An Amazon Adventure should make the top your list if you’re looking for an exciting vacation with your kids.
Did you know that the Amazon measures a whopping 2.6 million square miles? And it contains some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world? A mythic land that has intrigued explorers for centuries, you and your kids will be amazed by its wealth of plant and animal life. That said, an Amazon adventure with kids comes with unique challenges.
Many of the animals of the rainforest occupy the canopy, making them difficult for kids to see on foot. The rainforest’s hot, wet climate also takes getting used to. But when you plan for success with the tips below, your whole family will treasure rainforest travel.
1. Travel Like a Local
How do locals deal with the Amazon’s worst heat? They plan around it by taking an afternoon nap or siesta. So, plan your days around rest during peak periods of heat. That means, getting up early when temperatures are cooler and wildlife more active. Make lunch your activity cutoff point. Follow your midday meal with a nap and a short, late afternoon activity before dinner.
A tropical rainforest means high temperatures and high humidity. This combination can be difficult for anybody to acclimate to, especially the youngest travelers. So, even when you’re traveling like a local, remember to go at a slower pace so that your kids don’t overexert themselves.
2. Explore the Amazon by Boat
The best way to have an authentic Amazon adventure with kids is on a river cruise. Why? Because it allows your family to experience the natural flow and abundance of the rainforest, connecting with nature and visiting local river communities. It also gives you and your kids a better vantage point for wildlife observation — not only of the animals in the canopy but also those that choose to make the river their home.
From your boat, prepare to scope out spider monkeys, black-headed uakari monkeys, black caiman and more. Your ears will ring with the raucous calls of birds decked out in vibrant oranges, purples, emeralds, yellows, and scarlets. While sightings are rare, tell your kids to keep their eyes peeled for jaguars too.
Rainforest trips by guided boat tour are the way to travel in this part of the world. However, not all tours are created equal. Be sure to choose an Amazon river cruise that respects and benefits the local culture, people, and the environment.
3. Choose Your Location Carefully
What kind of Amazon experience do you want to have? Where and how you access the jungle will impact your entire trip. One of our favorite spots? For an exotic adventure your whole family will love, take a river cruise down the Rio Negro through Jaú National Park in Brazil. It gets no wilder or more exciting, and it comes with unique advantages.
Jaú National Park houses almost all of the major species found in the Amazon basin. Located 200 miles from the city of Manaus, Jaú National Park encompasses 23,000 square km of verdant rainforest.
The Rio Negro is not only the largest tributary of the Amazon River — it’s also the largest blackwater river in the world. Despite its unique color, the river supports more than 700 species of fish and two particular species of freshwater dolphin, the pink river dolphin, and the gray river dolphin. These amazingly unique and endangered creatures are only found in the Amazon and are a treat to see.
Not only is the Rio Negro and the surrounding jungle beautiful and ecologically-rich, but the natural acidity of the river prevents mosquito larvae from developing. Cruisers can actually sit out on the deck and enjoy extraordinary surroundings without the mosquitoes. Plus, refreshing water temperatures invite swimmers to safely splash around during the heat of the Amazonian afternoon.
Amazon Adventure Travel with Kids
Visiting the Amazon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you and your family will cherish. But it requires a little extra planning and consideration. Tropical rainforest represents a challenging travel environment for even the most seasoned explorers.
But when you follow the simple tips above for successful Amazon adventure with kids, you’ll guarantee that everyone has an enriching, enjoyable experience. The joys of the Amazon are many. Prepare to be amazed by the remarkably diverse plant life, the immense size and power of the river, the kindness of local river-based communities, and the sublime beauty of untamed nature.
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