As one of the world’s most famous rivers, the Amazon River draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to enjoy the incredible river and the rainforest nourished by the nutrient-rich water.
Here, we will provide an Amazon River travel guide to help visitors know which sections of the river to visit and highlight some of the top Amazon River cruises, lodges, & tours.
We will focus here on the Amazon River cruises and some tours close to the Amazon River, which runs across the top of South America. For some more suggestions for the entire Amazon Basin, you can see our Amazon Rainforest travel guide.
But let’s first have an introduction to the Amazon River itself.
The Amazon River begins as trickles in the Andes high in the mountains of Peru and Ecuador. The river then flows across South America and into the Atlantic Ocean from its mouth near Belem in eastern Brazil.
During its voyage across the continent, the Amazon River passes different river ports in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Brazil. It’s these ports that will be your gateways to the incredible Amazon River & Rainforest.
The Amazon River officially begins just west of Peru’s city of Iquitos with the merging of the Maranon and Ucayali River. However, if you class the larger Maranon as the same river then the Amazon begins in the Andes of southern Peru where the first trickles of a river that becomes the Amazon River start to form.
Your main entry points to visit the Amazon River to enjoy some fantastic Amazon River cruises and tours are Coca in Ecuador, Iquitos in northern Peru and Manaus in northern Brazil.
The Amazon River cruises head deep into areas of the Amazon Rainforest and some of the best tours focus on some of the Amazon’s best protected areas. While cruising these waters and heading out on guided expeditions from the main vessel, enjoy seeing a variety of Amazon wildlife, including pink river dolphins, different turtles, colorful toucans and macaws, black caiman crocodilians, and many different monkeys in the riverside forest.
The most wildlife has been found in the western side of the forest, such as the rainforest of Ecuador and Peru. However, Manaus in Brazil still offers some fantastic Amazon experiences.
Now, let’s go over an introduction to these three major Amazon River ports and gateways for an Amazonian experience.
Puerto Francisco de Orellana (Coca), Ecuador
Affectionately known as Coca, Puerto Francisco de Orellana is located in western Ecuador on the bank of the Napo River. This river flows into the Amazon River after crossing into Peru.
With a population of around 50,000 people, Coca is regarded as a smaller gateway town to experience the Amazon River and Rainforest. This means less of the surrounding rainforest has been degraded by human activity.
Flowing along the border of the Yasuni National Park, the Napo River is an excellent way to access one of the most most wildlife-rich areas of the entire Amazon Rainforest. There are many different cruises and tours that start from Coca to take on on fantastic expeditions to see many different monkeys, a range of colorful birds, and magnificent sights.
From Coca, enjoy some luxurious lodges, adventurous rainforest experiences, and cruises into the Yasuni National Park. Climb tall canopy towers to see over the rainforest and to spot colorful birds and butterflies, visit the Yasuni clay lick to see different parrots and parakeets visiting the medicinal clay, canoe lakes and tributaries, and walk and hike the protected areas to see a range of fantastic Amazon Rainforest animals and plants.
Iquitos sits in northern Peru as a port of the Amazon River. This is the world’s largest city unconnected to any other by road and is the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon.
From Iquitos, you can visit a few different protected areas of the Amazon River & Rainforest. There are some fantastic river cruises, rainforest lodges, and excursions from Iquitos to take you deep into this incredible forest.
With a population of 50,000 people, Iquitos is a much larger gateway than Coca in Ecuador, but still considerably smaller than Manaus, which we will mention later. Because this is a larger city, you will have to travel farther from Iquitos city itself to see some incredible wildlife-rich sections of forest.
When you travel more than 100 km from Iquitos, the animals and plants you can see are nothing short of incredible. Enjoy spotting two different sloths, colorful toucans, parrots, cotingas, and tanagers, pink river dolphins, and many different reptiles, amphibians, and monkeys. The monkeys you can see include howler monkeys, sakis, capuchins, tamarins, titi monkeys, and marmosets.
The main protected areas to visit from Iquitos are the flooded Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve. However, there is also the small Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve very close to the city itself.
