The Amazon rainforest spreads across much of South America, accessed via specialist cruises and lodges, affording unique perspectives on jungle life.
The Amazon Rainforest covers territory in 9 countries in South America, stretching over the vast basin of the Amazon river, and considered to be the lungs of the world. Hidden beneath the thick rainforest canopy is an ecosystem of extraordinary biodiversity and home to a spectacular array of flora and fauna. A journey into the Amazon is a magical encounter with nature, escaping civilisation to reach secluded areas of pristine rainforest.
The majority of the rainforest is in Brazil, with Manaus acting as the main entry point. After exploring this fascinating city, once one of the richest in South America thanks to the rubber boom, a journey into the rainforest will continue along the Amazon river. A motor canoe will take visitors to one of the excellent Amazon Lodges in the area, either to the comfortable Amazon EcoPark nearby the city, or to a more basic and remote lodge such as the Juma Lodge. Alternatively, an excellent way to visit distinct parts of the rainforest is to take a cruise along the river in a riverboat such as the Tucano. An important distinction between the rainforest of Brazil and other parts of the Amazon is that in Brazil the forest floods. The low water period is in January, while the high water period is in June. During the flooded months, it is possible to take canoe trips through the labyrinth of trees which is the flooded rainforest.
Peru also has a considerable area of Amazon Rainforest, in two main regions. The Tambopata National Reserve, located on the Madre de Dios river (a tributary of the Amazon river) is located in southern Peru, a short flight from Cusco. This makes it the ideal option for travellers who would like to visit the rainforest in conjunction with a visit to Peru's ancient sites. such as Machu Picchu. In the northern Peruvian rainforest, visitors can take river cruises through the Pacaya Samiria reserve, such as the Delfin II which departs from the city of Iquitos (a two hour flight from Lima).
There is also a relatively small area of Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, which makes it a perfect accompaniment to a trip through the Ecuadorean Andes, or the Galapagos Islands. Entering through the city of Coca (a 45-minute flight from Quito), there are excellent cruises along the Napo river such as the Manatee or Anaconda, and specialist lodges such as the Napo Wildlife Centre.
It is important to note that while there is abundant wildlife throughout the Amazon, the dense rainforest and shy nature of many species can make them difficult to spot. Specialist naturalist guides are on hand on all of our tours to help you see them, often with the aid of binoculars. Just as important as seeing wildlife in the Amazon is the experience of being within the jungle, seeing the giant trees close-up, and learning about the ecosystem of the world's largest tropical rainforest.
Click on a marker to read more information about each location.
Explore some of our favourite holidays
Suggestions & Recommendations