Amazon River Cruise Tips & Why You Need to Take an Amazon River Cruise
Cruising on the Amazon River is exotic, exciting and one of those experiences you need to do at least once in your lifetime.
If you have always wanted to see where fish swim through the upper branches of trees, where rasping frogs perch, and where long-tailed monkeys occasionally swing by to play with your hair — you should add an Amazon River cruise to your bucket list.
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The sheer scale of this gigantic “ocean-river,” running through the heart of the Brazilian rainforest from French Guiana to Peru, will simply blow you away.. Make a cruise along this magical river a priority, as it’s one of the world’s greatest trips.
Best Time for Amazon River Cruises
There are pros and cons to cruising the Amazon both in the “wet” (or “flood”) season (December to April) and the “dry” season (May to November).
Bear in mind even the dry season is not really dry, as the rain forest gets rain at any time of year. But rainfall and water levels will be lower, and more jungle paths will be accessible then. So if you like to get up-close and personal with sloths and other jungle inhabitants, the dry season is the best time to do it; On the other hand, it will be hotter — by an average 12 degrees — than it is in the wet season, so expect temperatures in the mid- to high-90s.
If you prefer floating, the wet season is the better option for you, as water levels are, on average, 21 to 23 feet higher, so it’s easier to explore some of the Amazon’s smaller tributaries. You’ll also see a richer variety of wildlife.
Amazon River Cruise Tips
-Prepare for rain. The Amazon Basin is gloriously fecund and green because it gets so much rain; average annual rainfall is a whopping 12 feet. That means you can expect at least some rain on about 200 of the 365 days in a year, at a rough 60:40 ratio between the wet and dry seasons. So pack a sturdy umbrella and a light, hooded rain jacket (if you can bear to wear one in all that humidity).
-Take non-slip walking shoes. A foldable walking stick for forays ashore is also a good idea.
-Pack plenty of insect repellent. You’ll need it, along with sunscreen and a face-shading hat. And though you’ll need light cotton clothing to combat the heat, cover up as much as possible in long sleeved shirts, trousers (rather than shorts) and socks long enough to tuck your pant cuffs into.
-Don’t forget your binoculars. Some ships will supply them, but check before you go.
-Take your camera lens cap off. Do it as soon as you go outside to help the lens adapt to the humidity, or you’ll end up with some blurry photos.
-Always carry bottled water. The hot, humid climate can leave you dehydrated if you’re not careful.
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