As the largest city in the Amazon Rainforest, because of its size the city of Manaus is one of the main entry points to Amazonia. However, because of its size it also means you must travel very far from the gateway town to see undisturbed rainforest where you can spot many different animals and plants.
Manaus itself is a fascinating city to explore, as during the rubber boom the rubber barons displayed their vast wealth as exuberant mansions decorated with the world’s finest materials. As a symbol of prosperity, a main building in Manaus is the Amazon Theater, which was decorated with Italian marble and French stained glass windows.
We especially recommend some of the cruises from Manaus, which will take you into the rainforest of the Amazon and Rio Negro. Enjoy seeing a range of Amazonian wildlife, such as colorful birds, monkeys, and tall emergent trees.
Amazon River Attractions
Although the Amazon River and Rainforest itself is the attraction to this area of South America, there are some specific attractions to be found in the region. These include specific areas to catch sight of certain animals, manmade structures to better appreciation the area, and specific tours that offer something a little different.
Clay licks are areas where different animals come to feed on certain areas of exposed clay. The animals do this to obtain compounds that helps neutralize toxins found in their diet and also to obtain salts, which is often hard to find in the rainforest.
For you, these areas mean almost guaranteed wildlife spectacles to see some of the most iconic animals of Amazonia. However, note that that majority of clay licks in the Amazon Rainforest are found from Puerto Maldonado in southern Peru. In the northern Amazon near the Amazon River, the clay licks are rarely encountered but there are a few known areas.
Although there are few known clay licks along the Amazon River itself, in the rainforest of Ecuador from the jungle gateway town of Coca you can visit the small Yasuni clay lick in the Yasuni National Park. Many rainforest cruises and lodges for the Yasuni National Park visit the small clay licks here, such as the Manatee Amazon Cruise and La Selva Lodge.
Canopy towers are fantastic places to see over the rainforest canopy and simply gaze at the beautiful shades of green complimented by the brilliant blue sky. Not only great for simply appreciating the canopy, canopy towers allow some great chances to spot various toucans, parrots, and other colorful birds flying over the rainforest. You can even see troops of monkeys moving through the trees.
Although there are many canopy towers found throughout the rainforest at various Amazon Rainforest lodges, which you can find on our Amazon Rainforest travel guide or see the Puerto Maldonado travel guide for the rainforest of southern Peru, there are a few places located close to the Amazon River itself.
A great place in the northern Amazon near the Amazon River to enjoy canopy towers is from the rainforest gateway town of Coca in eastern Ecuador. The different Amazon cruises, such as the Anakonda and Manatee visit a rainforest canopy tower. In addition to these cruises, the community-owned Napo Wildlife Center and Sani Lodge have a tall canopy tower as well as the luxury-class La Selva Lodge. All of these areas located in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest along the Napo River, which later merges with the mighty Amazon River.
Canopy Zipline or Canopy Walkway
Aside from the canopy towers, there are some other ways you can experience the incredible canopy environment of the Amazon Rainforest on tours closer to the Amazon River than other tours in South America.
The canopy environment has revealed an incredible diversity of animals and plants that live their entire lives far away from the forest floor. As you will usually be walking on the forest floor, it’s a great experience to ascend into the canopy and experience life in the treetops.
Providing two alternative ways of exploring the canopy aside from the canopy towers mentioned above, you can choose the canopy zipline or the canopy walkway.
Like the canopy towers mentioned above, the canopy walkway is located in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest at the Sacha Lodge. This is a fantastic lodge for wildlife lovers, and given the facilities for nature observation, it’s a much-loved lodge for birdwatchers.
One of the largest canopy zipline systems in the Amazon Rainforest can be found at the highly regarded Tahuayo Lodge, which is one of the top Amazon Rainforest & River tours from Iquitos in northern Peru. From the Tahuayo Lodge, enjoy two fantastic jungle lodges for the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve to see a high range of rainforest wildlife, including colorful birds, several different monkeys, and much more on a privately guided custom tour of Amazonia.
