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5-Day Disconnect: South American Self-Discovery in the Amazon Jungle

Over the summer, we embarked on a soul-searching journey that led us deep into the heart of the Amazon to disconnect from the Western World.

Fortunately, Talita’s  proficiency in Portuguese gave us the opportunity to venture into the remote South American Wilderness.


Guided by the tips from a dear friend native to Manaus, our quest for a sustainable and immersive experience brought us to the Tariri Resort. The decision was influenced by its pristine location, thoughtfully crafted excursions, and the simplicity of its setting. Even the food, fresh and wholesome, added to the allure. To complement this, we also yearned to explore Presidente Figueiredo and its breathtaking waterfalls.


Londrina


Our South American adventure began with five nights in Londrina to visit Talita’s hometown.



A charming city where family ties were strengthened amid daily routines of helping Vovô with chickens and leisurely strolls around Igapó Lake.



Sipping on sugar cane juice, we embraced the warmth and love of family in this Brazilian haven.



(Londrina Instagram Post)

(Vovô's Chickens Instagram Post)


Manaus



The next stop on our journey through Brazil led us to the vibrant city of Manaus, a bustling metropolis nestled in the heart of the world's largest rainforest. After a 3-hour, 1500-mile flight from Londrina, we found ourselves captivated by the rich history and natural wonders that awaited us.



Manaus, once the epicenter of the 19th-century rubber boom, bore witness to extravagant wealth and architectural marvels.


Among these, the crown jewel was the $10 million Teatro Amazonas, a testament to the city's opulence.



Built in 1884, this grand opera house stood as a symbol of Manaus' prosperity, drawing visitors from around the globe.



As the sun set over the city, we marveled at Dre's breathtaking drone shots, capturing the essence of this architectural masterpiece.



Our stay in Manaus was nothing short of enchanting at the Casa dos Frades which offered the perfect vantage point to admire the splendor of the Amazon Theater.



Adjacent to the bustling  Largo de São Sebastião plaza, our hotel was within feet of multiple outdoor dining options for the evening.


Manaus had more to offer than just its historic landmarks.



East of the city, the convergence of the dark Negro River and the muddy Solimões River created a mesmerizing spectacle known as the "Meeting of the Waters."


Dre’s drone photo of our boat from 150’ above is one of his all time best.



This natural phenomenon, where the two distinct rivers, flowed side by side without mixing, left us in awe of nature's wonders.


(Manaus Instagram Post)

(Meeting of the Waters Instagram Post)


The Caves of Presidente Figueiredo

 


On our second day in Manaus was a true jungle adventure. We embarked on an all-day excursion to Presidente Figueiredo, a picturesque town renowned for its stunning caves and waterfalls.



With the expert guidance of Peter Hagnauer from All Brazil Tours, we navigated the dark and internet-free roads, immersing ourselves in the beauty of the Brazilian wilderness.



Our day in Presidente Figueiredo was meticulously planned, allowing us ample time to explore its top attractions. Maroaga Cave and Judeia Cave were top of the list.



A 3 hour guided trek through the forest led us to a scene that could have been from Jumanji, complete with giant worms!

😳


As we stood before the majestic waterfalls, surrounded by lush greenery, we couldn't help but feel a sense of reverence for the natural world.



For lunch we visited Restaurante do Mirandinha on lake Antônio Filinto. The cold beer was perfect after our humid morning trek. The prepared buffet showcased traditional brazilian fare; fresh fried fish, plantains, rice, and beans.



In the afternoon, we explored three more waterfalls in the region, ending up a bit lost finding our way back out the woods. 😅



We recommend the experience, but you will need All Brazil Travel to recreate the adventure!



(Presidente Figueiredo Caves Instagram Post)

(Maroaga Cave Instagram Post)

(Exploring Presidente Figueiredo Instagram Post)


Retreat to the Tariri Amazon Lodge



Nestled deep within the Amazon jungle, our four-night stay at the Tariri Amazon Lodge marked the pinnacle of our journey.



Located 70 km from Manaus, our path to this sanctuary took us on a 2.5-hour journey by land and river, a trek that offered a glimpse into the untamed beauty of the rainforest.


