7 Things to Expect on a Trip to the Amazon Rainforest

Going to the Amazon jungle for the first time? Here it’s a few things every traveler should take into consideration before booking trips to the Amazon rainforest:

1. Getting drenched in sweat

Anyone who’s traveled before to any parts of the Amazon rainforest will tell you to be aware of  couple of things: changing temperatures and the humidity. It’s hot and it rains a lot in the Amazon (March thru April), but because of the high humidity you'll feel a dramatic contrast between the day and night temperatures. You can expect day time and night time temperatures of 85 (~29 C) and 55 (~13 C) degrees Fahrenheit respectively.
 Things to Expect on a Trip to the Amazon Rainforest

The humidity levels in the Amazon are normally in the region of 90%, even between the good months of June and September. This means to keep fresh, cool and dry, you have to pack the right gear, which should include primarily long sleeved t-shirts (made of polyester cotton) and long trousers (made of ripstop). Believe it or not, the less exposed your skin is to the high humidity and temperatures of the jungle the cooler you’ll be in the Amazon!

2. Very basic accommodation options

Whether you plan to explore the Amazon basin of Peru, Brazil, Bolivia or Ecuador, you can expect to find Amazon lodges of rustic and basic nature (some don’t even have electricity). However, isn't that the beauty of going to the Amazon Rainforest in the first place?…back to basics living!

Having said this, you can rest assure most Amazon lodges do have running water, hot water, private baths, etc. Just be sure to inquiry about the amenities the lodge has before booking to avoid any unexpected surprises.

3. Lack of visibility

There’s no doubt that one of the reasons to tour the Amazon rainforest is to witness and photograph the beautiful variety of wildlife and birdlife such as jaguar, parrots, toucans, tapir, river dolphins, piranha, monkeys and macaws. However, one of the things to expect on a trip to the Amazon Rainforest is not being able to see as many wildlife species as you anticipated.

The wildlife in the Amazon is amazing but it isn’t as easily seen as in places such as, say, the African Savannah. This is due to the lack of the density of much of the Amazon jungle areas, though places such as the Pampas area of Bolivia are one of the best spots to view wildlife. The rivers of the Amazon Rainforest are not even clear but filled with vegetation and mud, which gives the darkish-looking color of the water (i.e. the Rio Negro in the Amazon basin of Brazil has black water).

4. Plenty of mosquitoes

Annoying mosquitoes are one of the things to expect on a trip to the Amazon Rainforest, though the further north you go in the Amazon the better off you are from the pesky little things! You do need to carry a good insect repellent if you are traveling to areas of the southern basin of the Amazon Rainforest such as Rondonia (south of Brazil), Vaca Díez Province (northern Bolivia), Madre de Dios region (southeast Peru).

Having said this, being swarmed by annoying mosquitoes while enjoying a chat with your friend won’t be your biggest worry. If you don't get your vaccination shots for yellow fever and malaria and get bitten by mosquitoes you can almost certainly “kiss goodbye” to your Amazon rainforest adventure!

5. Get sick from the local food and water

I can testify that getting sick during my travels is one of my single biggest worries when going to exotic locales! When traveling to the Amazon rainforest, you definitely want to reduce your chances of getting an upset stomach, getting fever and becoming dehydrated.

However, even if the food is properly cooked and the water you drink is bottled you can still fall ill simply because your immune system was weak to begin with. It’s a good idea to boost your immune system a few weeks before you’re due to travel, and also let your body adjust to the water and local foods of the region before you embark right into the Amazon rainforest.

6. Being woken up by howling monkeys

Howler monkeys in the Amazon jungle are like roosters in a farm…great morning calls! Hearing the scream sounds of the howler monkeys are one of the most amazing things you’ll experience in the jungle, and surprisingly you won't find them annoying!
By the way, do you know what howler monkeys sound like? the reason I ask is because they don’t sound like anything you would expect. The howler monkeys are loud but it’s the sound that the make that’s seriously petrifying. To me, howler monkeys remind me of the T-Rex from the movie Jurassic Park. Have a listen at the video above and judge for yourself!

7. Indigenous people

Fauna and flora aren’t the only things to expect on a trip to the Amazon rainforest. There are tribes of indigenous tribes that call the precious Amazon jungle their home. You can expect to find hundreds of these tribes in the Amazon Rainforest who luckily are still able to live their own way of life, though some groups such as the Amerindians have modified their culture to accommodate the modern world.

Regardless of tribe, the native peoples of the Amazon do love to celebrate and come together. One such celebration, which is actually renowned in South America is the Kuarup Festival in June/July at the Xingu national park (Brazil) where many tribes come together to pay respects to their dead.

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