Friday, July 9, 2021


The Amazon Explorer team organized and brought National Geographic Photographer York Hovest to Matsés territory.

York is a renowed photographer from Germany, traveling around the world looking for stories, adventures and inspiring destinations.

Check the video of his journey with the Matses people, at the Peru/Brazil border:

Thursday, July 1, 2021


Amazon Explorer is launching a new website with more information, and a blog with useful information about our expeditions and survival programs in the Amazon rainforest.
Visit and follow us o our new WEBSITE and BLOG

Amazon Explorer's Blog

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Explorers! We have confirmed an expedition to the Matses people. We would start on August 7th.
If you are interested, please email us until July 2018:

Territory of the mysterious tribe of the Feline, "The Matses” is considered one of the most remote areas of the Amazon rainforest. Little exploration has been done and is inaccessible for most tourists.

The Matses belong to the Pano linguistic family, like Matis ethnicities, and Korubos Marubos among others.

In the 1970's the Matses changed their mode of semi-nomadic life to live in permanent communities. The Matsés territory is located in the region bounded by the rivers of Yavari (Javari in Portuguese), and Galvez Chobayacu Peru's border with Brazil.

Currently their communities are located deep in the Amazon jungle of northeastern Peruvian border with Brazil. Still retain their primitive culture, are expert hunters and gatherers whose ability to survive depends on their physical skills and knowledge of the jungle. Your belief system is tied to nature, plants and animals have a very important relationship with their spiritual world.

More information:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Upon Amazon’s Current: Disease, Drug Cartels and the Challenges of Exploration with Adventurer Marcin Gienieczko

Marcin Gienieczko, a Polish explorer that made a Jungle Survival Training Course with Amazon Explorer in Iquitos, Peru, before the crossing along the Amazon River.

By: Adam Zmarzlinski (Poland)

Guinness Record, Marcin from PolandThere is a saying in Brazil that goes, “At the blacksmith’s house, only wooden skewers” (Em casa de ferreiro, espeto de pau). Its meaning is a bit on the nose: focus too much on one thing and everything else is bound to fall apart, bound to be of a lesser quality than everything else in one’s life. Marcin Gienieczko, a Polish sportsman, adventurer, explorer and the first person to cross the Amazon River via canoe, is a living antithesis to that statement.

While on his 6,800-kilometer (4,225 mile) journey down the Amazon River, he maintained constant contact with family, focused on overcoming the struggles associated with the force of nature that is the largest river in the world, and above all else, kept—as well as he could—sane while encountering disease, fickle weather and gun barrels pointed at his face. I sat down with Marcin to understand what it takes to challenge a force of nature and win.

The idea for his 2015 adventure, which took him from San Antonio District, Peru to the Bay of Baia de Marajo off the Brazilian coast, came to him while on an expedition through the Yukon River in Alaska and Northwestern Canada. “No one’s taken on the Amazon via canoe before,” he explained.  “It appealed to me. In my youth, I hoped to undertake the challenge of the Congo River in Africa. Unfortunately, war broke out in that inflamed part of the world between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes.” Traveling the depths of the Congo, and the borders of Rwanda and Burundi, was too dangerous. “So I settled on the Amazon,” he exclaimed with a smile.

Beside the Yukon, Marcin had a lifetime-worth of adventures under his belt: canoeing the rivers Mackenzie, Lena, Vistula and the Baltic Sea from Bornholm, Denmark to Darlowo, Poland. He rode the northern regions of Mongolia on horseback during an expedition to reach the Tsataan tribe, one of the last remaining native tribes of Mongolia. Traveling through Tibet on foot and ski along the Kolyma River, he felt the cold of negative 53 °C (-63 °F) nip at his face. Traveling with the Polish Press Corp through China, he aided with research on the Shaolin monastery. During his stay, he learned kung-fu and studied Zen philosophy. He acted as camp photographer for US-Canadian expedition that ventured along the north-east ridge of Mt. Everest. His life is a kaleidoscope of adventure, but as he says, “None were as challenging as the Amazon. None.”

A jungle survival course with Amazon Explorer in Iquitos, Peru
Marcin training with Amazon Explorer, Iquitos, Peru
“The first person who beat the entire Amazon alone was a Swiss, Mike Horn, a legend of exploration,” Marcin began. “He’s one of my heroes. I studied Mike’s trip along with that of Ed Stafford—an Englishman, who was the first person to walk the length of the Amazon. It was important for planning. I had to understand what I was getting into before I began. In 2011, two Polish kayakers were murdered on the Ucayali part of the river. Another Pole, Alexander Doba, was attacked twice. A South African was shot; thankfully he was found before he bleed out. I studied these tragedies, but as is often the case, you can’t plan true adventures.”

