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?
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 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.
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
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.
Highlights in Ecuador
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.
Colonial cities of Ecuador and Galapagos Cruise
10 Days US$2895 + flights
Explore the Brazilian Amazon and Rio.
8 Days US$ 2595 + flights
7 Day Tour including 4 Day Amazon Cruise
From the Peruvian Amazon to the Andes in this 9 Day Machu Picchu and Amazon Tour in Peru.
US$1895 + flights
The Galapagos Islands and The Amazon Jungle
10 Days US$ 2795 + flights