Amazon Rainforest Tours
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Amazon Rainforest tours encompass a diverse and fragile ecosystem, with incredible options of exploration. Forming at the foot of the Andes, the upper Amazon includes Colombia & Ecuador, with a Peruvian Amazon lodge or Peru Amazon cruise one of the best options for birders and animal lovers. Brazil Amazon tours allow for daily excursions deep into sidearms of the mosquito-free Rio Negro, while a Brazil Amazon cruise on motor yachts such as the Tucano extend your reach deep into the jungle with a touch of luxury. An Amazon trip is perfect as light adventure or honeymoon. Every Amazon Rainforest vacation package is hand-crafted to your unique travel style, including the level of accommodation, type of excursions, dates, and highlights. Browse our top Amazon trips or create your own custom Amazon tour in just 3 easy steps.
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Top 14 Amazon Rainforest Tours & Trips
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There are two main choices when it comes to Amazon Rainforest tours – either stay in a rainforest lodge or book an Amazon river cruise. The main starting points for Amazon cruises are Iquitos in Peru, Manaus in Brazil, and Coca in Ecuador. Typically trips to the Amazon by cruise are from three to seven nights in length and start and end in the same place. On Amazon river tours, the boat makes regular stops and offers exploration by smaller boats or excursions on land. A stay in an Amazon lodge is typically two to four nights long and involves guided walks, boat trips and often night fauna tours in the forest. Travelers who want an active Amazon rainforest trip can choose between a lodge stay, with daily excursions from one central point, or a cruise which anchors in different locations each day.
Packing List for the Amazon Rainforest
Clothing for the Amazon
- Footwear: Most lodges will provide you with rubber boots for walking the trails but ask your travel consultant to double-check this for you. If they don’t, it is important to bring strong footwear that is comfortable with strong ankle support and good grip. Waterproofing your shoes is recommended because you might encounter rain or mud. You’ll also want some comfortable rubber-soled shoes to wear around the lodge when you’re not out exploring.
- Thick Socks: Wearing wool socks will keep moisture away from your feet while you’re trekking through the jungle in your rubber boots.
- Layers: Bring layers and changes of clothing. For your excursions, you’ll need long sleeves, long pants, and high socks. This is for protection from bugs and the sun. You can get breathable quick-dry pants and long sleeve shirts (like the ones used for fishing) which will keep you comfortable so you can focus on the wildlife and flora. When you are relaxing in the lodge, you can wear t-shirts and shorts.
- Extra Clothing: Remember that its quite humid in the Amazon so your clothing won’t always dry even if you hang it up. Most lodges do not have laundry services. So bring extra clothing!
- Rain Gear: Bring a poncho or a waterproof jacket. Many lodges will let you buy these at their offices before you start out on your tour.
- Headwear: Bring a hat or cap to keep the sun out and also your head dry and clean!
- Swimsuit: You may have a chance to go swimming in the tributaries or even the Amazon River itself. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity without a suit!
Additional Items for your Amazon Jungle Tour
- Backpack: bring a waterproof, sturdy backpack that you can carry your camera, water bottle, binoculars, etc while out on the trails or in the canoes / motorized boats.
- Flashlight and Batteries: A flashlight is important for anyone enjoying the great outdoors, so bring plenty of batteries. A headlamp will work as well as it keeps your hands free. Many lodges will not have electricity throughout the lodge so in the case you need to find something in your bag at night, you’ll want to keep a light source handy. Also, many lodges will have a night walk activity and you can use the flashlight or headlamp to spot night creatures!
- Insect Repellent: Your insect repellent should be at a minimum of 20% DEET. However, you can’t bring this on the plane to Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos, so ask your guide where to buy it when you arrive!
- Bring your binoculars: Jungle animals are often spotted far away so you’ll want to get a good look!
- Wet wipes and/or hand sanitizer
- First Aid Kit: It’s always smart to bring along some pain medication, bandages, blister covers, etc. The guides will have first aid knowledge and some supplies but they are not allowed to administer pain medication.
- Wristwatch: There is not always electricity in the rooms in the lodges, and you’ll need to know the time so that you can meet your guide for each activity!
- Camera, batteries, and extra memory card: Photo opportunities may be around every corner so bring your camera and extra batteries and memory cards.
- Plastic Bags: Plastic Bags can be useful for various reasons but the main reason is to keep dry clothes dry, and wet clothes away from other things in your backpack.
- Toiletries and Medicine: Anything that you think you may need in terms of toiletries or medicine you should bring with you. Some lodges will have a few basic items if you forget anything. Things like toothpaste, toothbrush, lotions, hairbrush, allergy medicine, antacids, etc. Leave the electronics at home though, you won’t be able to use a hairdryer or curling iron at the lodge.
