A river cruise is one of the best ways to experience Amazonia.
The Amazon Rainforest covers 40% of the continent. A vast network of tributaries feed this forest. And cruises allow you to get deeper into the rainforest. On guided tours, you can experience incredible wildlife and beautiful scenery.
But when is the best time to go?
As you will be in the tropics there are not the usual seasons of temperate regions. Instead, you just have a wet and dry season. And in the rainforest, this is sometimes better described as a high and low water season.
Tropical temperature, rain and humidity are then all part of the experience. The intensity of rain is a little more over the wetter season. But these factors don’t change much month to month.
There are, however, some differences.
Here we present some information for helping you decide when the best time is for your Amazon River Cruise.
Amazon Rainforest Temperature
The difference in daytime and night-time temperature is higher than between months. This is because of the lack of seasons.
The average nightly temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). And so you may want to take a few warm clothes for night times.
Amazon Rainforest Rains
The rain is what allows this lush and highly diverse forest to support an incredibly rich amount of life.
Even in the dry season, heavy rain is to be expected. And a typical year in the Amazon experiences around 200 rainy days. But no matter if you’re in the high water or low water season, rain rarely falls all day.
When it does rain, it often starts in the late afternoon. This is because water has been evaporating and accumulating in the clouds since morning. The rain usually clears by the following day. And you will have another morning & afternoon of wildlife watching.
Sometimes the rain will fall during the day, but is often in short bursts. Cruises simply delay activities until it clears. If you get caught out on expedition during the rain, the top cruises often provide ponchos to keep you dry and engaged with Nature. But it’s always best to take your own just in case.
The Best Month To Visit The Amazon near Iquitos, Peru
Amazon River Water Level
Temperature doesn’t change much between months. But the intensity and frequency of rain does change. And so does the water level of the Amazon River.
The Amazon’s water level is determined by snow melt from the Andes where the Amazon River begins. It’s the water level that will have the most influence on your Amazon River cruise. This can even determine which areas your cruise chooses to explore.
High water often means the opening of more waterways and more opportunities to get deeper into Amazonia. The wet season is when the forest fruits and flowers. This is a fantastic time to see animals feeding, flowers blooming and trees fruiting.
No matter when or where you go, wildlife sightings often depend on luck and your guide’s knowledge. This is instead of being directly related to time of year.
Click the video below to see recommended luxury cruises in Peru’s Amazon.
The Pacaya Samiria Reserve
One of your first choices for an Amazon Cruise should be the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
Imagine perfect reflections in the waters of blue skies and rainforest trees. See colorful parrots flying over the rainforest. And see different monkeys watching you explore their jungle home.
Known as the “Forest of Mirrors”, the Pacaya Samiria in the Amazon Rainforest of northern Peru.
You will join your cruise after being collected from the small Iquitos airport. This is the largest city in the world unreachable by road. And the Iquitos rainforest is one of the most attractive protected areas in the Amazon.
The Pacaya Samiria is home to some of the top 10 luxury tours in the Amazon Rainforest. These luxury cruises have chosen the reserve of all the areas in the Amazon. This is because of the Pacaya Samiria’s incredible wildlife and beautiful scenery. High quality service and luxurious suites are then a perfect complement to the region.
High Water Season in the Pacaya Samiria
You can have a fantastic time no matter when you visit. But if you have a choice, cruise operators recommend visiting in the high water season. However, note that there are also benefits of the dry season. One of these is that you will see many migratory bird species flying over the rainforest.
The high water season in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is from November through to May. This has a temperature of around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. And this is about 12 degrees cooler than the dry season.
High water is when the waterways open up giving more freedom to cruise operators to take you to the best places. Every river, stream and lake is now accessible. And the water is about 20 feet higher than the dry season. This means you are also closer to the canopy where the majority of the action takes place.
To check availability for your travel dates, you can send the cruises a request with the buttons below. These cruises explore the Amazon of northern Peru from Iquitos.
Climate of Central Amazonia
The Amazon Rainforest covers 40% of South America. Because of this, the climate changes dependent on where in the Amazon you are.
The central Amazon Rainforest has less wet weather than the forest at the Amazon’s edges. Part of the central Amazon is accessed from Manaus in Brazil. This is the largest city in the Amazon.
The rainy season is also at a different time of year. And this begins from around mid-December to mid-May.
Temperature is a little cooler here in the dry season, which is from June to December. But this doesn’t change by much between months. The average temperature in central Amazonia is in the mid 80s. And the night-time low temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
A recommended tour of the central Amazon from Manaus is the Tucano Expedition Cruise. Click the button below for more information.
The best time to experience the rainforest is really the time you have available. Temperature doesn’t change much between months. Wildlife can also be seen throughout the year. If you have a choice, the recommendation is the high water months. And this is due to more waterways being more accessible.
And note that there are advantages no matter when you visit.