The Amazon is an amazing place to kayak and explore the varied and interesting wildlife. There are over one hundred bird species, monkeys, butterflies, caimans, jaguars, and freshwater dolphins to spot in this epic wilderness, making Amazon River kayaking trips unforgettable.
The reason why kayaking is such a good way to explore the jungle is due to its silent nature. Wildlife remains undisturbed, meaning you are more likely to spot the elusive creatures that call this place home.
The Amazon river flows through Brazil, Colombia and Peru and its wider tributaries in Ecuador, Venezuela means there are many different choices of places to try Kayaking in the Amazon. Many tours focus on Ecuador and Brazil as these are the countries with the easiest access and the highest density of wildlife.
In Peru from the city of Iquitos is the starting point for boat trips up to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve or down the Nanay river to the Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve.
In Ecuador remote lodges are the preferred choice and a great place to stay to enjoy the biodiversity of the Amazon.
Finally, in Columbia the Parque Nacional Amacayacu is great to visit during rainy season where the flooded forests gives a great opportunity for wildlife viewing.
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If you are taking an Amazon river cruise then kayaking is usually included as part of the tour.
This way you can enjoy moving from one place to the next and explore different parts of the Amazon in short trips. Meaning you get to explore different areas each time you get into the kayak. From your small boat cruise, you take kayaking trips during the morning and evening when the heat is not too overwhelming. This is also the best time to see wildlife.
There is also the option to stay in Lodges and take guided kayaking tours during your visit to the Amazon. These can be daily tours (morning and evening) to see the local wildlife or, alternatively, can be longer kayaking tours that involve camping overnight.
It is not advised that you go out alone and unsupported as its very easy to get lost. It is best to book a tour with a reputable guide and do your research before booking.
The river is mostly calm which means you don’t need to worry about challenging conditions. As long as you are relatively fit you will find kayaking in the Amazon fine.
Tours usually last a couple of hours before stopping for breaks and you will only go as fast as the slowest person in the group so no one gets left behind. The tours are not race and most of the time you'll be going very slowly as you listen to your guide talk about the local flora and fauna.
Full safety equipment and guides are included, so as long as you book with a reputable company, you'll be in safe hands.
When you book an Amazon river cruise, kayaking tours are usually all included in the price of your cruise which start from around US $3000 with everything included.
Trips from eco lodges can cost around $1000 per person for six days which includes camping and lodge stays for the duration of your trip. Prices vary considerably depending on where you stay and how long for.
Day trips also vary in price but start from around $100 per person.
You can visit the Amazon and Kayak at any time of the year, but each comes with its different challenges.
The rainy season in the Amazon is generally November to June where the river rises, and the low-lying forest becomes flooded. The wildlife is easier to spot during this period and there are more kayaking options which makes this the better time to visit. However, you will need to contend with frequent downpours.
During the dry season from July to December the waters recede, and rains become less frequent. This time is great for hiking trails and seeing wildlife on the ground as they seek out water and food supplies.
For the best time to visit the Amazon, please click here.
If you have any queries or questions regarding Amazon River kayaking, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.
Thank you and happy travels!
Expedition Cruise Team
Burnham started his career as a professional tennis player before retiring due to injury. Since then Burnham has thrown himself into adventure travel. He has cruised to some of the most iconic and obscure parts of the planet.