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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I need the yellow fever inoculation?
Yellow fever is not currently in the Loreto Department of Peru. No vaccination certificate is required. Further, the highly acidic water in the ecosystems of the Tahuayo River basin do not provide habitat for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the only carrier of yellow fever.
Is malaria a problem there?
No. There is no malaria in downtown Iquitos or the Tahuayo River basin. However, south of Iquitos, along Nauta Road, is a hot zone for malaria. Avoid travelling there. The only species of mosquito that carries malaria is Anopheles darlingi. This species of mosquito breeds in water that is alkaline, which in the Iquitos (as well as out of Puerto Maldonado) area is found in water originating in the Andes (much minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium from marine fossil sedimentation). This species of mosquito only survive for 3-4 weeks and does not stray more than 100 meters from the place where it hatched. In the Tahuayo River basin we do not have this mosquito species, because our water ecology is highly acidic, coming not from the Andes (we are on the other side of the Amazon River) but from swamps in the interior of the ACRCTT conservation zone, where phenolic chemicals leach from our jungle plants into the standing water. If you put your hand in the water in our rivers and lakes you can see the red color tint of the water. This indicates high acidity, water in which Anopheles darlingi cannot reproduce. For this reason no medical prophylaxis (which especially with malaria pills may cause side effects) is required.
This is not a problem in the Tahuayo River basin. The only species of mosquito that carries Zika is Aedes aegypti, which is also the sole species of mosquito that can carry dengue or yellow fever. This mosquito breeds in water that is alkaline, which in the Iquitos area is found in pools of water south and west of the city (many marine fossil sediments such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in the clay soil, deposited from water originating in the Andes). The mosquito only survives for 3-4 weeks and does not stray more than 100 meters from the place where it hatched. In the Tahuayo River basin we do not have this mosquito species, because our water ecology is highly acidic, coming not from the Andes (we are on the other side of the Amazon River) but from swamps in the interior of the ACRCTT conservation zone, where phenolic chemicals leach from our jungle plants into the standing water. If you put your hand in the water in our rivers and lakes you can see the red color tint of the water. This indicates high acidity, water in which Aedes aegypti cannot reproduce. For this reason we have also never had outbreaks of yellow fever or dengue in the Tahuayo River basin. The one species in Peru that carries malarial parasites, Anopheles darlingi, also does not breed in the highly acidic ecosystems of the Tahuayo.
Can I request a salt free diet?
It is critically important to ingest sufficient quantity of salt in a rainforest environment. Most people from a northern clime sweat profusely, as the body attempts to cool itself in the hot, humid environment. The level of sodium lost during sweating must be replenished or a condition of hyponatremia will ensue. Essentially, the plunging level of sodium in the blood drives fluid into the body’s cells. In the cranium, the resulting swelling of the brain first leads to symptoms of dizziness and headaches, as well as mood swings. If untreated by the simple ingestion of salt, advanced symptoms include severe vomiting, coma and ultimately death.
Can my children come?
We have lots of children visit, from ages 6-18. At no extra cost you can have your itinerary customized to include
Do you charge a supplement to single travellers.
We do not charge anything extra for single
Do you have hot showers?
No, you really would not want to have in such a hot, humid environment. Furthermore, in the Amazon rainforest, water heated to 30-33 degrees Centigrade would become a soup of mycobacteria. If aerosolized by a shower head the bacteria can be inhaled into the lungs and cause a serious, tubucular-like pulmonary infection. For this reason, like all other jungle lodges, we have only cold water showers.
Do you have laundry service?
Yes we have a nominal charge, $10 USD, for a bag of clothes to be laundered. Clothes are laundered in a traditional jungle fashion, beaten on logs, and then hung out to dry by sun (may take a day to dry, or longer depending on the weather).
Do you have the latest in technology?
Iquitos city is the world’s largest city not connected to any other city by road. It is surrounded by huge rivers and impenetrable Amazon flood forest and would be cut off from the outside world if not for air flights and incredibly long boat travel up 2000 miles of river.
How do I get a customized itinerary?
The specifics of your personalized itinerary will be discussed on site, in consultation with your private guide, according to your needs and interests, weather, current wildlife activity, safety and other logistics.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. We have seen too many times people have to cancel at virtually the last minute because of health reasons or the illness or death of a family member. Problems with airlines as far as losses due to flight cancellation, delay or lost luggage is another common problem. Trips can also be cancelled due to problems beyond the control of the tour operator (and are thus non-refundable). Peru has enjoyed political and economic stability and peace for the last two decades, except in the region of Lake Titicaca, where labor strikes typically close access for 1-2 weeks every year. In 2001 a strike closed access to the Inca Trail for a couple of weeks. Several years ago protests in Iquitos shut down the airport for a few days. More common are environmental disasters. Earthquakes are common in Peru and in the 1990s several landslides closed the train tracks to Machu Picchu for periods of days to weeks. Floods typically have more far reaching consequences. In 2010 a January flood of the Urubamba River damaged the train tracks to Machu Picchu and access to Machu Picchu was closed until June. In February 2012 the Urubamba flooded again and access to Machu Picchu was closed for several days. The time of highest weather risk in visiting Machu Picchu are the months of January and February, although if train tracks are damaged access may be closed through June. The Inca Trail has sometimes been closed any time of the year due to rockslide avalanche, snow, freezing rain, etc. In the Amazon basin a record flood in April 2012 closed virtually all jungle lodges, though ours remained open. The season of greatest flood risk in the Amazon is late March through
What are the guidelines for giving tips?
Tipping is not required. The staff of Amazonia Expeditions is very well paid with excellent benefits of family health insurance, disability insurance, retirement pensions
What clothes should I wear in the jungle?
We simply recommend rain gear, short and long sleeved shirts and pants, a hat with a brim and a bathing suit. To be any more specific would be self-defeating because people have such great individual differences in what they feel is appropriate. We have a photo in our office of two people perfectly dressed for the rainforest–one has flip-flops, shorts and a tank top, while the person next to him has jungle boots, socks, long camouflaged pants that tie around the ankles, long sleeved shirt, gloves and hat with a mosquito net that falls from the brim. Both are perfectly outfitted in a way that best suits their personalities.
What documents are required?
If you are a citizen of the USA or Canada all you need is a passport. You do not need a visa.
What gifts can I bring for the indigenous people?
Gift giving must be done very carefully, to ensure that the relation between our guests and the natives continues to be one of mutual affection and does not degenerate into the natives becoming beggars for goods nor resentful because some of their
We have a few ways to make suggested contribution that does not interfere with cultural norms.
- Give a tax-deductible donation to AOA to buy some books
the teachers want. We can have the books ready in Iquitos for you to bring to the school and give to the teacher. Suggested donation $30-100
- Host a nutritional breakfast at a school. Donation to AOA is $250
- Pay two weeks salary of a nurse at the clinic $400
You can donate through PayPal using the “Donate now” button at www.angelsoftheamazon.com
What if I have to cancel?
If we buy your airfare at a discounted price
What is a typical day like in the jungle?
There is no typical day.
What is the best time of year to visit?
All dates of the year are possible.
What is the food like?
We serve buffet style, with a variety of western style and regional foods at every meal. Servings include
How long should I stay?
We are in a region of mega-biodiversity so
Where should I put my valuables for safe keeping?
We have never had a theft at the lodge. But if you are worried you can give items to the lodge supervisor to hold.
Will my camera by affected by humidity?
Years ago cameras would sometimes be affected by the humidity. People used to bring silica gel to put inside zip