It can be hard to know how to select the best Amazon tropical forest tour, from knowing the best time of year to visit the rainforests of Peru, to choosing which part of the Amazon basin to explore, and who to trust to guide you in one of the Earth’s last great wilderness areas.
The rainforests surrounding the Tambopata River and its tributaries are among the most biologically diverse places on the planet. Tambopata National Reserve was created by the Peruvian state with the aim of protecting the wild flora and fauna and scenic beauty of a typical area of subtropical humid forest, where conservation processes could be introduced together with sustainable ecotourism activities. Today, Tambopata National Reserve protects 678,800 acres of Amazon forest.
When deciding on the best way to visit rainforests anywhere in South America, travelers should remember a few important points. Firstly, while the Amazon basin remains the most pristine tropical forest on Earth, with matchless biodiversity, that incredible variety of life forms inhabits dense forest. Visitors should not come to Peru’s or any other primary rainforest habitat expecting the wildlife density of the African savannah. With a few fascinating exceptions, such as the capybaras and agoutis commonly seen near our Ecolodge, as well as the troops of monkeys that roam the high canopy, major species of Amazon fauna are difficult to spot, and a combination of time, patience and luck will be required for travelers to be blessed with the sight of a jaguar in its natural habitat.
However, Tambopata is one of the most biologically diverse locations in the world, and encounters with extraordinary and sometimes exceedingly rare species do occur regularly. Our recent camera trap studies have revealed some of the fauna that has found refuge in the forests we help to protect and, over the past two years, jaguar sightings made by our guests have actually increased, in a sign of the good health of Tambopata’s forests.
Finally, perhaps the most important thing to consider when visiting a rainforest habitat is who will be guiding you during your excursions on foot or by boat into the forest. An experienced naturalist guide will know where to look for certain species, such as birds, primates, reptiles or other major fauna. And he or she will be able to help you identify wonderful species of animals as they fly, jump, slither, swim or run to escape from you! And, of course, expert naturalist guides will be able to explain to you the marvels of Amazon rainforest flora, in all its incomparable beauty and complexity.
When you do encounter wildlife in the Amazon basin, you almost certainly won’t have a clear and unobstructed view of the animals. But some sightings of fauna can be far from fleeting. One of our own naturalist guides was able to film a jaguar on the banks of the Tambopata River as it went about its business, seemingly unperturbed by the presence of the boatload of Ecolodge guests he was guiding!