You've read our report, you've seen the photos, you watched the video, and now you're ready to brave the Amazon, but you need details. What's the trip going to cost you, what should you bring, how do you pack, when's the best time to go, etc., etc., etc.. Let us preface this conclusion with the reminder that venturing into the Amazon, for the great majority of us, involves travel to another country. Whenever you travel to another country, be that Brazil, New Zealand, Fiji, or Japan, the most important thing you can do is prepare yet remain flexible.
Peacock bass are an amazing game fish, but where they live and thrive, the Amazon Rainforest is beyond accolade.
Case in point? Our trip was originally planned for February 2010 but due to forces outside the control of our outfitter (drought conditions), we had to reschedule for November 2010 instead. One week after our return from the Amazon Basin, the river came up two meters and all trips through the end of 2010 were cancelled because there was too much water. Fishing is best when water conditions and weather are stable, and since our departure, the area has seen a lot of rain. The fish just don't bite when the water is rising so rather than waste their future clients' time and money, they choose instead to reschedule everyone.
The Tayacu 1 drafts only 1.5 meters of water.
Adventure Travel Alliance: A trip to the Amazon in search of Peacock Bass begins with selecting an outfitter. Though it might be possible, it’s not advisable to wing a journey such as this. Steve Yatomi of Adventure Travel Alliance has been to the Amazon basin over thirty times. He knows what makes a good outfitter, and he knows even more that have gone under and taken all their clients’ money and ran. Make no mistake, even after all the past and continuing coverage over the wonders of fishing the Amazon, it remains, to this day, a risky venture. Adventure Travel Alliance does their best to partner with only the most reputable and trustworthy outfitters throughout the world, but that doesn’t mean something still can’t go wrong. Fortunately for us, when all was said and done, our trip couldn’t have gone any smoother.
The Tayacu 1 sleeps 10, the Tayacu 2 sleeps 8.
The Tayacu: The Tayacu is operated by Peacock Bass Fishing Expeditions who are partnered with Adventure Travel Alliance to book people from abroad onto the boat. It is a 12 passenger boat sleeping mostly 2 people to a room and each room has its own independently controlled air conditioning unit along with a full bath. Both the Tayacu and its smaller sister ship, the Tayacu 2, are shallow draft boats that can get into places other boats of the same size simply cannot.
A look inside the cabins of the Tayacu.
What that means is they can get further up river than the other boats during periods of low water giving you that extra edge in fishing uncrowded water, and yes, there are crowds down in the Amazon when all the houseboat operations are fishing the same water.
Indoor dining away from the insects of unusual size.
Their fishing boats, where you will be spending the majority of your time, are aluminum hulled bass boats with a single console, front and back decks, an outboard and hand controlled trolling motor. These are very capable boats and much more comfortable than the
Jon boats we saw many other outfits running.
The fishing boats are single console, aluminum hulled bass boats.
The guides for Peacock Bass Fishing Expeditions are hand picked from among the best the Amazon has to offer. Every single boat caught multiple fish in double digits, and every single guide tries their hardest to give you the best opportunity to catch big fish.
Everything from positioning the boat, to clearing fallen trees so you can get to untouched water, to pulling and pushing the boat over obstructions, to diving into the water to untangle your line so you can continue fighting that big fish, to tuning your lures, to teaching you how to use your own equipment properly!
The guides for the Tayacu are hand picked form among the best the Amazon region has to offer.
Itinerary: Our travel schedule from the States to Brazil and back went from a Friday to Sunday. We flew out of the States on a Friday, and arrived in Manaus early Saturday morning. Remember that note about remaining flexible? We were originally scheduled to catch our flight to Barcelos at 7:00am on Saturday, but when we arrived in Manaus, we were told the flight would not be until 9:00am.
These small planes are the reason for the 40lb total luggage weight limit per person.
We boarded the Tayacu at roughly 1:00pm on Saturday and left the boat on the following Saturday at around 10:00am. We fished the first Saturday half a day, full days on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and half a day again on Friday. That’s five full days of fishing and two half days. Cost for this portion of the trip was just under $4K per person. Airfare to and from the States to Manaus is extra as are any hotel stays in Manaus before and after your stay on the houseboat. All totaled, you can expect to spend $5K - $6K for travel and the houseboat stay.