The Ultimate Amazon Adventure: 9 Travel Tips for First-Timers
In 2007, Martin Strel swam the full length of the Amazon River. It took him 66 days.
Well, that’s how Martin Strel remembers the Amazon. How will you remember your Amazon adventure? You probably won’t be swimming the entire river, but there are some things you should know before you embark to make your trip the best possible experience that you can.
Nine Travel Tips for the Ultimate Amazon Adventure
The Amazon. It’s a 4,400-mile long river with thousands of tributaries branching off of it. It streams into eight different countries.
The forest is the largest on the planet. There are 311 mammals, 30,000 plant species, 1,800 fish, and likely more undiscovered species still sheltering there. It’s also the site of your Amazon adventure.
1. When Should You Go?
Book your ticket from May to June. September through November are extremely dry, and if you want to do any hiking, you’re going to be in for a sweltering excursion.
Conversely, since it is a rainforest, it is prone to rain. If you go from February to April, you’re going to be constantly caught in the rain.
The Amazon River is the highest water level in the May to June period, meaning that the forest surrounding it also gets flooded. This may sound like something you want to avoid. On the contrary, you can take a canoe across the flooded forest, a surreal and unforgettable experience.
That said, you might prefer visiting in the drier season. If you can stand the heat, you can hang out at the beaches and hike the trails without getting all wet.
2. How Long Should You Go?
About a week is enough time to explore the area. You’ll be accounting for about two days of travel time in that week.
That leave you five days to explore. If you’re on a budget, this is a particularly good amount of time to travel through the Amazon.
3. Where Should You Stay?
Staying in a jungle lodge is the perfect way to get the most out of your rainforest vacation.
Some of these lodges include a chance to sleep in the forest. They have camps where you can spend the night, or take hikes for one to two days.
You can even stay on a riverboat if you want to pump up your experience even more. You can sleep on board as you cruise across the river on certain boats that allow overnight stays for up to ten days.
If you’re going on a cruise, you need to pack the right things with you to make the most of it. Learn more about what to take on your Amazon cruise to enjoy your time as best you can.
4. Pack the Right Gear
No matter what season you go in, the rainforest is always going to be humid. It’s going to be hot, but considering the amount of mosquitos and the amount of sweating you’ll be doing, you’ll want to trade shorts for moisture wicking or water resistant pants.
Bring a bathing suit, because you can swim in the Amazon. A sunhat will also help shield you from sunburn.
If you’re packing jewelry, make sure it stays safe.
5. Don’t Miss Lima
If you visit the Amazon, you’re only a 1.5 hour flight away from Lima.
If you have the time, fly there and see the historic city. If you don’t have time, you might want to work it into your schedule. When’s the next time you’ll be there?
6. Learn Some Basic Spanish
When you’re dealing with the tourism industry, you probably won’t have to worry too much about language barriers. But if you want to talk to any of the locals or buy some local merchandise, it will be easier if you have a rudimentary understanding of the language.
7. Prepare to Disconnect
You’ll be able to use your phone in the major cities, and some more up-scale lodging facilities. Other than that, you should get ready to go without a signal for almost the entire duration of your trip. It’s the forest, and the forest doesn’t have wi-fi.
8. Get Ready for the Mosquitos
Like mentioned before, you’re going to be in a rainforest. That means you’ll have to deal with all the insects that come with it. Namely, mosquitos.
You’re not required to get vaccinated to enter the country, but the CDC recommends getting a few choice vaccinations.
You’ll want to go in and get the Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, Rabies, and Yellow Fever vaccinations. You might also want to carry malaria pills with you. You can never be too cautious.
Mosquitoes which carry malaria have not been identified along popular cruise routes in the Peruvian Amazon in recent years, but being prepared is the name of the game.
Keeping 100% DEET with you is also a good idea, as Zika virus is still a concern to think about when traveling to the Amazon.
9. Set your Expectations
When you’re out there looking for wildlife, you’re not going to see everything right away. If you go out on the river and are looking for rare animals and expecting them to just pop up, you might leave disappointed.
However, you will run into sloths, macaws, pink dolphins, and howler monkeys quite often. The capuchins, tapir, jaguars, and other popular animals might take some more luck to spot. But the diversity of the rainforest still means that you’re going to spot some pretty exceptional animals that you wouldn’t see at home.
There are hundreds of different mammals living in the forest, so you’re guaranteed to see an exciting animal.
It’s Time to Get Away
When you’re busy, it’s hard to have time to plan a trip. But what are you going to remember – sitting at your desk, or looking at the Amazon River for the first time in your life?
Maybe you’re an entrepreneur and you can’t get away from your business. Or at least, you didn’t think you could. Check out some tips to see how your Amazon adventure still might be possible.
Whether you’re traveling on a dime or have some resources to spend, a trip like this will be the adventure of a lifetime. Don’t spend all your time wishing you were going somewhere amazing. Your unforgettable vacation memories are worth it, so make all your dreaming into a reality and go.