the ancient Romans and the latin word “luxuria”, meaning “extravagance, excess”. It was used to describe chaotic and wild living. For wealth and splendor, they used the word “luxus”.

Going forward to Elizabethan times the word was associated with adultery.
Look at this Shakespeare extract from that time:

Would you not swear, All you that see her, that she were a maid. By these exterior shows? But she is none. She knows the heat of a luxurious bed. Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
—William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, 1600

Over time, the word luxury kept evolving. From “sumptuous living or environment” to “nonessential” or “indulgent” practices, goods or activities.

In material goods, it started moving away from the cost of the materials and, in the present day, being more about the time spent in the making, the craftsmanship, and resourcefulness. Hand made things started to be appreciated as more luxurious in an attempt to get away from mass production.

Luxury today

I think that now, in this modern living, people are shifting their view in what constitutes luxury.
Marcin Rusak exemplified this in the installation “Time for yourself” inside the “What is luxury?’ exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This piece consisted in a compass spinning in random directions and a watch without a dial.
Rusak describes it as:

“It is almost impossible to get truly lost these days. It would take a lot of effort to experience this luxury

We certainly agree with that.

luxury travel getting lost
Getting lost in the jungle as a luxury

According to Skift 34% of people from the United States didn’t take a break in 2016 and 2/3 of all surveyed people said they took less than 10 days off in the same year.

Wow.

So maybe having some time off could be considered a luxury today if we assume that this would bring happiness and abundance to all these people.

Luxury travel

We think it is equally important to consider what do you make of that time off, if you truly engage in activities that bring you happiness and abundance.

That’s the aim we have in mind when we think about luxury travel.

travel luxury experience nature
Travel luxury at its best. Experiencing our connection with nature.

For us this means:

  • Caring for our visitors as people, not numbers.
  • Treating them with respect and giving them not only quality food or equipment, but quality experiences.
  • Making them feel safe and welcomed.
  • Sharing with them our passion and showing them we know the jungle and our craft.
  • Helping people feel more connected with nature.
  • Being widely available in a variety of channels and respond in a timely manner.
  • Being willing to customize itineraries according to the visitor needs (including food choices, activities, etc)
  • Owning our mistakes and responding accordingly

Having won the “Service Excellence” Award 2017 by Luxury Travel Guide made us think about all of this and what does it imply to be in the luxury category.

We used to think that luxury was associated with 5 stars hotels.
Now we know that it’s more related to enjoying a clear-sky night view of 5 thousand stars in the middle of the jungle. And being damn happy about it.

Discussion

We don’t attempt to provide a definitive answer on what is luxury or luxury travel today, but rather to engage in this opportunity to reflect and share our views with you.

What do you think? What are your views on the term luxury? When was your last luxurious experience?

Share with us on our Facebook or drop us an email at booking@amazonexperience.net.

We will love to hear from you. Have a luxurious day!

After being nominated and shortlisted for the LTG Awards 2017 (Luxury Travel Guide Awards), a few days ago we received an email that made us jump and high-five everyone in our office:

LTG Service Excellence 2017
Amazon Experience – LTG Awards 2017

Yes! We won.

That LTG Awards recognizes our work is great because it means that all the effort we put into caring for our visitors is being reflected not only in raving excellent reviews but by being recognized by International standards in Service Excellence.

In their own words:

All winners of the Holiday & Tour Specialist awards are subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by our experienced in-house professionals as well as several celebrity guest judges. This ensures that only the most deserving teams, businesses, and individuals walk away with one of these prestigious accolades.

All Luxury Travel Guide Award programs represent the pinnacle of achievement, championing the best in their respective fields, therefore to come out as a clear winner is an achievement to be proud of.

 

Indeed we are very proud of this achievement and it encourages us to continue delivering a quality service with a smiling face to all our visitors.

Thanks for tuning in, the Sloth will now play the celebration song.

Sloth Banjo Amazon Experience
Weeeee aaare the chaaampions.. yeah yeah