Direct flights from Cusco to Iquitos

Last week LATAM Airlines Peru inaugurated its direct flight from Cusco to Iquitos (or vice versa), with a promotional fare, starting at 45 USD one way.

This flight will run 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and it’s part of LATAM’s plan to decentralize commercial air operations in Peru. There are rumors of possible direct flights from Brasil and Argentina to arrive directly at Iquitos during 2018 or 2019 but so far no official statement on this.

On July 2th, upon arriving at the Coronel FAP International Airport, the flight was received by the “Cruce de Aguas”, baptizing the first flight, welcoming the guests as well as city authorities.

Flight being received with water crossings. Image courtesy of tnews.

This direct flight it is expected to transport more than 7,000 passengers between July and November.

You can find the estimated departure times here (courtesy of tnews):

Timetables. Image courtesy of tnews.

If you are heading Cusco, now you can consider coming to the Amazon Jungle without stops.

Just on a single hop.

Are you ready for adventure?

Source article (spanish): http://tnews.com.pe/asi-llego-el-vuelo-inaugural-cusco-iquitos-que-tendra-una-tarifa-promocional-ow-desde-us45/

 

Hello wild people!

We have a quick question for you: Are you into bird watching or birding? Would you like to learn about the birds of Peru, especially about birds of the Amazon jungle?

Birds of Peru - Amazon Experience
Amazon Kingfisher – Chloroceryle amazona

If you answered yes, then this post is for you.

Peruvian Ornithology Congress

This year, 2018, the “Congreso Peruano de Ornitología” (Peruvian Ornithology Congress) it’s gonna be organized in Iquitos. This is the first time this Congress is available outside of Lima, so we decided to sponsor it and help with spreading the word.

With more than 900 bird species present in Loreto region (where Iquitos is located), this area is especially sought after for birdwatchers all over the world.

The “Congreso Peruano de Ornitología” (Peruvian Ornithology Congress) it’s going to take place between 23th and 28th of July, including one day (27th of July) with on-terrain training on bird recognition and other related topics. You can check the program here (Spanish).

Birds of Peru - Bird watching Iquitos, Peru
Slate-colored Hawk – Buteogallus schistaceus

This extract is taken, and translated, from the official website:

Imagine a moment and a place, where you will find people like you. The Peruvian Congress of Ornithology, is a space designed for you, for your passion, for your desire to learn and above all, for your desire to grow. Imagine an event where you can share with scientists, businessmen, artists, students and the general public that pleasure for BIRDS that motivates you so much. Imagine a meeting, where you can listen to Magisterial Speakers of the highest academic level, representatives of the most prestigious universities in the world. The time and place is already a reality: IQUITOS, the capital of the Peruvian Amazon, is the city chosen for this important ornithological event in 2018. Our slogan: “Let the birds fill your life with joy”, shows our interest in making the event, a real party. Come and enjoy Iquitos!

Birding in the Amazon Jungle. Iquitos, Peru
Capped heron – Piherodius pileatus

List of speakers at the Congress

The list of speakers for this Ornithology event in Perú is:

Amanda Rodewald, Ph.D.

Garvin Professor of Ornithology and Director of Conservation Science, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Bette Loiselle, Ph.D.

Director, Tropical Conservation & Development Program | Center for Latin American Studies Professor

John Marshall Bates, Ph.D.

Associate Curator, Birds Head, Life Sciences Science, and Education – Field Museum of Natural History

Scott Robinson, Ph.D.

Katharine Ordway Professor of Ecosystem Conservation at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Gustavo Bravo, Ph.D.

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology & Museum of Comparative Zoology – Harvard

Kevin McCracken, Ph.D.

Department of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences Marine Biology & Ecology, Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

Stuart J. Marsden, Ph.D.

Prof. Stuart J Marsden. Professor of Conservation Ecology. Division of Biology & Conservation Ecology

Silverio Duri Valdivia

Guía Naturalista – Aves y Fotografía – Perú. Comunidad Nativa de Infierno – Madre de Dios – Perú

Birds of the Amazon rainforest, Birding and bird watching in Iquitos, Peru
Great Black Hawk – Buteogallus urubitinga

How can I attend the Congress?

You can reserve your spot on the official webpage. The price is 250 soles. There is a discount for students (both local and international). If you cannot make international bank transfers or just plainly want to avoid the hassle of a wire transfer, contact us at booking@amazonexperience.net so we can help you out.

What else can I do while I’m in Iquitos?

We encourage you to explore this beautiful city, get to know the people that live here, share some time with them and listen to their stories. Also, we recommend you go out of the city to explore the Amazon jungle.

Pacaya samiria national reserve tours, birding and birdwatching
Large-billed Tern – Phaetusa simplex

One of the best places for bird watching is the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, located approx. 180 kilometers to the South of Iquitos. We invite you to check out our tours, hop into a motorboat with us and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime, camping and looking out for birds and wildlife in one of the most pristine rainforests on Earth.

All of the pictures in this post have been taken in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

See you at the Congress!

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