Luxury Amazon cruises provide their own attraction on the Amazon River. Enjoy comfortable and spacious suites, gourmet cuisine, elegant relaxation areas, and some of the best guided tours of the Amazon River and Rainforest.
The Amazon River tours from Iquitos in northern Peru are some of the top recommendations. For example, the Delfin I offers an experience more similar to a luxurious floating boutique hotel than a rea. With only four oversized suites, the Delfin I offers one of the most exclusive and luxurious tours of the Amazon River. Two of these fantastic suites also include your own private whirlpool to relax while being escorted deep into Amazonia.
We will mention more about the luxury cruises farther down.
Primate Research Grid
To offer one suggestion for a great place to see several different monkeys, in the northern Peruvian amazon sits a primate grid behind the Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center. The Tahuayo Lodge, which is an Amazon tour from Iquitos in northern Peru, offers tours of their 1,000 acre primate research grid as part of the usual 8-day Amazon tour. However, you can also visit the research grid on tours of 6-days.
The research grid and center was a joint initiative between the Tahuayo Lodge and a number of academic and scientific institutions. One of the objectives was to study Amazon Rainforest life and specifically to study the primates of the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve.
Enjoy walking the primate research grid with your private guide from the Tahuayo Lodge to spot howler monkeys, capuchins, squirrel monkeys, tamarins, titi monkeys, and pygmy marmosets. In addition to the monkeys, you can spot a range of other animals and plants. The reserve is located just off the Amazon River down a tributary called the Rio Tahuayo about 150 km from Iquitos in northern Peru.
Rubber Boom Cities
The rubber boom cities themselves offer a fantastic attraction in the Amazon Rainforest. The rubber boom that grew the cities of Iquitos, Manaus, and Belem has decorated the streets with the old mansions of rubber barons that decorated their homes with the world’s finest materials.
Certain buildings of the rubber boom cities have some spectacular stories, such as particular mansions, the Amazon Theater in Manaus built as a symbol of prosperity, or the Iron House in Iquitos, Peru. The Iron House for example was seen by a wealthy robber baron in Paris, France, at an architectural exhibition and was then shipped all the way to the Amazon Rainforest. It now stands in Iquitos, Peru, as a restaurant overlooking the Plaza de Armas.
The Best Time to Visit the Amazon River
As the Amazon River almost reaches from one side of South America to the other, choosing the best time to visit does depend on where in particular you are planning on seeing. However, the differences will not be much. Below, we will provide some graphics to illustrate the temperature, rainfall, and the best times for wildlife viewing for Iquitos in Peru and Manaus in Brazil to offer a summary guide for the Amazon River.
Note that the main temperature difference no matter where you visit along the Amazon River is from morning to evening. Because this is a tropical region with no distinguishable seasons, the temperature is similar from month to month.
No matter where you choose along the Amazon River from Ecuador to Brazil, the main differences between months will be whether the months falls in a drier part of the year or a wetter part of you year. But there will still be some showers no matter when you visit and the rainforest of Iquitos for example doesn’t even have an official ‘dry season’.
The Best Time to Visit Iquitos, Peru
The Best Time to Visit Manaus, Brazil
The Top 5 Amazon River Wildlife Sightings
The Amazon River nourishes the world’s largest cradle of animals and plants. The Amazon Rainforest itself stretches across 40% of the continent and contains an incredible diversity of wildlife.
While on river cruises or staying at wildlife lodges near the Amazon River itself, there are are few different animals and plants you have a higher chance of spotting than in other areas of Amazonia.
Here is a list of animals you are likely to spot on tours near to the Amazon River. Note the wildlife is at its most diverse in the western Amazon of Ecuador and Peru.
Pink River Dolphins
The Pink River Dolphins are one of the most loved animals to see of the Amazon River and its nearby tributaries. Aside from their often startling pink coloration, the dolphins have a flexible neck making them a little different in appearance from their oceanic cousins. Not a lot is known about their behavior and the dolphins feature prominently in the folklore of the Amazon’s native communities.