Marcin began his journey on May 17th 2015 in Peru. First, he cycled 670 km (416 miles) through the Andes at the height of 4,700 m (15,420 feet) reaching the village of San Francisco. From June 30th until September 1st, the Amazon River was his home. The last part of his journey began in the town of Belem, Brazil and, after an 80 km (50 miles) run, ended on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. In sum, Marcin’s journey took 111 days. His whole route can be explored at the his Polish-language Solo Amazon site.

“The stake is not only the fight against a powerful river, a tropical climate, violent storms, but also illness, interpersonal conflicts, dangerous snakes and insects,” Marcin explained. “Before the journey, I had to take the appropriate vaccinations at the Institute of Tropical Diseases, regularly did stamina training to adjust my body to the harsh conditions. I’m a triathlon participant, so I’ve got a higher physical stress level than most. And while the physical aspect of it is hard, the reality is that the mental aspect of the adventure is much more demanding. Mental strength is a struggle. In the town of Tabatinga, I burst and broke down but I had no other choice, and pulled myself together. The beginning was the worst, but with each meter of the river conquered, my perseverance increased.”

Guinness World Records certificate for Marcin, who trained with Amazon Explorer in Iquitos, PeruWildlife bloomed in the jungle. Often the animals were impartial to Marcin, but on a few occasions curiosity got the best of them. “Twice, a snake fell from the Brazilian trees and into the canoe. Several times snakes slithered into the tent and I was quick to show them the exit. I heard distant monkey howls and the roar of the jaguar, but nothing more. However, somewhere around the town of Orellana a boil appeared on my neck. After two days, it turned into a big lump the size of a fist. I couldn’t move my neck, couldn’t survey the river.

“I contacted Dr. Leszek Mayer—who kept me healthy, supplied me with the malaria tablets and vitamins, which I took every day—of the Institute of Tropical Diseases in Gdynia via my satellite phone. I explain what had happen and he diagnose that it was either an infected mosquito bite or my body reacting to a mosquito toxin that it never encountered. He prescribed some antibiotics, which I bought at the first town that I found with a pharmacist.”

Each day began at 6 AM and, depending on the weather, at around 5 PM Marcin scanned for a safe place to camp, rest and eat.

“I was afraid that they might murder me in the night,” he said stoically. “Where I had to cross through is very dangerous. This area is in the middle of the VRAEM (Valle del Rio Apurimac, Ene y Mantaro) region—the Valley of the Three Rivers: Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro. It’s dangerous for many reasons: cocaine trafficking and the remnants of the communist terrorist group, the Shining Path, hide out there. They’re the most dangerous because they kidnap people for ransom or kill without any compunction. In addition to their political considerations, they cooperate with the drug cartels, using violent methods to spread fear throughout the region, which gives the cartels a greater freedom of action. The Shining Path act as hired guns, making their living that way.

“Gadiel Sanhez Rivera accompanied me through the drug traffickers lands,” Marcin recalled. “He’s a mestizo Peruvian, medium height, broad shoulders. Once a drug courier but he quit because he wanted to keep on living. He was a great asset, knowing the land, the customs and most important, the language of the Asheninka Indians. He walked on foot along the banks of the Amazon River with Ed Stafford and helped him logistically.

“We reached the Pongo, whose rock walls narrowed into the Ene river. The natives call this place ‘The Passage of the Seven Devils’ because of the seven giant craters. Without paddling, the canoe flowed at about 11 km/hour. The river began to undulate and surge. It was there that natives shot at us. In Europe, strangers approach each other with a sort of cautious optimism. In South America, they takes care of such things very differently—if you don’t stop, they shoot.

“The river flowed faster and faster,” Marcin continued. “Suddenly, I heard a shot and turned toward Gadiel. Another shot. ‘Gringo, gringo!’ someone shouted from the clay slopes, waving his hands. ‘Not good. Ashaninka,’ Gadiel said terrified. We tried to turn back but the rapids hijacked the kayak. Again, someone shot in our direction. I heard the swish of the bullets near the canoe. Men appeared out of the thicket and steered their motorized boat toward us. ‘Come out!’ they shouted in Spanish. Their faces were painted red, three lines on both cheeks: a jaguar’s mustache. ‘These are the aggressive ones, warriors,’ Gadiel said in a low voice.

