Exploring the jungle, you will find a mix of serenity and excitement. The experience will bring you deep into the heart of our natural world, where you can deeply connect with your mammalian roots.
However, trips to the Amazon require knowledge and serious preparation. You should not swing into the jungle expecting to wing it.
11 Things To Know Goin on a Trip to the Amazon
Enjoy your adventure by going in equipped to take on the jungle experience. These must-know tips will help you in one of the most exciting travel destinations on the planet!
1. Get Vaccinated
When you plan on visiting the Amazon, start thinking about vaccination early on. You should get vaccinated 4-6 weeks prior to travel, to give your body time to build immunity against common viruses in the area.
The vaccinations you need for your Amazonian vacation include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- All Routine Vaccinations (MMR, Chicken Pox, etc)
On top of these vaccinations, you should also take Malaria tablets before your trip. The jungle is full of mosquitoes that carry this potentially life-threatening disease.
2. Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes do not simply create an annoyance. They do more than ruin your trip with itchy, unsightly bite marks. In the jungle, these pests can carry dangerous diseases.
Do not think that your vaccinations make you invincible. Jungle mosquitoes spread diseases that you cannot get vaccinated for, including Chikungunya, Dengue Fever, and Zika Virus.
Protect yourself from mosquitoes to prevent contracting illness. You need to sleep in an Amazon mosquito net, as these bugs come out full force at night. Also, use bug repellent spray regularly on your trip.
3. Pack for Protection
Usually, you check out the weather forecast to pack for a trip. In the Amazon, you do not want to dress for the warm weather.
Instead, pack for protection. For most of your trip, you want to wear long sleeved clothing that you can layer, to protect yourself from insects and sunburn.
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Hiking shoes
- Wide-brimmed hat
- Extra socks
Pack light colors. Dark colors attract both the sun and bugs.
4. Know the Seasons
If you think the warm rainforest is a great escape for when the winter months grow cold, think again. The wet season in the Amazon starts at the end of November and runs through May.
On average, the Amazon sees about 6-12 feet of rainfall during those months. Though you can travel there during this season for a unique experience, do not expect a sunny getaway.
The dry season runs from June to November. You can explore more isolated areas during this time. Read more about the best time to visit the Amazon.
5. The Locals Speak Spanish
Though many people speak English as a second language around the world, you typically will not find this in the more remote areas. You may want to learn some Spanish to communicate with the locals.
Your tour guides will speak English, so you will not end up lost if you do not learn the language. However, talking with native people you meet along the way can enrich your experience.
6. You Cannot Fly Solo
It does not matter how many times you watched Indiana Jones and Tarzan. This does not qualify you to traverse the jungle without a guide.
You would more than likely get lost. Furthermore, you do not know areas to avoid.
You may encounter dangerous wildlife and not know how to handle the situation. Some of the more dangerous land animals include jaguars, rattlesnakes, bullet ants, Brazilian wandering spiders, and green anacondas.
You could also run into indigenous tribes that you cannot communicate with, and they may not enjoy outsiders. The tour guides only bring tourists around tribes that they have a rapport with.
Spend the money to stay safe on a guided jungle tour. The guides know exactly where to take you and how to handle situations that may arise.
7. Exchange Your Currency
You may not think of needing to shop in the rainforest. However, on your trip, you will most likely end up in countries, like Peru or Ecuador. They use the NuevoSol as currency.
Exchange your currency ahead of time to avoid paying questionable prices. Also, keep your money nice. Due to high counterfeit rates, they will deny any ripped money.
8. Watch Out for Traffic
Yes, people drive cars in Jungle areas. You do not need to worry about this deep in the thicket. However, anywhere you see roads, pay attention while walking around. They do not enforce traffic laws like back home, and people tend to drive dangerously.
9. Forget Your Phone
While visiting the Amazon Rainforest, do not expect cell service. You should not expect to rely on your phone for anything that requires bars.
This will enhance your experience by not allowing you to miss the present due to texting. However, it can also leave you feeling stranded. Do not wander from your tour group, thinking you can simply call to meet back up as you would anywhere else.
10. The Humidity May Affect Your Camera
Air-conditioned accommodations may feel like a relief. But know that they can fog your camera lens due to the humidity. This can cause your camera to take longer to adjust, making you miss an incredible shot.
To avoid this, pack your camera into a sealed ziplock bag prior to entering any air-conditioned spaces. Packets of silica gel inside the bag will help absorb the moisture as well.
11. It’s Not a Petting Zoo
This sounds like common sense. However, people will do anything for a photo-op these days.
You should not attempt to pet or pick up random wildlife unless you know 100% what you are doing. In the Amazon, you will come across many poisonous, venomous, and overall dangerous animals.
Keep a safe distance.
Enjoy the Rainforest
Do not let all of these preparations and warnings rain on your parade. Trips to the Amazon offer a rich experience as long as you properly prepare.
Enjoy your visit! Read about more travel fun on our website!