Another much loved sighting, you will no doubt see several different types of Amazon Rainforest monkeys while you’re exploring the Amazon River and nearby forest. Spot the large howler monkeys, woolly monkeys, and spider monkeys. See the smaller titi monkeys, capuchins, tamarins and squirrel monkeys. You will also see the pygmy marmosets, which are the smallest monkeys in the New World. These are often seen near Amazon Rainforest villages but also in the deep jungle.
As icons of the Amazon Rainforest, you are sure to see different macaw parrots flying high over the Amazon River and its tributaries. The most commonly seen macaw over the Amazon River itself are the blue and yellow macaws, but you’re sure to see some of the other varieties as well. The most famous are the scarlet macaws, which are also commonly encountered. However, if you want the best chance of seeing macaws up close, we recommend visiting some of the parrot clay licks, such as the clay lick in the Yasuni National Park or even visiting Amazonia away from the Amazon River itself. For example, farther south in the rainforest of Puerto Maldonado, southern Peru, you will find the most clay licks of anywhere in Amazonia.
Toucans are another of the Amazon’s iconic birds. With their stereotypical beaks and often vibrant colors, they are a much loved sighting as small flocks fly high over the river. If you’re lucky, you may even see duelling competitions between males in the tall rainforest branches.
Another of the Amazon’s iconic animals, anaconda are another sought after wildlife sighting for rainforest visitors. Anaconda can reach impressive sizes and snakes in excess of 25 feet (7.5 m) could be found. However, the average maximum size seems to be around 20 feet (6 m). Although the monster snakes are rarely spotted, you may chance upon a juvenile or smaller adult anaconda as you explore the Amazon River and its many tributaries.
Giant river otters are a favorite sighting in tributaries and oxbow lakes of the Amazon River. These are large otters and grow to just under 5.6 feet (2 meters). Differing from many of their relatives, giant river otters are highly social and play, hunt, and rest together as a family group. The otters are often curious and will watch you as they swim by. You may even see them communicating with each other. The otters use a variety of screeches to communicate their environment. They can also be individually recognised by the particular pattern of their white throat patch.
Amazon River Culture & Communities
There are many different communities that live along the Amazon River. The groups are often descendants of ancestral tribal communities mixed with Spanish colonists and international migrants who were attracted by the timber industry, oil, or as far back as the rubber boom that drew entrepreneurs and businessmen the world over to make their fortune in the jungle.
In Peru, the communities that live along the Amazon River are called ribereños. They live on small scale agriculture, fishing, and often visit the Amazon cities once or twice a month to sell their produce. You will no doubt see the different communities moving up and down the river in their dugout canoes or small motorised boats.
Protected Areas of the Amazon River
Protected areas of the Amazon Basin are often the best choice to see the highest diversity of animals and plants. As the forest is protected from extractive use, the different reserves and national parks provide a way to see the rainforest and river before the arrival of outsiders. When you visit these areas, the wildlife is incredible and it’s as if you have chanced upon a living Eden.
Some of the favorite protected areas to visit near to the Amazon River include:
The Yasuni National Park, Ecuador
Accessed from Coca, the jewel in the crown of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest isthe Yasuni National Park. The park contains one of the world’s highest levels of animals and plants. There are different ways to explore the Yasuni National Park, including rainforest lodges, river cruises, and luxury Amazon Rainforest lodges.
Rarely found in the northern Amazon Rainforest, within the Yasuni National Park you can find the Yasuni clay lick. The clay lick provides almost guaranteed sightings of colorful parakeets and parrots. The Yasuni national Park is also a great place to spot several different monkeys, colorful birds, caiman crocodiles, beautiful butterflies, and delicate amphibians.
The Yasuni National Park itself covers around 1 million hectares of UNESCO listed rainforest. The park is where different world records for species richness have been set and there are some fantastic ways to explore the rainforest from the lodges and cruises that you can enjoy. Climb canopy towers, canoe and kayak the waterways, enjoy guided rainforest walks, and even relax with a massage at the incredible La Selva Lodge & Spa.
