Wednesday 17 December 2014

You have 2 read this Part I

I'd be pleased to recommend Gil as one of your tour guides. There's probably no one who knows the Tapajos/Amazon/Santarem area better than Gil. I first met him in 2006 or 2007, when I was writing a nonfiction account of the historical rubber theft by British adventurer Henry Wickham; he is an expert on natural history, and often seemed to anticipate my questions or investigative directions. The resultant book, The Thief at the End of the World (published by Viking), went on to be named one of Time magazine's Top Ten Books of 2008, and I lay a lot of that credit at Gil's feet. Since then, he's gone on to guide for at least two European TV film crews, a Brazilian filmmaker, and another American writer who wrote the book Fordlandia. I recommended him to two of those outfits, and they were more than happy with the final results. I'm thinking in time of coming back to the Tapajos to do a long book about the gold rush that occurred far to the south from the 1950s to the 1990s, and Gil would be a necessary part of that research. He's a real professional, and gets the job done. I recommend him highly. Feel free to call or write if you have any other questions.

You've got 2 read this

I am delighted to offer a rave review for Gil Serique and commend him to you to join your fine group of outstanding guides.

A little background first:  My husband and I have used Tours by Locals all over the world: Japan,China, Columbia and Grenada and have come back after each encounter remarking about superior quality of the guides we met.

My husband is a professional guide, lecturing on history for Silversea Expeditions, as well as driving zodiacs, leading hikes and even working as a polar bear guard in the Arctic.  Between us, we have traveled, lived or worked in over 100 countries and all seven continents.

I first encountered Gil while searching for guides in Santarem, Brazil. My husband was lecturing on history on the Silver Whisper cruise ship on a trip from Barbados into the Amazon.  I noted many references to Gil on  Trip Advisor and contacted him through his web page.   We had many pleasant emails where he sent us a link for a video to watch before departure and also recommended a book to read.  We booked Gil for two excursions, one in Santarem and one in Alter Do Chao where Gil resides.  Right before my husband and I were to depart to Barbados,  I developed a medical problem and was grounded by my doctor. Then, a week later, my doctor allowed me to join the ship in Santarem,  I had been in contact with Gil as this problem developed and asked for help finding a hotel and a transfer from the airport to the hotel as my plane arrived at 5:15 am.

Unable to find any hotels with vacancies, Gil suggested I spend night at his house and I accepted his invitation.He picked me up at the airport on time,  and I went to sleep in his house while he was at work leading a small tour group from another cruise ship.  Needless to say, after communicating with Gil via email for about a week I felt safe   enough to accept his offer.  The next day he took me to the ship where  I met my husband and accompanied by another couple, we embarked on a full day’s  wildlife and sight seeing excursion.

Gil grew up near Santarem and is intimately familiar with the history of the Amazon and it’s creatures and flora and fauna.  He is passionate about his country and he tells richly woven stories about this region in excellent, fluent English.  He has great eyes, spotting wildlife: as we were driving over a rough clay road, he spotted or heard monkeys in nearby trees, back up the vehicle and we enjoyed watching the endemic to the local area monkeys swing from trees to trees.  He spotted numerous birds for us as well as the easier to see sloths.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch of fresh fish cooked over an open fire with Brazil’s national alcoholic drink.   Gil arranged a river boat trip on an immaculate vessel; there were several other of his team onboard so that Gil could concentrate on telling his guests about the rich history of this region.

I highly recommend Gil for inclusion in your company. If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Lesley Friedsam Damisch, Esq.

Monday 1 December 2014

Seabourn Quest Dec 1st 2014

The best representative of the Amazon Fauna is the best attraction

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Silver Whisper in Santarem - Private shore excursion

On Dec 2nd I shall be leading a tour with passengers cruising on Silver Whisper.
The meeting of the waters, exploration of the floodplain east o Santarem with lots of birds, Pink Dolphins, Sloths guaranteed! Short hikes  plus delicious lemonades, fish snacks, bottled drinks Caipirinhas and great information not given by your lectures on board.
Limited number of people. Join us!!  contact:

Friday 7 November 2014

Seabourn Quest Amazing tour

It was a new record for sloths observation: 17 in 60 minutes hike!!

Tuesday 21 October 2014

I hate to be overbooked, frankly I wish I could guide every single cruiser

Dear Gil
Thanks again for your hospitality. I' m happy to meet you. The main and bigest atraction of Alter de Chao and nearby forest is your person :)
Best Regards

... without you, we would have never been able to experience the uniqueness of the Amazon!

Oops Santarem Nov 6th and Nov 13th on the Seabourn Quest. 

Tuesday 23 September 2014

In April Crystal Serenity comes back to Santarem: Join us Now

Crystal Serentiy docked at Santarem

Three-toed Sloths

Sacious boat with great snacks and fruit

Pink Dolphins


Flooded forest exploration

Giant Water Lillies

Sunday 21 September 2014

Ooops! I guess i did it right again

A fun guide with hundreds of stories to tell, Gil is the ultimate guide for families. He is full of energy, knows the areas like the back of his pocket, and always try to find ways to make us have a good time. His english is perfect with a charming accent, which makes everything more interesting and easier for us foreigners. He also focuses on learning and knowledge, as well as on adventure, love of nature, laugh out loud fun and good home made food. A perfect combination.  

At our request, Gil organized a night in the jungle for our families and friends! What an adventure, truly out of the beaten path! Him and his companions brought us to the perfect spot to set up camp: Hammacks and campfire. They even built an elevated structure for the teenagers to sleep higher in the trees! Memorable. They set up a rudimentary grill to cook the fish and the meal. Finger licking good diner, in good company right in the middle of the jungle. 

Then at sunset time, fireflies of different colours started decorating the canopy, a way to say good night to us traveller for a night to remember in the middle of the National Tapajos Forest. 

Friday 12 September 2014

Special Cruiseship tour Santarem (dry season)

Sapucaya and Brazil nuts
Pink Dolphins are Guaranteed!
Three-toed sloths are GUARANTEED
short and productive hikes
with my friends

My little girl visits Rainforest

Thursday 11 September 2014

Rainforest Canopy

Very Special tour for Cruiseship Passengers

A testimonial from Erich

Swiss bros in arms

Pink Dolphin
Three-toed sloth
A Boa
Great reading mein Lieber
Of course Willy
Swiss grp Amazon Cocoa
A black Cayman we met(and had soem wine with) just in front of Santarem
Erich Gysling