Thursday, 4 February 2016

New Review on Trip Advisor

“Amazon River Cruise and Walk”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW
We did a half day group tour off of our cruise ship with Gil for a short distance out of Santarem. There are two things that you should know. First, though we did not visit an unspoiled national park area (you need to go a much longer distance for that), Gil nevertheless did a great job exposing us to native flora and fauna, as well explaining the sociopolitical ups and downs of local Amazon society. Second, Gil is tremendously entertaining. He goes a mile a minute with his thoughts, and you may have some trouble following his weaving of threads, but I guarantee that you will learn more in an hour with him than you would in a day with somebody else. Gil's depth of knowledge is bottomless, and his good nature relentless. Get him to tell you about the travails of his family attempting to adjust to the region's new economic reality - fascinating and sad. If you are in the Santarem locale, Gil is your man!
Visited November 2015

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

New review this is an amazing one 2

Avventura ed immersione nella natura...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday
Google Translation
Abbiamo trascorso da Gil diversi giorni nell'agosto 2014. L'Amazzonia era una delle tappe del giro per il Brasile, ma Gil l'ha trasformata nella più avventurosa e incredibile. Ci è venuto a recuperare in aeroporto, ci ha fatto accomodare da lui (è una dimora per backpacker, gente zaino in spalla, spartana e semplice, per cui, nel caso, chiedete per un albergo), ci ha accolto in casa, lasciandoci liberi di muoverci dove volevamo, ci ha portato in una indimenticabile crociera sul fiume Tapajos e sul Rio delle Amazzoni (imperdibile vedere dove i due fiumi si incontrano, ma non mescolano mai le acque, per km e km), la visita al mercato del pesce di Santarem (delfini rosa!!!) e soprattutto, l'indimenticabile notte all'addiaccio dentro la foresta amazzonica primaria, a dormire sulle amache e a mangiare pesce cucinato sulla brace e a scarpinare in giro per avvistare animali, traccie e per visitare il luogo dove è nato e cresciuto, che ora è parte del parco protetto . Gil è una persona fuori dal comune, incredibile,è un tuttologo dell'Amazzonia, è un vulcano di idee, parla un ottimo inglese ed è anche una persona di compagnia! Si circonda di persone speciali, come la nostra dolcissima cuoca Nelly, o come Celso, il cugino tuttofare. Se passate da quelle parti dovete, e ve lo ripeto, dovete andare da lui, anche solo per salutarlo, scambiare due parole e bervi una Caipirina delle sue. Non ve ne pentirete.
Visited August 2015

Ooopss a new review

“Fascinating and interesting and a great guy. Do not miss a trip with Gil.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW
Gil answered all emails promptly, and told us where to find him and how to identify him. When our ship docked he was right where he said he would be, and we immediately made our way to where the boat he was using was docked. He is such an interesting person and has had such a wonderful life, and really loves the Amazon. It comes over in everything he says. He showed us the meeting of the waters, then we went up a small tributary and left the boat for a jungle walk - a real jungle walk, not the stuff the cruise ships take you on. We saw various plants, trees and wildlife, and all the time Gil and his local guide kept us fully informed. We got up close and personal with three-toed sloths, and when we got back to the boat the crew had set up a picnic with fresh fruit, cheese, fish, and a delicious local lemon drink, followed by Chiprianas (the local rum drink) and beer. They cracked open a fresh brazil nut (which inside contained all the nuts that we identify as Brazil) and we ate these fresh - wonderful. They also roasted fresh Cashews on an open fire. We saw ship's excursion boats going past and waved at them,but they only went about a quarter of a mile further on before they turned round and came out. After our wonderful lunch we boarded Gil's boat again and from memory we probably cruised for a further 2 hours, definitely over an hour, time just passed, seeing more birds and wild-life, then, on the way back to our starting point Gil kept us entranced with the interesting story of his life and his family. We only caught one glimpse of a pink dolphin, but as with any wild animal, their presence cannot be guaranteed, and all of us agreed at the end of our month long cruise that Gil's trip in Santarem was the highlight of our holiday.
Visited December 2015

Friday, 15 January 2016

New Review on Trip Advisor

5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW
We took two tours with Gil Serique, one at Altar do Chao and one in Santarém, both in December, 2015. We were on a cruise ship that went up and back down the Amazon all of the way to Manaus. Both tours with Gil were superb! In Santarém we were about 6 couples. We were picked up at our cruise ship and taken first to the fish market in town. After that we boarded a two decker boat (just for our small group) and set out on the Amazon and up a smaller tributary. During the short voyage there, we were provided with snacks and drinks. We disembarked on the shore for a walk in the rain forest where some of Gil's assistants found several animals for us to view, including a sloth. After the walk, we were provided a lunch, served on a table with chairs they had brought on the boat. The food was delicious and the drinks were plentiful. We were also provided snacks and drinks on the voyage back to town. From there we had a tour of the city in a comfortable air-conditioned van and then back to our ship.
Several days later, on the way back out of the Amazon, we had a second tour with Gil at Altar do Chao, which is where he lives, a town of about 5,000 people. There were 6 people in our tour group. Again, Gil met us with an air-conditioned van and driver. Snacks and driinks were provided. We drove throgh the rain forest for about an hour through villages and coutry-side to Tapajos National Forest, named by his grandmother. He grew up on that property. Back in Atar do Chao, we went to Gil's house overlooking the beach. He lives on the Vaughn estate, built shortly ofter the U.S. Civil War, by Confederate immigrants to Brazil. Food and drinks were provided and he gave us copies of the book he has published on the rain forest. His English is fluent. He is a recognized expert on Amazon parrots and has lectured in U.S. Universities. These two tours rank at the top of my list and Gil as the best guide ever! Highly recommended.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Legal logging VERSUS ilegal logging in the Tapajos National Forest

