The photo above was taken at the Posada Amazonas Lodge, Peru.
If you’re going to the Amazon Rainforest for the first time, the amazement will no doubt hit as you approach the forest and look out the airplane window. Seeing the vast canopy with its various shades of green glowing in the mid-day sun is sure to impress.
If you’re going to rainforest next to the Amazon River, you will probably touch down in either Iquitos (the Peruvian gateway to the Amazon), Leticia (the Colombian gateway), Manaus or Belem (the Brazilian gateways). These are the urban centers of the Amazon River. The largest is Manaus with its bustling industrial sections, followed by Belem, Iquitos, and Leticia. Leticia is more of a tourist village, and the others are cities practically indistinguishable from any other. However, the forest itself stretches far beyond these urban centers.
These Amazon cities provide a base for Amazon Jungle tours to explore the surrounding forest. The Amazon Rainforest is the largest container of wildlife in the world. In Iquitos, one of the most highly regarded tours is the Tahuayo Lodge located in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve. And on the Brazilian side, from Manaus, you can join the Tucano Amazon Cruise. Both of these are included in National Geographic’s most recommended tours in the Amazon.
Each Amazon city has its own charm and each has its own degree of separation from surrounding areas. As they all lie on the Amazon River, it is possible to travel to each using cheap ferries, fast ferries, or luxury cruises. This is a long (Iquitos-Manaus is about 3-4 days on a ferry) and, if you aren’t traveling in luxury, not the most comfortable journey, but it is an experience.
From each urban center, you can arrange tours for going to the Amazon Rainforest. The forest is less disturbed the farther you travel from each gateway. If you want the most authentic Amazon Rainforest experience, we suggest using thoroughly reviewed or recommended tour operators who take you over 100 kilometres from the urban center.
Where in the Amazon Rainforest are you planning on going? Let us know by leaving a comment. What animals and plants do you want to see?