“They steered their boat up to us, guns raised, and pointed for us to move toward the shore. We did and continued on, showing them our equipment. ‘You’ve got drugs?’ they asked. ‘No, we don’t,’ Gadiel answered. They thought we were cocaine trafficker, so the distance three shots—one warning and two at the canoe, weren’t senseless; the Ashaninka had their reasons to do so.

“Who are you? What are you doing here? This area is Ashaninka,’ they asked, their rifles aimed at us. ‘Here are our documents from the President of the region,’ my companion showed them but they looked at the papers with agitation and confusion. They didn’t know how to read Spanish. ‘Do you have any gifts?’ they asked. Gadiel gave them some of our freeze-dried food and I produced a Swiss Army knife and a small flashlight headlamp for their chief, who examined our faces. He looked me in the eyes, ‘You have five hours to leave our region.’ We rowed away and as we disappeared around the bend of the river, someone gave another shot upwards.

“Fortunately no one was hurt,” Marcin concluded. “When I recall the story, it may seem a great experience in the style of James Bond, but truly, it wasn’t. In fact, it was a very extreme situation. Too much tension, too much adrenalin.”

But not all encounters were as tension filled, Marcin recalls the friendliness of the people of Atalaya, a shore side town where he officially began his kayaking journey: “The people were very friendly. I had a meeting with the town’s mayor. Because of an earlier murder of two Poles in the region, they wanted to help me a lot. Canoeists Celina and Radoslaw Frackiewicz were murdered in connection with the local cult of Pelacary. The native tribes thought the white foreigners abduct their children. Their bodies were never found and two murderers are still hiding in the jungle. They mayor informed me that they’ve been drawn into the ranks of cocaine traffickers, where they’re safe from persecution. The cartels are the law in those parts.”

Map of the Amazon River Source, Peru“Numerous people came out for the start of my expedition,” Marcin recalls. “I was surprised because my experience in Peru was such that the locals were much more distant. However, in Brazil everyone was very friendly, inviting me to their homes for coffee or beer. I’d particularly like to thank the Brazilian Navy, who were very helpful when I capsized.”

Being alone in the vast jungle, loneliness lay heavy on his shoulders. “I thought about my children and wife, to whom I’m very indebted for patience and support” he began. “I also thought about what I’m going to do next: a trip to the South Pole, a solo 2,260 km (1,404 mile) ski trip. Perhaps a double traversal of the Canadian Mackenzie Mountains starting at Ross River and then a return at about 1,200 km (745 miles). I’d like to take the starting rout solo and a return with a partner. Maybe someone from your readers wants to join my expedition? I extend an invitation to all,” he laughed and his mind turned to a topic of a higher power.
“Being alone in the jungle, I thought a lot about God. I realized even more that I am a believer,” Marcin reminisced. “From working on a freighter in the middle of the Ocean, I know that the sea is no place for atheists, now I know that neither is the jungle. Without God as council, I couldn’t accomplish anything. Every day, morning and evening, I prayed out there among the grand wilderness. It helped with morale and overcoming isolation.”

When asked about advice for young adventurers, Marcin remained silent for a moment before answering. “What counts is ambition and the desire to pursue a dream,” he began. “From the very beginning you have to want what it is that you set out to achieve. Experience matters. Every river gave me experience from the Yukon in Alaska to Lena in Siberia. If you think you can’t achieve something, think of this: I work on a ship as a sailor, I financed most of the trip out of my own pocket but also with support from such companies as Energa and Satfilm. I didn’t make the trip about myself, either. It’s important to help others. I collected money for and sent all proceeds to the Pomeranian Hospice for Children in Gdansk. During these expeditions I check what is humanly possible. I want to push the boundaries; I think that’s important. I also wanted to show my own children that you can do great things without being very rich, or knowing people in high places, all you need is a healthy ambition.”

Training with Amazon Explorer (Iquitos, Peru) for the jungle
Training with Amazon Explorer (Iquitos, Peru) for the jungle
After 111 days of more than 6,800 km of physical effort, thousands of mosquito and ant bites, 250 liters of electrolytes, two venomous snake attacks, one close encounter with a gun and one tip-over, Marcin made it to the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. And while to most such an adventure is one of a lifetime, Marcin is planning a solo ski trip to the South Pole. His ambition is boundless. If anyone is interested in the Marcin’s Amazon journey, they are welcome to visit the official GPS Tracking Site to see the full interactive map of the trip. Thank you for  help Amazon Explorer in Iquitos.

I’d like to thank Marcin for his time and am looking forward to his next big adventure.

