Since I’m little one of my biggest dreams was to spend a few days inside the Amazon being surrounded by the sounds of the jungle and unique wildlife.
My dream came true! Together with my boyfriend Ville, I spent 4 days and 3 nights doing an Amazon tour in the middle of the rainforest- the world’s largest jungle!
This blog post is a guide on how you can visit the Peruvian Amazon yourself! Find information on arrival, tours, activities inside the Amazon and preparation for your own jungle tour.
- How to get to the Amazon Rainforest
- Tour Options
- Peru Amazon Tour
- What should you pack?
- What you need to know before going
- Best time to go
How to get to the Amazon Rainforest?
The Amazon Rainforest is really, really big!
Its tropical jungle spreads over 9 countries in South America including Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.
The biggest part is covered in Brazil with about 60% and then Peru with about 13%.
The Amazon is the world’s largest jungle containing millions of species of animals and plants.
Deep inside the Amazon of Peru is a city called Iquitos, which is the gateway into the rainforest.
View from our lodge.
Getting to Iquitos
Iquitos (the biggest remote city in the world) is the gateway into the Amazon of Peru.
Because the city is surrounded only by water and jungle, there are no connecting roads that could be used for arriving here.
The only option is by plane.
Iquitos is about 2 hours by plane from Lima or Cusco. Find your flight here.
In Iquitos, you can then decide to spend a few days in the city to visit Monkey Island or some Wildlife Rescue Centres, decide on a jungle tour and organize your last preparations for the heading inside the Amazon.
Once you decided on a tour operator, a small boat will pick you up in Iquitos and bring you inside the Amazon.
Depending on which tour you choose for your jungle trip and in which lodge inside the Amazon you will sleep it will take between 1-2 hours to arrive.
➳ Tip: If you are in Brazil before heading to Peru, you can come by boat instead of taking a plane!
Ville and I crossed the Amazon River for 8 days to get from Santarém (a beautiful place in the north of Brazil!) to Iquitos and it was an unforgettable trip!
➳ Read: Crossing the Amazon River by boat- from Brazil to Peru.
There are many different companies offering a one-day tour or several day tours inside the Amazon Rainforest.
Where should you book your tour?
You can rather book your tour online in advance or you just buy it personally when you are in Iquitos.
The online prices are usually much higher than if you buy the tickets in an office in Iquitos. There are so many different tour operators offering the same activities in the jungle for much cheaper than the tours offered online! 🙂
That’s why I would recommend you to buy the tickets in Iquitos. Most of the time it is not even necessary to book a lot of time in advance.
Where to find a tour in Iquitos?
When you arrive in Iquitos and walk around the main square (“Plaza de Armas”), you will already find many locals trying to sell you Amazon Jungle Tours.
Besides that, you can find other tour operators in that area. They are very easy to find.
Do you need to book in advance?
The Amazon rainforest in Peru is not as crowded as other parts in Peru (like Machu Picchu or Cusco), so you usually don’t need to book much in advance.
You should book your Amazon tour at least 2 days before you are planning to head inside the jungle. Then you will still have time to buy some necessary things for the tour like mosquito spray etc.
The price depends on several factors:
1. How long you want to stay inside the jungle (2 days, 3 days or even more than that)
2. Standard of the lodge you’ll be sleeping in
3. If you want a private tour or group tour
4. If you want to add camping (in tents or hammocks) inside the jungle
We found our tour right in front of the “Plaza de Armas”. We booked two days before departure and payed
*550 soles per person (approx. 147 EUR)
for 4 days and 3 nights, including all the food, accommodation, activities and tour guides!
It was a group tour, but we only had one more traveler with us on the first day. The next days Ville and I were the only ones in our “group”.
That’s a very reasonable price if you think about what you would spend while traveling for 4 days anyways.
This was also the cheapest tour option we could find!
Even though I should mention that my boyfriend is Brazilian and used his charm and South American talent to make friends with the seller who gave us the tour cheaper than he usually does. 😀
In general, you should expect to pay between 550 and 800 soles for the jungle tour (depending on your preferences it can be more or less than that).
