The Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest, is home to more wildlife than anywhere else on Earth.
This impressive forest spans nine nations and provides fantastic opportunities to enjoy incredible habitats and wildlife. From more popular locations to off-the-beaten-path adventures, there are many fantastic Amazon Rainforest tours.
The two main countries for experiencing the Amazon are Peru and Brazil, which contain the highest amounts of the rainforest.
Select Travel Guides for the Amazon Rainforest
- The Best Areas of Amazon Rainforest to Visit in Peru
- The Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
- The Best Time To Visit the Amazon Rainforest
Guides to the Amazon of Peru and Ecuador
Specific Interest Guides
How impressive is the Amazon Rainforest?
The largest intact tropical wildernesses are the Amazon, the Congo in west Africa, and the rainforested landmass of New Guinea.
If you combined New Guinea and the Congo rainforest, the resulting land area could fit snugly inside the Amazon Rainforest.
Not only that, the Amazon contains 20% of the world’s freshwater, covers nearly half of South America (40%), and provides 20% of the planet’s Oxygen.
This incredible forest contains 10% of all the species on Earth.
The Amazon Rainforest is fed by the Amazon River, which is a remarkable natural feature in its own right. This is Earth’s largest river by volume and second longest after the Nile.
Size of the Amazon Rainforest
To get geographical, the Amazon Rainforest spans 2,300,000 square miles (6,000,000 square km) and is contained by the mountain ranges of the Guiana Highlands in the north, the Andes in the west, and then the Brazilian plateau in the south.
Although dominated by rainforest, the Amazon contains many other vegetation types, such as seasonal, flooded and deciduous forests, as well as savannahs. This vegetation is fed by the Amazon River and occurs in the Amazon’s drainage basin.
Amazon Rainforest Animals
As the world’s largest container of life, you can see many different animals in the Amazon. These include the famed Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, more easily seen at clay licks in the Tambopata National Reserve in Peru.
Tapir are the largest land mammal in the Amazon and these strange looking mammals can also be seen at the Amazon’s clay licks where they come to feed off nutrient-rich clay. As well as Tapir, the other main animals Amazon tourists like to see are the Giant River Otters and Jaguar.
However, there is an incredible diversity of other animals to amaze you as you wander or canoe Amazonia with your professional Amazon guide. They will help you spot Sloths clinging to the branches high the trees and draw your attention to the Monkeys following you through the forest.
The Amazon River
The Amazon River is the largest river in the world, with a mouth that spans 300 miles, draining 500 billion cubic feet of water every day.
With its network of over 1,000 tributaries, the Amazon is home to a remarkable variety of fish as well as aquatic mammals such as Manatees and River Dolphins. The Amazon River serves as the primary gateway to the Amazon Rainforest, with port cities like Iquitos in Peru, and Manaus and Santarem in Brazil providing access to the region.
Amazon Rainforest Tourism
As for tourism in Amazon Rainforest, the southern Amazon of southern Peru is more developed than in the north, where it is still in its infancy.
The small Peruvian town of Puerto Maldonado provides access to the edge of the Madidi National Park in Bolivia, the Tambopata National Reserve close to town, and the famous Manu National Park, which is considered the most pristine national park in Peru (although note visitors are not permitted in the park itself).
These areas offer opportunities to see the clay lick and view Macaws, Toucans, Tapir, and Jaguar, which prey on the mammals.
These areas are also a good choice to spot endangered Giant River Otters. For those seeking a cruise or to explore the rainforest near the Amazon River itself, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil offer forests teeming with abundant Monkeys and many different Amazon Birds.
Amazon Tours from Peru
Iquitos, the largest Peruvian city in the Amazon Rainforest, serves as the Amazon gateway for visits to the Peruvian rainforest along the Amazon River.
Iquitos is also the world’s largest city unreachable by road, meaning visitors must travel by air to access the region.
The aerial view of the rainforest’s green canopy is a sight to behold. From Iquitos, you can access cruises along the Amazon River, with a focus on the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and Amazon Rainforest lodges.
To fully experience the region’s incredible diversity of animals and plants, it’s best to choose tours that take you away from the city. We have carefully selected the best tours in Peru to ensure you make the most of your visit.
Cusco is the primary tourist destination in Peru, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to visit Machu Picchu and other archaeological sites.
Cusco also provides a base to visit the Cloud Forest in the Andean Mountain Range. From here, you can also visit Manu National Park. This is the most pristine protected area in Peru and it contains both lowland and Cloud Forest habitats.
A short flight from Cusco will take you to this unassuming Amazon Rainforest gateway.
The Puerto Maldonado region has one of the most developed tourism industries in the Amazon Rainforest.
Here, you can visit the Manu National Park, Madidi National Park (Bolivia), and the Tambopata National Reserve – the closest protected area to Puerto Maldonado, which contains exceptional Amazon wildlife.
Puerto Maldonado is your best choice for short tours into the Amazon, as you can quickly get in and out.
Amazon Tours from Brazil
Manaus serves as the main gateway to the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil.
This city is where you can explore the impressive Central Amazon Ecological Corridor, which includes several protected areas such as Anavilhanas. Visitors can organize cruises on the Amazon River or Rio Negro, where the meeting of these two rivers offers one of the most popular short tours.
Manaus also boasts incredible architecture from the rubber boom period of Amazon history.
Santarém is another gateway to the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, surrounded by impressive lakes fed by the Amazon River and 100 kilometers of attractive beaches. This city also has impressive architecture and many historical buildings to explore.
Amazon Tours from Ecuador
Yasuni National Park, occupied by various indigenous groups, and the Cuyabeno Reserve sit in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. The Yasuni region contains the highest amount of life anywhere on Earth, but it also sits on one of the largest remaining untapped oil reserves.
This poses a considerable threat to many of the world’s animals and plants, as well as the indigenous population. Some communities have adopted ecotourism as a way of showing visitors the extraordinary diversity of this region and why it should be protected, as well as communicating their ongoing struggle against oil companies.
To explore this incredible rainforest, there are some fantastic Amazon tours in Ecuador.
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