Amazon Travel Info
This Amazon travel info guide makes it easy to plan for your trip to the Amazon Rainforest. Our travel experts have curated all the most important info & FAQs about travelling to the Amazon. Check out our country info guides for more in-depth info about traveling to the Amazon in Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador.
Amazon Tourist Visas Info
Please note that tourist visas for the Amazon Rainforest depend on which country you are visiting. The Amazon Rainforest spans Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, and even Colombia and Bolivia. Check out our country info guides for more in-depth info about traveling to the Amazon in Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months after the date you enter any country in South America. For instance, if you plan to travel to the Amazon in March, your passport must be valid through September of that year. Carry a photocopy of your passport daily during your travels.
Amazon Flight Info
Brazil is home to the majority of the Amazon Rainforest, and the main hub for rainforest activities is Manaus, Brazil (MAO). There are direct flights from Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Miami.
For Peru, the main airports to the Peruvian rainforest are Puerto Maldonado, Iquitos, and Manu. There are direct flights to Iquitos from Lima and Panama City. There are direct flights to Puerto Maldonado and Manu from Cusco and Lima.
Flight delays and cancellations can occur, so you may want to schedule your trip with some buffer days. You can also purchase travel insurance that would cover trip cancellation for any reason and/or trip delays.
Best Time to Travel to the Amazon
The Amazon Rainforest is humid year round and averages 27 degrees Celsius, up to 35 degrees at the most. December to March is slightly rainer than the rest of the year. When it does rain, the rains are warm and usually last less than an hour.
Money, Budgeting & Tips Info
It's always a good idea to arrive in South America with some cash in USD. This rings true for Australians and Europeans as well; the exchange rate is always better with USD than with the Euro or any other currency. It's also a good idea to bring at least 2 types of credit card in case one is not accepted.
Tell your bank in advance that you will be traveling to South America. ATMs are plentiful in major cities as well as some small towns - but be sure your ATM card has a 4-digit PIN. Credit cards accepted include Visa, MasterCard, AmericanExpress, and Diners Club, but some merchants and restaurants will add a credit card transaction fee. You may need to show a form of ID such as a driver's license; leave your passport in the hotel safe when shopping. Be wary of ATM fraud and credit card skimming, where fraudsters copy your card information.
Meals and drinks are included in the cost of your Amazon cruise or jungle lodge, although you will want to budget for meals before or after your trip to the Amazon.
As for tipping, you can tip porters a real per bag. You don't need to tip taxi drivers. Professional tour guides appreciate a $ 5 tip per day, and drivers $ 2-3 per day. For exceptional private guides, you may want to tip $ 10.
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese, while the official language of other Amazon regions is Spanish. In many Amazon locales, indigenous Amazonia languages are also spoken. English is spoken in some hotels and tourist destinations. All of our tour guides are English-speaking, and other languages are available upon request.
Learning a few basic Portuguese and Spanish phrases will make it much easier and enjoyable as you travel through South America. We recommend that you take a "Portuguese/Spanish for Travelers" class at your local community center, or with a software program such as Rosetta Stone. Many travel guidebooks include brief language sections - study up before you go to familiarize yourself with the language.
Staying Safe in the Amazon
Many foreigners visit South America each year, and most have an absolutely wonderful time. You can travel throughout South America and meet friendly faces everywhere you go.
With that said, you should exercise the same caution as you would while traveling in any other foreign country. We recommend that you leave valuable jewelry - including watches - at home, as well as expensive electronics. Carry a money belt, use the hotel safe to hold your passport and other important documents. Be wary of ATM fraud and credit card skimming, where fraudsters copy your card information.
In the Amazon, you should be careful to stay with your tour group and professional guide while hiking, canoeing, and enjoying other activities. All our tours include professional tour guides, and we will arrange all transportation, transfers, hotels, and tours that we know personally and recommend highly.
For US Citizens, the State Department recommends bookmarking the Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts page, following their Twitter and Facebook accounts, and/or downloading their free Smart Traveler App through iTunes and Google Play to stay up-to-date on travel warnings and news. They also offer useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
Staying Healthy in Brazil
There is no requirement to get a yellow fever vaccination to enter Brazil, but if you are travelling from certain places to Brazil in the last 90 days, then a vaccination is recommended. It's also recommended for those who are traveling to certain rural areas in Brazil. The vaccination must be taken at least 10 days prior to departure date in order to be effective.
The Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended for those who have visited the following countries in the 90 days prior to arriving in Brazil: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guyana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Venezuela.
The Yellow Fever vaccination is also recommended for travelers who intend to visit rural areas in any of the following states in Brazil: Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Distrito Federal, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins. This includes the Iguassu Falls.
Dengue fever may also be present in the jungle regions. Prevent infection by bringing 100% DEET mosquito repellent and wearing long-sleeve clothing.
The malaria prophylaxis is also recommended, and if you choose to get it, it must be given a few weeks before travel.
Consult your doctor or the World Health Association website about vaccinations and other travel-related medical recommendations. Please note that our travel consultants cannot give medical advice.
Travel Insurance & Medical Insurance
While you are traveling abroad, consider obtaining travel insurance and additional medical coverage. Travel insurance can be useful in case of trip cancellation, trip delays, and other unforeseen events. We recommend TravelSafe travel insurance for citizens of the US; for citizens of other countries, check out http://www.squaremouth.com.
Medical coverage can be useful if your primary medical insurance plan does not cover you abroad, or is very limited for overseas travel. Inquire as to whether your primary medical insurance plan includes trips to a foreign hospital or a medical evacuation. For US citizens, consult the US State Department's medical insurance overseas page.
Internet Access & Telephones
Internet connections in the Amazon rainforest vary widely. Some lodges will provide an Internet connection but many do not. Check with your lodge before you go.
The Essential Traveler's Packing List
Your passport, valid for at least 6 months after your travel dates
Any tourist visas necessary (see additional info above)
Another form of identification, such as a driver's license
Cash for meals, souvenirs, and tips (budget according to how much these items cost in your home country)
A camera with extra memory and/or batteries (You can share your trip photos on our Facebook page!)
Your smartphone, set to airplane mode to avoid roaming charges, with our 12 Recommended Mobile Apps for Traveling
For a full packing list, visit http://www.dontforgetyourtoothbrush.com/. This site allows you to customize, save, and print comprehensive packing lists!