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The Amazon

The Amazon is populated by jaguar, caiman, tapir and anaconda.  A vast unexplored area with incredible diverstity…the Amazon never fails to capture the imagination.

The Amazon Basin covers 9 different countries in South America and although the Amazon is synonymous with Brazil, Peru and also Ecuador have very accessible, well preserved areas full of wildlife.

Did you Know?

  • The source of the Amazon is in Peru - high in the mountains in the Colca Canyon area.
  • The Amazon is the world´s most species-rich tract of forest in the world. One in ten of all known species live in the Amazon.
  • After Brazil, the second largest portion of Amazon is in Peru - 60% of the country is covered in rainforest.
  • Around 215 ethnic groups with 170 different languages live in the Amazon There may also be fifty or so un-contacted Amazon tribes living in the depths of the rainforest.
  • Macaws on the west side of the Amazon flock to clay licks to obtain minerals, those in the eastern Amazon don't. The largest clay lick is in Tambopata, Peru.

Choosing How To Visit The Amazon

There are a whole range of lodges and cruises with different focuses throughout the Amazon region.

For people who just want a taste of the jungle and have a limited time, then lodges such as Sacha in Ecuador and Sandoval in Peru are excellent. They have easy access and you great facilities such as canopy walks so you can make the most of your Amazon experience in just 4 days. Other lodges, such as the Tambopata Research Center, Peru or the lodges around Manu, Peru, are for committed naturalists who want to get deeper into the jungle – they are less accessible so really require stays of 6 days or more.

Award winning Kapawi in Ecuador and Chalalan in Bolivia are run and owned by indigenous communities. These are fascinating cultural journeys to see into a completely different way of life.

Brazil has the largest range of cruise ships from small and simple to huge and luxurious. In Ecuador, the Manatee cruises the Napo River and a handful of boats from luxury to basic, travel the Amazon River near Iquitos, Peru.

The Amazon in Brazil

Brazil Amazon Tours

The main entrance point for the Brazilian Amazon is the large city of Manaus with direct flights here from Miami, Florida.  With  a population of 2 million people, Manaus is the largest city in all of the Amazon region. 

Amazon trips from Manaus range from luxury resort-style experiences to smaller, clipper type cruises.  As ever, the further you get away from built up areas, the more natural your jungle experience.

Aound Manaus the Amazon is wide so this is where you can find the largest cruise ships.  The huge Iberostar for example,  is like a floating resort hotel with multiple restaurants and pools. You can get away from the glitter though on smaller craft that explore the quieter waterways and tributaries – home to more wildlife.   

We recommend

The Amazon Clipper Premium for the Amazon cruise adventure with plenty of fun activities.  

Pousada Uacari, is a floating lodge a lodge with an emphasis on looking after the environment and working with local communities.   Located in the larges protected flooded forest in the world.  

 For luxury, pampering and contemplation, we suggest Anavihanas Lodge .

Brazil Amazon Attractions

  • Pink river dolphins
  • The meeting of the waters. The Rio Negro has dark, black waters and the Amazon has sandy color water. For over miles, where these to rivers meet, the water does not mix but flows alongside each other. A strange phenomenon! 


The Amazon, Ecuador

Ecuador Amazon Tour with The Galapagos Islands

A big draw for visitors to the Amazon in Ecuador is the easy access and the numerous comfortable lodges  such as Sacha Lodge and The Napo Wildlife Center, as well as excellent bird watching opportunities. The country has also gained international media attention for its efforts to protect local communities- especially the untouched tribes in Yasuni National Park.

Ecuador has a small but incredibly diverse stretch of rainforest.  Wildlife spotting opportunities are excellent at the lodges here and your guides may be from local indigenous communities, as they are becoming more involved with eco-tourism and have unrivalled knowledge of Amazonian flora and fauna. 

Most Lodges focused along the Napo River, east of Quito with access via the airports of Coca and Lago Agrio. There are no lodges within the isolated Yasuni National Park but Sacha and La Selva Lodge are located on the edges. The  Manatee Amazon Explorer is recommended for cruises along the Napo River.

We recommend

  • The comfort of the Napo Wildlife Center or Sacha Lodge- combined with the Galapagos for an exciting nature adventure.  
  • Kapawi Lodge is in a remote part of pristine rainforest with access only by light aircraft. Kapawi is a world leader in working with local indigineous communities,  and an excellent place to experience life with the local Achuar tribe.
  • Ecuador is a small country with an incredible range of scenery.  In a one day bike ride you can travel from the high Andes to the Amazon Rainforest below.

Highlights in Ecuador

  • Yasuni Parrot Lick
  • Encounters with local people
  • Canopy walkways for bird watching

The Amazon in Peru

Amazon Peru with Machu Picchu

We don’t often think of Peru in terms of the Amazon but more than half of the country is covered in some type of rainforest.

Within Peru is the most biodiverse region on earth and much of what lies beyond the main waterways is still largely unexplored. 

There are three main stretches of Amazon in Peru with easy access for visitors.

Furthest north is Iguitos with flooded plains alongside wide rivers allowing for riverboat cruises and out of town lodges.

Iquitos is a busy and incredibly loud city. There are no roads here so the main local form of transport is the motorbike / and they populate the city in their thousands. The Amazon flows through here though most visitors soon head out into local lodges or along the river to board their Amazon cruise. Small Amazon Cruise boats depart from here to travel to the Pacaya Samiria Natural Reserve and even on to Brazil.

