Home to some of the planet’s last isolated indigenous tribes, and filled with 10% of the world’s species, the Amazon rainforest is awe-inspiring.

The Amazon comprises the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world

The Amazon is vast. In Peru there are three regions can be visited: Iquitos, Tambopata and Manu. The Amazon can be explored either by luxury Amazon cruise or basing yourself in a jungle lodge. The Amazon gets its name from the Amazon River. Cruises are the most comfrotable way possible to see the Amazon in Peru, which depart from Iquitos in the north. These follow the Amazon river and rivers leading into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Jungle lodges are found in the Tambopata National Reserve and Manu National Park. Wildlife watching can be complemented by boat rides, climbing tree-top canopy walkways or spotting colorful claylicks.

 

Recommended For

  • Adventurers
  • Nature Lovers
  • Families
  • Bird watchers
  • Honeymooners

Things to do

  • Spot the pink river dolphin from aboard a luxury Amazon cruise
  • Climb along treetop canopies to spot wildlife from a jungle lodge
  • Photograph colorful clayclicks in Tambopata National Reserve

Featured Luxury Itineraries in The Amazon Rainforest

All of our sample luxury tailormade The Amazon Rainforest trip itineraries are fully customized for you

Exploring the Delights of Peru

Delve into the history and rich cultures of Peru

14 Days / 13 Nights

Connecting with Peru

A two-week private journey

14 Days / 13 Nights

An Amazing Andean Adventure

The most fascinating places in Peru

14 Days / 13 Nights

Luxury Amazon Cruises and Lodges

To visit Peru’s Amazon you can choose between a luxury Amazon cruise or lodge – the difference centers on the experience being more water or land based. Overall, the level of comfort is higher on a luxury cruise, though arguably lodges – especially the most remote lodge Tambopata Research Center – offer a more ‘authentic’ and up-close wildlife experience.

Luxury Amazon Cruises: Iquitos

Cruises depart from Iquitos, in Peru’s north, which has direct flights from Lima. As of 2018 there are also limited direct flights to and from Cusco.  Cruises focus on the Amazon river and rivers leading into Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. This is the second largest national reserve in Peru, spanning 5 million acres. The Pacaya Samiria Reserve sits within the tropical Amazon rainforest but functions like a flooded forest – in fact the largest protected flooded forest in the world. As such, if you visit in the high water season (November – May), almost every river, creek and lake is navigable. If you visit in the low water season (June-October) some trails and jungle paths become accessible, as opposed to only exploring by boat. By taking a luxury Amazon cruise you may spot the pink river dolphin – which you won’ see if you stay in a lodge. Cruises are three nights, four nights or seven nights in duration with set departures – unless you privately charter a vessel.

Luxury Amazon Lodges: Tambopata

There are a range of lodges in Peru that offer different levels of comfort – at Aracari we recommend authentic jungle lodges that provide comfort balanced with the best wildlife watching opportunities. We only recommend staying in lodges in, and near, to Tambopata National Reserve, although lodges do exist in the north of Peru by Iquitos. Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion are the most luxurious options. They are also closest to Puerto Maldonado city, the gateway into the this part of the Amazon with direct flights from Lima and Cusco. Delving deeper into the Amazon requires longer boat rides to reach properties like Refugio Amazonas. Tambopata Research Center is the most remote property.

Authentic Amazon Lodges: Manu 

Avid wildlife watchers may also want to consider visiting Manu National Park – the biggest national park in Peru. Despite being harder to access and with more rustic accommodation, this region is bursting with wildlife opportunities and particularly attracts keen birders.

The Amazon rainforests and rivers are the richest of all environments — full of amazing plants, animals and insects and also very beautiful. But someone entering a tropical forest for the first time is amazed by how quiet and lifeless it seems. This is because most of the action is far above our heads in the canopy, or it is nocturnal, or animals move very fast through the dense vegetation, or they are hidden by brilliant camouflage.

This is why the right guide is essential. A good guide knows something about botany, zoology, entomology, hydrology, anthropology, history and many other disciplines. That expert can reveal the secrets, find the wildlife and tell innumerable stories about the most fascinating (and important) ecosystem on earth.

Written for Aracari by Dr. John Hemming, a renowned historian and expert on the indigenous people of the Amazon.

Top Tips on visiting the Amazon Rainforest

When traveling to the Amazon Rainforest one expects to see exotic wildlife, but you have to know where to go and have an expert guide help point it out. Tropical forests are fragile, complex and incredibly diverse ecosystems that deserve time and focus in order to be valued for what they are: the richest of all environments on the earth. Wildlife will be elusive and you will be lucky if you spot many mammals. Birds abound here, but big animals are rare and even more difficult to see. These are some of the key factors we look at when making personalized recommendations for tailormade trips to the Amazon rainforest.

UK journalist Chris Moss has written an extensive Amazon travel guide, and lists Aracari’s four-day Amazon exploration based at Refugio Amazonas.

Family Travel to the Amazon

The rainforest is an ideal place to travel on a Peru family tour and some of the lodges we promote have wonderful family programmes, such as Refugio Amazonas. You can go on jungle trails both by day and night and climb through tree top canopies for a varied experiences and perspective on the mighty Amazon rainforest. With or without a dedicated family programme, we would recommend the rainforest as one of the top destinations to visit during a family trip to Peru.

Highly recommended cruises in The Amazon Rainforest

The best luxury Amazon cruises are the small and intitmate vessels Delfin IDelfin IIDelfin III  and the Aria Amazon, run by Delfin Amazon Cruises and Aqua Expeditions respectively. Amazon river cruises start from three nights, with longer seven night trips avaialable on the Aria Amazon. Activities on board are on a shared basis with your fellow passengers, though you can also privately charter cruises in the Amazon if you’re looking for utmost exclusivity or traveling with a group. The Delfin I is ideal for VIP private charters, with just four rooms. Getting to the Amazon is surprisingly easy: cruises set sail from Iquitos, which has short, direct flights to Lima and – as of 2018 – Cusco.

Asides from wildlife watching in the Amazon, activities on board the top luxury Amazon cruises include boat rides, trail walks, swimming, kayaking, fishining and community visits. The wildlife and excursions on Delfin and Aqua are very comparable – the Delfin vessels additionally offer a treetop canopy walkway.

Highly recommended accommodations in The Amazon Rainforest

The best luxury Amazon lodges in Peru are all located in the south of Peru, close to or inside the Tambopata National Reserve. Access is straightforward, arriving into Puerto Maldonado Airport and taking a boat ride upstream where the journey length will vary depending how deep into the Amazon you travel. The most luxurious options are Inkaterra’s two lodges: Reserva Amazonica and Hacienda Concepcion. Refugio Amazonas is an authentic jungle experience with a program especially designed for children. Tambopata Research Center is the most remote option, with modern details and extra touches to make for a very comfortable stay in such a remote part of the world. Here we share our handpicked favorite lodges that go beyond offering a ‘hotel in the jungle’, but a fulfilling Amazon rainforest experience.