Shared by nine South American countries and covering 5.5 million square kilometers (2.2 million square miles), the Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest on our planet. Around 60% of the Amazon basin sits within Brazil, although tours within the Peruvian Amazon are on equal standing. The starting point for a journey in the Brazilian Amazon is usually Manaus, while for Peru, it is Iquitos. Any trip to the Amazon will usually combine the following activities.
Home to 1,300 bird species, the Amazon is home to the largest diversity of birdlife on the planet as well as 10% of our known fauna. Scientists estimate that there are around 40,000 plant species, 3,000 types of fish, 430 mammals, and at least 2.5 million different insects within the depths of the rainforest.
Toucans, anacondas, boa constrictors, caimans, dart frogs, giant otters, howler monkeys, sloths, and capybaras - the largest rodent on earth - are just some of the creatures you might encounter. Your chances of seeing the fauna with your own eyes are most likely when you explore with your knowledgeable jungle guide.
Jungle hiking in the Amazon
Whichever Amazon itinerary you choose, you can look forward to trekking through the canopy on foot. All excursions must be led by a professional jungle guide who will point out wildlife that the untrained eye typically misses. Many Amazon tour operators provide the option to undertake twilight walks in the jungle. This is an unforgettable way to experience the remoteness and tranquility of the Amazon.
Amazon River cruises
In between hiking, you can look forward to breaking up your itinerary with riverboat rides along the Amazon River. A network of several hundred waterways forms the world’s second-longest river, which stretches 4,250 miles (6,840 km). Cruising is the best way to spot the Amazon pink river dolphins and caimans. Other adventurous water activities include rafting, canoeing, and, in some parts, even swimming!
Best time to visit the Amazon
The Amazon is warm, humid, and prone to rainfall year-round. Officially, the wet season runs from January to June. During these months, temperatures fluctuate between 73-86ºF (23-30ºC), and more frequent rain makes river cruising more accessible. Between July and December, the dry season increases daily temperatures to 78-104ºF (26-40ºC). Although rain is still common, the river levels are lower, and you will find that tours place more emphasis on trekking.
Typically, the shoulder season of June gives you the best of both seasons.
Accommodation in the Amazon
After a day of exploring the rainforest, you can look forward to unwinding in a hammock at your eco-retreat. Accommodation in the Amazon is varied, with deluxe options offering air conditioning, pools, and floating sun decks. Lodges adhere to local regulations to ensure that they are sustainable and do not hinder the primary rainforest. Alternatively, you can join a wildlife cruise. Luxury expedition vessels come with unique touches, including floor-to-ceiling windows in your own en suite cabin, star gazing desks, and gourmet meals cooked on-board.
Traveling the Amazon is a bucket list experience shared by intrepid explorers who love nature, wildlife, and adventure vacations. If you are interested in immersing yourself in the Amazon, get in touch with me for a consultation to discuss your perfect itinerary and accommodation. Then join us next month for a virtual presentation on the Amazon and Ecuador.
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