➳ Tip: You should always try to negotiate with the sellers because they will most likely always go a little bit more down with the price.
Peru Amazon Tour
You should spend two or four days inside a lodge in the Amazon to explore the jungle.
You can do jungle trekkings, nights walks, spot sloths, pink dolphins and other unique wildlife, different species of plants and visit a local village to see how they survive in the jungle.
We did our Amazon tour with “Amazonian Trips” in the “Chullachaqui Lodge”, where the food, accommodation and tour guides were really good!
We can really recommend this tour & the tour guides speak really good English. Their knowledge about the Amazon is very impressive (they grew up inside the jungle) and it’s really interesting to learn about life inside the Amazon.
➳ Tip: When you do a several day jungle tour, only bring a small bag with your necessary things & store your big bags in your accommodation in Iquitos until you return from the tour.
Flying Dog Hostel is an amazing hostel to stay at in Iquitos and store your luggage.
One of the main activities when visiting the Amazon is jungle trekking!
We did one jungle hike for 2 hours every day, to make the most of our experience and spot different wildlife.
The Jungle Walk is a must-do, as you will see many unique plant species, the biggest ants you’ve ever seen, spiders, sloths and many more.
It’s just magic to see all the life that exists inside the Amazon!
➳ Good to know: For the trekking, your tour guides will provide rubber boots for you, so it will be easier to explore the muddy terrains you’ll be walking through.
Please do not touch the animals or plants. Let’s keep this beautiful rainforest healthy. 🙂
As you might know, most animals camouflage or hide in their secret spots to protect themselves from enemies. That’s why it’s not always easy to spot wildlife.
Your tour guide will have good knowledge though where he needs to look to find it & will show and explain about the animals and plants. This is really interesting!
When we did our tour, we were really lucky because we spotted so many animals!
My highlight was definitely seeing wild monkeys!
We spotted two very cute night monkeys in the trees and the other day a group of squirrel monkeys.
Other wildlife we saw during our jungle tour in the Amazon:
– lots of spiders (including Tarantulas and poisonous ones)
– massive and small frogs
– ants (& the biggest ant in the world!)
– caymans in the lake
There are over 1,500 species of birds in the Amazon of Peru. During a boat ride in the early mornings with your tour guide, you will be able to see Hawks, Macaws, and even Toucans!
We spotted many hawks and macaws and the scenery of the Amazon River surrounded by greens in the early morning hours is just beautiful.
Can you spot the hawk?
Swimming with pink dolphins in the Amazon River
Most of the tour operators offer swimming with the dolphins.
The pink and grey dolphins of the Amazon River are also called “Botos” and unique, smart creatures.
On our first day in the jungle, we put on our swimsuit, jumped inside a boat and the tour guide brought us to a certain spot in the Amazon River, where pink dolphins are spotted.
We jumped in the water and tried to attract the dolphins to play with us.
➳ Interesting: Our tour guide told us to make noise & splash the water to wake up the dolphins that might be resting on the ground.
More than that, it’s important to spread positive energy because the dolphins can your aura. That’s when they decide to come and play with you!
A pink dolphin! They can get up to 3,5 metres & are known as ‘Botos’, the dolphins of the Amazon River.
We saw 2 dolphins about 5 meters away from us in the water, but unfortunately, they didn’t want to play with us…
One reason for that was surely my nervosity, I mean, they can get up to 3 meters long and are quite big 😀
It was still awesome to see them so close to us.
➳ Watch out: If you want to swim with dolphins, make sure you choose a tour operator that is sustainable and where the dolphins can freely make a decision to come up to you. Some tour operators will feed the dolphins to make them come close to the tourists. This is really harmful to the dolphins and should not be supported.
On our way back to the lodge there was a beautiful rainbow.
Another cool experience during your jungle tour is fishing piranhas!
It was my first time, seeing a wild piranha from so close and it’s kind of scary to see how many of them there actually are in the rivers…
And you can really see their small teeth!
We fished 3 piranhas and 3 other small fish.
