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RandyRoss wrote a review May 2020
Ridgetown, Canada7,026 contributions592 helpful votes
+1
This small village of less than 150 people at the junction of the Valeria River and the Amazon is quite a fascinating place to visit. The locals have certainly learned how to make money form the cruise ship tourists but it was certainly a good experience for us. They dress up for photos and bring their pets (sloths, monkeys, toucans, parrots, capybaras, etc.) for photos as well. The going rate is $1.00 (US) for a photo. The kids also loved the candy that we brought. For $5.00 one could take a small boat trip for a half hour or more to see the gigantic lily pads and the larger nearby village. Awesome.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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CarolC1742 wrote a review Dec 2019
Battle Ground, Washington36 contributions2 helpful votes
We were met by the children of the village once we arrived at the boat dock. They were leading us to their home but we stopped at the square where the church and school were located because it was too hot to go much farther. Gave them a dollar each and they happily ran back to the dock for the next wave of visitors. Several of the villagers had animals like sloths and macaws to show you and others were dressed in ceremonial attire. You could take your picture with them, for a small price.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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Mariana M wrote a review Nov 2019
2 contributions
Authentic village. Friendly people. Young children offered to guide you for a few dollars and show you their school, their church. They brought along their pets: sloths, alligators, monkeys, toucans . Mothers showed off their little ones in regional costumes.
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Date of experience: December 2018
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shirleyhoem wrote a review Mar 2019
Wilsonville, Oregon36 contributions14 helpful votes
Holland America tendered us into this small village where the locals show you their toucans, sloths, snakes, etc. for a $. Only way for them to earn money as only 150 people in the village along the Amazon. For $5 I took a small boat trip for 1/2 hour to see the gigantic lily pads. Awesome.
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Date of experience: March 2019
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TONYHadley_12 wrote a review Mar 2019
Montreal, Canada18 contributions11 helpful votes
HAL cruise on the Veendam (about 1200 passengers). A Veendam lifeboat brings you ashore and the 100 or so villagers, indigenous to this part of the world, placed everything on hold including the school day to welcome visitors. No one here speaks English except members of the cruise boat. They are folks in costume with or without birds and iguanas and sloths. There are English papers held up offering a boat tour for 5$US. Children hold your hands and guide you and it did not seem that they were hustling or asking you for anything. I raised my camera halfway and they were ready to pose for you. We were told to offer something so we had pencils, small chocolates from the cruise boat and I had about 15$ all in 1$ notes which I handed out mostly for photographing them. I understand that about 5 cruise boats visit per year and I am fearful that this 'innocence' will disappear. I took in motorized boat ride for 5$ and had no ideae where we were going but I was very happy with the result. My advice is not to get on the boat if there are already 4 paying customers which is what I did and at 230 lbs I almost flipped the boat while part of it was still on the shore. With a total of 6 passengers, a front man and the 'captain', the clearance. between the highest point of the side of the boat from the water could not have been more than 8 inches. One couple on one boat would be ideal. After about 15 or more minutes of boating, we pulled up to the shoreline, got off the boat with parents and very young people were dressed up with an iguana. Again the innocence is at play because no one approached us for anything. We walked up a trail (5 minutes) to a small community with simple 'shack-like' wooden houses. However, there was a very big brightly painted concrete building which was a school. I walked into a classroom where there was a large color TV screen with access to the internet. It also had a 'magic-pen' erasable white screen. Outside, people were smiling and easily allowed me to photograph them without compensation. We walked back down the trail and took the boat back to the small village where I started. Boy, that was the best 5$ tour I had. Maybe by the time you get there, it may be a $10$ tour. Had I known, I would have gone to Dollarama store back in Canada and bought some educational supplies to give away. While I was there I sensed 'friendship' and it was totally void of any fear of being mugged. As my wise mother told me, don't tempt poor people with flashy stuff. So leave your jewelry and Rolex watch back on the cruise boat. Enjoy this place while it is still relatively unspoiled.
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Date of experience: March 2019
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