Peruvian Amazon Rainforest Tour

Peruvian Amazon Rainforest Tour: Our 2019 Alternative Christmas

In 2019 we decided to take a trip to Peru. One of the places I always wanted to visit was certainly the Amazon rainforest, and this was a great opportunity to make it happen! Much like our previous journeys to Egypt and Cuba, our aim was to immerse ourselves in a blend of local culture, natural wonders, and historical treasures. With this in mind, we eagerly booked a Peruvian Amazon Rainforest Tour as a pivotal part of our Peruvian expedition.

We decided to spend our Christmas in the amazon rainforest, surrounded by nature and disconnected from the modern world. A sojourn in the rainforest offered more than just a vacation; it was a chance to recalibrate, to reconnect with the primal rhythms of nature. As self-professed nature enthusiasts, this journey held a profound significance for us—an opportunity to bear witness to the unparalleled biodiversity of Earth’s most precious ecosystem.

The Best Peruvian Amazon Rainforest Tours

To venture into the depths of Peru’s rainforest, joining one of the many Amazon Rainforest Tours is a necessity. Among the myriad options available, those departing from Iquitos, nestled in the northern reaches of Peru, reign supreme. Attempting to navigate the Amazon’s labyrinthine territories alone is an exercise in futility; its dense, untamed wilderness poses a formidable challenge even to the most seasoned outdoorsman. Thus, the notion of embarking on a solo expedition, armed with tent and camping gear, must be set aside.

Iquitos stands as the bustling gateway to the Peruvian Amazon, a bustling metropolis that beckons adventurers from far and wide. Accessible primarily by air, with numerous flights connecting Lima and other Peruvian cities to Iquitos on a daily basis, reaching this jungle hub is a straightforward affair.

Below, we present some of the finest Peruvian Amazon Rainforest Tours, each promising an unforgettable immersion into the heart of this extraordinary ecosystem.

We went for the Pacaya Samiria 4-Day Tour and we highly recommend it!

Peruvian Amazon Rainforest Tours: The Best Time To Go

The Peruvian Amazon Rainforest offers captivating experiences year-round, each season offering its own distinct allure.

During the rainy season, from November to April, the flooded reserve transforms into a waterborne wonderland. Navigating through towering trees and verdant carpets of water lilies, you’ll encounter alligators, primates, and sloths up close. However, complete inundation may limit jungle exploration on foot. Our December visit coincided with the onset of the rainy season, allowing us to enjoy both boat excursions and jungle treks.

Conversely, the dry season, spanning from May to October, presents ideal conditions for terrestrial exploration. Guided jungle hikes unveil a wealth of wildlife, flora, and fauna, with the chance for remarkable encounters. This period also marks the mating season for turtles and migratory birds, offering opportunities to observe captivating behaviors. Dry riverbanks become watering holes for mammals like capybaras and the elusive jaguar, enriching the Amazonian experience.


The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve stands as a crown jewel within the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, boasting a staggering biodiversity encompassing thousands of animal and plant species. As the second largest protected natural area in Peru, it beckons as a veritable paradise for nature enthusiasts. During our December visit, we were greeted by the breathtaking “Jungle of Mirrors,” a moniker bestowed upon the reserve for its awe-inspiring mirrored landscapes that were at their peak splendor during our exploration.

peruvian amazon rainforest tour

Our journey to Pacaya Samiria stands as a pinnacle travel experience, a cherished memory we hold dear. Led by our knowledgeable guide, Aladino, we embarked on a transformative adventure, immersing ourselves in nature’s embrace. With no phone signal to distract us, we embraced the simplicity of tent living, navigating the meandering Marañon river and reveling in the company of countless creatures. It was truly one of our most memorable Christmases ever, a time of unparalleled connection with the natural world.