Author’s note: The interview was conducted in Polish and all the above was translated into English.

Friday, October 28, 2016

JUNGLE SURVIVAL TRAINING - November 18 to 20, 2016

This training course has the aim to incorporate ADVANCED jungle survival techniques and expose the participant to adverse situations and conditions to improve skills and endurance.

On the lead of qualified Military instructors, showing the most practical ways of adaption to the environment, and the use of natural resources.

Are you interested? Further information:

Monday, August 1, 2016

Incredible Expeditions in the Amazon Rainforest

Do you want to visit the Amazon Rainforest? Amazon Explorer has a broad, varied array of expeditions, suitable for those wanting to experience the real jungle.
Expedition to observe birds, sloths, monkeys and alligators in a lagoon. | Amazon Explorer Iquitos Peru

Amazon Explorer is a recognized operator in Iquitos, Peruvian Amazon. It has awarded the TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence due great reviews from travelers.

We are one of the five companies authorized by the Peruvian Government (SERNANP) to take travelers inside the famous Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, one of the best places for observe wildlife for a travel less than a week. Programs to the Pacaya-Samiria are from 3 to 12 days.

Camping in the Amazon Rainforest. Enjoy the jungle. | Amazon Explorer Iquitos Peru

If you are looking for learning survival skills, ask for our 6-day Amazon Survival. This program is not a leisure trip; this is a hard program, a disaster simulation in middle of the jungle. You will gather water and food from nature.
A Matses tribesman going to hunt in the Peru/Brazil border | Amazon Explorer Iquitos Peru

For those looking for contacting non-touristic indigenous tribes, Amazon Explorer is the only company that is currently going to the Matses National Reserve, a national protected area where Matses People are living. The 15-Day Matses Expedition takes you to their territory where you may experience the Sapo Medicine (Kambó), the Nu-Nu Ceremony and get in touch with the Matses' culture.

More programs are available, and also we may tailor some of them, at your request.

Amazon Explorer, always off the beaten track.

More information:
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Friday, July 22, 2016

Confirmed Expeditions - August 2016

Traveling for yourself in Iquitos and the Peruvian Amazon?

If you are traveling alone you will find that most of the tour for a single traveler is expensive unless you join in a group.
In order to help you to get a program and take a group rate, below are our confirmed programs you may join.

On the other hand, if you have a different date, we are always available.
Just tell us your travel dates, how many people are you and the programs you are interested.

If you want to join or want a new program, just write us:


Pacaya-Samiria Adventure (5 days). Start: 3Aug. Finish: 7Aug.
- Pacaya-Samiria Crossing (15 days). Start: 8Aug. Finish: 15Aug.
- Pacaya-Samiria Express (3 days). Start: 15Aug. Finish: 17Aug.
- Pacaya-Samiria Express (3 days). Start: 28Aug. Finish: 30Aug.


- Pacaya-Samiria Express (3 days). Start: 13Aug. Finish: 15Aug.
- Anaconda Expedition (20 days). Start: Aprox. 26Aug. Finish: 14Sep.

More information:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Marcin Gienieczko: I Won The Fight Against The Amazon

Outstanding story by Marcin Gienieczko a Polish adventurer along the Amazon River in Peru and Brazil. In Iquitos (Peru), Marcin was with estuvo con Amazon Explorer.

(Text by Marcin Gienieczko, translated by Piotr Chmielinski)

I made it to Belem and that way became the13th person in the world that had navigated the entire Amazon River system and the first person that paddled the Amazon from San Francisco to Belem in a canoe, which took me 94 days. It was a big challenge and a lot of sacrifices - starting from the family side. I had to leave two sons, 3-year-old Leon and 5-year-old Igor for four months, as well as the house that should have been worked on. Fortunately my wife is more resourceful at that matter than I am.

Exploring in South America is a logistical challenge. Maybe, as big as reaching the South Pole, because during this expedition from the very beginning logistics ruled. Starting from sending canoe and ending up at the source of the Amazon in Nevado Mismi. Please, find below the video of the expedition to the source of the Amazon

That’s how it started: There were logistics from the beginning, then riding a bike through the Andes to enter the elevation of 4700 meters and then exit. The next stage was Apurimac River and the city of San Francisco in Peru. I started my run on May 31st, 2015 and finished it on September 1st. Such fast navigating of Amazon would not be possible without the cooperation with Kacper Jurak, who prepared for me a special GPS maps and Adam Wasilewski, with whom I spent together many weeks to plan the entire project. It was also a big challenge in terms of the preparation.

