Amazon Vacation Explorations

Two AAA Members counted on finding adventure on their Amazon vacation in Brazil. What they didn’t expect were luxury and great service.

Jacqueline Hall and Helen Wick

Photo: Jacqueline Hall

Once every year, retired schoolteachers Jacqueline Hall and Helen Wick leave their husbands behind for a girls’ getaway. Planning for their 2015 trip began when the pair discussed an Amazon vacation boat trip and visit to awe-inspiring Iguassu Falls with their Travel Counselor, Jona Willis.

Willis suggested a tour that Hall and Wick say was a perfect fit, full of memorable experiences and a level of luxury one might not expect in a rainforest.

Seeing Iguassu Falls on the Argentina-Brazil border from their hotel —which was perched near the huge, roaring waterfall—was a highlight for Wick, 71, of Modesto, California. “The hotel was just unbelievable,” said Wick. “There were trails we could walk across to see the spectacular falls. The hotel was really top notch, and the food was absolutely delicious.”

Iguassu Falls

Photo: Jacqueline Hall

For Hall, 71, who runs a small bed-and-breakfast in Merced, California, spending four nights aboard a small boat traveling down the Amazon River was the most exciting part of the trip. “There were only 10 guests and 10 staff members aboard, so it was quite something to have that level of service,” she said. “Every day, we took walks through the jungle with a really great guide who explained all the flora and fauna. We saw toucans and huge iguanas. It was just amazing.”

The Tucano on the Amazon

Photo: Jacqueline Hall

Special planning and paperwork were necessary to acquire the visas that allowed entry into Brazil and Argentina, and Willis’ help proved invaluable. A few months prior to departure, Hall realized she’d lost her passport.

“Jona pulled out all the stops to get me a new emergency passport in time,” said Hall. “We couldn’t have done it all without her.”

Next on the agenda for the girlfriends is a week at a California spa close to home. However, the future promises more exotic travels. Antarctica is under consideration—with the help of Willis, of course.

Read more about ways you can experience Brazil, too.

Enjoy a small group tour of Brazil and Argentina on AAA Vacations’ “Three Jewels: Buenos Aires, Iguassu & Rio.” View the trip itinerary on

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Heidi Kazemi, AAA Travel Counselor, Roseville, Calif.

Customization is always my top priority when planning a client's vacation. I ask about their family and where they've been before. Their preferences guide our planning so the vacation is perfectly tailored for them.

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