The green mansions

The green mansions

Travel tales

The green mansions

I feel I am still in the Amazon forests. I  pinch myself as I find it hard to relish that my holiday, which was a distant dream, turned real last year, when I went to Machu Picchu and NAZCA Lines and trekked through the Amazon Forests. The tour was organised by National Geographic.

Words are not enough to describe the corridors of Machu Picchu and NAZCA lines, so I will try to describe just the thick Amazon Forests.

Amazon is an adventure-seeker’s haven, a photographer’s paradise, a wildlife conservationist’s nest and the common man’s dream.  My wife Varuni and I embarked on this journey on July 5 last year.  We set off to Los Angeles, where we spent about three days. From LA, we reached Lima, Peru, where the staff of National Geographic received us. The rest of the group arrived from different parts of the world.  The next morning, we flew into Iquitos situated in the North-Eastern region of Lima. It’s a Peruvian port city and gateway to the jungle lodges and tribal villages of Northern Amazon. It was the transit city to embark on our cruise ‘Delfin II’ which has about 16 cabins. The uncharted waters of the Amazon take birth in the Andes mountains and flow from north -eastern Peru to the eastern region, before entering Brazil.  Twenty percent of world’s fresh water is in Amazon and one can only imagine its vigour. The whole area, which was covered by the cruise, is known as National Reserve of Pacaya and Samiria. A detailed registration of members was mandatory as we entered the area. The entire zone is very well protected by the Government of Peru. We sailed for about 400 miles in the Amazon. It’s a smorgasbord of terrestrial, aerial and aquatic life. The cruise is a different world by itself.

We cruised on river Maranon which eventually flows into Amazon. We ventured into the deep jungles and creeks on skiff boats. There were a number of naturalists who helped us spot rare species of the world, that isn’t not seen anywhere else. We saw species of orchids, fruits and flowers Pink dolphins, South American fresh water fish Piranha are common in Amazon.

We trekked in the forests during the day. The Amazon forest is home to the dangerous Anaconda and Caimans and we had the opportunity to hold a tarantula!

We spotted more than 30 species of monkeys. On River Ucayali, which is also a tributary of River Amazon, we had the opportunity to visit some tiny villages on islands. The village folk had a minimalistic way of life and sustainable living.

Towards the evening, we let the feeling of treading through the world’s thickest jungle sink in by watching the sunset on the Amazon river.

For details, email

How to get there
We took a Jet Airways flight to Los Angeles. From there, we proceeded to Lima and then to Iquitos by United Airlines. We took the cruise ship ‘Delfin II’ to Amazon. The round trip, which also comprised Machu  Picchu and NAZCA Lines, cost Rs 26 lakh.

Where to stay
At Lima, we stayed at The Airport Hotel. We spent nine nights on the ‘Delfin II’.