A year earlier, I paddle the Rio Napo. You cannot just take a canoe and start paddling without any experience, and run the Amazon. I was following the example of Piotr Chmielinski, who was the first to kayaked the Amazon from the source to the Pacific Ocean. He explored the rivers of South America for almost 6 years before he started to kayak the Amazon River.

I was paddling rivers for 7 years, but only the rivers of the northern part of globe, and that is a huge difference; that is why I decided to run the Rio Napo, the tributary of Amazon. Chmielinski encouraged me to run Napo, and then to continue into Amazon and paddle to Belem. I replied immediately that I was not interested. Every professional traveler is the one who has a clear goal, and precisely knows what he wants from himself and from the adventure. My goal was one: to start my canoeing from the place where it is possible to put it in. I started from Apurimac below the first rapids, which could capsize my canoe.

I began on May 31st; there was no other expedition on Amazon at the same time. Why? Because others wanted to run the mountain river - one Mantaro, another Apurimac and as far as I know, both of the rivers are technically difficult, although Apurimac from what I know, is more demanding. Piotr Chmielinski ran that river in 1985.  He was there in October, the safest month for kayaking  as far as water levels (he paddle a raft in white water, and sea kayaks), just as other expeditions followed.

Since Triathlon through South America was my goal, I started at the end of May and it was really a very dangerous thing to do. According to the descriptions in the book Running the Amazon by Joe Kane, water pours and whirlpools of Ene River are10 meters across in October, but in May, when the  most of the water flows from Andes, Ene and Tambo are not lowland rivers anymore. In May and June they resemble mountain rivers and have huge whirlpools - in October they are 10 meters big, but at the beginning of June they were 16 meters in diameter and you could safely hide inside two connected paddles.

Gadiel Sanchez Rivera who accompanied me in my canoe from San Francisco to Atalaya can confirm it; we paddled along the 60 km of Apurimac, then Ene and Tambo. At Tambo we had some problems  - we had to enlist the help of a boat, that pulled us with a rope to the shore because the canoe was stuck in the funnel; the boat took so much water that I almost lost it. Similar situation happened on Ene River, but there we were lucky and we managed all without help. Whirlpools were powerful; I never had the experience with whirlpools before. I had the experience with rapids on Athabasca River, when I was paddling solo the Mckenzie River system in 2005.

Below you can find the video:

River Tambo tried to swallow us, later from Pojeni, the water became very fast but didn't have big whirlpools. We reached Atalaya. From Atalaya to Pucalpa I paddled on my own. Gadiel Sanchez Rivera became the head of the logistics of my expedition; he accompanied me at various points on Ucayali River. He was organizing accommodation, food, safe places. He fulfilled the same role during the expedition with Ed Strafford, when from Satipo, he went on foot along the banks of the Amazon.

Ucayali River is slow, but I was able to run it in 19 days. That was very fast for a slow river that meanders through the heart of the jungle of South America. There were a wall of the forest from the left and right, heat, 40 degrees Celsius and I in the canoe. Packing had always been the hardest; I drank electrolytes, swallowed pills, vitamins, and ate my space food like spaghetti or stew powder, etc.

A few times a snake crept into the tent and I had the most horrible experience ever. I had to crush its tail with the paddle and with a machete, cut off the head and the tail. It was a dangerous job, but Gadiel Sanchez Rivera gave me excellent lessons of survival. Thanks to him I managed to run Ucayali River, which was really dangerous, people were less friendly; you cannot just jump to a canoe or kayak and paddle as some kayakers from Gdansk, Poland did, and paid for it with their lives. You have to have special permissions to show them to local "Marshals", chiefs of villages, to run the Ene, Tambo, and Ucayali Rivers.

We had such an experience on Ene, when the locals gave two warning shots up, and one aimed straight at us. The bullet struck the rock near the canoe. Then, we knew that we had to stop and present our permits. How hazardous the region is, you can read in the book "The expedition along the Amazon," in which Englishman Ed Strafford described the region. Many think that this is the region you can travel. If so, why Explorer Website posted that only12 people ran the Amazon; eleven in a kayak and one, Ed Strafford along the river's banks on foot?

It speaks for itself how Amazon teaches determination and perseverance. That was the comment of Piotr Chmielinski. As he continues in his steady correspondence with me and my team: "Marcin, focus on the nearest ports and goals. Times have changed, but the river did not. The same with the Pacific Ocean; it has not changed - it is still very dangerous. You need to think and anticipate - then you can survive. Sometimes I say to others: Do you know, why I still exist? - Because I try to anticipate the situation in advance. A lot has to be done in such a big project".

