Jungle & 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
Cities & Attractions
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.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
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Top Jungle & Rainforest Experiences
Going on an Amazon river cruise and seeing incredible wildlife day after day
Standing in awe as a family of gorillas lumbered across the path on a trek in Uganda
Hearing the whoops of monkeys in the canopy, bird calls, and the buzz of insects all around
Seeing thousands of colorful birds, and snapping amazing photographs
Learning about the traditions and culture of native tribes in Papua New Guinea
Soaring through the canopy on a zip-line in Costa Rica
Jungle & Rainforest Trip Reviews
6,966 Jungle & Rainforest Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend
Jungle & Rainforest Tours and Travel Guide
Jungle & Rainforest Attractions & Landmarks Guide
On a jungle tour, you will experience incredible wildlife and learn about ancient native cultures. You might encounter enormous silverback gorillas in Rwanda or hike through the dense intriguing Cloud Forest of Peru on your way to Machu Picchu. However you choose to traverse the jungle, Stride has the trip for you!
While scientifically the term “jungle” is not technically synonymous with ‘rainforest’ the two are still often used interchangeably. Tropical Rainforests cover only about 2% of the total earth surface (7% of dry land) they are home to over 50% of the world’s species. That’s quite a species to space ratio!
To be called a jungle or rainforest, these areas occupy typically tropical lands, are lush and dense, and most of all have a thick, heavy canopy which keeps much of the moisture from rainy seasons “trapped” underneath, between floor and sky. This creates incredibly unique microclimates at all stages of the journey from jungle floor to the canopy, and lends to the diversity of wildlife. It’s also why these beautiful and mysterious places are called Rainforests - because they remain damp and humid throughout the year.
Tours to the world’s top rainforests (and those more off the beaten path) usually focus on wildlife, photography, eco travel, and cultural immersion. Jungles are often visited via river cruise, such in the Amazon in South America, or the Mekong in Southeast Asia. Despite their similar atmospheres, these jungles around the world maintain their own unique personalities, and all are well worth visiting.
Entering the jungle harkens back to the age of exploration, when European explorers embarked on voyages of discovery. Howler monkeys hoot in the distance, the buzz of literally millions of species from the smallest centipede to the most vocal bird. Thousands of jungle dwellers expertly camouflaged by dense foliage wait just out of sight.
Classic Jungles of the World
There are some jungles that just seem to leap off the page of a collective traveler imagination. These are the mysterious and exciting lands of Kipling, Stevenson, and Burroughs. Of course there is a complicated colonial history to this, with anthropomorphised animals, and an undeniably simple colonialist view of the native human inhabitants of these beautiful and haunting landscapes.
However, putting all that aside, a journey into any one of these classic jungles is sure to awaken your inner explorer as you seek the truth beyond the stories and create your own adventure.
1. The Amazon Rainforest: To this day, scientists and researchers are still discovering new species in The Amazon. The region is a great reminder that there are still untouched and unexplored parts of the world. Home to over 10,000 species, and spanning through 9 countries, it is one of the world’s longest rivers as well as one of the most ecologically diverse.
The Amazon has only recently become a more accessible travel destination. Though this is a double edged sword. With more traffic comes greater recognition and awareness of the plight facing these jungles, but it also somewhat contributes to the problem. Tours to the Amazon will help highlight the threat they face, and provide you with the context to how you can help.
One way you can start is to try and travel as sustainably as possible when visiting these fragile areas. The Amazon is best experienced via river cruise, of which many options are available, from budget to luxury.
2. India: India is home to the jungles of Rudyard Kipling. The explorer and writer of The Jungle Book, clearly was much affected by the dense, mysterious and humid Indian jungle. His main character, Mowgli, meets some of the areas most elusive and quintessential wildlife, from tigers to orangutan.
You too can see these amazing creatures on a safari or guided tour. If you want to see Mowgli’s friends for yourself, the best way is to visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, where you can observe wildlife in their natural habitat.
3. Africa: You may think of Africa more as a dry and dusty flatland, yet a large portion of the country is actually jungle; namely throughout the Congo River Basin which touches Rwanda, Uganda, and the Republic of Congo.
These areas all offer one of the most unique travel experiences: Gorilla trekking. This activity has become more accessible to tourists, and it’s definitely something to write home about! You need a permit in advance, and it’s advisable to go with a reputable small group or private tour company to increase your chances of seeing these magnificent creatures in their home.
4. Cloud Forest in Peru: When Hiram Bingham entered the cloud forest on his quest for the Lost City of the Inca, he entered a world of shifting fog, filtering sunlight intermittently, hiding and revealing various settlements along his route. This route has become the most famous access road for tourists heading to Machu Picchu, eager to follow his footsteps, as well as those for whom the road is named, the near-mythical Incas themselves.
Cloud Forests are common in Central and South America, so named for a near constant bank of fog hovering at the canopy level. Another famous location for experiencing the Cloud Forest is Costa Rica, where you can walk (or zipline) right among the canopy, getting a unique view of how special these jungles are.
Jungle & Rainforest Photography Tips
The jungle is fascinating and begs to be photographed. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, you will certainly find many different subjects along your tour through the jungle. The weather and water can sometimes create issues, so be sure you exercise proper camera care as you explore the many wonderful parts of the jungle.
1. Bring a lens cloth - And have it readily accessible before you begin shooting. Jungle environments are often 100% humid, and this can cause extreme fogging on your lens. While this can create interesting effects, it’s most likely not the effect you’re looking for.
2. Use a strap that’s made of soft, durable, water-resistant material. This is a bit a personal preference. However, as you’ll be hiking through dense rainforest, in very warm, humid weather, getting sweatier and not drying off, the generic strap to your DSLR may get irritating and itchy quickly. You can fashion your own strap fairly easily (check out some tutorials around the web), using a softer cloth material which will be much more comfortable throughout the long days of trekking.
3. Get to know the animals. Familiarizing yourself with various species patterns and habits will reveal certain facets of their personalities you may want to capture on film, as well as where the best spots to find them are, and what time of day or night. Also try to determine in advance any animals you’re looking forward to photographing and ask your tour guide if they have any special tips.
4. Bring a macro lens. If you’re not as comfortable with different lenses, using the automatic macro setting on your DSLR will suffice, but using the official lens will transform your photographs even more. Particularly for shooting the unbelievable plant life, being able to add creative focal points and composition with a macro lens is a wonderful asset.
5. Be respectful and patient. It can be frustrating for a wild animal to not sit in the perfect spot long enough for you to get the best shot possible. But patience is a virtue when it comes to wildlife photography. Try and book a tour that will return to various spots at different times of day, as this will increase your chances of capturing a truly wonderful image of that elusive species.
6. Don’t eliminate people from all your photos. While the wildlife is certainly the focal point of a journey through the jungle, a human presence can create a powerful and interesting dynamic. Your entire comment and composition will change, and also you’ll be able to look back and remember the people on your jungle tour (hopefully with fondness!). Additionally, you may meet native tribes and explore villages deep within the jungle, where you’ll definitely want to take some meaningful portraits.
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