The Amazon is crawling with exotic creatures and diverse plant life! Crossing nine countries with a staggeringly long river, it’s home to roughly 10 million species of animals, insects and plants. Known as ‘the lungs of the planet’, the trees of the rainforest produce more than 20% of our world’s oxygen… talk about a breath of fresh air! Options for exploring this wildlife haven include eco-lodges, multi-country tours and luxury cruises.
Eco-lodges Staying at an echo-lodge enveloped by thousands of hectares of pristine rainforest is one of the best ways to experience Amazonia. We highly recommend Ecuador’s renownedSacha Lodge, ideal for both families and individuals. This eco gem offers specialist guided activities to view the flora and fauna of the Ecuadorian Amazon, including forest trails, boating in dug out canoes, a treetop observation tower, and the opportunity to walk 94 feet above the rainforest canopy across a suspension bridge.
Amazon cruises In the Peruvian or Brazilian Amazon, discover unique wildlife and plant species aboard an exclusive small-ship expedition cruise. Along the way, indulge in fine cuisine and Amazonian delicacies complete with stunning scenery. Peru’s Delfin cruises offer the choice of three luxury vessels on a 3 or 4 night itinerary, and Brazil’s M/V Desafio treats travellers to a fully renovated classical schooner boat with original old world features.
Wildlife The Amazon is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including pink dolphins, caiman, monkeys, giant river otters, and birdlife that will wow you in a range of vivid colours.
Community & Indigenous tribes As well as being the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon is home hundreds of native tribes, all with their own culture, history and language. You can expect life-enriching encounters with the local community at many of the various lodges on offer.
National Parks The Amazon is teeming with biologically diverse national parks, including Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, Peru’s Manu National Park, and Madidi National Park on the upper Amazon river basin of Bolivia. You will be spoiled for choice if you’re after a green vacation!
There are two distinct seasons throughout the year in the Amazon.
Dry (low water) Season: May to November
Amazonia is a rainforest so there is still rain during these months, though much less than the flooded period. With lower river levels the paths are more accessible, allowing you to penetrate deep into the jungle on foot. Dozens of species of migratory birds can also be spotted during this period.
Flooded (high water) Season: December to April
Somewhat cooler and wetter, on average the water level is 7 metres higher than the ‘dry’ season, which means every river and creek is navigable. You are also closer to the jungle canopy making it a little easier to spot mammals and birds.
My ultimate Amazonian experience is in Peru. Cruising from Iquitos you can spot colourful macaws, pink dolphins, river otters, various species of monkey, boa constrictors and more. Daily excursions with expert and passionate naturalist guides take you out into the smaller tributaries, visiting local villages, and on walks into the forest. Getting in amongst the forest is essential as the foliage is dense, and other than perhaps caiman, monkeys and birdlife, there is actually a surprising lack of visible wildlife. On foot along jungle trails you can observe the smaller stuff – the weird and wonderful insects that you only spot when you stand still, the plants that all play their very specific part in this highly complex eco-system, and the smaller species such as colourful tree frogs or butterflies. Night walks in particular reveal some of the best wildlife at their most active, and lying in bed listening to the sounds of the Amazon is a very special experience you will never forget!
Chris Lyons, World Journeys Director
The Amazon covers over 5 million square km, making it the world’s largest rainforest. It’s so big, the UK and Ireland could fit into it over 15 times!
Amazonia spans numerous countries across South America, including Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname
There are around 400 indigenous tribes, with at least fifty believed to have never been contacted by the outside world
The rainforest is often called ‘the lungs of the planet’, providing over 20% of the world’s oxygen
It’s home to 10% of all known species in our world
Notes *Please be aware that Health information is subject to change at any time and you should always double check these requirements at the time of booking and before travel.