We are now safely back home after a wonderful month tripping around Brazil (Iguassu, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, River cruise, Belem and Salvador).
Firstly, let me thank you for all of your help. It seemed to us that you were always available day and night to answer all of our enquiries. I especially appreciated your getting back to me so soon after every email. Your help was invaluable.
Secondly, I would like to add that you were absolutely right about the Iberostar Grand Amazon, it was the perfect choice for us, providing both luxury comfort and adventure. My husband and I both enjoyed every minute of our time on the week-long Amazon journey and wished we could have stayed onboard longer and gone further into the Amazon. We would have been very disappointed if we had only done the 3-night Solimões trip because it would have been much too short, the 7-night Rio Solimões and Rio Negro was a great combination offering different activities and sights along the way. Also the fact that this cruise was all-inclusive with no hidden extras was a big help when planning our Brazilian trip because, as I’m sure you know, it’s easy for expenses to add up while travelling. Instead, having paid in advance for the cruise, once on board we could just relax and enjoy it.
I think the highlight of our time on the Iberostar was the visit to the indigenous community in Rio Cuirass, we were so impressed by the local people and their community, and by the progress that has been and is being made there. Possibly the only downside of the week-long cruise was the fact of having to spend a day in the middle of the trip back in Manaus, for us it felt like a wasted day, just dropping off and picking up passengers, during this time guests are left to their own devices. Of course, having arrived two days before the trip we had already visited the theatre and seen the sights and so found ourselves at a loose end. We found out later, talking to some young Italians living for a short-time in Manaus, that there are some lovely beaches not far from the city, perhaps Iberostar could consider offering this as a day trip for guests staying onboard (on our trip there were about twenty guests who did the 7-night cruise).
Although we have just arrived home, we are already thinking about the next trip we’d like to do on the Amazon. The sights and sounds of the rainforest filled us with joy and a desire to see and know more about this incredibly beautiful place. The people we met along the way, including the staff on the boat, the other guests and the local people will remain in our hearts and memories, everyone of them added something special to our trip. The many wonderful photographs we took will be a reminder of the good times we had and shared.
We found the city of Manaus interesting because of its history but, at the same time, it was quite sad to see that what had once been such a glorious and important city with such rich and beautiful architecture was now so rundown and abandoned, left to its historical fate. However, it was refreshing to see that attempts are being made to restore some of the historical city’s past elegance, especially the work-in-progress near the port around the old clock. We enjoyed our visit to the theatre and were disappointed not to be able to see a performance while there, unfortunately the ballet started the evening of our cruise’s departure, we did however get to see a little of the rehearsals. The general market by the port was also an interesting place to visit.
I’m happy for you to publish my comments on your blog, however it may take a little while for me to send some photos (there are so many) but I’ll have a look through them now for you and send them in a separate email.
Once again thank you so much for all of your help and patience in planning this trip.
All the best,