Amazon Travel Tips – Brazil, Peru, South America

Tarantula on Jim's arm, Peru, South America

Jim looking for a pet in the Peruvian Amazon. Aaahh!

Amazon Travel Tips: Rainforest by country

Brazil

Over the last few years, The Pantanal wetlands in southern Brazil have replaced the Amazon as the country’s best wildlife destination though river cruises from Belém up into the country’s Amazon region as far as Manaus (usually) are still popular, even if the wildlife experience is limited.

For backpackers and travelers who want to hang with locals riverboats carrying passengers in hammocks depart daily from Belém to Manaus. They are cheap, simple and slow.

The most popular options for wildlife watching once the boats reach the less-developed parts are to take a tour on a riverboat from Manaus up the Rio Negro or to head upriver to Tefé.

Peru

The city of Iquitos is not connected by road to most of Peru but is still the prime stepping-stone for tours into the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest. From here visitors can either go by boat up to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, or take the Nanay river to the Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve.

Recently the Manú National Park connected by road to Cusco and the Tambopata reserve near Puerto Maldonado have become increasingly visited. These wildlife reserves offer excellent wildlife habitats and some decent lodges along with kayaking in addition to the traditional hikes or guided canoes. Both parks can be combined with Machu Picchu tours. Peru has another Amazon region near Chachapoyas where tourists can explore some interesting ancient ruins at Kuelap.

Ecuador

The early section of the Amazon River in Ecuador is thought to be the site of some of the world’s greatest biodiversity as well as home to a handful of primitive indigenous tribes. Lodges along the banks of Amazon tributaries tend to be basic and isolated so getting there can be an adventure in itself, by boat or small plane, but pricey.

Colombia

Wildlife tourism is new to Colombia but the Parque Nacional Amacayacu offers Amazon wildlife tours during the rainy season to rival any others and lower visitor numbers so wildlife spotting is much easier.

Amazon Rainforest Map, South America

Amazon Rainforest Map