Shermans Travel » Blog » Archive
Tag Results: Amazon
Though votes are still being counted and the results are provisional, the New7Wonders Foundation announced a new list of wonders on Friday. In alphabetical order, the winners are: the Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River, and Table Mountain (pictured). 440 locations were in the running, narrowed down to 28 prior to the final vote.
The poll has created a bit of a stir, however, when, following paying a registration fee of $199, the Maldives and Indonesia were asked for $500,000 and $57 million, respectively. The New7Wonders Foundation allegedly asked Indonesia for $10 million in licensing fees and $47 million to host the closing ceremony. The Maldives and the Indonesian government did not pony up the cash, but did remain in the running. The foundation has denied these claims.
Our first early excursion in the narrow gallery forest was thick with vegetation and fraught with countless monkeys, reptiles, adorable bats, and frisky frogs. The Amazon is the most bio-diverse place on the planet, with more than 400 species of mammals, nearly 1,400 birds, and over 3,000 fish.
The Peruvian part of the Amazon accounts for just 13 percent, so you won’t see big cruise ships or any ships in this part, save a local or two fishing or scooting from village to village. It’s the real deal.
By our afternoon excursion we were ready for the parade of pink dolphins, which seemed to be following us. That’s when the dream took a fairy tale turn. The fate of these beautiful, dancing creatures is secure as locals are superstitious and have a tale attached as to why they can’t even touch them. They are running their own show.
As we continued through the Pacaya Samiria Natural Reserve, one of the New Seven World Wonders, we met with a barefoot local, who brought a new level of insight. It’s an Aria custom, a way to engage locals and get them invested in the Amazon’s preservation.
I had never been on a cruise, river or otherwise, so I was thrilled to have booked a four-day trip on the M/V Aria – Aqua Expeditions‘ new, 147-foot-long river cruiser stationed in the Peruvian Amazon. After a few-hour delay on our LAN flight from LAX to Lima, I was wondering if the experience would continue to elude me. Several glasses of Cabernet in LAN’s lounge mellowed my concerns.
When we finally boarded, I was tucked lovingly away in LAN’s plush Business Class cabin with a crisp bubbly and the best blanket in the business and let visions of rivers race through my head. Once airborne, our flight was so seamless, we were landing in Lima before I could say, “Café!”
After a several hour layover in Lima, we boarded a flight to Iquitos, the launching point for most Peruvian Amazon cruises and expeditions. This is where the journey really began.
Considering all the brands of extra-soft, ultra-cushioned toilet paper on supermarket shelves and junk mail stuffed in mailboxes these days, and it’s no surprise the world’s forests are shrinking at alarming rates. Every year, according to the United Nations, the world loses 13 million hectares of forest. So, in order to raise awareness on sustainable management and conservation of these leafy (and pine-y and jungle-y) paradises – which are beloved destinations for adventure travelers – the UN has designated 2011 as International Year of the Forest.
And with spring in full bloom and Earth Day 2011 (Friday, April 22) on the horizon, this is an ideal time to visit one of the world’s most majestic forests. Even if you arrive by car or plane, try to explore them with minimal impact by walking, hiking, or biking.
THE LUXURY: Deep in the heart of the upper Amazon, two luxury vessels provide a glimpse into some of nature’s most isolated regions. Cruises begin in Nauta, Peru with a brief introduction by experienced guides that educate guests about exotic wildlife including macaws, monkeys, parrots, iguanas, and other rare species that can be viewed during the cruise. Voyages also include visits to native villages, canoeing in a remote lagoon, opportunities to swim with pink river dolphins, fishing, daytime hiking, and night safaris in the rain forest. On board, guests can enjoy Amazonian-Peruvian cuisine and live on board entertainment during the evenings.
Each vessel features wood-panel suites that are fitted with orthopedic mattresses and eco-friendly toiletries. The Delfin I is just finishing a refurbishment, and will now offer an open aired-terrace, and just four elegant suites with elongated private balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows, mini bars, and a Jacuzzi in each of the two premium suites.
THE VALUE: Experience the Amazon from February through April on a four-night journey aboard either the Delfin I or Delfin II and save 30 percent off rack rates, plus receive a free cabin upgrade! This offer is only available to Sherman’s Travel readers until cabins are full. Prior to the discount, prices start at $2,602 for a suite on the Delfin II, or $3,400 for a deluxe suite on the Delfin I (so you can save $760 to $1,020 per person with the 30 percent discount). Free upgrades to a deluxe suite (on Delfin II), and deluxe master suite (on Delfin I) will add an additional $353 to $400 off per person.
THE CATCH: Activities and routes may vary depending on season.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.delfinamazoncruises.com for more information. To book this exclusive offer, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and mention “Sherman´s Travel.”
It could be said that zookeeper Jack Hanna takes viewers on adventures each week on his aptly titled children’s show, Into the Wild. But next month, a few lucky travelers will actually get to accompany the intrepid wildlife correspondent on a cruise down the Amazon River.
The Emmy-winning television personality and his crew will set sail November 6 with Aqua Expeditions, a company that leads tours to Peru’s remote Pacaya Samiria Reserve, on a three-night cruise aboard the M/V Aqua. The one-time itinerary is open to the public, and guests will get to track down sloths, giant lilies, and the mystical pink river dolphins alongside Hanna as he films the exotic region.
Adventurous cruisers have to act quickly, though: The luxury vessel has just 12 suites, and there are a limited number of spots for extra guests. To book, call 866/603-3687 or email Dalia Gibu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just two years ago, Aqua Expeditions launched its first boutique ship the MV Aqua, and now this newcomer is launching a second 5-star expedition vessel, the MV Aria, which will navigate the waters of the Amazon beginning in April 2011.
After spending some time night hunting for caimans (alligators), visiting jungle villages, or fishing for piranhas you’ll realize that these aren’t your typical cruises – but you’re not guest starring on an episode of Man vs. Wild either. Passengers will experience the raw, natural environment up close before returning to a luxurious, floating home base consisting of spacious suites with floor-to-ceiling windows. The 32-passenger MV Aria will feature an air-conditioned lounge and bar, a reference library, fitness center, observation area, and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Naturalist guides will be onboard to share their knowledge of the wildlife and history of the Amazon, as well as pointing out monkeys hidden in trees, or endangered species that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals