The Amazon is a 4,400-mile river, with a 2,600,000-square mile basin and thousands of tributaries. It is the largest river in the world and also the longest. It flows through eight countries (Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela, and Suriname).
The Amazon runs through several landscapes, including forests, savannah, floodplains, and numerous regions of immense diversity. There are more than 30,000 plant species and hundreds of animals living here.
If you are excited and thrilled, and you cannot wait to explore this area, you must first keep in mind that the Amazon is not a straightforward destination. You cannot just book a flight and explore the rainforest or the jungle on your own.
If you really want to learn more about this immense river, you can book an Amazon cruise. However, why don’t you first check our recommendations to make this experience even better?
When to Go
Even though you may be ready to pack your stuff and leave immediately, you should try to visit the Amazon in May or June. This period of the year is just perfect, being midway between the rainy season (February to April) and the hottest months (September to November).
Don’t forget that the river tends to rise and fall continuously over the year. If you manage to catch the perfect time, when the Amazon is calm enough, you can experience a tour in a canoe. However, if you wish to embark upon a long hike, then the dry season would be better for you.
During this season, the temperatures are around 26 to 40°C (78 to 104°F). Decreased rainfall makes the jungle drier, and the river levels lower. This means that exploring the rainforest on foot is more manageable, and you can spot caimans and other animals.
How Long Should You Stay
Amazon cruises usually last between one to two weeks. This is a reasonable amount of time to enjoy every experience that this place can offer, such as hiking, sport fishing, and caiman spotting. You should spend at least one night in the jungle. Just don’t try to go exploring by yourself! It is always recommended to book a tour.
If you can spend more than one week, you should try splitting your time into different areas of the Amazon. You can either choose different tours or experiences, stay on board on your cruise, or book a flight.
Don’t Fear (and Feed) the Piranha
Plants and mammals are not the only inhabitants of the Amazon rainforest. The river is also the house of one of the most iconic species of fish: the infamous red-bellied piranha. Contrary to what many people think, this fish is relatively small, but yet very fast and voracious.
It owes its fame to its prominent dental work, which is used to devour aquatic plants and seeds. In fact, the majority of species of piranha living in the Amazon are entirely vegetarian. In addition, in some places in Brazil, you can enjoy the tender meat of this fish with a delicious soup.
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Try to Learn About Medical Plants
Although nowadays there are professional doctors and nurses everywhere around the world, in many areas of the Amazon rainforest, medicinal plants are still considered very important. In fact, even modern science has admitted that some of these treatments are effective or at least promising for gastric problems, diabetes, and even mental health issues.
To immerse yourself completely in the culture of the Amazon, you can try to learn a bit about medicinal plants. You don’t necessarily have to try it, but it is interesting to see how ancient medicine is still an essential part of many people’s lives. For example, while in Brazil, you should try the Brazilian Ginseng, best known as Suma, which is believed to offer a boost of natural energy to our immune system.
Pack Your Essentials
When exploring the Amazon, you must always wear lightweight and waterproof clothes. You should also wear a hat to protect your head from the sun, as well as a high factor sun cream. Don’t forget to pack a mosquito spray, and some comfortable and sturdy walking shoes. Nevertheless, in some cases, you may need a pair of rubber boots, especially during the rainy seasons.
Although you may struggle to find the signal, you should always bring your phone with you. Of course, you will also need your camera, so you can take advantage of any excellent photo opportunity. We also recommend a pair of binoculars to spot the exotic fauna of the Amazon and to keep a safe and respectful distance from the local wildlife. To improve your experience, add a head torch for night walks through the jungle.