Legal logging at Tapajos Natinal Forest

Ilegal Loging in the Tapajos National Forest

Saturday, 26 December 2015

This one sounds good too

We arrived in Santarem by ship and were met by Gil, and his very competent crew for a Meeting of the Waters tour.. there were 18 of us which is a very comfortable number for his river boat. when booking the tour Gil had recommended that I read the book, "The Theif at the End of the World"., by Joe Jackson, which was very good advice since is is all about the rise and fall of rubber in the region. This amazing book has a dedication and credits to Gil, granddad played a very important role in rubbers rise and fall..
The tour took us on a walk through the jungle with excellent descriptions of the animal life, complete with a sloth to see and touch.. flora and fauna .. we took small boats down small tributaries, we were treated to the most delicious local foods and drink.. fried chunks of local fish, fresh fruit, nuts, local beer, fried casaba root.. fruit juices..the local alcoholic drink called Caparina (I don't know about the spelling) But the taste was yummy.. and the affect was noted.
Gil entertained us for 8 hours with the most interesting stories of local and family color. He is not to be missed. He does tours for hours or days.. I highly recommend this extraordinary man and his great crew...
Visitou em novembro de 2015

Another great one based on a great tour

We spent the day on Gil's Meeting of the Waters excursion when our ship was docked in Santarem and it was the highlight of our three weeks in Brazil. The actual Meeting of the Waters in Santarem was not as impressive as in Manaus due to the low water level at the end of the dry season but it was the rest of the day that was so interesting. Gil is an extremely knowledgeable lifelong resident of the area and knows it inside and out. You were be taught, fed, and entertained. Highly recommend.

The funniest, luv buddy thx 4 join us

While on a cruise, we arranged a tour with Gil. It turned out that 15 other passengers from the ship comprised the balance of the group. The boat was comfortable with plenty of seats, on the jungle hike we saw sloths and some birds, the time in the smaller canoes was enjoyable, the food offered was good, the drinks excellent and the meeting of the waters, at the end of the tour, was lovely, although I found the one in Manus more spectacular. Gil returned us to the ship with plenty of time to spare.

However, by far the best entertainment was Gil himself. He is very knowledgeable of the wildlife and local lore and very willing to share. His family history could be made into a Hollywood movie but only sold as fiction. He was extremely entertaining. As we were with the other passengers for about 15 more days, Gil continued to be a major topic of discussion for the remaining time. I can safely say that for the majority of us on this tour, he was one of the highlights of the trip.

Nice combination of words about our work

Our cruise ship stopped for the day at Santarem and luckily for us when we tried to register for their river tour it was fully booked and so using Trip Advisor we contacted Gil to see if he could help. Result  was a fantastic six hours exploring first the fish and vegetable markets and then the river, it's pink Dolphins, bird life and wild life on one of the many islands and rounded off with a viewing of the "meeting of the waters"
Gil is the most enthusiastic, knowledgeable, energetic and entertaining guide one can possibly imagine! There were just the two us us and so it really was a very personal guided tour. Gil met us off the ship and took us to our typical Amazonian boat (certainly big enough got a dozen or more). First stop was the market where he identified all the fish and different fruit and vegetables and how they are used. Back on board he explained a lot about the river, the history of the area and in particular of the rubber and related businesses. He has a wealth of knowledge and stories about the people and how they all developed. We stopped on one of the many islands and were served snacks, freshly roasted cashew nuts, fried fish, etc washed down with Caiparinhas! Back on board we continued on our way with Gil identifying all the different birds and explaining the eco systems of the Amazon as well as the threats from global warming (the river was three plus metres lower than normal for that time of the year due to the lack of rain) and deforestation all balanced with the local needs of the people of the area. Gil also presented us with an advance copy of his booklet on the local wildlife and asked us to visit him (which we did) when we stopped at Alter do Chao on the way back down river having visited Manaus. One of his helpers kept us supplied with his version of lemonade made from fresh limes, sugar and ice - almost as good as the Caiparinhas but rather healthier!
Our thanks to Gil and his crew and helpers for the most remarkable and memorable day.
All in all the most fantastic tour which we highly recommend to anyone visiting Santarem! 

Again our thanks for all your hospitality.