When to go
The dry season in the Amazon runs Jul-Dec. This period features intense heat and humidity but relatively limited rainfall. Water levels in lakes and rivers recede during these months, exposing trails and beaches while reducing the number of mosquitoes.
In the wet season (Jan-Jun), tropical rainfall brings high water levels and flooded forests. At this time there is better boat access to wetlands and temporarily flooded woodland. This makes it easier to cover greater distances by boat and see more wildlife in otherwise inaccessible areas. The wet season also offers slightly cooler temperatures, although the high humidity remains.
Note that on the northern edges of the Amazon basin, north of the equator, dry season is roughly Dec to early May, wet late May to mid-Sep.
In Brazil, Brazilian Portuguese, a more languid and musical version of Portugal’s mother tongue. Elsewhere Spanish is spoken. Indigenous tribes speak their own languages as well as or instead of the Latin ones.
Getting local currency
Outside major cities such as Manaus and Iquitos, or larger river ports such as Leticia or Puerto Maldonado, it is difficult to change money, so you are advised to acquire it before entering the Amazon region.
Flight time from UK
Domestic flights operate in all countries, for example into Manaus in Brazil, Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado in Peru, Leticia in Colombia, Rurrenebaque in Bolivia and Coca in Ecuador. There are also land routes from the Andes, for example into Manú in Peru and into the Ecuadorian Oriente; these can be long and arduous but very beautiful.
For wildlife lovers,a visit to the Amazon in Brazil combines well with a safari to the Pantanal wetlands; in Ecuador, with the Galápagos islands.
Manaus, the largest Amazonian city in Brazil. There are several major holidays and festivals including the Festival do Amazonas, June, with events and exhibitions of aspects of the region’s cultural life.
Iquitos, the largest Peruvian city in the Amazon.: San Juan Festival, at the end of June. The city was founded by Jesuit missionaries, and this festival originated as a tribute to St. John the Baptist. Processions along the Amazon are followed by feasting on local delicacies.