Best Time To Visit The Amazon

best time to visit the Amazon

Unlike other expedition cruise regions such as Patagonia or Alaska, the Amazon can actually be cruised all year-round. Because if this, deciding on the best time to visit the Amazon can actually be quite difficult.

The Amazon is a vast and beautiful region of South America that is home to more biodiversity than anywhere else on earth. Most people wishing to take an Amazon cruise do so for the wildlife. 

Because temperature varies very little over the course of the year, the Amazon cruise season is essentially separated into two seasons - the wet and the dry

Both seasons offer slightly different highlights and attractions and there is no magical best time to visit the Amazon. You simply need to decide what you want to see and do and which season can offer this. Whilst both seasons offer excellent wildlife, you'll need to decide if you want to take land-based excursions or kayak trips depending on the season. 

You'll also need to decide on which regions of the Amazon you sail. Peru is a popular choice due to the land options (such as Machu Picchu) nearby. Ecuador river cruises offer a peaceful option, whilst Brazil cruises get you far deeper into the Amazon than any other region. 

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Best Time To Visit The Amazon

Below we have provided information on both the dry season and the wet season. Please remember to pack appropriately for both seasons as the jungle is both wet and humid.

It's also important to note that, due to the Amazon's vast size, different parts experience slightly different climates. For example, the wet season in Brazil starts in December, while in Peru it starts in November. Brazil is also slightly cooler and does not experience the same amount of rain as Peru or Ecuador. 

The information below is targeted towards Peru, but the climates are very similar and the information generally holds for the vast majority of the Amazon Basin. 

Dry Season

The dry season is the slightly warmer season and runs from May through to November. There is actually more difference between night and day temperatures than there is between day time temperatures all year. 

During the dry season you should expect temperatures to stay around the mid 90s. To call this season the dry season is slightly misleading. A better way to describe it would be the 'less wet season' as rainfall is still common, even in the dry season. 

An average year in the Amazon will see at least 200 days of rain.  Don't let this put you off though, the rain is usually in short bursts each day and won't ruin your trip or prevent you from doing anything.

Whilst the rain will not effect your daily cruise too much, it does impact upon the river level significantly. During the dry season the river level drops by 20 feet which affects what you can see and do.

Because the river is lower, the forest paths become exposed, allowing your guide to operate rainforest hikes. This is a fantastic way to explore the forest proper and witness some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the world.

Taking walks into the forest is also a great way to spot animals that are seldom seen from the cruise boat. Species such as sloth, boas and tree frogs are frequently spotted. The dry season also experiences less mosquitos which some people find important.    

Wet Season

The wet season runs from November through to May and heavy rain showers occur most days, especially late in the afternoons when the clouds are heavy with moisture.

The wet season brings slightly cooler temperatures, but with it come the mosquitos. For flora lovers, this is the best time to visit the Amazon as the trees begin fruiting during this time and flowers begin blooming, making for some lovely photos.  

For people who want to see as much wildlife as possible from their cruise boat, this is the best time to visit the Amazon! When the river swells, the forest paths become submerged, forcing many of the creatures higher into the canopy where they can be easily spotted from the river. 

This means that parrots and monkeys are more frequently spotted during this period. However, you won't have the same opportunities to go ashore. On the other hand, because the smaller tributaries are teeming with water, you'll have plenty of opportunities to take canoe and kayak trips to explore the jungle further. 

The wet season also allows cruise boats to penetrate further into the rainforest, meaning that you get to explore areas otherwise cut off during the dry season. This in turn means more wildlife watching opportunities, especially when it comes to fish and river dolphins

best time to visit the Amazon

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Expedition Cruise do not sell tours, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote with our recommended specialist click Get a Quote.


Below is a short and beautiful video by Drink Tea and Travel that demonstrates some of the fantastic things to be seen in the Amazon!


If you have any queries or questions regarding the best time to visit the Amazon, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

Thank you and happy travels!

Expedition Cruise Team

About the Author Expedition Cruise is the web’s most authoritative information portal on adventure and expedition cruising. Our mission is to provide up to date and comprehensive information on traveling to the Arctic, Antarctica and further afield, so that your experience is as fulfilling and safe as possible.

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