Top 6 things to do in the Amazon Rainforest
Discover what to do in the Amazon Rainforest. Experience life in the jungle, spot exotic wildlife, meet local communities…Learn More
The Amazon's climate does not actually vary too dramatically from month-to-month. Generally speaking, the humidity and temperature remain high all year (typically between 23 to 32 degrees), though cold spells can sweep up unexpectedly from Antarctica and can last for a couple of days. There is also not a huge distinction between the wet and dry seasons, with downpours liable during most of the year. Therefore the two factors that will probably most determine when to visit the Amazon are the water levels, which do vary dramatically before and after the rainy season and glacial melt in the Andes (from where the river originates) and secondly, when are the best times of the year to visit (or avoid) some of the places you might want to combine with the Amazon in Brazil, Peru or Ecuador.
River levels tend to rise between January and April, reaching their peak around April, May and June. They then begin to recede, reaching their lowest levels between September and October.
The period following the wet season (April to June) is a great time to experience the flooded forests around Manaus in Brazil and on a cruise from Iquitos in Peru. The water buries the forest floor, by as much as up to 12-15 metres in some cases, allowing you to get much closer to the canopies and the wildlife which resides in the treetops. One way to explore these unique landscapes is in a canoe, moving through a maze of tree trunks, lianas and undergrowth and seeing the branches of the tree coming right down to the water. The downside to visiting at this time of the year is that aquatic animals, including caimans, fishes and river dolphins, become dispersed and much harder to see. Additionally some trails are rendered inaccessible. March is a particularly good time to see the remarkable flora of the Amazon coming into full bloom.
The low water period, (September to October) is conversely the ideal time to see the likes of caiman and dolphin in the now shallower waterways of this part of the Amazon. The flip-side is that tree-based animals are once again dispersed and so much harder to spot.
Flooded forest near Manaus (by Visit Brasil)
The lodges in the Tambopata region of the Peruvian Amazon and the Yasuni region in Ecuador are not subject to such extreme flooding and so there is less of a distinction between the different times of the year. The lodges in Ecuador are very close to the equator and so there is even less of a difference between the seasons.
Most visitors prefer the dry season between May and October (or November to December at the Kapawi Lodge in Ecuador). This is when paths are clearer and easier to walk on and macaws and parrots are more abundant at the many clicks near the lodges. During the rainy season, areas of wetland are flooded and lakes are healthier, offering more opportunities to see aquatic animals. Most lodges also tend to be a little quieter during this part of the year.
As previously mentioned, another consideration might be when is the best time to visit the other places you want to combine with the Amazon. Fortunately most places are great all-year destinations, with a few minor exceptions.
Given its proximity to the equator, Quito in Ecuador enjoys a fairly stable climate and can be comfortably visited in any month. The Galapagos Islands undergo a yearly cycle of nature, with particular highlights throughout the year, but with the guarantee of a memorable experience during nearly every month of the year. The main exception to this is September, when seas become choppier.
Rio de Janeiro can be visited all year, remembering that the seasons are the other way round to ours. Unless you want to experience the Rio Carnival alongside a visit to the Amazon, it is best to avoid February, when the city comes to a standstill. Brazil's second biggest celebrations are the June Festivals, which take place throughout the north of the country and could make an interesting option to combine with the Amazon. Wildlife enthusiasts might consider visiting the Pantanal, whose open wetlands stand in contrast to the dense jungle of the Amazon and promise greater wildlife opportunities. Its most prized sighting is the elusive jaguar, most visible between July and November, along with giant river otters.
Peru is also a great all-year destination, particularly the Inca heartland around Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca. Some important considerations are that rain at Machu Picchu is generally heaviest during January and February, meaning fewer crowds but less than ideal conditions, whereas June to August are the busiest months. The Inca Trail closes for maintenance in February.
As you can see, many factors go into deciding when to visit the Amazon, with different parts of the year offering different advantages and disadvantages. Some of the key questions are whether you specifically want to see either tree-based or aquatic animals (remembering that the size and density of the Amazon makes both endeavours difficult regardless of the season) or whether you are particularly keen to experience the flooded forests. With a couple of notable exceptions though, the Amazon and indeed much of South America are great destinations to visit throughout the year. We'd be delighted to talk through your options to help create the ideal itinerary to make the most of your trip to the Amazon Rainforest. Just drop us an email or give us a call!
Pacaya Deluxe Cruise Tour
14 Nights from £8,498 €9,297 $10,047
From the comfort of the luxury Aria Amazon riverboat, we explore the pristine rainforest of the Amazon, combined with Ancient Civilisations of the Andes.
14 Nights from £8,498 €9,297 $10,047Full Itinerary Contact Specialist
Day 1 - Arrival in Lima
Day 2 - Tour of Lima
Day 3 - Lima at leisure
Day 4 - Flight to Iquitos
Day 5 - Yarapa River
Day 6 - Pacaya & Ucayali Rivers
Day 7 - Amazon Community
Day 8 - Amazon Market & Manatee Rescue Centre
Days 9-10 Exploring Sacred Valley of the Incas
Day 11 - Machu Picchu
Day 12 - Free time at Machu Picchu
Day 13 - Cusco's Inca & Colonial heritage
Day 14 - Free time in Cusco
Days 15-16 - Return home via Lima
14 Nights from £4,138 €4,065 $4,379
Discover Peru's diverse landscapes and history, from the Coastal Desert, the altiplano and high peaks of the Andes, to the lush Amazon rainforest.
