The Amazon Rainforest is known as the lungs of the Earth and along with the Congo and New Guinea is one of the last tropical wildernesses touched by human hands. The Amazon Rainforest is the largest container of wildlife on our planet and is home to many exotic species you may have seen in film or television.
Tourism in the Amazon region has slowly been growing but is still in its infancy. After a shaky start, tourism is now recognized as a means to help conserve the rainforests (if properly managed) and offers an alternate source of revenue for local communities to destructive activities such as logging. In fact, some authors have labeled logging in these places as 'destroying the goose that lays the golden egg', as once the forest is destroyed it will take 100 years or over to restore the level of diversity (dependent on proximate of near pristine forest ). It is the incredible diversity that draws Amazon Rainforest tourists.
There are many tours in the Amazon Rainforest to choose from. However, only a fraction offer the level of service and comfort that we have grown to expect from the tourism industry in combination with exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities and an environmental awareness.
Some of the tours to look out for in the Amazon Rainforest that receive constant and stable positive feedback are what the following paragraphs are about. I will start with Iquitos in northern Peru, the western Amazon Rainforest.
Near Iquitos, the most recommended lodge is the Tahuayo Lodge in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve located 150 km down the Amazon River from the city itself. The Tahuayo Lodge offers private guides, a canopy zipline, and the most extensive list of itinerary options in the Amazon. One of the reasons for the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve establishment was to protect a rather unusual looking monkey named the Uakari.
For cruises near Iquitos city, the pick of the crop are the Delfin I and the Delfin II. The Delfin I is a luxury cruise where you can relax in your personal spa while watching the rainforest gently pass your bedroom. Both the Delfin I and Delfin II offer a comfortable way to explore the flood tropical habitat of the famous Pacaya Samiria National Park.
If you venture to the eastern Amazon side of the Amazon Rainforest you can consider basing yourself in the city of Manaus, Brazil, where you can take an expedition cruise aboard the 7 day Tucano Amazon Cruise or the 5 day Tucano Jungle Cruise. You will leave the vessel at key points in the forest to explore Amazon plants and animals with a professional guide.