No matter what your idea of a trip to the Amazon is, the one thing you can guarantee is it will be a truly unique experience. The culture and traditions you will encounter are mind-blowing, and the massive amount of spectacular wildlife you will encounter will astound you. Among all these new and unique experiences there is always something totally different around every tree trunk, especially when you pay a visit to the Peruvian Amazon. Check out our picks for the best things to do in the Amazon!
Cruising along the Amazon River has to be one of the most idyllic activities to do in the Peruvian Amazon. The views across the water are remarkable and you will be amazed by the colours of the jungle, with its small villages and even a few dolphins. There are luxury cruises with glass windows and fine dining rooms, massive cargo ships; speed boats; and small motorized lanchas. No matter which option you choose, be ready for a once in a lifetime experience.
The Peruvian Amazon is hot and steamy, as you would expect and nothing is better than diving into the river for a quick cool-off. Many people think that it is dangerous to swim in the Amazon river, however your trusty jungle guide will know all the best spots to take a plunge in its cool waters.
The poorer downtown area of Iquitos is worth a visit on your trip to The Amazon. During the dry season, you’ll find mud and garbage beneath houses on stilts. Businesses operate out of the first storey, but during the rainy season, everyone has to move upstairs as the first floors flood, so activities move up a floor! In the rainy season, boats line the streets, sailing up and down to take people from the market to their houses along the river.
The Peruvian Amazon is of course teeming with wildlife, and especially monkeys who are endemic all over the Amazon. You can take guided tours that offer retreats to hang out with a number of monkey species. Beware of your belongings, however ask these playful creatures have been known to steal people’s glasses, hats, and cameras on occasion!
Ayahuasca tourism is one reason why people have been visiting the Peruvian Amazon for a number of years now. This hallucinogenic cocktail is made by boiling a vine and leaf together for hours until the liquid becomes a thick mixture. Many retreats have sprung up in the jungle that offer lodgings, an ayahuasca experience, and a shaman to perform the ceremonies. If this sounds like your cup of tea (literally!) it’s best to do some research first on both the retreat and the shaman for a safer, more authentic experience. Ayahuasca is powerful and you want to make sure that you’re in good hands, especially while under the influence.
This new Amazonian health craze is a poison secreted from a frog, called kambo. A shaman will burn the toxins into your skin, making four dots, allowing this “medicine” to get into your bloodstream. The effects are usually intense which produce fever and nausea, so be prepared to vomit and experience the swelling of your body. It doesn´t sound like fun but the poison is said to clear your body of unwanted toxins and leave you feeling refreshed and healthy once the reaction is finished. It has been used in the Peruvian Amazon to treat migraines, chronic illnesses, cancer, and depression and has been used by native jungle tribes for thousands of years.
Peru is home to 30 of the world’s 32 different climates, providing a food source native to Peru that is quite impressive. From spiky fruits to fruits that look like a dragon’s eggs, The Peruvian Amazon is bound to have something that you’ve never seen before and that you would not have dared to eat. There are delicious and nutritious frits some of which are now even exported as superfoods to health stores around the world.
The Amazon is home to an incredible number of bird species. Take off with an expert guide who will be able to show you all the best places to spot the impressive airborn wildlife that the region is famous for…. The Peruvian Amazon really is an ornithologists dream.
If you want to get the most adventure out of your trip and a chance to observe endemic Amazon wildlife, a hike in the jungle is the best way to do so. There are a number of guided day hikes and also night hikes, which offer incredible opportunities to see caimans, the spiders and insects, amongst other creatures that the Peruvian Amazon is famous for.
Ceviche is Peru’s traditional dish that can be found along the coastal regions and the Amazon has its own particular version. The main difference is that Amazonian ceviche uses freshwater fish from the Amazon which tastes just as delicious as anything you can find near the ocean.