Our adventure at Pacaya Samiria

Our first day encountered a hiccup as our connecting flight faced delays, causing us to miss our scheduled flight to Iquitos upon arrival in Lima. Undeterred, we promptly secured tickets for the next available flight, which fortunately departed shortly thereafter. Upon reaching Iquitos, we met with our tour guides and commenced our journey to Nauta. In the village, we outfitted ourselves with water boots before boarding the boat. En route, we made a stop at the reserve’s office to officially register as visitors, an occasion marked by the coveted stamps in our passports. It dawned on me that I was about to check off another destination from my bucket list, filling me with an exhilarating sense of anticipation!

Arriving at our first stop under the cover of darkness didn’t dampen our spirits, as we had been treated to breathtaking sunset vistas along the journey. Our initial destination was the village of our guide, Aladino. Though our stay was brief, we cherished the chance to meet his family and share a morning meal together before continuing our adventure.

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Walk Expeditions

Following a lengthy journey by boat, we set up camp and embarked on our inaugural walking expedition, the first of many to come. As we traversed through the forest, enveloped by its vastness, the sheer power of nature became palpable. Amidst the towering greenery, we were but tiny dots, humbled by the enormity of our surroundings. One of the trip’s most remarkable aspects was witnessing Aladino’s unparalleled navigation skills. With finesse, he marked trees and forged trails through the woods, guiding us effortlessly through the labyrinthine jungle.

During these expeditions, we delved into the intricacies of the rainforest, learning about various plant species and their significance to the indigenous peoples. We also gained invaluable insights into survival techniques, such as utilizing a heavy stick to signal our location by striking a tree three times—a vital skill for navigating the dense foliage.

While encounters with wildlife were elusive due to their keen senses, we were fortunate to observe a diverse array of creatures, including pythons, primates, frogs, and birds. Though fleeting, these close encounters left an indelible impression, reaffirming the raw beauty and biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest.

One of the best experiences was certainly the night walk expedition. In deep darkness, surrounded by jungle sounds, we entered a world inhabited by the most unique, diverse, and shy night creatures. Expeditions at night are slightly dangerous as the top predators of the jungle would come out for hunting. That night we got to see a shrew and a tarantula.

Boat Expeditions

On the boat, everything is different as you rarely get to see animals from a close distance. Yet, we were lucky to see some amazing creatures. Every morning, we used to get up early and go on boat expeditions at sunrise. The atmosphere was unreal. At that time, the forest is waking up and you hear all the different jungle sounds. The water mirrors all of the vegetation around you, and the sun seems to play with colours. I still have in my head the sound of the howler monkeys that are distinct from all other sounds in the jungle.

One day, a tapir fell into the water right in front of us and we got to see it closely. Then, we were able to spot a sloth on top of a tree. We were not aware that there was an eagle on the next tree! As we were trying to set up the camera and take some photos, we made noise and the eagle eventually flew away. Other times we got to see monkeys, turtles, pink dolphins, and countless birds including parrots, tucans, herons, and hummingbirds. One day, we also got to do a boat expedition at night, and it was great. In the jungle, you constantly wonder what may come up in front of you next. At night, that sensation becomes true suspense as the visibility is limited. That night, we got to see a couple of caimans.

Our Alternative Christmas

So that was our alternative Christmas. Spending the Christmas period in Pacaya Samiria, in the Peruvian Rainforest, was of the best experiences ever. We would highly recommend a Peruvian Amazon Rainforest Tour to anyone. Our Christmas Eve was different. We got to sleep in a tent in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. No presents and no phone signal. Our present was being there, in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

And what about Christmas day?

Oh yes! On Christmas day, we got up early and went fishing for piranhas. Sadly we didn’t catch that many, so we had to change our Christmas dinner menu…

What do you think of our Peruvian Amazon Rainforest Tour? Let us know in the comments below

Do you like travelling at Christmas? Read about when we spent Christmas on a paradisiac island in Cuba.

Do you like our adventures? You can find all our blog posts in ‘our trips’

We’ll see you soon!



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