Starting with the run from Iquitos, when the Ucayali River and Maranion meet and form the Amazon, the river gets big and fast. Sometimes I could paddle 100 km a day, because in June a large volume of water flowed from the Andes, and the river flooded; it was fast, sometimes 14 km per hour. Aleksander Doba, who tried to paddle the Amazon in 2011, wrote on the blog: "The river flows so fast as at Dunajec (mountain river in Poland) cascades”, and he is the only person who can say something about this, because he paddled the Amazon in a heavy ocean kayak in June. This is what I have to say since I was paddling in a canoe, which weighs 40 kg!

The river became even faster from Tabatinga to Manaus, but really fast it was at the end of June before the border with Columbia - the speed was reaching 18 km per hour. I had one goal from Pucallpa - to cover this part of the Amazon in sport style, as fast as possible.

From Iquitos I started to dream about paddling the Amazon in a canoe in less time than 100 days. And I did it – I ran the Amazon in 94 days in a canoe and this is an absolute world record in long-distance run in a canoe. You cannot of course, compare canoe to sea kayak, because it is the same as if someone would like to compare WRC canoe class to F1 class. This cannot be done.

I had different thoughts while working on this project. I remembered when during Rod Stewart's concert, my wife Ala began to cry, fearing that something will happen to me during the expedition. Going to the airport just before my departure to Lima she asked me why I was doing such a huge project now, when we have children. Only now I had adequate knowledge and experience that I could make it happen - I replied driving a car to Warsaw.

Earlier, I paddled the Lena River, many rivers in the Yukon as a guide and the Yukon River itself, and the Mackenzie River system etc. but Amazon is a huge river. Fighting with it does not make any sense, you need to love it and live with it - if you want to do it differently, and you will not succeed. You cannot think about the final, but about short-term goals, that is, what will happen in 10 days, not in 2 months. Otherwise, I would have gone crazy. I paddled 11 hours a day; I could paddled not more because it was getting dark early in the day, and I did not want to paddle in the darkness, although a couple of times I had to.

Near Ichihara I almost died. Entering the port I did not notice a large mooring, which was attached to a buoy. A strong line almost cut off my head. It was terrible. I was to meet with the local port Captain. They knew about that the large ships moors there, and decided to come and greet me. They came just in time because the fast current kept pushing me onto that rope, thick as a hand of MMA fighter. They saved my life; stopped my canoe 10 cm from the rope. It was my great, good fortune and no doubt, divine assistance. In general I received a lot of support from God, so I decided to donate the profit from selling my canoe to Children Charity or as a gift in Maritime Museum in Gdansk after I finish this expedition. "Energa" Company, my main sponsor decided to help me to bring a canoe back to Poland.  I believe that if they keep their promise, I have to keep my, that I’ll paddle the Amazon.

Big problems started from Santarem, when the river became even more demanding. When I entered Para River, my daily distance was almost 30 km, sometimes 40 km a day. The high sides of a canoe on such a large basins act like sails and change the direction of the boat. At such high waters a canoe is not able to flow. But I fought. In 2012, I paddled from Bornholm to Darlowo for 28 hours - non-stop paddling across the Baltic Sea. Then I moved 5 km per hour, I was able to do it because I had the so-called weather window, with no wind and no ripples. It was 28-hour period of time, but you cannot count on such luck to last for 14 days.

Ocean wave from the Atlantic to the Gulf in front of Belem was 2 meters high. The shore tidal wave capsized me, everything got wet and again I had to dry everything. It was a struggle. Before Belem it was getting even harder and harder; large tides began, when the water rises and falls down every 6 hours and flows once up, once down the river. Within six hours I could do 45 km if the river flow was toward Atlantic.  It took Piotr Chmielinski four days to paddle from Breves to Belem. I wondered how it was possible, but a sea kayak is like a F1, they quickly penetrate and move forward. Kayak ran the bay boldly, my canoe would not have a chance, so I had to paddle down the bay to the inter-island area, to traverse it, which was tough, demanding, and time consuming.  At this stage of expedition I had an accompanying boat from the governor of Para State and the commander of the Para State Security, thanks to the efforts of the Polish Embassy.

Piotr Chmielinski in 1986 in a sea kayak paddled from Manaus to Belem in 31 days, I did it in a canoe in 36 days. From Breves to Belem he paddled in 4 days, I did it in 10 days, but all the time I had to underline that I did it in a canoe. I think that a canoe gives better opportunities on the expeditions, but it is slower and has more resistance, so these have an impact on wind and speed. On the fast rivers the canoe may be equal to the kayak, which confirms the legendary race of Yukon River Quest. Competitors in a canoe ended their voyage approximately 4 hours after the fastest kayaks, so it’s not bad, worthy competition.

