Top Seven Travel Tips for the Amazon Rainforest
Making the most out of your Jungle Adventure!
The Amazon is the largest forest in the world, the largest river in the world and the most bio-diverse region on the planet. Thousands of people come every year to see the monkeys, birds, reptiles and more that live in the vibrant Ecuadorian jungle.
A trip to the Amazon is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Here are some tips that will help prepare you for the trip!
Tip #1: It rains a lot. Really, a lot. Well, duh, right? It’s the rainforest, not the partly-cloudy forest. During some seasons, it will rain almost every day. Most of the good lodges, including La Selva Ecolodge, provide rain ponchos and rubber boots, but it’s a good idea to bring your own rain gear and an extra change of clothes. You’ll also want sealable plastic bags for anything you want to keep dry, like medication, documents, cameras, etc.
Tip #2: It can get hot. In all of the excitement about visiting the lush green rainforest, visitors to the Ecuadorian Amazon sometimes forget that they’ll only be a few miles away from the Equator and not high above sea level. That means heat. Although the rains and dense forest canopy keep things relatively cool most of the time, a sunny afternoon in the dry months of January or February can be scorching if you’re not in the shade. Bring a good hat, sunscreen and clothes that have long sleeves but are still lightweight, especially if you’ll be visiting during the dry season.
Tip #3: It can get cool, too. Wait, you just said it was hot! Yes, I did. But it can also get cool. For example, the best way to travel long distances in the jungle is by motorized river canoe. The rivers are always cooler to begin with, and an early morning transfer made speeding along in a river canoe can get chilly. A light windbreaker will do the trick. Sometimes the nights are refreshingly cool: most people will be fine in summer clothes, but if you tend to get chilly, pack a long-sleeved t-shirt or light sweater.
Tip #4: Reports of Swarms of Man-eating bugs are Greatly Exaggerated. You’ve seen all the movies, so you know that the Amazon rainforest is home to swarms of bat-sized mosquitoes that can suck a person dry in less than a minute, right? Wrong! The truth is that although there are indeed many species of insects in the Amazon and some of them do feast on tourists, most of our guests find that they don’t notice the bugs much. You will definitely want some anti-bug spray or cream in some places, but it’s nothing to worry much about.
Tip #5: It’s Remote. The best lodges, like La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, are located as far away from “civilization” as possible. There’s a reason, though: all of the best wildlife is found far away from human settlements. Humans hunt birds and animals, create pollution and make a lot of noise, so naturally the birds and monkeys like to be far away from them. Jungle lodges that are easy to get to have relatively little wildlife around them. This means that you’ll need to bring all necessary things like medication, sunscreen, etc. because you won’t be able to get to a store or pharmacy. See our packing list and make sure you bring what you’ll need!
Tip #6: It’s more Modern than you Might Think. Although La Selva is remote, it has all the comforts of home. We have electricity and plugs to charge your cameras and devices.
Tip #7: Not all Lodges are Created Equal: There are several tour operators and lodges operating in the Ecuadorian Amazon: there are even a couple of river boat hotels. The basic premise is the same: visitors fly into Coca, stay for three to seven days (in general), go on guided walks and canoe rides, take lots of photos and go home. Nevertheless, there are important differences among the lodges. Doing some research ahead of time will help you find the best lodge for you. La Selva is proud to be ranked #1 on Trip Advisor for lodges in its class and is part of the few lodges of the greenleaders program of Trip Advisor.