Some tour guides cook them for lunch or dinner, but we left them in the boat for the hawks to catch them.
You cannot only do Jungle Trekking by day but also by night!
This is really exciting, as you walk through the dark jungle with some flashlights for about 1 hour, spotting night-active animals.
We saw many frogs, spiders and also caymans in the water.
➳ Interesting: The caymans prefer to live in lakes and lagoons than in rivers, so the chance you will spot them in calmer water is much higher! They can get up to 3,5 meters long.
The plants in the Amazon Rainforest look very unique.
Camping inside the jungle
Most tour operators offer camping inside the Amazon jungle. This can only be for one night or several nights.
You can often choose between sleeping in tents or hammocks.
Tents will at least have some protection from the mosquitos and you are safe from spiders or other wildlife getting inside your bed for the night. 😀 Also, you will stay dry if it rains…
On the other side, hammocks are more adventurous and you really sleep under open sky- a pretty cool experience!
Our tour only offered the opportunity to go camping in tents.
Our camp site for one night. The tent was already very used, but at least it didn’t have any holes… 😀
The night walk we did that evening before going to sleep was awesome!
We saw caymans, lots of spiders, frogs, snakes and other night active animals really close to our campsite! Kind of scary, but also exciting.
➳ Tip: Make sure you request camping before the tour when you book it! And bring your own sleeping bag.
Visiting a local village inside the Amazon
One more thing you shouldn’t miss when exploring the Amazon Rainforest is experiencing how the locals live in remote communities inside the Amazon jungle.
You can learn about their traditional way of living and some of their survival skills.
There are 7 people living in this house. 150 people are living in this small village in the middle of the Amazon Jungle.
When we visited a village about 10 minutes by boat from our lodge, we also got to know the Shaman.
Shamans are wise people who are in touch with the link between the people living in the community, nature and the spirits.
Besides that, they have the role to protect and guide people that live in their villages as they have learned (through their own experiences) to connect with the spirits of the nature.
For Peruvians, it is a gift by God that is given only to the chosen person.
The shaman can access the deepest part of the people who come to him to free themselves from their ailments.
When we met the Shaman, a very old guy, he explained to us a lot about Ayahuasca- a traditional healing method in the Peruvian Amazon.
Ayahuasca is a brew made from a specific tree trunk and plant leave.
The shaman detoxifies his patient, who drinks the brew, and accesses his most unconscious part.
Drinking Ayahuasca will cause hallucinations and different states of emotions.
It’s used to clear the body from bad energies and connect completely to the own self and nature.
Through Ayahuasca, the Shaman gets us to reconnect, to free ourselves from ailments and walk towards a state of greater health and well-being.
This traditional healing process is only legalized in Peru and counts to one of the most common healing rituals in the Amazon Jungle.
➳ Good to know: Many people compare Ayahuasca to chemical drugs like mushrooms because they both cause hallucinations. BUT a huge difference is that Ayahuasca does not have any chemical components! It is only made from plants and has a “natural effect” on the body. It is a legalized healing method in Peru and not seen as a drug here.
You can decide to take part in an Ayahuasca Experience when doing the jungle tour. Some operators offer that experience, some don’t.
Our tour operator did because they know the shaman from the village for a very long time.
The prices really vary depending on with who and where you will do it.
Usually, Ayahuasca ceremonies are really expensive.
Some people even go inside Ayahuasca Treatment Centres where the healing process will last over a few days. Those usually cost between $450 USD up to $1,200 USD for 4-5 days.
If you decide to do it in a really traditional way, with a shaman from a local community inside the Amazon Jungle, it will most likely be cheaper from
*150 soles per person (approx. $45 USD)
for one ceremony.
➳ Tip: If you decide to take Ayahuasca, make sure you choose a traditional ceremony with a shaman. Once you take Ayahuasca you open a field for energies- good and bad ones. The shaman is there to protect you from the bad ones and will take care of you during the process. There are reports from people taking Ayahuasca having a really bad experience, panicking or seeing awful things. Most of them have taken Ayahuasca without the protection of a shaman.
What should you pack?
