Overlooking the vast Amazon rainforest from a high canopy

The Amazon Rainforest: The Ultimate Untamed Wilderness

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Niarra Travel

For those looking to experience the true wonders of nature in its most untouched, untamed state, an adventure into the Amazon rainforest should be at the top of your travel list. The Amazon’s deep emerald wilderness spans over 6.7 million sq km of the South American continent, with 60% of its evergreen forests located in Brazil.

Extending into eight other countries including Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, and French Guiana, the Amazon is home to the most species-rich ecosystem on the planet, serving as a thriving refuge for animals both big and small. A trip to this unique region will leave you in awe with its one-of-a-kind wildlife encounters and outstanding primal beauty.

Monkeys in the Amazon Rainforest

Why is the Amazon rainforest important?

The Amazon has been in existence for around 55 million years and is one of the world’s oldest and most important ecosystems. It is estimated 10% of known animal species can be found in its forests, with new species being discovered every other day. It is also home to over 2 million indigenous people that have lived in harmony with the environment for thousands of years.

Known as the lungs of the planet, the tropical forest’s billions of trees store around 150-200 billion tonnes of carbon while also releasing around 20 billion tonnes of water into the atmosphere every day. This helps in stabilising the climate and regulating water cycles both on a regional and global scale. Not only this but around 25% of all drugs in modern Western medicine are derived from plants found in the rainforest.

But deforestation from farming, logging and urban development, along with climate change-induced wildfires, has meant that the Amazon and its inhabitants are under growing threat. While the rate of deforestation has recently been falling, the Amazon has already lost 17% of its forests at a rate of around 10,000 hectares a day. This is why meaningful conservation efforts and the likes of responsible and sustainable travel have become so vital to help protect the Amazon from further destruction and ensure its future for generations to come.

Hoatzin stood on a branch in the Amazon Rainforest

What animals live in the Amazon rainforest?

The largest rainforest and river system in the world, the Amazon is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. So, what type of creatures can you expect to see on an expedition into the remote corners of this tropical rainforest?

Containing the largest number of primate species in the world, expect to find agile spider monkeys nimbly swinging from the vines, while red and black howler monkeys cause a commotion in the leafy treetops. You may also catch a glimpse of the peculiar-looking Uakari monkey, its bald red face a stark contrast to its furry body, as it curiously watches you from a distance. As you move deeper through the jungle you will discover the monkeys sharing the high branches with other tree dwellers. From the slow-moving sloths to the energetic Amazon dwarf squirrels.

The verdant green forest is a bird watcher's paradise, with over 1,300 bird species spread throughout the region, from bright-beaked toucans to the colourful array of parrots and macaws. Hear the sound of hummingbirds as they skilfully hover over tropical flowers and witness harpy eagles soaring high in the kapok tree lined canopy.

Jaguar lurking in the shadows of a tree in the Amazon Rainforest

Head to the black and white-water rivers, where Amazon river dolphins and giant otters await, along with caimans lurking in the shallows searching for their next meal. Venture deeper into the jungle and be on the lookout for giant anacondas and various other boas slithering through the undergrowth and see if you can spot the many tree frogs dotted on the moss-covered trunks of the açaí palms.

Of course, no trip to the Amazon would be complete without a sighting of the region's apex predator silently slinking in the shadows. Although rare, jaguars can be found throughout the Amazon rainforest with the highest populations found in Brazil. These wary but majestic big cats can be spotted near riverbanks while on a water safari or hiding in the dense jungle brush. Unfortunately, these fascinating animals are often hunted for their beautiful spotted coats, and receding rainforest boundaries have led to an increase in the frequency of their contact with humans. However, recent conservation efforts are now in place to help put an end to such practices and situations, encouraging man and nature to live in harmony.

No matter what type of animal encounter you are after, a trip to the Amazon will not disappoint even the most hard-to-impress nature enthusiasts.

Anavilhanas Lodge Brazil dolphines

What is the climate in the Amazon rainforest?

