The Amazon is the second longest river in the world after Nile, and its basin, which is also a marvel in itself, spans across eight countries. These include Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname, apart from the little overseas territory of France, viz., French Guiana. The Amazon rainforest, also known as the Amazon Jungle, covers most of the area occupied by the Amazon Basin in South America, and is undeniably the largest forest on our planet. It is a dense, moist, broadleaved jungle that supports such an unparalleled and varied ecosystem and offers such countless possibilities that at times, it almost seems like a fantastical dream―a folkloric region that boasts of near mythical inhabitants and happenings. But what really holds an element of mystique is the river itself; the majestic Amazon keeps on displaying its power and might from time to time.
Welcome to the Jungle!
The Amazon rainforest, as mentioned before, is the region of countless possibilities. It has so much to offer to the adventure-seekers that there comes a point when the forest expanse just starts seeming endless; you might stumble upon something new and exciting with every single step that you may take in Amazon’s wilderness. And this is precisely what makes the rainforest one of the most sought-after destinations of adventure enthusiasts―whether it is individual/group adventure or family fun, the Amazon Jungle is a treasure trove of ample opportunities for everyone.
Best Time to Travel
◆ In general, the Amazon rainforest experiences rainy season between November (or December) to about June.
◆ This is the time when the water level in the Amazon river rises, and the low-lying areas along its banks tend to get flooded. But owing to the risen water levels, many of the smaller channels along the basin actually become accessible at this time.
◆ This is best time for river cruising/kayaking adventures.
◆ On the other hand, between the months of July to December, the forest experiences dry season.
◆ This is the time when the water levels start receding with the rise in temperature. As the water recedes, a number of submerged beaches and trails get uncovered, thus, adding more exciting possibilities for adventures.
◆ For people who wish to indulge in activities such as fishing, hiking, and watching wildlife and birds, the dry season is the best time to travel.
Basic Factors to Consider
◆ The very first factor to take into consideration while planning a trip to the Amazon rainforest is whether you want to hire a tour operator or travel on your own.
◆ While traveling independently is possible, it often comes with its own set of complications. However, if you have a lot of time at your disposal, this option might suit you.
◆ If you opt to travel on your own, you will need to conduct thorough and adequate research, and make all your bookings―transport and accommodations―well in advance, and confirm them again before embarking on your journey.
◆ On the other hand, if you have limited time at your disposal and/or are planning your Amazon adventure for the first time, it is recommended that you hire a reputed tour operator who can take care of all the details of your trip and help you manage your budget.
◆ Independent travelers, even those who have been to the Amazon rainforest before, need to note that in most cases, you will feel the need to hire local tour operators, who will be able to help you with inland transfers and other basic facilities such as food and drink.
◆ The most important thing to consider is that you will need to have a local guide with you, especially if you intend to visit certain remote areas in the forest. A local guide who is well-versed with Spanish as well as the indigenous language of the region may be provided to you by your local tour operator.
◆ It should also be remembered that the Amazon region is prone to torrential rains that occur in the region almost every day. Owing to this, problems such as delayed flights and people missing the connecting flights are quite common there.
◆ Therefore, while booking your tickets, ensure that you do not miss out on this point. See to it that there is enough interval of time between the two flights you are going to take.
◆ Independent travelers must keep in mind that booking online will give them plenty of opportunities to avail discounted offers and other benefits, especially if they are booking well ahead. So, look for them and compare prices before making the final payment.
◆ Apart from the ones mentioned above, the most important factor to be considered is your overall budget. If you choose to go on a lavish, luxury trip to the Amazon rainforest, it would mean traveling by domestic flights/private cars, staying in upscale lodges/camps, eating grand lunches and dinners, and enjoying state-of-the-art facilities. However, such a trip will perhaps cut you off from the local culture and keep you from enjoying the reality of life in the Amazon.
◆ Budget travel to the region will mean that you will probably get very basic amenities like windowless chalets, public transport, and mediocre lunches and dinners.
◆ The best way to balance your budget in the Amazon region is to choose a good package deal that will include―apart from lodging―food, excursions, and other necessary facilities.