The Amazon rainforest is known for being the largest river in the world. With an area of 6.7 million km² across nine countries, that’s about 40% of South America. The Amazonian area offers many opportunities to learn about its waters, fauna, and vegetation.
However, if you want to know the best time to visit the Amazon rainforest, you will have to know that the answer depends on what you are looking to see and what time of the year you decide to travel. This is because two main seasons govern the Amazon: the high water season (from December to May) and the low season (from June to November).
If you want a boating adventure, the high water months are the best time to visit. All of the areas are navigable at that time, creating an immersive experience with long waterways and allowing you to appreciate the incredible wildlife such as monkeys, turtles, caimans, etc.
In contrast, if you want to ramble along jungle trails, the dry season is perfect for you. At this time of year, the shallow water allows you to access areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. Finally, in case you are looking for a unique Amazonian experience and don’t care about the weather, there is nothing as authentic as the Festival Folclórico do Amazonas in Manaus (Amazonas Folklore Festival).
As you can see, no matter what time of the year it is, both the dry and rainy seasons offer visitors a chance to get to know the Amazon from different perspectives and enjoy various activities. September and November are good moments to go to the Amazon because you can avoid major tourist periods, the cold winters in the south, the rains in the Pantanal region, and fewer mosquitoes. A lower water level also makes on-land activities more viable.
Amazon’s weather between December and May is considered the colder and wettest months. Keep in mind that the average temperature in the Amazon is warm any time of the year. Manaus’s temperatures (Brazil) generally do not drop drastically. In December, the temperature drops to 88°F (31°C), and by May, the temperature may not get below 75°F (23°C), which is relatively low for the Amazon rainforest.
The best thing to do while the water levels in the Amazon are high is to engage in water-based activities such as kayaking, canoeing, enjoying one of the Brazilian Amazon cruises, or spotting marine life. Choose a cruise from places like Manaus (Brazil), Iquitos (Peru), or Coca (Ecuador). These are all great places to begin an adventure.
Taking a tour from Manaus (Brazil) allows you to experience the “Meeting of the Waters” to see the 10 kilometers wide view. A natural phenomenon where the Solimões River and the Rio Negro (Brazil) merge to form what we know as the Amazon River. The deep contrast between their colors prevents them from merging immediately, creating a spectacular natural spectacle.
The dry, or low water, season are the hottest month in the Amazon jungle and lasts from June to November. Despite its name, this time of the year is a rainy season because it receives some short but heavy rain.
It rarely rains for more than an hour or two. Manaus’ average high temperatures are 87°F (30°C) in June and can reach a temperature of 90°F (32°C) in November.
After the water recedes, the wetlands become drier, making it possible for tourists to take forest walks, as the trails are clearer and lead deeper into the rainforest. Also, forest animals, fish, and pink dolphins that have spread out in the flooded rivers become more concentrated. In addition, dozens of migratory birds are flying in the Peruvian Amazon during the low water months. During this time, tourists also enjoy fishing for piranha with a local guide.
During this time, tourists who visit the Amazon enjoy doing wild excursions such as wildlife spotting (like jaguar spotting), going for a hike, fishing for piranhas, canopy climbing, finding fruit-eating animals, trekking, and ziplining. Approximately 10 percent of Earth’s known species live in the Amazon, and scientists have yet to describe thousands of additional species. Around 40,000 plant species have been identified there.
There are more than 2,400 species of animals. The vertebrates include at least 428 types of amphibians, 1,294 kinds of birds, 427 types of mammals, and 378 types of reptiles. It is worth mentioning that some rivers aren’t navigable during this time that’s why hiking trails are more common, allowing explorers to have amazing adventures deeper into the jungle.