The Amazon basin is the world's largest tropical rainforest, covering four million square miles across nine South American countries. Most of the Amazon basin lies within Brazil's borders. But with the second largest portion of the Amazon’s forests, Peru offers some of the most accessible protected tropical rainforests found anywhere in the world, including Tambopata National Reserve and our own Tambopata Ecolodge Private Conservation Area.
Eco-tourists come to our region for its incomparable biodiversity and natural beauty. However, a trip to the Amazon poses some challenges. Travelers should take the proper precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Visit your doctor before you go to the Amazon. Explain the nature of your trip and ask for a full set of vaccinations for travel in tropical regions. The usual vaccinations for Amazon basin tours include malaria, yellow fever, dengue and hepatitis.
Pack everything you will need. Clothing items should include a rain poncho, comfortable shorts, rugged pants, good hiking boots and a light jacket. Take along a few plastic zip-lock bags for storage of valuables like passports and camera equipment. It’s also a good idea to pack water purification tablets, sunscreen, insect repellent, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight. Most reputable eco-lodges will make sure your room is screened against insects and your bed has mosquito netting, but be sure to check before you book!
You’ll need to decide which part of the Amazon you’re going to visit. The Amazon is a vast region, and so most travelers only ever visit one part of the rainforest. An excellent option is accessing the Amazon basin from Cusco, Peru’s most popular tourism destination, via short scheduled flights, or from Lima, followed by overland and river travel to Tambopata National Reserve. That way, you can hike the Inca Trail, visit Machu Picchu, spend time in Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and visit the Amazon basin, all in one short vacation!
The best and safest way to visit the Amazon basin is by arranging a tour, jungle lodge stay or river cruise. There are many different options for exploring the Amazon, but make sure you book with a reputable company or eco-lodge. Make sure your eco-lodge offers comfortable accommodation, experienced naturalist guides, good opportunities to spot Amazon wildlife and learn more about the forest, and check to see what conservation programs they run or are involved in. And, of course, make sure you ask what is included in the price. One of the best options for visiting the Amazon is on an all-inclusive package that includes airport transfers, transport, guided excursions, accommodation and meals.
And, finally, if you have special interests, such as birdwatching, or you’ve always dreamed about seeing macaws, giant river otters, or maybe even a jaguar, ask the eco-lodge you plan to book with about the chances of seeing one of those elusive species in the areas they will be taking you to on the excursions included in your itinerary. This is your once-in-a-lifetime vacation in the Amazon basin, so make sure it will be all you hoped for!