Amazon Rainforest - Best Tours & Trips 2019
Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Rivers & Seas
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Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
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Top Amazon Rainforest Experiences
- Swimming with pink dolphins in the Yacuma river.
- Canoeing through torrential rain and spotting giant otters popping their heads above the water.
- Watching capybaras and caimans relaxing on the riverbank.
- Setting up camp in the jungle from scratch, including chopping your firewood with a machete.
- Watching a tiny anteater try to look intimidating by standing on his hind legs and spreading his arms (it just made him look more adorable).
- Hunting for the thousands of colorful birds, including macaws, kingfishers, and toucans, on a birdwatching tour.
- Spotting a jaguar prowling on the riverbank as the sun sets.
Amazon Rainforest Trip Reviews
180 Amazon Rainforest Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend
Amazon Rainforest Tours and Travel Guide
Amazon Rainforest Attractions & Landmarks Guide
Whether you explore the Amazon rainforest on a small ship or river cruise, stay at a lodge deep in the jungle, or even join a camping expedition via traditional dugout canoe, a trip to the world's largest rainforest -- which stretches more than two million square miles across swaths of Brazil, Peru and Ecuador -- is one of travel's most iconic experiences. With howler monkeys providing an eerie soundtrack, you can go in search of macaws, sloths, jaguars, remote villages, and exotic medicinal plants used by indigenous tribes. You'll want to travel in the company of the best local guides and tour operators, and Stride can guide you to them.
Rurrenabaque, accessible from La Paz by a short flight or harrowing bus journey through the mountains, is Bolivia's gateway town for both pampas and jungle tours. Tours of the pampas (the wetlands that border the rainforest) offer better chances of seeing wildlife, while the jungle tours offer the chance to trek through the wilderness. For the budget conscious, Bolivia is usually the place to find the cheapest Amazon tours.
Pampas tours typically consist of a boat journey up the river, a day exploring the area, and another boat trip back to Rurrenabaque. An abundance of wildlife can be seen along the riverbank, including capybaras (the world's largest rodent), caimans, monkeys, and an array of colourful birds. Off the boat, you'll get a chance to plod through swampland and hopefully see an anaconda. Beware of disreputable tour operators who feed anacondas, and even if your guide insists it's ok, never touch one. Reading reviews is a good way to assure your tour operator is above board.
A highlight for many visitors to the pampas is the chance to swim with pink river dolphins. Watching them pop unexpectedly out of the murky water right next to you is a thrilling experience (one that is best undertaken in the late afternoon when the water is warmer, rather than in the morning when the water is frigid).
Jungle tours from Rurrenabaque can last anywhere from two days to a month. You will get a chance to trek your way through the wilderness and camp out in the rainforest. These treks also begin with a boat journey, and may include floating in a rubber tube down the river. After trekking through dense forestation, you'll set up camp in the wilderness and cook dinner over an open fire. Other activities may include fishing in the river or making handicrafts.
The massive country of Brazil is dominated by the Amazon rainforest (though depressingly less so as time goes on). Tours to the rainforest are available from various points throughout the country, and tours to the Pantanal (wetlands) are available in the south of Brazil.
Similarly to Bolivia, the wetlands are where you'll stand your best chance of seeing animals. Tours of the Pantanal start from of Campo Grande or Cuiaba. While more expensive than those in Bolivia, they offer a greater range of activities, usually including canoeing, piranha fishing, boat trips, walking trips, and floating down the river. All of the animals from the pampas, aside from dolphins, can also be spotted in the Pantanal. There are also good odds that you'll see giant otters and even jaguars. Less easy to spot are tapirs and giant anteaters, so keep your eyes peeled. A knowledgeable guide can greatly enhance your tour of the Pantanal, as well as increasing your chances of finding elusive wildlife.
Trips deeper into the rainforest in Brazil are usually undertaken by boat, whether it's a luxury cruise liner or a riverboat with hammocks. Along the way, you'll have a chance to spot pink dolphins, caimans, and monkeys, as well as trying some piranha fishing. Strolls through the jungle may also include some close encounters with tarantulas! Many tours include overnight stays in ecolodges, where you can fall asleep to the sounds of the surrounding nature.
Peru can be a popular jumping off point into the Amazon, as tourists combine a rainforest tour with a trip to Machu Picchu. While some shorter tours start from the city of Cusco, adventurous types can also head to northern Peru for some deeper jungle treks. Excursions are undertaken on foot or by boat, and highlights include spotting river otters, monkeys, caimans and macaws.
The Amazon basin in Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Here, you'll have the chance to sleep in ecolodges in the rainforest, surrounded by colorful hummingbirds and butterflies. As well as offering similar rainforest treks, boat rides, and animal spotting to other countries. Ecuador also offers visitors the chance to meet and stay with indigenous tribes living in the Amazon. This is a significant undertaking, as the indigenous communities in Ecuador's rainforest are extremely isolated and hard to reach. However, if you are willing to spend the money to fly into the community on a puddle-jumper type of aircraft, and then stay in one of the lodges owned by the villagers, you are sure to have a once in a lifetime experience.
If you're looking for an adventurous exploration of the Amazon, and the chance to feel like an intrepid explorer, then Colombia may be the place to find it. Few visitors choose Colombia for their Amazon trip, meaning you may have this unspoiled land to yourself and a higher chance of seeing wildlife (though it may mean fewer resources and choices will be available). Similarly to Ecuador, Colombian rainforest tours offer the chance to stay with indigenous tribes, where you can make handicrafts and try unique local foods such as mojojoy, a worm that lives in palm trees and is eaten fried.
All Amazon Rainforest tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Amazon Rainforest trips.