- Your Passport: You must have your original passport with you. You can keep this in the safe in your room.
Popular Amazon Rainforest Tours
There are few better forms of Amazon rainforest travel than the Tucano cruise: our travelers’ favorite. The Tucano is a true expedition cruise going further into the Amazon rainforest than any other cruise and has excellent jungle guides with great knowledge of the Amazon. Tours are in small groups of usually just seven or eight guests giving travelers an intimate experience. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Amazon from the upper deck or relax in your private cabin while the motor yacht continues along the Rio Negro and the Rio Amazonas.
Visiting the Amazon can easily be combined with other destinations. Amazon rainforest trips can are available in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, and Brazil. This means that it is easy to combine trips to the Amazon with a number of other top South American destinations including Rio de Janeiro, Machu Picchu, and the Galapagos Islands. The best place to go in the Amazon may well depend on which other destinations you are interested in seeing. Contact us for more advice on our sample Amazon jungle tours or your exact tour package.
A Custom Amazon Rainforest Tour
Amazon vacation packages come in many forms, cruises or jungle lodge stays. Different levels of comfort are available and there is something to suit nearly any traveler. Amazon Rainforest vacations are one of our top areas of expertise, and we’ll be happy to discuss your plans in detail by phone, email, chat or text.
Amazon Rainforest Tours, River Trips & Vacations FAQ’s
Thinking about an Amazon trip? Here’s a list of frequently asked questions we often hear from our guests. Visit our Amazon Vacation Planning page for in-depth Amazon travel tips.
When is the best time to visit the Amazon Rainforest?
For many reasons, the best time to visit the Amazon is from June – November. During this time, the Amazon Rainforest experiences its dry season – meaning the water levels are lower, allowing access to forested areas and greater opportunities for land-based exploration excursions.
However, it’s important to note that as the largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon experiences approximately 250 days of rain a year, spanning all months. Despite having varying seasons, like the “wet” season (December – May), travelers should expect a few hours of light rain at any point in the year. The rain is what continues to keep the rainforests and its rare flora and fauna alive.
Is it safe to go to the Amazon rainforest?
Can you visit the Amazon rainforest?
What can I do in the Amazon Rainforest?
Piranha fishing is also very popular.
Local guides can also take you to different areas where other animal species can be seen, such as the pink river dolphins or macaws. Alligator (jacare) spotting at night is one of the most fascinating activities.
Is the Amazon dangerous?
Your guide will always make you aware of toxic plants or spiders. Most guides are from the local communities, knowing well the healing properties of the plants that surround you. The one element to be aware of is Malaria: there is no vaccination, rather prophylaxis you take before traveling to the Amazon and stop taking as soon as you depart.
How do you get to the Amazon rainforest?
Is the Amazon good for animal watching? Are there better places for Animal watching?
How can I visit the Amazon Rainforest?
The advantage of a lodge is that your stay in the Amazon Rainforest can begin at any time, whereas cruises have set departure dates. While cruises offer plenty of departure dates, it can be challenging to be on a strict schedule. On the other hand, the advantage of a river cruise is that you see a vast extent of the rainforest, with different animals and vegetation, without needing to turn back after each excursion. Cruises also tend to include a stop at local communities where you can experience and learn about the lives of Amazonian locals.
Whether you experience the Amazon on a cruise ship or nestled in a lodge, you’re sure to have a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Are Amazon River Cruises worth it?
There are two types of cruises available: the traditional, authentic experience with local guides and excellent comfort, operated by environmentalists. Alternatively, there are luxury boats run by international hotel chains that offer luxury, though making it more difficult to gain an authentic feel of the area.
Should I stay in a lodge?
How big is the Amazon Rainforest? What countries are the Amazon Rainforest in?
Is all of the Amazon Rainforest the same?
No – There are different areas with different flora and fauna. The main difference is caused by the altitude. Most of the Brazilian part is at sea-level or only slightly above it, whereas in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, the rainforest sits on higher ground. The higher, the less dense the fauna is. Therefore, for example, if you are interested in birding, you would prefer the Peruvian Rainforest, as, due to the fauna being less dense, it is easier to spot birds. The Peruvian Amazon also offers some of the most luxurious river cruise ships such as the Aria.
The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest offers travelers a wide range of lodges and cruises. Embark on a large cruise ship such as Hurtigruten or Iberostar, or a small, intimate cruise such as the Tucano. The Ecuadorian Amazon boasts Yasuni National Park, home to millions of species of plants, birds, insects, and mammals.
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