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Matis: People of the Amazon

Amazonas, Colombia and Brazil

 

The Matis are masters in the jungle, implementing skills, beliefs, and ceremonies which have been developed over generations. Walk with them and learn as they skillfully hunt with 12 ft. blowguns and curare tipped darts, climb trees and vines to retrieve their kill, and utilize plants, bones, clays, and everything else in their environment to meet their needs. If observation alone isn’t enough for you, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in certain ceremonies and rituals, but be warned, some of these are painful.

In addition to spending five days with the Matis, you will spend a night in a comfortable tree house, a night in a jungle house called Uaco, and two nights in bungalows at La Arenosa. You will be given a crash course in jungle familiarization and good practices before we go to meet with the Matis. You will also have an opportunity to do a canopy tour and will spend two nights in Bogota, the capital of Colombia.




Matis Involvement in this Expedition

It’s important to know that these meetings with the Matis are done with not only their consent, but their wish, and under their control. We have direct participation of tribal representatives and leaders who believe these meetings are a way for the Matis to have some control over their future, and it is one way they are exercising their right to self-determination.

We’ve all heard stories in the media of outsiders pushing their way into an area and instigating change or bringing problems to people who don’t want this outside involvement. The problem with assuming this narrative is always true for all tribes is that it doesn’t take into account the complexities of the Amazon and the people who live there.

The Matis have individual rights and group rights, which we take great care to respect. Everyone at these meetings, both Matis and visitors, meet voluntarily at a camp in the jungle for what we always want to be a positive interaction for everyone involved. All Matis attending are there by choice and can leave at any time, but this has not happened. In fact, every meeting we’ve had ends in them asking us to come again with more people.

In short, this is what the Matis are asking for. We hope to maintain this relationship with the Matis for as long as they see fit, and as long as it is not damaging or in violation of their wishes.

Facts at a Glance

Dates of upcoming trips: 

  • Oct. 5 – 15, 2019
  • April 18 – 28, 2020
  • Oct. 10 – 20, 2020

Where: You’ll first fly into Bogota, Colombia where we will spend one night. The next day we fly to Leticia, Colombia as a group, which is our jumping off point for all other activities. When we visit the Matis, we will cross the border into Brazil and travel up the Javari River. At the end of the trip, we fly from Leticia back to Bogota for a night and from there you’ll fly home.

What’s Included:Lodging, most meals starting with lunch on day 1 and ending with lunch on day 11, local guides and interpreters, ground and water transportation including transfers to and from airports, tourism tax in Leticia, city tour, canopy tour, payment and travel expenses for 20-30+ Matis.

What’s not included:Airfare, beverages and snacks between meals while in cities, alcoholic beverages, unscheduled activities, additional days, personal travel insurance, Brazilian Visa, gifts for the Matis, up to two meals, and anything not listed as included.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate. You must be able to walk short distances in the jungle over varied terrain and be comfortable camping in your choice of tent or hammock for four consecutive nights in a jungle environment.

Travel Concerns: For a list of recommended vaccinations, medications, and travel advisories visit the CDC website at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.

Visa Requirements: Americans do not need a visa in advance before entering Colombia, however a visa is required to enter Brazil. You must purchase your Brazilian visa well in advance. For more details visit miami.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/.

Price:

  • $5,500 per person

 


Basic Itinerary

(be sure to read our detailed itinerary)

Day 1: Arrive at the Bogota Airport and spend the night in a hotel.
Day 2: Fly to Leticia and sleep in a tree house.
Day 3: Explore the jungle, visit a Maloka, and sleep in another house.
Day 4: Stamp passports for Brazil, visit Leticia and sleep at La Arenosa.
Day 5: Travel by motorboat up Rio Javari in Brazil to meet the Matis.
Day 6, 7, and 8: Days with the Matis and camping in the jungle.
Day 9: Say goodbye to the Matis. Lunch in Atalaia Do Norte, stamp passports and return to Leticia. Sleep at La Arenosa.
Day 10: Canopy tour, zip line and city tour of Leticia. Afternoon flight to Bogota.
Day 11: Enjoy Bogota before your flight home.