Imagine relaxing on a hammock looking up at the canopy of trees above you as your river cruise gently sails down the mighty Amazon River. A monkey jumps from branch to branch swinging as if in slow motion as you contemplate what tasty treat you'll have for breakfast today.
Taking an Amazon river cruise is a great way to get back in touch with nature in a land beyond your wildest imagination. But if you don't come prepared, you can end up with a lot of bug bites and missing a lot of the best sights.
Read on to learn more about can't miss destinations on your trip and to get tips for making the most of the moment.
Know What Season You Are Traveling In
The Amazon has two seasons - wet season and dry season. During the wet season, many of the trails are flooded, so you will spend most of your time on the boat.
It's a great time to take a river cruise since you will be able to access smaller tributaries and see parts of the river that aren't accessible during the dry season.
The dry season is the best time for people to go who want to get off the boat and explore the villages and forests of the Amazon.
There Will Be Bugs
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most diverse biological sites on the planet. There are going to be bugs you've never seen before as well as many of the classic pests like mosquitos.
Make sure you take care to pack an organic bug spray to ensure you stay free of bites. You may also want to bring a mosquito net with you in case there are any bugs in the area where you are sleeping.
The Local Culture Will Stun You
A lot of people travel to the Amazon to see the flowers and animals. But it is also home to a wealth of beautiful tribes that live free from the influence of outsiders.
Some of these tribes choose to share their customs with visitors and will invite cruise groups to come and learn about their way of life. If you have the opportunity, you should definitely take advantage of this unforgettable experience.
An Amazon River Cruise Is Often Lengthy
Some of the trips you can take on the river starting in Brazil (find out more), while others begin in Peru or Ecuador.
Whichever destination you choose to set sail from, you can often select packages that are as long as a hundred days. If you want a truly profound experience, stay as long as you can.
Pack Your Hammock
Many river cruises offer spaces where you will be able to hang a hammock during your stay. Make sure that you find out if the cruise you are taking has this option.
If it does, you will need to get on board early so that you can stake out a good spot. Try to find a place where you will be able to see straight up into the canopy of the tree.
Adventure Sport Opportunities
An Amazon River cruise gives you the opportunity to check a lot of things off of your bucket list. But after a long day on the boat, you may just want to unwind with a little bit of kayaking.
Kayaking gives you the opportunity to get closer to nature and navigate the river the way locals do. The best time of day to kayak is at sunrise when the waters haven't been disturbed and you can watch their birds diving into the river for their first meal of the day.
Stand-up paddleboarding is also a great way to spend some time while on your cruise. It's a great activity for when you just want a moment alone in nature and to have an excursion that is unique to you.
Sampling Amazonian Dishes
Depending on which country your cruise is in, you will be able to sample a variety of regional dishes. You will also often get to try local dishes aboard your ship.
You'll be able to enjoy fresh ceviche if you visit Ecuador or Peru. And no matter where you venture in the Amazon, you'll always be able to find outstanding fish dishes.
Visiting the Local Markets
Many river cruises will make stops in larger Amazonian cities so that you can experience the way the locals shop and purchase exotic items.
Make sure you pick up some acai while you are there. The locals like to drink it as a juice to charge up after a day of adventure.
Test Your Boundaries
When you take a river cruise on the Amazon, you are able to travel with many of the luxuries you're used to at home. But make sure you still take the time to experience the local culture and get off the boat to see a village.
Test the boundaries of what you have experienced and purchase some of the local food delicacies. You never know what you might like and you will surely leave with a story to tell.
Take a Walk on a Canopy Bridge
There are several places throughout the Amazon where you can experience a walk through the canopy of the trees. This is where a large amount of the creatures in the Amazon make their home.
Try to find a canopy walkway system where you can take in the dramatic views without much effort. It will give you a brand new perspective on the rainforest.
More Great Advice
Taking an Amazon River cruise is a once in a lifetime experience. You're going to be able to see thousands of different species of animals, venture out into local villages, and still be able to maintain your comforts from home.
Have an awesome trip! And for more helpful advice, check out our other travel posts today.