Three of the best: Exploring the Amazon
311 species of mammals.
1,300 different birds.
1,800 fish species.
More than 30,000 plant species.
And let's not forget the 6,400km of Amazon River that boasts tributaries from eight countries!
With all that amazingness on offer, how to do you decide where, what and how to see this once-in-a-lifetime destination?
Good news! We've done the hard work for you and with the help of World Journeys, we've narrowed it down to the best three spots. But first, let's talk wildlife.
Wildlife... what wildlife?
For a place that is the epitome of 'nature', it can sometimes have a surprising lack of visible wildlife. That's probably because the rainforest is dense and the wildlife generally rather shy. So do keep in mind that it's once you get in amongst it all on walking excursions that the real magic will happen. That's when you'll observe the smaller stuff like the weird and wonderful insects, the plants that all play their very specific part in this highly complex eco-system, and the smaller species such as colourful tree frogs or butterflies. Night walks will also reveal some of the best and most active wildlife too, and we can guarantee you that the memories of lying in bed and listening to the sounds of the Amazon around you will be something you'll never forget!
Excited much?? Then let's crack on with our recommendations....
From Brazil, see their part of the Amazon with a cruise out of Manaus (a very interesting town on its own). Hop aboard a small expedition-style cruise that heads up the Rio Negro and add pink dolphins, piranha fishing or caiman spotting at night to your list of experiences, as well as the 'Meeting of the Waters' - where the black water of the Rio Negro meets the brown water of the River Solimoes.
Our pick: M/V Desafio (below), a three-masted sailing ship which carries just 24 passengers.
It's interesting how people think the only place to experience the Amazon from is Brazil. Guess what? It's not and if you do it from Peru, you can easily add-on another once-in-a-lifetime experience: Machu Picchu!
There's some wonderful options for cruises departing from Iquitos; the M/V Aqua (3, 4 or 7 night cruises) offers fascinating excursions and gourmet meals, or there's the Delfin II that offers 4 night cruises including visits to local villages. Whatever cruise you choose, there'll be loads of amazing birdlife (including colourful macaws), pink dolphins, river otters and howler monkeys to discover.
Cruising not for you or looking for something different? Then try an eco-lodge experience at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica (below) in the Tambopata Reserve. Enjoy the Canopy Walkway for a completely different perspective or the riverside spa after your jungle walks.
Offering some of the greatest biodiversity on earth, genuine wildlife enthusiasts can't go wrong when opting for Ecuador, and can even add on the Cloud Forest and Galapagos Islands to their itinerary.
Our pick: Sacha Lodge (riverside entrance below) for its forest trails, treetop observation tower and Bird Walk, and dug-out canoes for excursions to the parrot clay licks. For an even more authentic experience, choose an expert naturalist guide or native Indian tracker.
So c'mon - let's get this one ticked off the ole bucket list. Give us a call and let's start planning your itinerary to this wildly unique and diverse destination. Differently.
(Images supplied by World Journeys)