When you pack your things for your Amazon Tour, make sure you only take the necessary stuff that you’ll need.
To make packing a little easier for you here is a packing list of the things should bring with you (for several days):
- Good hiking pants → mosquitos bite through sports leggings!
- 2 long sleeve shirts → if it rains and your clothes get wet, you’ll be glad if you have another dry shirt for the next day
- 1 top
- 1 shorts
- 1 rain poncho
- Rain Jacket
- Hiking Boots (Rubber boots are provided for the trekkings)
- Small towel
- Long socks → cover your ankles from mosquitos
- Mosquito Repellent → at least 2 full bottles, you will need it. 😀
- Good flashlight (for night trekkings)
- Powerbank (there might not be a charger for your stuff) & extra batteries
- Extra small bag for trekking
- Refillable Water Bottle (your lodge will provide drinking water for you).
- Documentations: Passport, Vaccination Pass etc.
➳ Very important!
Don’t forget to bring your medicine like Malariaprophylaxe, tablets for nausea and stomach problems, Ibuprofen, Allergy Tablets, and a First Aid Kit. Remember that you are in the middle of the jungle. If you get sick or have any health issues, it won’t be possible to go to the doctors and you’ll be glad if you have medicine that might save you from more suffering.
My luggage for 4 days inside the Amazon Jungle.
What you need to know before going
Here are a few things that you should know before heading inside the jungle.
1. Make sure you have necessary vaccinations like Rabies, Yellow fever, and Malaria (or Malaria Prophylaxe)
Heading inside the jungle always means being surrounded by lots of wildlife. Don’t forget that you are exploring the biggest jungle in this world! That also means a huge diversity of animals. This is why it’s important to make sure that you are well prepared and health stable.
2. Talk to your doctor before going
You should check with your doctor about necessary vaccinations before going and medicine you should bring with you.
3. There are millions of mosquitos
I have never seen monster mosquitos like this before…
First, they are huge.
Second: there are sooo many.
And third: they are hard to beat!
Just a small insight of how my leg looked like…
I react allergic to mosquito bites- I was glad that I bought 3 bottles of repellent for 3 days!
Nevertheless, I ended up having 121 mosquito bites only on my left leg.
Always try to wear long-sleeve clothes where they can’t bite through and always regularly put mosquito spray. Because the Peruvian Amazon is a malaria-risk area, it’s even more important to avoid mosquito bites.
4. The weather can change quickly
In the morning it’s really hot and humid, then it suddenly rains and after that, it’s sunny again.
The weather in the Amazon is unpredictable.
Sometimes we had hours when it was boiling hot and I almost died wearing my long sleeve stuff, and then we had hours where it was suddenly raining and I was getting soaked.
Make sure you are prepared for rain AND sun.
5. The Amazon is vulnerable
The Amazon Rainforests is one of the most beautiful and unique places I have ever seen in 3 years of traveling!
There are so many plants, so many animals and it’s amazing to see how nature works together to keep our ecosystem stable.
Please, never leave any trash or plastic behind, don’t touch animals or plants (you already shouldn’t because most of it is poisonous haha) and respect nature.
The Amazon rainforest is also called the lungs of our planet. Thanks to the trees we have oxygen to breathe every day & just a small destructive human action can disturb the entire system.
Respect, protection, and love for our planet is the base for a healthy planet and human life. 🙂
When is the best time to visit the Amazon?
The Amazon Jungle counts to one of the wettest places on earth, therefore you shouldn’t come here from January to March because of the rain and mud.
The best time to go is between April to December, when the average temperature is at 30°C and it doesn’t rain as much anymore.
➳ Don’t miss: Want to know how it really is inside the Amazon? Watch our Amazon Jungle experience on Youtube! We vlogged our 4 days in the jungle to share our adventure with you.
1 minute inside the Amazonas – Cinematic Video.
➳ Must Read: Your guide to visit Machu Picchu, Peru.
I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on visiting the Amazon in Peru and feel inspired to explore this unique place! Leave a comment below if you still have any questions and I get back to you. 🙂