The Amazon rainforest remains one of the only relatively unexplored tourist destinations. Its dark, deep heart is inaccessible to most travelers, yet its allure cannot be resisted by those who want a trip with a difference. Visiting the Amazon rainforest is not a simple case of booking your tickets, packing a suitcase and jetting off for a jolly fine time. Trips to the Amazon rainforest need careful planning and an understanding of what to expect. Here are 7 Things to Know about Trips to the Amazon Rainforest:
1. The Accommodation
There are no fancy hotels in the Amazon rainforest. Accommodation is at best, basic. But then, you’re not taking a trip to the Amazon for waiter service and fresh towels every day are you? Amazon lodges are wood built, with leafy roofs and whilst some don’t have electricity, most have running, hot water. Be sure to check what your accommodation has when booking.
2. The Climate
There are three things everyone taking trips to the Amazon rainforest must know about the climate. One - it is hot! But because of the effect of the forest and the humidity (see two), there’s a stark contrast between temperatures of the day and night. Expect a range of 29 to 13 degrees. Two – humidity is very high, usually around 90%, so you can expect to perspire – a lot! Three – it rains – a lot! The climate means clothing for trips to the Amazon need to be selected carefully. The less you expose your skin to the high heat and humidity, the cooler you’ll be. This means polyester cotton long sleeved shirts are best, teamed with full length ripstop trousers.
3. The Mosquitoes
Number one on the list of things to pack for trips to the Amazon rainforest is insect repellant. The southern basin is particularly prone to mosquitoes, but they do lessen, the further north you travel. Insect repellant alone isn’t enough. You also need to be vaccinated against malaria and yellow fever before you go.
4. The Sickness
Whenever you venture to exotic locations, there is always the chance of sickness as your body doesn’t adjust to the new conditions as quickly as you’d like. In the Amazon, there’s a very good chance of upset stomachs, fevers and dehydration. Remember too, you’re hardly going to be right next door to a hospital. It is important to acclimatize your body to the water and local food before taking a trip into the Amazon rainforest.
5. The Noise
On trips to the Amazon rainforest, you are going to be staying in the heart of the jungle. The jungle is home to many creatures, so you need to expect that the noises you hear, by day and by night, will be alien to you. Night-time will be rustling leaves and scurrying insects, but it is the morning alarm call you get from a howler monkey that, the first time you hear it, will have you leaping from your bed thinking there’s an air raid.
6. The Wildlife
If you have the impression from National Geographic programs that you are going to see wildlife behind every tree, round every river bend and outside your lodge, you are going to be disappointed. Much of the wildlife is secretive but you will witness an amazing array if you keep on the lookout for monkeys, macaws, jaguar, tapirs, toucans, river dolphins and piranha.
7. The Natives
The one thing you can guarantee seeing plenty of, is the indigenous people. There are hundreds of tribes that call the Amazon rainforest home, and they still live a way of life largely unfettered by the trappings of the modern world. Most of them are used to visitors and are happy to welcome you to their many celebrations and village feasts.
There you have it – you are now fully prepared for trips to the Amazon rainforest. Have you booked yet?
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