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Holiday review by Sally Thorburn

Name: Sally Thorburn
Date of trip: 23/07/2012
Number of people: 2
Country: Brazil

Overall level of Satisfaction

 
Tribes Overall: "A wonderful trip, packed with extraordinary sights, sounds and experiences."
 
Tribes Service: "Paul was very knowledgable about the areas we visited, gave excellent advice and kept in touch during the planning of the trip. He was also extremely quick to sort out the one very minor glitch in our itinerary."
 
Guides: "Excellent"
 
Social & Environmental Responsibility: "Excellent"

Accommodation

 
Floresta Amazonica Hotel
The kitchens are being rebuilt and the rooms are small and in need of updating, but we only had one night here so it didn't matter. The Harpy chick was seen the day before we arrived, but is now big enough to fly around a bit, so sadly we missed it.
 
Hotel das Cataratas
This hotel is one of the best we have stayed at anywhere in the world. The levels of comfort, service and cuisine are superlative and the historic building, gardens and pool are utterly immaculate. We hesitated about bumping up our budget to stay here and we are so, so glad we did. Apart from the hotel itself, the location is spectacular - it is the only hotel inside the park on the Brazilian side, and staying here means that you can enjoy dawn and dusk with the Falls literally to yourself. We watched thousands of swifts roosting under the waterfalls at dusk and trogons calling just feet away from us at dawn. A day trip to the Argentinian side gives a very different perspective of the many waterfalls and a thrillingly close-up view of the Devils Throat - go early to beat the crowds.
 
Guapi Assu Bird Lodge
This place is hard to beat for dedicated birdwatchers looking for Mata Atlantica species - it's a wonderful, very comfortable lodge, with excellent home-cooked food, a great atmosphere and outstanding guides. We had one of the 2 upstairs rooms which have balconies with lovely views. Nicholas and Raquel are exceptional hosts and are doing amazing work to restore the forest - they have already planted 200,000 trees and aim to make this a million in their lifetime. In addition to running the lodge, they host a band of volunteers, some carrying out studies, some doing hands-on work, and we really enjoyed being able to meet this interesting and diverse group of people, learning a lot from them. There are optional excursions to higher level sites but a nice range of hikes can be done from the lodge and we really enjoyed these. A special place, but probably best suited to those wanting to concentrate on birds.
 
Cristalino Lodge
Worth every bump of the long drive to get here - an exceptional place with superb guides, absolutely stunning views into the canopy and spectacular river trips. All utterly beautiful, as are the luxury, top quality bungalows. Only generator power here, so you get up by candlelight. Outstanding food and service, especially considering the isolated location. Great views of tapirs, tamandua and otters, but be prepared for challenging birdwatching - no sighting comes easily in the forest. Vittoria is doing amazing work to preserve this private reserve and create a corridor into the Amazon basin.
 
Araras Eco Lodge
A well run, happy place, packed with wildlife, including habituated capybara plodding about the garden. Will never forget finding a jabiru stork, a sun bittern, a green ibis and a bare-faced curassow, together with 20 cayman and half a dozen capybara within 50 feet of our room on the first morning! Good food. The only downside is that the lodge gets a bit hectic and noisy when full.

customer rating

5/5 from 42 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT -3 hours

Flight time: Most flights go to Sao Paulo but some airlines have direct flights to Rio de Janeiro, and to North-eastern Brazil. British Airways and TAM have direct flights from London and many European carriers also offer flights to Brazil.

Language: Portuguese is the official language. Spanish and English are understood quite widely.

Visas: Not required for British nationals.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if you are coming from an infected area. Malaria prophylactics are recommended in the rainforest.

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Telephone: 01473 890499

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