FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Am I an intermediate backpacker? It depends. Have you backpacked three or more consecutive days successfully? Can you carry a 50 pound pack for three hours at a time? If yes, to either one of these, then you may be considered an intermediate backpacker.

What will base camp be like? There will be a temporary structure with tarps covering over all the hammocks and another for the kitchen area. Water will be boiled for heating up food and coffee. Your restroom will be in a designated location away from the campsite. A privacy tarp will be hung for changing clothes. There will be a nearby water source for bathing and for water filtration.

What should I wear? See packing list.

What food and supplies should I bring? See packing list.

Does Amazon Trails rent gear? Yes. We can rent out basic gear, such as backpack and hammock. We do not rent out boots since this is such a specific/personal item. Be sure to contact us in advance.

How do I get clean water to drink? Based on our personal experience, we recommend a Sawyer Mini Water Filter.

How much should my pack weigh? We recommend keeping the weight under 40 pounds. But whatever the weight, you will need to be able to carry your own pack for at least two hours at a time. Doing one or more trials of two hours in length with your loaded pack is advised.

How should I train for a trek? We recommend preparing ahead of time for the physical demands of a trek by exercising regularly before your trek. Hydration is very important especially on long hikes in a hot, humid environment. We recommend pre-hydrating for several days before your trip. Electrolyte supplementation is recommended before and during the trek. We also recommend doing at least two trial treks, two hours in length with your loaded bag to get a feel for it and make adjustments as needed. We also recommend breaking in whatever trek shoes you will be wearing ahead of time to help prevent blisters. It will also be helpful to get accustomed to your hammock.

What regional foods should I try on the trip? Acai, farinha, Guarana, local fruit and fruit juices, pao de queijo, indigenous hot pepper seasoning - Jiquitaia (pimenta Baniwa) , tambaqui, pirarucu, tucunare (peacock bass), and if you are really adventurous some ant heads!

What are some foods I should avoid? Unfiltered water, lettuce, unpeeled fruit, street vender foods.

How can I exchange money? Money can be exchanged at the airport in Manaus or with your credit or debit card at local ATMs. Credit/debit cards are accepted in some stores in Sao Gabriel, but you will need some cash.

Can part of my group trek overnight while others do only day trips? Yes, contact us.

What cultures/indigenous people groups will we encounter? More than twenty indigenous groups live in and around Sao Gabriel.

What is the city like? Sao Gabriel is a safe, welcoming, modern town in the middle of the jungle. Read more here.

What language is spoken in Brazil? Portuguese is the official language as well as Nheengatu. In Sao Gabriel, you will also hear different indigenous languages as well as some Spanish.

What are some basic Brazilian Portuguese terms I need to know? See some basic terms here. For those interested in learning more Portuguese, we recommend the following website: Duolingo.

What would a fast boat trip to Sao Gabriel look like? The fast boat (called a “lancha” in Portuguese) trip takes about 24 hours and makes a couple quick stops along the way.

  • Complementary meals are served.
    • The lunch and supper meals are traditional Brazilian fare of rice and beans with some meat and pasta, fruit, bread, etc. They sell cold Coca Cola/orange Fanta which you can purchase during the trip or at meal times if you want one. Complementary unlimited filtered water is provided. A complimentary breakfast is also provided, that includes coffee.
  • There are no beds. The seats are comfortable. It's sort of like being on a greyhound, except you are on the Rio Negro (the Black River) in the Amazon! There is a small space where you can go stand/sit out in the open at the front and back of the boat. Sunscreen is recommended if you do this. Your baggage is stored down below and inaccessible, but you can keep a backpack with you under the seat. Fast boats run on Tuesdays and Fridays all year leaving Manaus at 3:00 p.m. and SG at 7 a.m. Fast boat seats must be reserved in advance in person, but you can pay for them the day you leave. We can arrange to reserve your spot a couple weeks in advance of your trip. Currently, the cost is (using the Brazilian Real) R$400 each way.
  • What do I do with items I bring on the trip that I don’t want to take on the trek?
    • You can leave these items locked up in our Amazon Trails office. It will remain locked up, but we will not be held responsible for your belongings.

Are there any recommended vaccines and/or medications I should take for my trip to Brazil? Yes, see the Center for Disease Control Website for more information.  We recommend vaccinations for Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever as well as taking a Malaria prevention medication which must be begun 2 weeks before your trip.