Of course, as their name suggests, it can rain at any time of year in the world’s rainforests. The Amazon forests of Tambopata National Reserve, which are home to our Ecolodge, are no exception.
However, even in tropical forests there are seasons, such as for breeding or fruiting, and the year is divided into rainy season and dry season. In Tambopata National Reserve, the rainy season runs from November to April, but those planning to visit at this time of year should not be discouraged by assuming that it rains all the time during those months. In fact, the rainiest months anywhere in the Amazon basin, Tambopata National Reserve included, are January and February.
The dry season lasts from May to October, and because this period coincides with the spring and summer months in the northern hemisphere, the forests of South America tend to receive most of their international visitors during this time.
But there are definite advantages to visiting tropical forests at any time of year. Of course, during the driest months forest trails tend to be much less muddy and easier to hike, but at the same time it is much hotter in the forest during the height of the dry season. One advantage of visiting Amazon forest ecosystems like Tambopata National Reserve in the rainy season is the cooler temperatures.
Perhaps the most important aspect to consider when planning a trip to the forests of South America is the wildlife you hope to see. One of the advantages to visiting in the dry season months is the fact that it may be easier to spot animals at water sources, such as lakes and riverbanks, as water sources deeper in the forest dry out.
However, the rainy season is definitely the best time of year to see certain rainforest species. For example, while June, July and August may be among the best months for sighting mammals on riverbanks and lakeshores, it is during these same months that macaw species need less clay to counter the toxic effects of the fruit that forms part of their diet. This means that during these months activity at clay licks may be reduced in terms of the total number of birds that visit them, although not in terms of a reduction in the number of species that visit.
In addition to birdlife, the rainiest months in tropical rainforests are a great time to spot many species of monkey, during the fruiting season, when many of the species which form an important part of their varied diet are readily available.
So, there you have it! The forests of the Amazon basin, including Tambopata National Reserve, can be visited at any time of year, and there will always be something special to look out for!