Spread 2.7 million square miles across nine countries, the Amazon is the largest jungle on earth and the greatest spectacle of nature man will ever know. Densely packed with billions of trees, it is our world’s single greatest oxygen supply. Meanwhile, the Amazon River (the longest river in the world) provides 20 percent of the ocean’s fresh water. This unusual abundance of oxygen and water combined with high temperatures, high humidity, and a low elevation has enabled life in the Amazon to flourish and thrive on an astronomical scale. In fact, 10 percent of the Earth’s plant and animal species call it home. From giant centipedes to squirrel monkeys and pink dolphins, the diversity of life existing harmoniously below its dark canopies is truly mesmerizing.
To live without experiencing the beauty, diversity, and enormity of the Amazon is to live without knowing the power our planet beholds. Everybody that has the privilege of visiting such a place, regardless of age, leaves richer for it. Richer in curiosity for our natural world, richer in humility of its omnipotence, and richer in appreciation for life itself. Whether you’re eight or eighty, the sense of childlike curiosity, excitement, and amazement you feel exploring the Amazon are just as potent. However, while kids might be daring enough to swing through the jungle like Tarzan, older explorers might prefer to see the Amazon from the comfort of a luxury riverboat cruise. Of course, our Amazon experts will help you decide which Amazonian experience will best suit you.
The Amazon Rainforest’s unique microclimate makes it one of the wettest and most humid places on earth year-round. Despite this, it is still defined by two seasons, the wet season which stretches from May to November, and the dry season which stretches from December to April. Of course, the dry season isn’t technically dry, it’s simply just much less wet than the wet season which sees rivers rise up to 10 meters, flooding the Amazon Basin.
Since the Amazon is flooded during the wet season, cruises are able to sail further and deeper into the Amazon and get closer to the canopies. However, the flooding causes land animals to retreat to higher ground which means visitors have less opportunity to spot the jungle’s rare wildlife. Whereas in the dry season, there’s much more opportunity to explore the jungle on foot and spot the full range of the region’s wildlife. However, as the rivers recede, there are fewer water-based adventures and activities to be experienced. The best time to go, therefore, depends on what kind of Amazon experience you’re looking for. Some may prefer a relaxed Amazon cruise, while others would relish the opportunity to go walk amongst anacondas and jaguars on the jungle floor. Discover all of our luxury Amazon Jungle tours to help you decide.
- Amazon Jungle In January & February
- Amazon Jungle in March & April
- Amazon Jungle in May & June
- Amazon Jungle in July & August
- Amazon Jungle in September & October
- Amazon Jungle in November & December
Amazon Jungle in January & February
The beginning of the year in the Amazon marks the beginning of the wet season. As a rainforest, you can expect rain in the Amazon all year, but the frequency and volume increase over the next few months as a result of rising temperatures and greater humidity. Since the term ‘wet season’ can be misleading, the period is more reasonably known as ‘high water season’. That’s because, over the next few months, the increased rain bulges the rivers and raises water levels. As a result, high water season is the perfect time to join an Amazon river cruise as they are able to navigate deeper into the jungle.
Amazon Jungle in March & April
At this point in high water season, water levels may have risen up to 10 meters. The Amazon Basin is largely flooded, allowing cruise ships to make the most of their jungle playground. Being closer to the canopies, it’s easier to observe monkeys, sloths, and birds in their natural habitat. However, since the rivers have covered many on the land-based trails during this season, there’s less opportunity to step out onto dry land and spot wildlife. Although temperatures in the Amazon can reach a humid 95 °F (35 °C), it’s very manageable when you have the rare luxury of air conditioning onboard your spacious riverboat.
Amazon Jungle in May & June
Between the end of May and the beginning of June, rainfall becomes lighter and less frequent and the ‘low water season’ comes sweeping around the corner. Many believe this turning point in seasons is the perfect time to visit the Amazon. The cruises still have plenty of basins to play in, but there are better opportunities for land-based activity too. You’ll also see a slow reduction of mosquitos which, let’s be honest, are the most volatile of all the animals in the jungle! Since the Bolivian Amazon reaches its coolest temperatures during these months, it is the optimal time and place to travel for those put off by heat and humidity too.
Amazon Jungle in July & August
By this time of year, low water season is in full swing and the Amazon has officially reached dry season. Or the ‘slightly less wet season’ as it should be called. During these months, you can expect lighter and less frequent rainfall, fewer mosquitos, and lower temperatures in some areas. The Peruvian Amazon can reach lows of 60 °F (20 °C) during the day, which makes the jungle much more bearable for those that dislike the heat. Since the water levels have lowered and the basin has dried out again, this time of year brings great opportunities for land-based stays and activities.
Amazon Jungle in September & October
The dry season, or low water season, continues into September and October. During this time, there’s so much opportunity to explore the depths of the Amazon on jungle treks which brings an equally great opportunity for wildlife spotting. There are also lots of land-based activities available this time of year including canopy climbing and ziplining, making it the perfect time to visit the Amazon with children. While there are more activities available in visiting the Amazon during this time, it’s a little cooler and less humid which makes it very manageable for most ages. If you’d prefer to stay in a jungle lodge rather than onboard a cruise, this is the time to go.
Amazon Jungle in November & December
From November to December, the dry season edges towards the wet season again as rainfall increases and water levels rise. Since these months are shouldering both seasons, it’s an ideal time to make the best of both worlds. While the rivers are spilling over into the Amazon Basin creating more pathways for cruise boats, there is still plenty of land to explore on foot. However, land-based wildlife will have begun to retreat to higher lands making wildlife spotting more difficult. Bear in mind, despite it being the start of the wet season in the Amazon, the Brazilian Pantanal wetlands are pretty much submerged at this time of year, and the Ecuadorian rainforest experiences unusually wet weather, making the Peruvian jungle the best Amazonian destination this time of year.
Despite being swayed by a wet season and dry season, the Amazon really is a wonderful destination to visit year-round. It is also the ideal addition to any South America vacation, whether you’re visiting Peru, Ecuador, or even Chile. However, you’ll likely get a slightly different Amazonian experience depending on the time of year you go. To help decide what is the best time of year for you to visit the amazing Amazon, we recommend weighing up these factors:
- Would you prefer a cruise, jungle lodge, or both?
- What would you most like to see/experience in the Amazon?
- Are you affected by humidity?
- Are you traveling with children?
- Would you prefer to take the Amazon at a slower or faster pace?