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Peru
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is one of the most beautiful sections of rainforest along the Amazon River. The flooded nature of the reserve has creates some incredible scenery. Known as the forest of mirrors, enjoy seeing the forest and river almost perfectly reflected in the nutrient-rich water.
You can reach the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve from Iquitos in northern Peru. As this is a very large protected area extending across 2 million hectares, we recommend a cruise of the reserve to have the most indepth experience.
Some of the top cruises in the Amazon Rainforest explore the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. On guided expeditions, see some incredible Amazon Rainforest animals and plants. Your guides will help you spot several different monkeys, such as howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, capuchins, marmosets, and tamarins. You are also likely to see the mysterious pink river dolphins, caiman lizards, black caiman while night spotting for animals, delicate tree frogs, iguanas, and some beautiful birds. Flying over the river and in the rainforest trees, you’re likely to see macaws, toucans, cotingas, tanagers, and more.
The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Peru
The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve is in an area of connected rainforest with the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve mentioned above. The Tahuayo Reserve contains a higher fraction of higher ground forest and is a preferred choice for rainforest walks and exploring deep rainforest on foot.
The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve was founded for community incentives and to help protect the habitat of the rare uakari monkeys, which are a strange-looking monkey with a bright red face.
Within and close to the reserve, you can find a poison dart frog conservation area, the largest canopy zipline in Amazonia, a research center with a 1,000 acre primate research grid that you can explore, and the Tahuayo Lodge. This is one of the highest rated lodges in the rainforest and provides custom itineraries and private guides as standard. On tours from 6-days or more, explore both the research center and Tahuayo Lodge for some incredible guided tours of the Amazon Rainforest.
The Anavilhanas National Park, Brazil
Another area of rainforest along the Amazon River, the Anavilhanas National Park is part of the largest protected area of Amazon Rainforest. Enjoy exploring the hundreds of different islands and rainforest aboard different river cruises from Manaus in northern Brazil.
The Anavilhanas National Park covers 350,470 hectares of tropical forest and waterways. The protected area itself is located in the lower Rio Negro, which is the largest tributary of the Amazon River.
A recommended cruise to explore the protected area and surrounding rainforest is the Tucano Cruise, which is styled as a traditional steamboat and takes you on guided walking tours and skiff expeditions throughout the area. With professional naturalist guides, head out into the rainforest to find several different monkeys, the famous river dolphins, and a diversity of Amazonian birds.
Amazon River Tours & Cruises
There are some fantastic Amazon River tours to enjoy the rainforest, river, and its many tributaries. These tours focus on areas near the Amazon River itself. If you would like more suggestions throughout Amazonia, you can see our Amazon Rainforest travel guide or focus on the rainforest of southern Peru, which has the most developed tourism industry in Amazonia.
First, we will start with our recommended Amazon River Cruises
The Delfin II Cruise, Peru
The Delfin II is a luxury Amazon River cruise from Iquitos in northern Peru. Enjoy high class service, delicious cuisine, very comfortable living areas and suites, and some incredible guided tours of the Amazon Rainforest.
You won’t be confined to the very comfortable vessel, but can enjoy guided skiff expeditions and forest walks each morning and afternoon to scout for fascinating rainforest animals and plants of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
The Delfin II vessel is composed of 10 spacious regular suites and 4 master suites. The master suites are located at the front of the vessel for incredible rainforest views. In addition to the comfortable suites, the Delfin II features an elegant dining room, observation deck, lounge area, bar, entertainment center, exercise space, spa, presentation room, and library.
The Delfin III Cruise, Peru
The Delfin III Cruise offers one of the most affordable luxury cruises on the Amazon River. Enjoy a comfortable cruise from Iquitos in northern Peru into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and into surrounding rainforest (dependent on itinerary).
Choose from a range of suite types from the Owner’s Suite on the top deck, the two corner suites on the lower deck, and the regular suites throughout the vessel. Enjoy delicious food, comfortable suites, lounging areas, and the exercise room and spa.