As a tropical rainforest, the climate stays hot and humid throughout the year, receiving between 1,500 mm and 3,000 mm of rainfall, with an average of 200 days of rain. While wet weather is expected year-round, the Amazon does in fact have a distinct wet and dry season.

Dry Season - June to September

Average Temperature - 26°C - 28°C

The driest months are usually when wildlife spotting is at its best. The receding rivers and floodplains mean that animals are more greatly concentrated and allows for better trekking on the jungle floor. During these months you can spot an abundance of fish as they spawn their eggs in the permanent water sources, in turn attracting black caiman and giant otters who come to feed.

Wet Season - November to April

Average Temperature - 25°C - 27°C

About 80% of the region’s rainfall will happen during the wet season, so if you are considering a trip during this time don't forget to pack your rain jacket. While the dry season may allow you to explore more of the forest floor, the wet season fills up the rivers and many tributaries, making it possible to explore places by motor boat or canoe that would otherwise be off limits. The wet season is also a time that you can see rare tropical plants in bloom and the lush forest teeming with life.

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Where to stay in the Amazon rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is a big place roughly the same size as the US and so choosing where to stay can be a challenge. You want a place where you can be at one with nature and experience first hand everything this magical place has to offer. So, if you are wondering which lodge to choose here is our top pick when on a trip to the rainforest.

Uakari Lodge

Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve is located in the heart of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Here you can spend four nights in a community-run lodge which sits floating in the middle of an idyllic lagoon. Comprising five cabins, a communal area and a restaurant, this secluded eco-lodge is the ideal jumping off point for jungle treks into the depths of the Amazonian Forest. As part of our Rainforest, Rio and Bahia Beaches itinerary itinerary you’ll be accompanied by expert guides as they lead you on enthralling excursions both on foot and by boat. By choosing to stay at Uakari Lodge you will not only get an unparalleled Amazon experience off the beaten track but your stay helps to support the local community who have called the rainforest their home for generations.

Anavilhanas Lodge

Nestled in the depths of the Brazilian Amazon's lush broad-leaf forests, the Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge is an enchanting escape to one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Perched on the black waters of the Rio Negro, the lodge overlooks the vast expanse of the world's largest freshwater archipelago. This retreat offers a choice of either cottages and bungalows each boasting panoramic views of the dense rainforest surroundings that envelop the area. Buried deep in the rainforest, the location gives you the opportunity to explore the flooded forest by canoe, watch birds flying under a kaleidoscopic sunrise and tour local lakes, canals or islands in search of playful pink dolphins

The lodge guides and staff at Anavilhanas Lodge are committed to creating minimal impact during tours and generating 100% of their electricity. Deciding to stay at Anahilvanas Lodge you will be helping to invest in extending preserved areas around the lodge and leave with an understanding of why the amazon rainforest is important.

If you are looking to explore more of what vibrant Latin America has to offer, we have a wide array of trips that are sure to enthral. Explore more of the Amazonian area in a Brazilian Rewilding trip. Paddle down the Pantanal, the world's largest wetlands, and be treated to the sight of capybaras bobbing in the water and jaguars prowling the river’s edge. The trip includes the opportunity to learn more about the fascinating region and the conservation efforts that are helping secure its future.

If you want to travel further then why not cruise through the legendary Galapagos archipelago where island hopping and up close animal encounters await or explore the epic snow-capped mountains of the Andes on your very own Patagonian adventure.

What separates our luxury holidays from your typical tourist trip is our commitment to sustainability and giving back to the places we visit through conservation and community support. So, no matter the style of your adventure, you can be sure that you have made a positive impact.

Anavilhanas Lodge Brazil canoe sunset

If you are looking to embark of a remote jungle adventure into the wilds of the Amazon rainforest then get in touch with our team on +44 (0) 20 3821 5994 (UK),+1 (833) 215 9353 (US), or at explore@niarratravel.com Your unforgettable expedition awaits.

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