14 Nights from £4,138 €4,065 $4,379Full Itinerary Contact Specialist
Day 1 - Welcome Introduction to Lima
Day 2 - Nasca Lines
Day 3 - Excursion to Ballestas Islands
Day 4 - City Tour & Santa Catalina Convent
Day 5 - Excursion to Uros Islands
Day 6 - Train Journey to Cusco
Day 7 - Excursion to the Sacred Valley
Day 8 - City Tour & Ruins Of Cusco
Day 9 - At Leisure in Cusco
Day 10 - Journey to Machu Picchu
Day 11 - Return to Cusco
Day 12 - Amazon Lodge & Canopy Tower
Day 13 - Wildlife Safari & Community Visit
Day 14 - Lima
Day 15 - Lima
Ninos Amazonas Family Tour
15 Nights from £4,118 €4,041 $4,353
Ideal for families, discover the exciting city of Rio, venture deep into the jungle of the Amazon, and relax on the soft white sands of Bahia and the golden beaches of Praia d…
15 Nights from £4,118 €4,041 $4,353Full Itinerary Contact Specialist
Day 1 - Fly to Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 - City Tour of Rio de Janeiro
Day 3 - At Leisure in Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 - Travel to Manaus
Day 5 - City Tour of Manaus
Day 6 - Travel to Remote Amazon Lodge
Day 7 - Rainforest & Wildlife Excursion
Day 8 - Visit Local Community
Day 9 - Morning Excursion & Return to Manaus
Day 9 - Walking Introduction to Salvador da Bahia
Day 10 - City Tour of Salvador
Day 11 - Travel to Praia do Forte
Day 12-14 - At Leisure
Day 15 - Return Flight to the UK
Tucano Amazon Voyage Tour
8 Nights from £2,750 €2,400 $2,575
Explore areas of rainforest rarely visited and seek out life in the wilderness, in some of the most untouched areas.
12 Nights from £4,578 €4,593 $4,951
Experience Brazil's most vibrant cities, admire the stunning Iguassu Falls and venture deep into the pristine Amazon Rainforest on a four night expedition cruise.
12 Nights from £4,578 €4,593 $4,951Full Itinerary Contact Specialist
Day 1 - Flight to Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 - Christ the Redeemer & Corcovado
Day 3 - Day At Leisure in Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 - Travel to Iguassu Falls
Day 5 - Guided Tour ( Brazil & Argentina sides)
Day 6-9 - Tucano Amazon Cruise
Day 10 - Travel to Salvador da Bahia
Day 11 - Tour of Salvador
Day 12 - Day at Leisure in Salvador
Day 13 - Return Flight Overnight
13 Nights from £4,588 €4,605 $4,964
Immerse yourself in Ecuador's landscapes and local markets; cruise into the remote Amazon Rainforest, drive through the Amazon of the Volcanoes and ride a switchback train dow…
13 Nights from £4,588 €4,605 $4,964Full Itinerary Contact Specialist
Day 1 - Traveling to Quito
Day 2 - Tour to Otavalo Market
Days 3 - 10 - Manatee Amazon Explorer Cruise
Day 11 - Volcanoes & Local Markets
Day 12 - Devil's Nose Railway
Day 13 - Cuenca & Panama Hat Factory
Day 14 - Cajas National Park
Day 15 - Transfer to Guayaquil & Fly Home
14 Nights from £8,532 €9,338 $10,091
This tour includes the Amazon rainforest, a Galapagos cruise to experience the stunning friendly wildlife and an insight into the colonial charm of Quito, high in the mountain…
14 Nights from £8,532 €9,338 $10,091Full Itinerary Contact Specialist
Day 1 - Flight from London to Quito
Day 2 - Tour to Otavalo Market
Day 3 - Transfer to Amazon Lodge
Day 4-5 - Guided excursions & activities at the Amazon Lodge
Day 6 - Transfer to Quito
Day 7 - Tour of Quito
Day 8 - Flight to Galapagos Islands and board yacht
Day 9-14 - Guided excursions & activities at the Galapagos Islands
Day 15 - Flight back to the mainland. Return flight home
Day 16 - Arrive back home
19 Nights from £5,950 €6,240 $6,735
Close encounters with friendly wildlife on the Galapagos Islands cruise and experience fascinating cultures in the exuberant rainforest and by the volcanoes on the Andean moun…
19 Nights from £5,950 €6,240 $6,735Full Itinerary Contact Specialist
Day 1 - Flight London to Quito
Day 2 - Otavalo and Quito City Tour
Days 3-6 - Amazon Lodge & excursions
Day 7 - Return to Quito for 1 night
Day 8 - Tour of Cotopaxi Volcano
Day 9 - Ingapirca and Cuenca
Day 10 - Gualaceo Valley
Day 11 - Cuenca Tour and Cajas National Park
Day 12 - Cajas National Park
Days 13-19 - Galapagos cruise with daily guided excursions
Day 20 - Travel back to UK