As we arrived at the Tariri Amazon Lodge, we were immediately struck by its remote location and the absence of cellular or internet connectivity.



(Drone Photos Instagram Post)


If you attempted to reach out to us during this time, you may have received one of our auto text replies saying we were out of coverage. We consider ourselves to be very tech savvy…



Or maybe you didn’t because we later found out you actually need coverage for that feature to receive the text to say we were out of coverage. 😅


…so very tech savvy


Far from the distractions of the digital world, we found ourselves immersed in an environment conducive to genuine human connection. Evenings were spent under the canopy of stars, playing cards and sharing stories with fellow guests, enriching our experience in ways we had never imagined.



(Tariri Resort Instagram Post)


Our decision to choose a lodging devoid of internet connectivity was deliberate. We sought authenticity, a chance to disconnect from the noise of modern life, and reconnect with the rhythms of nature. Tariri Amazon Lodge provided just that—a haven of tranquility amid the lush wilderness of the Amazon.



At any one time, the lodge hosted between 10-20 guests, but those guests slowly changed during our stay. Each day a boat with a few new travelers would arrive. That same boat would then depart, transporting strangers who became our friends, back to civilization.



The constant flow of new faces replacing the familiar helped solidify the idea of our own impermanence at the resort and to appreciate every moment with gratitude.



Tariri's most common visitors were the abundance of wildlife. Oropendolas, blue fronted parrots, and brilliantly colored macaws perched on branches and railings of the resort's outdoor walkways.



Wild pigs would rummage through the forest brush under the lodge's elevated walkways, searching for grubs.



Last, but certainly not least, were the ever present monkeys who always seemed to be curiously looking for mischief.



They even had names. Our favorites were Michael Jackson the bright faced saki monkey and the gray/ brown woolly monkeys; Nico, Frida, and her little baby.


(Michael Jackson 🕺🏽)


(Animals of the Amazon Instagram Post)

🐒


Shepherded by the expertise of Germano and Nixon, the brothers who served as our trusted guides, everyday at the lodge was a new adventure. From dawn till dusk we delved into the heart of Amazonian culture, embarking on hikes, visiting indigenous tribes, and exploring local villages.


Day 1


Our days began with the tantalizing aroma of Brazilian coffee and the promise of adventure.


On the morning of Day 1, we set out from Manaus to Tariri Amazon Lodge, anticipation building with every passing mile. In the afternoon, we embarked on a motorized canoe excursion, navigating the winding waterways of the Amazon in search of piranhas.



The 1st piranha was caught by Kylie!


Dre caught the next one and, we would later dine on those same fish a few hours later.



Like clockwork, at 6 pm each evening, the toll of a dinner bell would echo through the trees summoning the resort guest to congregate at the lodge dining hall for some of the freshest amazonian fare one could desire. While we occasionally had beef or chicken dishes, every meal had some form of fish caught from the river that day.


Along with traditional brazilian rice and beans, our host provided an assortment of fresh fruit and produce from the region. Maracuya, Bacaba, and sweet Pacay were all part of our daily diet.



(Motorized Canoe Instagram Post)

(Sunsets on the Amazon Instagram Post)

(Amazon River Boat Reel)


Day 2


Our first night at Tariri dawned with the promise of exploration as we ventured into the jungle after breakfast. Our senses were alive with the sights and sounds of our walk through the wilderness.



Shaded by the vast Amazon canopy, our guide Nixon showed us the many types of medicinal plants that make the Amazon Jungle such an amazing natural resource for healing.


One can drink fresh mineral water from the right vines, and cure indigestion with the tree sap that taste like pepto bismol.

🤢



In the afternoon, we visited a riverine family, immersing ourselves in their way of life.



We learned much about their regional custom and diet while visiting a manioc flour house and trying some freshly cut brazilian nuts thanks to Germano’s machete.




Day 3


Day 3 was the highlight of the trip. That morning we set out for another excursion to visit a native Indian tribe but this time got a more intimate glimpse into their family structure, traditions, and way of life.