Best Amazon Jungle Tours in South America
Introduction to the Amazon Jungle
The Amazon Jungle is one of the last remaining unknown mysteries on the face of the earth. There is still much that is unknown about this wonderful biosphere, and what is known is pretty incredible. It is the breathing lungs of the planet; home to over half the plant and animal species known to man. Its deepest nether-reaches are barely charted. It is even home to uncontacted tribes of humans living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
And it is there to be explored. While Peru is famous for the Andes mountains and Inca heritage, it also offers the mouth of the Amazon jungle; an entryway to this steamy cauldron of raucous life. Staying at local accommodation deep in the jungle, navigable only via waterway, and led by a local guide on expeditions that take in birds, mammals, reptiles and whatever else may lurk in the undergrowth, an Amazon jungle tour is quite the adventure to see a truly unique and remarkable corner of the world.
What to Expect on an Amazon Jungle Tour
The Peruvian Amazon is large and extends from the north east portion of the country down around the border with Brazil to the eastern side. Yet whichever region of the jungle you choose to explore, you will need to fly in by aeroplane. Other than arduous multi-day boat journey, it’s the only way to get so deep into the jungle. Upon arrival in your jungle destination of choice you will be greeted by your local guide and escorted to your lodge. This will generally entail a boat trip of up to 2 hours. Although not impossible, it is unusual to enjoy luxury accommodation in the jungle. Most commonly you will have clean, comfortable quarters equipped with mosquito nets and other jungle survival essentials, but without hot showers or even electricity, save perhaps for certain times during the day. Hot showers, of course, are hardly a necessity in the humid jungle.
From your base accommodation, a host of day and night activities will be organised by your guide. These can include:
- Night expeditions with powerful flashlights to spot the insectlife that comes out specially at night. There are laws of nature that inhibit insects from growing enormous and devouring us, but these laws are stretched and the seems pulled at in the Amazon.
- Jungle hikes focusing on searching for rare and exotic plantlife, especially that used in the creation of medicine and ceremonies.
- Fishing expeditions, in search of what exotic rareties the Amazon river might yield up, including the famed piranha.
- Night boat expeditions with powerful flashlights in hunt of the tell-tale glint of caiman eyes lurking just above the surface of the water.
- Jungle treks deep into the untamed undergrowth and humid, thrumming rainforest, in search of what wildlife therein resides, including monkeys, macaws, all manner of exotic birds, snakes, arachnids and the unknown.
- Visits to local communities that dwell within the jungle, to meet the people and see how they live. They will be as curious about you as you are of them.
Best Time of Year to Go on an Amazon Jungle Tour
There are two seasons for the Amazon in Peru; the wet season and the dry season. The former is December through to May, and the latter is from June until November. In terms of weather to expect, they are largely identical. It rains all year round in the rainforest, a little more in the wet season but not significantly so. The region receives 3.6m / 12ft of rainfall a year over an average of 200 days, so it is difficult to avoid. But the rainfall is more in the nature of passing showers and an entire day is rarely rained out.
High-Water Season (December – May)
The wet season opens up the rivers and tributaries of the Amazon river, bringing more of the jungle into reach by boat and allowing for further and greater exploration. The average temperature is 30 degrees Celsius / 87 degrees Fahrenheit and humid. Boat expeditions are more profitable this time of year, and you can also get out and hike to areas inaccessible during the dry season. On the other hand, many good hiking routes are submerged during this period.
Dry Season (June – November)
What corresponds with winter and spring, this season is actually hotter than its counterpart, the wet season, which would be summer. Average temperatures hit 37 degrees Celsius / 98 degrees Fahrenheit. With more ground exposed, there is great trekking this time of year, with more opportunities to venture deeper inland and spot monkeys and sloths and migrating birds. Fishing is also better this time of year, including piranhas.
The Amazon Jungle Tours offered by PIE Experiences
Amazon Jungle Tour in Puerto Maldonado
Amazon Jungle Tour in Manu from Cusco