My trip was purely sporting activity. As I have two sons, my motivation was to quickly return home. It was also a last chance to fit this kind of expedition in my life and use my skills as a good long-distance paddler. For this reason I decided to do it in the sporting style. I reached Belem on September 1st at 15:26. At this point, I decided to finish my long trips of canoe paddling. This step is behind me; someday, I will paddle with my boys on the Yukon to Alaska. Now, I am going to concentrate on the running. September 4th, I start my longest run of my entire life: 80 km from Belem toward the Atlantic Ocean to finish South America’s traverse. It was hard, with hot weather and high humidity, but the challenges have to be like that, otherwise the world would stop.

This Amazon traverse I dedicate to my younger son, 3-year old Leon. I want him to know that nothing is impossible; we just have to find a new solution. Amazon taught me that - look for solutions and push against; for the rest of my life.

A man must be stronger than the conditions he finds. I believe that everybody dies but not everyone knows how to live a life without being afraid of the sky, deep sea, big lizard; I bend only before God and move forward. In this world, only those survive who see in the dark in advance.

September 4th, 2015, 21:40, after14 hours and 40 minutes of slow running, and after 94 days of sitting in the canoe, comes the final success. Goal achieved. 111 days of pushing since May17th. This trip showed me that in order to survive you have to look for solutions in every situation.

Thank you for your participation in this project, and reading about the adventures of my challenges and my perseverance.

Once I asked my friend how to live? The answer was simple, be honest to yourself. I have two sons; I fight since my childhood, everything in order not to prove myself (this lifetime is behind me), but to show the children from different places in Poland that if you want to achieve anything in life you have to be persistent, you need to have a strong focus combined with a life’s mission. Olympic champion Robert Korzeniowski said: "I went through a lot in my life to achieve something. And the same is with the exploration, competitive sports, business, or family life.

The Triathlon through South America showed me that if you want to achieve something you should have three qualities: perseverance, enthusiasm and motivation. The mission was successful.

Gienieczko crossed South America, 700 km by bike through the Andes topping 4750 m, 5980 km in a canoe and 80km of slow-run.

This story previously appeared on

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Friday, September 11, 2015

The Anaconda


The green anaconda (Eunectes murinus). It is a constrictor snake of the boas family, endemic from the tropical rivers of South America, of all the snakes this is which has the highest weigh and perhaps the largest known snake, disputando con la pitón reticulada (Python reticulatus) que habita en las selvas de Indonesia y Filipinas.


The anaconda is endemic from South America; inhabits the basins of the Orinoco and the Amazon rivers. Also they can be founded in countries as: Brasil, Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, Paraguay, Venezuela and Trinidad Island.


The anaconda is the biggest snake of America and can exceed the 8 meters long and weight more than 200 kg. The females are larger than the males, this is the most marked sexual dimorphism case into the order of these reptiles  are grouped (Squamata).

The anaconda is dark green in color with oval black spots and ocher on the flanks. The belly is more clearly, and the end of the tail shows yellow and black designs that are unique by each one. The body is broad and muscular, adapted to kill their prey by constriction.
The head is narrow and does not have a distinctive neck. The nostrils and eyes are in an elevated position, to make breathing and perception easier during the long periods that the anaconda spend submerged. The eyes of the anaconda are small and have the typical vertically elliptical pupil of the poisonous species and the boids, the vision of the anaconda is not very acute. The olfactory receptors are found on the tongue, like all the snakes.
The snout is covered for six thickened scales, three on each side, which are the most distinctive trait that separates the genus Eunectes species from the closely related Boa.
There is a kind of anaconda which the only part of the entire body is not covered by scales, these ones inhabit in the Caudal region, near the cloaca zone. In that environs, this anaconda presents spurs which are remnants of locomotives atrophied limbs.

