There is a big difference in what we want to hear and what we actually get . When choosing a tour operator in the Amazon, many people don’t do their research and pick the loudest most sensational sales pitch around.
So what is the first thing potential guests are promised? That’s right, the most sensational.
Jaguars and giant anacondas.
The chances of seeing one of these animals in the wild are slim to none if you are visiting for three days( unless the animal is in captivity). Many people come and go without seeing a jaguar or giant anaconda and leave with a sense of disappointment.
The only reason to feel disappointed would be for falling for the oldest trick in the tourism sales book and for not booking a whole week or more.
Oh yes, you will see jaguar and giant anaconda, we see them every day !
Says the salesman ( who is probably scared to be in the forest)
I am not saying it is impossible I only want you all to understand that we are dealing with WILDlife and nature which is quite unpredictable. Travelers do get lucky and get the sighting of a lifetime but that does not happen every day.
A few sightings/experience of a lifetime that clients have had with us are as follows:
Being cornered in buttress roots of kapok tree by several adult peccaries and their young. They circled the tree grunting and smacking their teeth for about five times before they withdrew. Stacy, Osmar and Tayo were pinned helpless for what seemed like an eternity for them.
Sighting a pair Amazon manatees near the community of Santa Rosa. Teddy, Walter and two clients watched the manatees surface and feed on floating vegetation. They observed for several minutes until dusk settled upon them.
Catching a mid size Anaconda-15 footer. When Julianne first arrived to the lodge, she and her daughter had mentioned that they wanted to see an anaconda. Little did we all know, her dreams would be fulfilled that week. Julianne, her daughter,Walter,Rogelio and Nilo were camping on the skirt of the highground when they came upon the snake just at the waters edge. Walter jumped in after and fought the snake for ten minutes with help from Nilo and Rogelio. Julianne’s video is too shaky from the anxiety and her screams drown out any other noise.
Hunt came to the Amazon wanting to try his hand at some extreme fishing. He was very set on catching a peacock bass but instead he caught something bigger and better. This is the osteoglossum fish. Needless to say he was excited to catch this trophy
Anna and Chris came to see everything possible.Their secret desire was to encounter the deadliest snake in the Amazon called the fer-de-lance or bothrops atrox forest pit viper. Sure enough on their last day while on a hike in lowland forest, they almost stepped on this creature of death. Even if they did not see this snake, they still would have left very content with all they had experienced.
John had been all over South America trying to catch a peacock bass. He has had a lot of difficulty until he met me. We took him out and on the first day he caught nothing I caught two and his nephew caught a piraña. He left the lake very sad. The next day I loaned him one of my killer lures. Within minutes, the shouts coming from John were unrecognizable as he fought with extreme pleasure his first peacock bass. Lo and behold, it was the biggest anyone caught the whole week!
The other half of Johns family group preferred hiking in the forest in search of monkeys and giant trees. We set off on a trail of lowland jungle where we stopped every minute to take a picture of the mammoth trees that surrounded us. I insisted we move on because the trees they were looking at we’re still relatively small. As we rounded the bend of the trail, a giant revealed itself and the ooooos and ahhhhs commenced.
There are many more satisfied clients who came with an open mind to see something different.
Murphy’s law applies here in the Amazon.
I am an avid fisherman. I spend plenty of time on the water and it may seem to outsiders that I catch a lot of fish. It seems that way because I do not post a picture every time I come back with nothing! If I filled up a wall with all the times I have gone fishing, half or more of those pictures would be me unloading my boat with only baitfish to show.
When I fish for catfish, I catch stingrays and eels
When I needed to catch an eel for a discovery channel program, all I caught were catfish.
The more you look for something, the more likely you will not find it.
When we go out specifically looking for snakes, we rarely see them. It is always the least moment you expect to see one that they actually are found.
That is why here at Otorongo Expeditions we guarantee excellent service while you do your best with our guides and boats to see everything you desire. That’s right, no sensational promises, just honesty.
I am not writing this to disinterest you about your trip to the Amazon. I only wish to give you all real life information that has not been doctored for ratings on tv.
TV programs work on tight budgets and time constraints. For the most part, they have the animals they will film already in captivity
Some may be turned off by my service because I do not guarantee jaguars and anacondas.
That should not be the case, this should actually make you think a bit more when someone offers you something that may be to good to be true.
Be suspicious about people that guarantee you sightings of elusive animals. They are elusive for many reasons.
There are places that guarantee jaguar sightings.
You can get a full refund if you do not see one.
Little does the guest realize that the company released jaguars found in the black market and they accustom them to feeding on carcasses left in the areas.
Yes, it is a jaguar sighting, but that cat is only a shadow of its species found in the wild.
To close this post, I would like to mention that anything is possible.
We are dealing with the worlds largest unbroken tract of forest and the largest river. There are things out there no one has set their eyes on.
I pride myself by saying ,” I have lived here for almost ten years and every day I see or experience something brand new to me.”
That is what keeps me going and understanding this may help you enjoy your trip more