The Amazon Rainforest’s canopy is thought to be the richest level for forest life. The trees can reach 145 feet (45 meters) into the sky, with some emergent species growing even higher, and branch out in competition with other plants to get as much sunlight as possible. As the trees spread out to catch the light, they forms a canopy over the forest creating many homes and habitats for an incredible amount of animals and plants.
The canopy is a great place to scout for wildlife and to get an angle of the forest seen by few others. The canopy is the where many different birds spend their time, including the Amazon’s most famous avian predator, the Harpy Eagle, which often wait high in the trees scouting for prey.
We have selected a few of the canopy tours in the Amazon Rainforest for exploring the canopy in a variety of different ways, such as canopy towers, canopy swing bridges, a canopy zipline, and canopy climbing where you can get a canopy researcher’s perspective on this fantastic forest.
Amazon Rainforest Canopy Towers
From the very comfortable Napo Wildlife Center in Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park, you have access to their canopy tower for birding and wildlife watching. This is a 120 foot (36m) scaffold tower for looking into the Amazon’s canopy, which is about 20 minutes into the rainforest from the main Napo lodge, deep within terra firme forest. The tower is a 12 storey galvanized-metal structure to enjoy different levels of the rainforest before emerging through the leaves. From the tower, you can cross over to a platform built into the crown of an emergent Ceiba tree to be truly in the tree tops. Napo Wildlife Center is located near the town of Coca in eastern Ecuador.
The luxury La Selva Lodge gives access to their 120 foot high (36 meters) canopy tower, which was built around a very large rainforest tree to provide 360° rainforest views for seeing monkeys and birds. There are two trails that lead to the tower where you can find Amazon animals and medicinal plants. The lodge is nestled in the Yasuni National Park and accessed from Coca in Ecuador.
Refugio Amazonas Lodge is located in a 200-hectare private reserve within the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve of southern Peru, accessed from Puerto Maldonado. A great choice for soft adventure of a family Amazon tour, Refugio features a 30 meter canopy tower for fantastic views of the Amazon Rainforest. Guests frequently see toucans, parrots, macaws or mixed species canopy flocks.This lodge also provides canopy climbing as an extra activity. Refugio Amazonas is associated with different research programs in other areas of the reserve, studying the Amazon’s macaws, and you can get up into the canopy for a researcher’s perspective on the forest.
Another lodge accessed from Puerto Maldonado, Posada Amazonas also provides a 30 meter canopy tower, for wonderful views of the rainforest’s canopy and Tambopata River. Posada Amazonas is community owned by the indigenous Ese-Eja of Infierno and is located in the communal reserve next to Tambopata National Reserve. This lodge also offers canopy climbing where you can get up into the canopy like a rainforest researcher.
Saving the tallest canopy tower until last, the Cristalino Lodge in southern Brazil features a 50 meter (165 ft) canopy tower for exceptional views out and over the Amazon Rainforest’s canopy. If one tower wasn’t enough, the lodge have built two gigantic galvanised steel canopy towers at different points within the Cristalino Reserve.
From the towers, you can observe all the layers of the rainforest and have spectacular views from the top of the tower, especially during sunrise and sunset. From the tops of the towers, you can see birds such as macaws, parakeets, parrots, tanagers and cotingas, among many others, as well as monkeys, such as the white-whiskered spider monkey (Ateles marginatus) and the white-nosed saki monkey (Chiropotes albinasus). The lodge is located in an incredible section of Brazilian Amazon Rainforest, accessed from the town of Alta Floresta.
Amazon Canopy Swing Bridge
For another way of experiencing the canopy, you can look at the canopy swing bridge of the Sacha Lodge. Sacha is located within a 5000-acre private ecological reserve in Ecuador’s Amazon region. From this fantastic rainforest lodge, you have access to a 940 foot (275-meter) long walkway 94 feet (30 meters) above the ground for an exciting way to experience canopy life.
Here you can spot many different animals and epiphytes hard to spot from ground level. Guests can see hundreds of colorful birds and lucky guests also spot troops of monkeys making their way through the canopy. After walking leisurely across the bridge scouting for animals, you emerge onto a canopy platform surrounded by tropical rainforest.
Amazon Canopy Zipline
– The Lobach Family
As a more exciting way to experience the Amazon Rainforest’s canopy, you can whiz between different large Amazon trees on the Tahuayo Lodge’s canopy zipline. The lodge is located 150 km from Iquitos, Peru, at the border of the highly biodiverse Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve. The zipline is 100 feet (34 meters) from ground level and is the longest in Amazonia.
Built around old-growth emergent trees, wooden canopy platforms are placed at different stages of the zipline to allow you to rest and enjoy treetop life. When you are ready, you launch off again zipping through the canopy. The zipline is very secure and was made by an American canopy company and construction team, consisting of scientists, arborists and construction specialists. The zipline, private guide and custom itinerary helped use choose the Tahuayo Lodge as one of the best Amazon Jungle Adventures tours in Peru.
As another way to experience the Amazon Rainforest’s canopy, you can hoist yourself up into the trees to see the forest like a rainforest researcher. This extra activity is offered by the Posada Amazonas Lodge and Refugio Amazonas Lodge above, but also by the Tambopata Research Center. The TRC is located deep in the Tambopata National Reserve close to the rainforest’s largest known claylick. On guided tours from the Tambopata Research Center, you can see an amazing diversity of Amazon Rainforest plants and animals.