Waking up to the otherworldly roar of a howler monkey after spending the night in an indigenous wooden bungalow in the depths of the Amazon Rainforest, is a travel treat few have experienced. As a result of deforestation and forest fires, the Amazon is rapidly disappearing, meaning there may not be anything for adventurers to explore in years to come. Ecotourism is a way to take a deep dive into this vast flooded forest, without harming it and even giving something back to ensure others can also have the ultimate rainforest experience. Whether you are planting trees to help rebuild the threatened natural environment or learning about the Indigenous people while sailing down the Amazon River on an eco-friendly boat, ecotourism is essential for keeping this rainforest alive. Below are some of our top tips for taking part in ecotourism in the Amazon rainforest…
Take a Jungle Cruise
Hop aboard a jungle cruise and explore the coffee-coloured waters and iconic meanders of the Amazon River. This slower method of traversing through the calm jungle waterways is the ultimate way to experience the rhythm of the rainforest as well as practicing ecotourism in the Amazon. Take a walk with an expert guide to the beautiful and mysterious oxbow lakes that are set back from the river’s edge, abandoned yet brimming with life. Once there, climb into an authentic Amazonian dugout canoe and drift among giant water lilies, some wider than a person is tall. Hop back aboard your boat on the legendary river, where you can lend a hand with catching a few piranhas for dinner. Despite their reputation as dangerous creatures, many of these fish are entirely vegetarian and make for the perfect barbecue dinner as dusk begins to set in. End the day relaxing in a hammock while your boat chugs upriver, as Amazonian manatees and rare blush-pink river dolphins gracefully glide by.
Stay in an Eco Lodge
Immerse yourself into the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest with a stay in one of the many sustainable hotels or eco lodges located in the depths of the jungle. With many of the lodges employing staff from local communities, as well as using solar energy to provide electricity, staying in these bliss-filled wilderness recluses allows you to partake in ecotourism in the Amazon rainforest. Venture from your lodge and breathe in the damp, mossy smells of the rainforest as you follow an expert guide along the vine-laden forest, keeping your eyes and ears peeled for the brightest bird or loudest tree frog. Don’t forget to look up as you may catch a glimpse of a three-toed sloth, hanging drowsily on creepers in the canopy above.
You may ask, how can you help the ‘Lungs of the Earth’ when you are exploring its lush, leafy lands? In the Brazilian Amazon, embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure tracking the highly elusive jaguar with expertly-trained guides for a chance to get up close with these mythical cats. After dark, venture out as the jungle comes alive and follow animal trails in the hope of locating big cats to help further the project. For a culture hit, head into the Ecuadorian Amazon where you can immerse yourself in Indigenous culture, as rainbow-coloured parrots and vibrant billed toucans fly by. Join a traditional ceremony with the Kichwa Anangu community and gain an understanding of what this landscape of towering trees and secretive wildlife means to them. In the Peruvian Amazon, help with jungle conservation by planting trees, removing invasive species, and maintaining trails, then treat yourself to a well-earned cocktail at the end of the day in your eco lodge.
There is so much that you can contribute to this paradise in peril when you take part in ecotourism in the Amazon rainforest.