The Amazon Rainforest, famous all over the world for its incredible diversity of flora and fauna, deserves to be termed as one of the best places to visit in the world. Whether you’re a nature lover, keen on an adventure or simply looking for a laidback vacation, the places to visit in Amazon River Basin can fulfil all your needs.
Best Time to Visit Amazon River Basin
Most people find that the best time to visit the Amazon River Basin and Rainforest is during its low-water season i.e. between July and December. During this time, visibility is improved for some of the wildlife like the caiman crocodile. Hiking is easier because the walking trails are more accessible.
The Amazon Basin receives its fair share of rainfall throughout the year. However, during the low-water season, rain is less, although regular.
Places to Visit in Amazon River Basin
The Amazon River Basin and Rainforest is full of numerous attractions. Some of the best places to visit in the Amazon River Basin are:
1. The Amazon River
The Amazon River is the main attraction of the rainforest for most people. It extends all the way from Coca in Ecuador to Belem in Brazil, flowing out into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Amazon River can be best explored by taking a cruise trip, along ports like Coca, Iquitos, Leticia, Tefe and so on. One highlight of these cruise trips is visiting the incredible flooded forest of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Many of these tours also take visitors on guided skiff expeditions and forest walks for wonderful wildlife experiences.
2. Oxbow Lakes
The oxbow regions have been formed by the tributaries of Amazon river, and attract many animals who are drawn to the water. On tours of Oxbow Lakes, one can find numerous animals like giant river otters, black caiman crocodilians, water birds, giant Arapaima fish, as well as many species of monkeys.
One special animal that is found on these routes is the strange hoatzin bird. Oxbow Lakes are surrounded by palms, which are nesting habitats ideal for birds like scarlet macaw and parrots. Amazon River Basin and Rainforest sightseeing can be best experienced at these lakes.
3. Clay Licks
Clay Licks include areas of exposed river banks which provide different animals clay to feed on. This clay contains much needed salts as well as chemicals which neutralize toxins found in unripe fruits and vegetables. The macaws often visit these Licks. At any given time, one can find various species of macaws gathered here, including red macaws, blue macaws and golden macaws. The unique wildlife of this region makes it one of the most popular Amazon Basin and Rainforest tourist spots.
Puerto Maldonado rainforest in Southern Peru is said to contain the highest number of Clay Licks. One example of this is the Chuncho Clay Lick in Peru.
Smaller Clay Licks for mammals are also located nearby, which can be seen from the Refugios Amazonas Lodge.
On the other hand, Manu Wildlife Center and Heath River Wildlife Center are good options for spotting South America’s largest land mammal from a carefully positioned hide.
4. The Cloud Forests
These are tropical forests on the Andes, penetrated by a cloud cover. The Cloud Forests comprise of a vast number of species of both animals and birds, especially the world’s highest diversity of hummingbirds.
On tours of these forests, one can find species of orchids, epiphytes and birds. One gets to witness different hummingbirds, woolly monkeys, capuchins and even spectacled bears.
Places to Stay in Amazon River Basin
Amazon River Basin and Rainforest provides high variety in the number of places one can stay in during the trip, depending on the number of days. These include-
1. The Posada Amazonas Lodge, Puerto Maldonado, Peru
A community-owned lodge in the Puerto Maldonado Rainforest, the Posada Amazonas Lodge is ideal for a 2-4 day stay. The location of this lodge provides for a stay which combines watching animals like giant river otters, parrot clay licks, different monkeys and birds with adventurous activities like canopy climbing, kayaking, jungle mountain biking, and stand-up paddle boarding.
The Posada Amazonas also provides luxury spa treatment surrounded by the beautiful rainforest.
2. La Selva Lodge, Ecuador
La Selva is a luxurious lodge located in Ecuador. Staying here gives one the added advantage of visiting the Yasuni National Park and the Yasuni Clay Lick. The Lodge also provides for enjoying its tall canopy tower, touring the nearby Garzacocha Lagoon by canoe and venturing on the many rainforest trails. These rainforest trails have been specially designed in such a manner that they provide one a view of numerous attractions along the way, like tall strangler figs, emergent trees and a resident group of pygmy marmosets.
While on the trail, the rainforest guide can help you keep on a lookout for the various inhabitants of the Amazon, like different monkeys, birds, amphibians and species of plants. The ideal location of this lodge makes it one of the best hotels in the Amazon River Basin and Rainforest.
La Selva Lodge also provides various luxuries, like the spa treatment, comfortable suites, an excellent restaurant with delicacies, numerous viewing areas and a bar for enjoying the perfect Amazon cocktail.
Cruises in Amazon River Basin and Rainforest
The complete beauty of the Amazon can be experienced through a cruise tour, which not only allows one to witness the magic on the move, but also get down on the way to explore the wildlife and learn more about it. Taking a cruise also provides access to numerous protected areas, which are otherwise inaccessible.
Some brilliant Cruise trip options include-
1. The Delfin II Cruise
This luxury cruise operates from Iquitos in Northern Peru. One can choose between simply relaxing and getting down on the way to witness guided skiff expeditions on the chosen days. Along with the day excursions, one highlight of the Delfin II Cruise is the nocturnal wildlife, when visitors can get down to see different caiman, nocturnal birds and more. Tourism in the Amazon River Basin can be experienced best on this cruise.
Choose this Cruise for the top of the line service, gourmet cuisine, fine wine and some of the best guides for the Amazon tour.
2. The Tucano Expedition Cruise, Brazil
This cruise travels deep into the Amazon Rainforest of the Rio Negro from Manaus, Brazil. Styled as a 19th Century Steamship, the Tucano vessel takes you into areas of the Amazon which are otherwise unreachable.
The Cruise is home to numerous excellent guides, who conduct skiff expeditions, forest walks and even kayaking tours. It also harbours 9 comfortable cabins, which are air-conditioned and luxurious.
The Amazon River Basin and Rainforest deserves special mention when we talk about the best places to visit in the world; be it diverse flora and fauna or fun adventures, this place has it all. Choose the perfect tour, accommodation and activities, and enjoy all the attractions and tourism options that this beautiful rainforest has to provide!