Habitat and Behavior

The powerful muscles of the anaconda makes it a skillful swimmer, the green anaconda can travel short distances underwater or on the surface very quickly, where it is capable of reaching a speed of 6 meters per second, but on the ground their movements are slow and heavy. The anaconda choose the camouflage found on the banks of streams as well as the trunks and beaches to sunbathe or relax. The anaconda used to travel on the rivers , but prefer the still waters such as ponds or aguajales where most of the time is immersed to stalk their prey; the position of the nostrils allows it to submerge the most of the body as a camouflage.
Usually hunt animals that come to drink, it traps them with jaws and simultaneously wraps itself around its body to suffocate them. With its immense constrictive forcé, submitted its prey in just over 10 seconds, the death of his victim is by asphyxia.
The anaconda, like all snakes can not chew food, and instead of, swallow them integer. Teeth are like needles sharp and directed toward the interior of the mouth, they serve to retain the prey and allow not escaping. It has four rows of teeth, one regular and one on the palate used to move the food down her throat.
When swallowing, the maxilla and mandible, which are fasten to the skull by ligaments, they manage to separate to accommodate to the size of the prey.


The anaconda is able to consume large preys as; Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) which is one of his favorite victims and juveniles unique species as: Brazilian tapir (Tapirus terrestris), Red brocket deer (Mazama americana) Gray or brown brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira)
Lizard: Common caiman (Caiman crocodilus), Lizard: Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger), Smooth-fronted caiman (Smooth-fronted caiman), plus other mammals, birds, turtles and other small reptiles.
The snake must alternate to fulfill the process of digestion. This is because the digestive process requires a lot of energy that the snake should use to digest the food efficiently, which can last days or weeks, depending on the size of the pray. The undigestible parts can be excreted or regurgitated.


According is shown in some field studies conducted to date, when a female anaconda is sexually available emits a pheromone smell,this is detected by the male from the area since a distance of 5.5 km.
The pairing of the anaconda occurs between the months of april and may; Females attract males by an olfactory sign, and they congregate around them along of several weeks. In the last phase of the courtship, up to a dozen males curls around the female, fighting for access to the sewer of her, forming a characteristic ball; They may remain so curled up to 15 days, often in shallow water, until the bigger and stronger female chooses the winner.
During the mentioned copulation, male spurs stimulate the caudal region of the female; both sewers get contact and the tails curl while insemination occurs.
During the actual copulation male spurs stimulate the caudal region of the female; contact both sewers and tails curl while insemination occurs.
The anaconda is ovoviviparous, it means that the eggs remain inside the body of the female until hatching. The gestation lasts 6 months inside the female. The anaconda can reach to have up to a hundred broods, but overall the number of the litter oscillates between 20 and 40. Newborns measures around 70-80 cm long. Because of their small size, often fall as a prey of other animals, only a few manage to survive till the adulthood.


The main threat to their conservation is the destruction of their habitat and the hunting by those who consider it a threat to domestic livestock and children, without regard its role in controlling of the rodent pests.

Kingdom:    Animalia
Phylum:      Chordata
Class:         Sauropsida
Order:         Squamata
Suborder:  Ophidians
Class:         Reptiles
Family:       Boidae
Genre:        Eunectes
Specie:       Eunectes murinus

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Iquitos, Peru, South America

Iquitos, Peru, South America

Iquitos city is located in the northern jungle, to the east. It is the capital of the Loreto Region, with nearly 30% of the country is the largest and most northern of Peru. It is set in the Great Plains and surrounded by the Amazon, Nanay and Itaya rivers. Overall, it constitutes in the Metropolitan Iquitos, a conurbation of 471.993 inhabitants consists of four districts: Iquitos, Punchana, Belen and San Juan Bautista.
Near the confluence of the great Napo and Amazon rivers. In this river world, the communications depend as much or more than the navigation of land transport, virtually nonexistent outside the city of Iquitos.

The Historic Center of Iquitos has several Cultural Heritage of the Nation: Iquitos Cathedral, The Iron House, The Old Hotel Palace, The Cohen House and more than 70 buildings. Other known landmarks are The Main Square (Plaza de Armas), Jiron Prospero; a pathway conglomerates several commercial and historical premises and the crowded neighborhood of Belen, often dubbed as the "Amazon Venice." The city is also home of the Amazon Library, one of the two most important in Latin America.
Because of its location in the Peruvian Amazon, Iquitos has a natural landscape of immense biodiversity.

Now, the reputation of the city is growing as a tourist destination due to its location on the banks of the Amazon River which is one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. Over the years, Iquitos receives considerably foreigners; currently, the tourism index rose by international flights offered by the city airport.

According TripAdvisor Iquitos won the Travelers' Choice 2012 Award No. 22 of "Top 25 destinations in South America." Iquitos was also included in the number 6 on the list of "10 leading cities of the 2011" by Lonely Planet.

Official Language:      
Spanish (spa. amazonian in situ)
Iquitos, Belén, Punchana, San Juan Bautista
1757 (José Bahamonte)

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