Know Before You Go – The Amazon

By Allie E. Almario

At Premier Tours, our top Amazon destinations are in Peru and in Ecuador. We’ve gathered some insider’s intel so that you can decide on the perfect itinerary – how long to stay, how to choose between a land-based lodge versus a cruise tour, and when to go to the rainforest.


If the Amazon is your primary destination, allow yourself at least a week in the rainforest. Remember that it will take at least half a day to travel from a gateway city to the Amazon in either direction.  If the Amazon is just one of several stops on your itinerary, we recommend a minimum of three or four nights to make the most of your daily hikes and excursions.


Depending on your travel style, you can choose to stay at a rainforest lodge or hop onboard a small ship to explore the Amazon.  Most travelers feel that if you stay at a lodge, the naturalists provide an in-depth experience of the flora and fauna that they know intimately within the area.  If you travel by boat, then you will have the opportunity to see different ports.  No matter which mode of accommodations you choose, you’ll still have an incredible wildlife adventure.


In the rainforest, it can rain all year round and there may be high temperatures and lots of humidity. Generally speaking, from November to May, rain is heavier (it’s the rainforest, after all), and rivers rise. The bonus? You’ll be able to travel on more river routes not normally accessible during dry season.  From May to September temperatures are generally milder.  Of course, considering the vastness of the Amazon region, weather will vary from region to region.


We’ll provide you a detailed packing list, but it’s a good idea to wear lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect you from biting insects and scratches from trees and bushes.  Most lodges and ships will provide waterproof boots so you can happily splash in the mud.  Some preserves and national parks will require yellow fever vaccinations, and of course the CDC website will offer other vaccination recommendations in order for you to stay safe and healthy.

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