Further south -and just a small jump from Cusco and Machu Picchu -are three globally important reserves including Tambopata National Reserve and Manu National Park.  Manu is regarded by many naturalists to be the most biodiverse in the world.
For its ease of access via the airport at Puerto Maldonado, great variety of lodges and excellent wildlife spotting, the Tambopata region is becoming increasingly popular with visitors looking for an all-round Amazon experience. For keen naturalists and those who have more time to spend, Manu is generally acknowledged as the best place for wildlife spotting.

Manu is well regarded by naturalists as some of the most pristine Amazon Rainforest. Visits here tend to be a little longer and more expensive,  but are the first choice of visitos who are keen to see as much wildlife as possible. Manu can be reached by land or by plane.  There are only a few lodges in this area and only established camps within the Manu Wildlife reserve itself.

Ideal Amazon Tours


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The Galapagos Islands and The Amazon Jungle
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First, we had a wonderful time and the trip was fun and interesting. We managed not to get sick and did not have any altitude

Alan and Judy, Peru & Ecuador

Hi Max, I can't tell you pleased we were with what you arranged for us. We, I had a great time and the fact that

Dave, Peru & Galapagos

Hey Donovan - the overall trip exceeded our expectations.  We would definitely recommend the trip, even though it was a bit expensive for our friends,

Brian S, Peru & Galapagos

HI Max and Donovan,I would like to thank you for a lovely Trip.  The Coral staff did an awesome job making our vacation spectacular.The DietrichsEcuador &

The Dietrichs, Ecuador & Galapagos

Max,Just wanted to touch base and you let know how great our trip went.  Other than AA losing Jill’s bag (which caused a bit of

Darin, Peru & Galapagos

Hi Donovan the trip through Costa Rica was fabulous. Once again you did an outstanding job giving us a trip to remember. Our guide, Charlie

Linda, Costa Rica

We had the best time ever, just an exceedingly wonderful whirlwind tour of Peru and the Galapagos. Your tour guides were so careful and aware

Jane and Sue, Peru

I had contracted with Ideal South America (ISA), after checking with eleven other travel agencies.  If you plan on a trip to South America I

Col. Ed Scholl, Peru

Max, The trip was fantastic and you put together a very nice itinerary.  The guides were very knowledgeable and the lodging was great, the flights

Ralstons & Pruesses, Peru

As promised, a while back, I am sending you some pictures from our trip to Peru. As I mentioned previously, we had an amazing time!

Peru, Eid-Heberle Family

I wanted to take a moment and thank you and your staff for planning and delivering an incredible trip! Alyssa and I had an amazing

Jake and Alyssa

We are back we had a great time. Thanks for your careful planning. The Andes were spectacular, the yacht was terrific … the Galapagos amazing.

Schreibers, Florida

"We had a wonderful time on our trip. Everything went really smoothly and we enjoyed all of our excursions. It was the trip of a

Ralston Family, California

Our trip was wonderful! Everything was well organized, hotels were great, and the weather was close to perfect.

Lewis Family, Pennsylvania

Jan 2013

...the places we saw exceeded our expectations. Machu Picchu is way better than the pictures show. The Galapagos trip is also great. I guess the

Sonny & Amanda Punzalan, California

Dec 2012

The trip to Ecuador and Peru were great! We felt that all of the guides, drivers, and transfers were excellent. Everything went well

Sue Clark & Family, Washington

Peru & Ecuador, Dec 2012

We had the best time and wanted to let you know that every hotel, transfer, guide, connection, tour, mode of transportation, and cruise were perfect.

Mark Stout & Family, Pennsylvania

Machu Picchu & Galapagos, Dec 2012

Thanks for the ideal trip. Everything worked out perfectly. Loved having somebody with name card at every airport to pick us up and give

Bruce Thaler, Philadelphia

Machu Picchu & Galapagos, November 2012

It was marvelous and the trip of a lifetime. If I searched for a fault in the trip I could not find one to complain

Howard Silberstein, Miami

Galapagos & Ecuador, November 2012

Thank you guys for planning our Galapagos and Machu Picchu trip. We had a great time! The transfers were punctual, and the guides

Yau Ru Chen, Los Angeles

Machu Picchu Galapagos, October 2012

Thanks for arranging such an awesome trip for the Whiteside family when in Peru this week. The guides were absolutely superb

Janet Whiteside, Florida

Peru, July 2012

The experience from beginning to end was excellent. The combination of Sacred Valley, Iguazu ending in Rio is great

Paul Jones

Machu Picchu, Iguazu & Rio, March 2012

We just returned from our South American trip with fond memories and no hitches. Thanks to your planning and foresight.

Victor Limlingan, Travel Agent – The Philippines

Ecuador, Galapagos & Panama, June 2012

...we were so pleased with your services and will be booking with you again for our South American travel in the future!

Jennafer Bonello – Washington DC

Peru, June 2012

We had a wonderful trip. everything went well and all the guides were super nice and helpful.

Hamila Atefi – Washington DC

Peru and Galapagos, May 2012

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work planning my trip. It was all appreciated, and provided us with

Chris Leggat – New York

Galapagos & Machu Picchu, June 2012

Just back from one of the most enjoyable and well put together vacation trips we have ever experienced! Thanks for putting it all together for

Rick Velategui – USA

Peru, Galapagos, Oct 2011

The hotels, guides & drivers were first class & we could not have expected anything more than what was delivered. Thank you again

Mike & Carol Lipischak

Peru, November 2011