DISPATCHES FROM EXOTIC LANDS
The Amazon Rainforest behaves like a giant living, breathing organism. Although it sees some precipitation on most days, it does have seasons which see the whole eco system breathe in an out as the waters and nutrients ebb and flow. The cycles of water movement dictate the behaviour of many species of plant, fish, amphibian, reptile, and mammal, as well as the activities of the local people, so it is worth understanding what each season brings when planning your travel to the Amazon Jungle.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE IN THE AMAZON
The humidity level in the Peruvian Amazon stays constant throughout the year at around 80% and being a rainforest, it receives rain on most days, but showers rarely last for more than an hour or two. A perfectly balanced rainforest ecosystem requires both sunshine and water, and the Amazon is no different. Days are usually a nice mixture of sunny spells and short cloudbursts, with weather varying slightly between localised microclimates.
High water season – December to May
This is the cooler of the two seasons with temperatures around 22-25°C. Rainfall is higher than in low water season but not dramatically so as precipitation only varies through the year by around 20-25%.
Low water season – June to November
This is the warmer of the two seasons with temperatures averaging around 36-37 °C. Rainfall is lower but it will still rain on most days – showers will just be slightly shorter and more intermittent.
HOW DOES THE EXPERIENCE IN THE AMAZON VARY BETWEEN SEASONS?
In the high-water season boating is the name of the game as the rivers and streams rise around 7 meters and it is possible to navigate further into the forest by skiff. The high-water panorama of the flooded forest is both dramatic and beautiful! In the low season, as water levels drop, the smaller creeks and tributaries dry up to create fabulous walking trails, and experiencing the jungle on foot is still the preferred method for most seasoned Amazon lovers and active types.
Fishing is far easier during the low water months, and it’s far easier to land a piranha when populations are confined to fewer, more concentrated areas. Fishing requires more patience as water levels rise as demonstrated by the fact that locals only manage to catch about half the fish they would otherwise get in the low season.
As water levels rise, so the amount of dry land available diminishes, and sightings of some species become easier and more concentrated. Any creature that requires a dry sunny spot, for example turtles and caimans, are easier to see when those dry sunny spots are fewer and further between. Additionally, buoyed by swollen waterways of high-water season, you will find yourself several metres higher up in the jungle canopy which makes sightings of the Amazons innumerable monkeys and birds easier with the naked eye.
During the low water season there are dozens of migratory bird species present in the Amazon, which can make this time preferable for birdwatchers.
Colourful macaws flock to any exposed mudbanks year-round to feed on the clay which neutralizes toxins from their forest food and the Amazon rare pink river dolphins are always present.
Most species can be spotted throughout the year and the company of a good guide you will be treated to an extravaganza of wildlife no matter the season!
Mosquitoes become more prevalent in the high-water season, especially on jungle trails, while the low water season typically sees fewer mosquitoes.
WHERE TO STAY
One of the best ways to experience the amazon is aboard a luxury cruise vessel. Aqua Expeditions offer industry-leading 1:1 guest to guide ratios, coupled with ultra modern and highly luxurious boats, which makes for a uniquely engaging and exclusive Amazon Jungle experience in Peru.
Land-based options include Cristalino Jungle Lodge in Brazil, Refugio Amazonas in Peru and Sacha Lodge in Ecuador but there are plenty of options beyond to suit a range of tastes and budgets. Read more about Expeditionary Cruising or luxury travel South America.
During the high water season (December to May) temperatures are lower and activities are largely boat-based, but there are more bugs about. During the low water season (June to November) you will spend more time on foot in higher temperatures. The wildlife experience is fabulous year-round, and the only real difference is the manner in which it is seen. Both seasons are utterly enchanting in their own right!
Contact us to start planning or visit our luxury travel South America page for inspiration!