Exploring the Brazilian Amazon by luxury yacht
Every year, a glossy yacht charter catalogue arrives in the offices of c+l. We’ve unsubscribed a couple of times but the weighty tome arrives nevertheless. It’s rather beautiful. We marvel at the yachts you can charter in the Mediterranean or in the Caribbean. The level of luxury is insane. The prices are too.
From time to time, we charter yachts or riverboats in our destinations: the yachts tend not to be superyachts, but they are luxury for sure and they are usually the only way to access the pristine destinations that make Africa, Asia and Latin America so special to us. For families or a group of friends, it is an extraordinary way to see some of the least accessible parts of the world in great comfort. (More affordably, most of these yachts and riverboats also offer cabins on their set date departures).
Some of my most memorable journeys in Asia have been by riverboat- much of the Mekong from Vietnam into Cambodia and most of the Ayeyarwady in Myanmar can only be comfortably explored on the water. Many of the islands in Indonesia (and particularly the best dive spots) can only be visited by boat. There are no lodges or hotels.
In Latin America, the Galapagos has always been one of our most popular destinations – I took my own family there and it surpassed all expectations, and for all of us in slightly different ways. Sarah, who heads up the Latin America team, is just back from Antarctica and you just have to talk to her for five minutes to realise what a profound experience it was for someone who has seen most things in that part of the world.
But, if you are looking for the ultimate beach destination this summer, where should you look? A destination that is at its best in June, July and August? No people even in high season? Guaranteed swimming in pristine, warm, pollution-free water? Thousands of miles of white beaches? Lots to do? No rip-off restaurants? No annoying jet-skis? We have the answer you many never have considered...
Have you ever thought of the Brazilian Amazon? The rivers, such as the Rio Negro, which run into the Amazon system from the granite mountains of Colombia are a fairly consistent 27°C. They are completely unpolluted. The billions of tons of vegetation and lack of silt (due to the granite mountains source) mean 'black water' but that also means virtually no insects. Most importantly, the lower water levels of May through September mean that virtually every riverbank offers up deserted, white-sand beaches fringed with virgin rainforest only accessible by boat – hence our money-back guarantee of a beach to yourselves any day you want it.
We now have access to five luxury to super-luxury privately owned yachts, each sleeping 8 to 14 guests. We supplement the captain and crew with an English-speaking host and guide, a chef and arrange specialist guides and amazing activities en route – from jungle survival to conservation projects. It is pristine, relaxing and life-changing. Just don’t go if you need 24-hour internet access. Our favourite routings fly you into the remotest parts of the river system by floatplane to meet your yacht. Four to ten days without any other people, dropping anchor on a ‘private’ beach whenever and with no access to the outside world is better than any spa and you don’t have to wear strange sandals and an alien bathrobe. Unless you want to.
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