In addition to the attentive staff on board the Delfin III itself, expert naturalist guides are on hand to escort you on skiff expeditions and forest walks in the Peruvian rainforest. Enjoy scouting for a range of Amazonian wildlife, including rainforest monkeys, colorful birds, beautiful butterflies, reptiles, and amphibians.
The Delfin I Cruise, Peru
One of the most luxurious Amazon River cruises, the Delfin I is more akin to a floating luxury boutique hotel than a cruise. The Delfin I has only four oversized suites and two of these have their own private whirlpool to cool off after your rainforest expeditions.
Winning many awards, because of the high level of luxury and excellent tours, the Delfin I has been featured in CNN Money, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, and Travel+Leisure.
The suites are all wrapped with 180° panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows that allow a constant connection to the Amazon Rainforest. In addition to the luxurious and very spacious suites, the Delfin I is equipped with a dining room to enjoy delicious food inspired by the rainforest, and the top deck with soft and comfortable sofas. This is a great place to relax of an evening with a drink from the bar and admire the beauty of the Milky Way free of any pollution.
Each day, you will enjoy expert guided tours into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve aboard skiff expeditions and forest walks to find many different animals and plants. Your guide will help you spot many different monkeys, parrots, toucans, tree frogs, tree-living tamandua anteaters, caiman crocodiles, and pink river dolphins.
The Aria Amazon Cruise, Peru
The Aria Amazon Cruise provides a luxury experience of the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest from the rainforest city of Iquitos. Explore the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve on longer itineraries than the Delfin I and Delfin II cruises mentioned above.
The Aria is a spectacularly designed vessel with a pitch black hull. The suites, dining room, and relaxation areas are then elegantly styled to create a comfortable and refined ambience as you voyage deep inside Amazonia.
The Aria has 16 elegant and comfortable suites with ensuite bathrooms and eco-sensitive products. The Aria Amazon Cruise is then fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the vessel to keep you connected to this incredible environment. Enjoy spotting many birds and other animals from the vessel itself.
You will explore the flooded Pacaya Samiria National Reserve aboard skiff expeditions led by naturalist guides to find some fantastic animals of Amazonia. Enjoy spotting sloths high in the trees, troops of monkeys moving through the rainforest, and a diversity of colorful birds. Between your expeditions, you will then enjoy delicious cuisine prepared with influence from the surrounding rainforest by executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino.
The Anakonda Amazon Cruise, Ecuador
A luxury-class Amazon River cruise in Ecuador’s rainforest departing from Coca, the Anakonda Cruise offers high levels of comfort and floor-to-ceiling windows for observing the rainforest.
The Anakonda features 18 comfortable suites, spacious relaxation areas, a large observation deck, an outdoor jacuzzi, and al fresco lounge to enjoy relaxation with a cocktail.
Enjoy exploring the surrounding rainforest as you travel deep into the Yasuni National Park on canoe tours, skiff expeditions, and forest walks to see a range of rainforest wildlife. Spot monkey, toucans, parrots, caiman crocodilians, and delicate tree frogs.
As well as exploring the rainforest on guided expeditions to find rainforest wildlife, you will also climb the Yasuni canopy tower to spot birds and monkeys high in the trees and visit the Yasuni clay lick. This is a small clay lick where colorful parakeets come to feed from the medicinal and salt-rich clay.
The Manatee Amazon Cruise, Ecuador
The Manatee Amazon Cruise is the sister ship of the luxury-class Anakonda mentioned above. The Manatee departs from Coca in eastern Ecuador to explore the incredible Yasuni National Park.
Enjoy excursions in the Yasuni National Park to see a wide variety of animals and plants. Enjoy spotting colorful parrots, large butterflies, caiman crocodiles, toucans, pink river dolphins, and many different monkeys.
Enjoy visiting the Yasuni clay lick to see colorful parakeets gathered at the clay and climb the tall canopy tower to look over the incredible canopy of the Amazon Rainforest.
