If you have a hankering for a jungle exploration trip there’s nothing quite like the Amazon rainforest that is the largest forest on the planet encompassing a giant river system that includes eight rivers in the list of the twenty longest in the world. Even to this day, the forest that extends from Brazil into its neighboring countries such as Venezuela, Peru, Columbia, and Bolivia remains to a great extent unexplored and thus holds extra attraction for explorers and vacationers.
With some of the greatest biodiversity on planet Earth, the mystique and beauty of the Amazon rainforest attract tourists from all corners of the globe. However, tourists should take note of some basic tips to ensure they have an enjoyable and safe trip.
Health and Safety Issues
Consult your travel agent for a complete list of vaccinations that will ensure that you stay protected from a number of diseases that are prevalent in the Amazon region. These include yellow fever, hepatitis, dengue and malaria, meningitis, etc. that can ruin your trip because you may not be able to access competent medical care when in remote places. Whether or not you are camping in a tent, make sure that you have applied mosquito repellant liberally and preferably sleep inside a mosquito net to avoid the vicious mosquitoes and insect bites.
Ensure you consume only package water and hygienically-prepared food and resist the urge to sample street fare, however enticing. Carry plenty of medicines, especially for loose motion and fever. To protect your body from insect bites and poisonous plants that can cause skin rashes, you should pack a number of trousers and long-sleeved shirts. Do make sure that they are in neutral colors and not bright or flashy so that the animals do not spot you and make a run.
Play it Safe
Even if this is not your first visit take care not to be overconfident and always be accompanied by an experienced guide who is familiar with the local terrain and other issues. Never go off into unknown and remote territories by yourself and make it a point never to approach too close to wildlife. While it is the habit of animals to stay away from humans, they may attack you if a threat is perceived. For safe viewing of animals guided tours of nature reserves are recommended.
While you can keep a gun for personal safety, make sure that you do not try and shoot animals for the thrill of it. Make sure you have a pair of broken-in hiking boots that will serve you well. Always make it a point to check out the boots for venomous creatures before wearing them. Tuck your trousers into your socks to keep out leeches and other pests. A waterproof jacket is a must as also a zip lock bag to keep essentials like medicines and travel documents dry.
The Best Time to Go For an Amazon Trip
Opinions are divided regarding the best time for an amazon exploration trip. July-December is the dry season that will see very high temperatures and humidity but relatively less rain. The water levels in many of the rivers and lakes recede and make access easier due to many trails becoming uncovered. There are lesser mosquitoes too. This is the best time to go fishing or hiking. January-June is the rainy season that sees heavy rains and flooding of forests and waterways that make access by boats comparatively easier though getting soaked to the skin is something you’ll have to deal with. Despite high humidity, the temperature is relatively less making it more comfortable. Boat tours can cover more distances and there are more chances of you being able to spot wildlife.
The best of really enjoying the unique scenic beauty of the Amazon eco-system, especially in Brazil, is by boats. There is a huge variety of craft available for hire that range from the ordinary to super luxury and even ones capable of scientific research. You can even opt for a raft if you are particularly adventurous. There are many tour operators that can offer itineraries customized to your requirements.
An aerial perspective of the Amazon can be truly spectacular as you will be able to observe the meandering river, marches, thick jungles and also the devastation wrought by indiscriminate felling. Consider hiring a plane to really absorb the vastness of the Amazon delta. The network of highways in Brazil known as the Transamazônica connects the capital city with Santarém, Rio Blance, and Belém. A drive in an SUV can be a fascinating experience as you will be able to see the jungle from yet another perspective.