The Amazon Rainforest stretches 2.3 million square miles around South America. It is the largest rainforest in the entire world. Remember that the Amazon is also the habitat to most of all known species on the planet, including more than 2 million types of insects. Some animal and fish species that were even considered extinct have been recently discovered in the Amazon rainforest.
Pretty cool, right?
This is just one of the many reasons why people want to travel to the region. But there are a couple of facts that you must be aware of today.
Recently there has been an urgency and a staggering volume of people who wish to see the Amazon rainforest. With the forest fires that have cut back the lush plantation and home to millions of fauna, it is only an addition to the existing threats of burning forests for agriculture. Tourists want to witness the spectacular region of South America, also known as the Lungs of the Earth before it loses much of its grandeur.
Most communities that live around the Amazon rainforest depend on tourism for their livelihoods. There are many different types of people that offer different styles of tours. The price of each package depends on lodgings, the number of days, the type of cruise, day trips, activities, and meals that you want to sign up for.
Some tourists even demand exclusivity, that is wanting to hire a private guide just for their family or group, or even wanting to hire one of the small cruise ships which would only allow the group of friends they are traveling with.
Then there is the wildlife you would like to see.
Dolphins and More
There are specific places that allow pink dolphin sighting, and there are places around the rainforest that have clusters of a particular species that another area might not have at all. Then some areas let you interact with the wildlife by getting close to the friendly creatures. Please remember this varies from the creatures in the water and those on land living in preserves. Those on the preserves are designed to be as close to the natural habitat with the most freedom for the animals as possible.
You might like a short tour that lasts a couple of days only. Or you can take on a comprehensive tour of the Amazon that includes a cruise, hiking trips, and living with the local people and learning their ways. If you have never visited the region before, look for tours that are diverse. You want those that will offer the most out of the experience. Search for those that take you to areas of the Amazon that have not yet been tarnished by immense human activity. The forests that are in proximity to towns and cities usually are. Therefore you need to book a proper tour to take the real trip into the Amazon Rainforest.
We are going to go through some of the popular ways of entry to an Amazon tour. Further, we want to talk about how much the trip would cost you. Then we will go through tips on how to have your journey on a budget while also being able to see everything that you came to see at the Amazon forest.
Cruise on Rio Negro
If you plan on taking a cruise to the Rio Negro you are in for a tour of the places that have been untouched by human activity. Most cruises stop at igapo on their way, which is a small detour. The igapo forest area is usually flooded, but at times when it has not rained, and it is not, it is filled with incredible plants and animals.
Going along the Rio Negro means taking in a denser part of the Amazon. Here you will encounter sloths, anteaters, and different species of monkey.
It is a good idea to get a cruise with air conditioning. For a cabin that accommodates two people, you can pay around $2300. This includes all the trips into the forest, as well as the meal prepared by the vessel.
Marajo is an island situated at the mouth of the Amazon river. You can take a ferry from Belem, which takes around 4 hours and costs less than $10.
Life on the island is lush and very diverse.
Marajo is more extensive than most islands here, and you get to see everything from marmosets to manatees to the enormous pirarucu in the water. You should stay in Soure where a lot of trips on horseback and jeep are offered by different agencies. Accommodation for one person here is $50.
Try Buffalo Ranches
Other than hotels, buffalo ranches also offer rooms. They throw in buffalo rides as well and a chance to live the ranch lifestyle. These cost $97 for one person for a single night. These also include meals and day trips.
From Manaus to Tabatinga to Tefe
Manaus is the most popular entryway for cruises and trips. A round trip from as far as Florida costs around $700. Once you get to Manaus, you can take another trip to Tabatinga. It is located right next to Peru and Columbia. If you like, you can take a riverboat to come back to Manaus. This costs you around $320 with meals. You can even find a comfortable, privately owned boat at the port.
Tefe is a remote town next to the Mamiraua reserve. This is also where the Japura and Solimoes connect. If you are going to Tabatinga, you cannot miss visiting this place. It is filled with wildlife of various species, and the lodges are unique rafts that float on water. You will easily find a flight that conducts a round trip that will allow you to stay a couple of days here. If you are present for three nights, guided wildlife tours, meals, and lodgings will cost you around $550.
Budget Luxury Tours
If you are strictly looking for budget tours but do not want to compromise on comfort as well as the Amazon experience, you are in luck; the Amazon Rainforest is the one place where there are plenty of places like that as well. Tours that are lodge-based are cheaper with more amenities than tours that are moving like a cruise. This is because lodges are not burning fuel as you see the sights of the Amazon. Here are some of the lodge-based tours you can take on a budget.
Sandoval is one of the most beautiful lakes of the Amazon rainforest. It is also an environment to a vast variety of fauna, both in the water and on land. The lake has lodges around it. You wake up to see the blooming flowers and wildlife all around you, as you sip coffee and have fresh fruits for breakfast.
A trip to this lake is short but worth it with no stops or detours on your journey and a taste of the Amazon that will make you want to visit it again and again.
Tambopata is located in the southern region of Peru. This is where you get to enjoy comfortable tours to the surrounding jungle as well as to the Puerto Maldonado so you can interact with the local community. You can also enjoy a guided tour with an English speaking guide. If you like bird watching, this is the best place in all of the Amazon Rainforest. The area is covered in a thick canopy that is home to hundreds of different birds, most unique to South America.
The hotel and lodges here are excellent for spas with other luxury amenities. Prices start from $608 for one person.
Yasuni National Park
For $1350, you can stay near the Yasuni National Park with your family. The park has towers for tourists that allow for panoramic views, and a safe environment where you can interact with animals.
The National Park has guided tours for all. You get to walk through the thick forest to spot monkeys, sloths, and birds with a professional guide. Children will love watching marmosets, tamarins, squirrel monkeys scurrying towards you, and larger woolly and howler monkeys.
This part of the Amazon Rainforest offers canoe trips as well as marked hiking trails. You can take both or either depending on what you prefer. Lodges around Yasuni are known for their sustainable practices that protect the rainforest and its animals. For the price quoted above, you get luxury amenities such as spa treatments and massages.
Tahuayo Research Center
Here you will easily find a tour that will let you custom make your tour. If you are traveling with a group, the area around the Tahuayo Research Center is the place to go. It costs around $1295 per person. The best thing about sightseeing in this area is that if you are lucky, you can spot some rare species like the red uakari monkey. The rare species that roam these jungles is also the reason why the research center and reserve exist here, making it the perfect spot for wildlife aficionados.
All tours are guided by professionals, and like the Yasuni National Park, this too has many canoeing trips on offer for tourists as well as day hiking trips that are frequently taken by people.