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Adventure Cruises in Amazon River
Amazon River cruises are one of the foremost choices of adventure and wildlife enthusiasts worldwide. The Amazon River Basin is a sprawling biome spread across 8 countries in South America, namely Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname. The thick and verdant rainforests in the Amazon are a treasure trove of nature’s greatest and most beautiful marvels. A journey into the ‘lungs of the world’ is possible only via the Amazon River. The rainforests have incredibly diverse flora and fauna and are home to more than a third of all the animal species in the world and about 40,000 plant species.
Top Things to Do on an Amazon River Cruise
The Amazon River is so long and wide that one can hardly experience it in one tour. Several small ship Cruises are run on the Amazon and can be categorized according to the country where the Amazon riverboat tours occur. Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador are some countries that offer Amazon River cruises. Unlike other cruise trips, small boats carrying 8-50 people on Amazon River cruises ensure an intimate, personal experience. The real charm of an Amazon River tour lies in the rugged, adventurous experience in nature’s bosom that it offers.
- Discover Lima:
The Amazon River cruise in Peru begins in the city of Lima, the capital of the country. Lima is the perfect blend of old-world charm and new-world luxury. The city, an urban center, offers picturesque views and open skies that can hardly be found in any other metropolitan area. It offers authentic Peruvian cuisine and a taste of Peruvian history in the Museo Larco with its 30,000 cataloged artifacts. Adventurists can indulge themselves with paddle board classes, while others can splurge on gourmet Peruvian cuisine at Central or Kjolle to cater to their culinary pangs.
- Spend the Night Under an Open Sky at Rainforest Lodges:
Amazon River cruises in Ecuador usually mean isolating oneself from the chaotic life of the city into the quiet heart of the rainforest. Rainforest lodges offer panoramic views, local flora, and fauna as the perfect neighbors and the opportunity to wander in the thick Amazonian woods to take in the place’s spirit.
- Jungle Hikes:
A trip to the Amazon must include a jungle hike. One can visit the Gocta Waterfalls, which include a moderate 2.5 hours of hiking or an even shorter 45-minute trail to the Tiger River Waterfall. A jungle trip is the quintessential Amazon experience with food cooked on an open fire that the group will have to start, a night spent under the open sky with mosquitos and other insects milling about, and sightings of that rare bird or animal from afar until it disappears into the bushes again, and the unparalleled brush-painted dawn sky.
- Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve:
The second largest protected natural area in Peru, this reserve spans 20,000 square kilometers and is often called the ‘Jungle of Mirrors’ owing to the reflections off the black water. It is flanked by the Maranon and Ucayali Rivers, both major tributaries of the Amazon River. Travelers will get the opportunity to witness biodiversity with around 1,024 species of flora, 527 species of birds, 102 mammals, 69 reptiles, and 269 fish. Caimans, macaws, falcons, and woolly monkeys are some wildlife spotted here. At night, explorers can enjoy a night excursion to Piranha Creek.
An early morning expedition into the reserve is a paradise for birding enthusiasts. Vibrant birds like kingfishers, striated herons, black-collared hawks, and nearly 200 other species light up the forest. The Reserve, while a protected space, is home to almost 42,000 inhabitants, mostly belonging to indigenous tribes of the area. Guests will get to interact and experience the slow yet fulfilling life these inhabitants live in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.
Best time to Cruise the Amazon River
While seasonal change is lacking in the Amazon rainforest, temperatures and climate can fluctuate wildly. The nights in the rainforest are cold and can turn chilly, too, with the temperature falling to 20 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, the “dry” season in the Amazon rainforest means heavy rainfall. The rainforest – rightly named so – received a cumulative 200 days of rain throughout the year. It usually rains throughout the afternoon, with clear skies in the morning and evening. In Peru, the high water season in the Pacaya Samiria Reserve is between November and May. Since the weather is neither too cold nor hot, there is no definite time to visit the rainforest. In the early months of the year, from January to June, visitors can see the flowers in the rainforest bloom. However, this is also a period of relatively heavy rainfall.
Where do Amazon River Cruises depart from?
Most itineraries on the Amazon River Cruises cover either Peru or Ecuador and its Galapagos islands. Depending on which itinerary has been chosen, Cruises either begin from Lima or Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Finding the right departure point and fixing flights is important depending on the choice. If you plan to choose long itineraries covering multiple regions, consider an open ticket, which lets you make your way overland between your arrival and departure points. Popular combinations are Quito and Lima or Quito and La Paz, and tickets cost about the same as a normal return. Direct flights to international airports in Quito and Guayaquil depart from a relatively small number of places outside of Latin America. In the United States, regular services leave from Miami, Houston, and Atlanta; in Europe, they take off from Madrid and Amsterdam. Higher prices are likely during the July to September high season and December.