The Manatee Cruise vessel itself has 14 comfortable and modern double-twin and single-twin cabins with private bathrooms and air conditioning. Enjoy comfortable living areas and delicious food while observing the rainforest through the large floor-to-ceiling windows in the relaxation areas.
The Tucano Cruise, Brazil
The Tucano Cruise explores the rainforest of the Rio Negro, which is the largest tributary of the Amazon River. Departing from Manaus in northern Brazil, explore the rainforest on naturalist guided expeditions deep into Amazonia.
Styled as a 19th Century steamship, the Tucano has been designed to also get you farther into the rainforest and down some of the harder to reach tributaries. The interior of the Tucano keeps with the style and you can find classic wood panelling throughout.
The vessel has 9 comfortable cabins. Although not a luxury-class cruise, the vessel is comfortable and you will enjoy filling meals made with fresh ingredients. Each of the cabins has a private bathroom with hot and pressurized showers.
You will then head out in the rainforest of the Rio Negro scouting for monkeys, parrots, toucans, butterflies, and many different birds. Enjoy guided expeditions on skiffs and forest walks.
Rainforest Lodges near the Amazon River
Here is our selection of Amazon Rainforest lodges in the northern Amazon Rainforest close to the Amazon River.
The Tahuayo Lodge, Peru
If you’re looking for a rainforest lodge close to the Amazon Rainforest, the Tahuayo Lodge from Iquitos in northern Peru provides private guides and a custom itinerary to explore the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve.
To reach the Tahuayo Lodge, you will travel 150 km from Iquitos in Peru up the Amazon River and into an Amazon tributary called the Rio Tahuayo. The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve is an incredible section of Amazon Rainforest. Enjoy exploring the reserve with your highly trained rainforest guide to find many different animals and plants.
On tours of 6-days or more from the Tahuayo Lodge, you will visit both the main Tahuayo Lodge and the Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center. The research center is located in more pristine rainforest and has a 1,000 acre primate research grid, which you can explore. The grid provides better chances of not only spotting the many different Amazon Rainforest monkeys, but also to observe the monkeys showing more normal behavior.
Enjoy exploring the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve on guided canoe tours, walking tours, and hikes. As this is a custom tour, you can shape the experience to your personality and interests. The Tahuayo Lodge offers the option of camping in Amazonia, survival tours, a more relaxing experience, birding tours, and simply a general tour of the Amazon Rainforest.
La Selva Lodge
Offering a luxury experience of the Yasuni National Park, La Selva Lodge & Spa is positioned in eastern Ecuador and is accessed from the town of Coca, which is Ecuador’s gateway to the Amazon Rainforest.
Enjoy luxuriously comfortable suites, the spa room, delicious cuisine, and some incredible tours of the wildlife-rich Yasuni National Park. La Selva Lodge also features a tall canopy tower where you can observe the rainforest canopy to see different parrots and monkeys moving through the trees.
Enjoy guided tours in the rainforest to find howler monkeys, titi monkeys, squirrel monkeys, capuchins, toucans, parrots, and many reptiles and amphibians. In addition to spotting the toucans, parrots, and other colorful birds flying over the rainforest, you will visit the Yasuni clay lick to see colorful parakeets gathered at the clay.
At La Selva Lodge, your very comfortable lodge suites include king beds, high quality linen, private bathrooms, private balconies, and rainforest showers.
The Napo Wildlife Center
The Napo Wildlife Center is a luxury-class and community owned rainforest lodge in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest.
Offering a very comfortable experience, you can reach the Napo Wildlife Center from the town of Coca before being escorted by Napo Wildlife Center staff down the river to the lodge.
The Napo Wildlife Center features a library, bar, and restaurant serving delicious meals and cocktails, and a tall observation tower for 360-degree views of the nearby lake and rainforest canopy.
From the Napo Wildlife Center, enjoy guided tours in the surrounding rainforest by members of the Kichwa Añangu community who also own and operate the lodge. Enjoy spotting many different rainforest animals and plants on forest walks and also canoeing the waterways and nearby lake. There are many trails around the Napo Wildlife Center that take you past some fascinating rainforest areas.