Amazon Rainforest | Lizard hiding in green
Amazon Rainforest | Lizard hiding in green

What to expect on your Amazon River Cruise?

Planning to take an Amazon river cruise? While it’s one of the most awe-inspiring experiences you could have, there are many things that you have to prepare for. You would be surprised by the number of things that could catch you off guard if this is your first time taking the trip.

For example, you’ll end up with a horrible burn and bug bites if you don’t dress appropriately, bring sunscreen, and pack insect repellent. Keep reading to find out what the expeditions and meals will be like so you can figure out what to pack with you when you go on your Amazon river cruise.

1. Expeditions

Even though you’re technically taking a cruise you’ll spend more time off the boat than on. You’ll spend a majority of your time on either skiff boats or on land with your guide exploring nature. To this end, there are a few physical requirements that you’ll need to have in case you book a trip that’s land heavy.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a gym rat to be prepared for the trip. You just need to be able to walk 1-2 miles in humid weather and have a little bit of balance to not fall out of the skiff boats.

When you get on the skiff boat you’ll be separated into a group. Each boat can only hold about thirty people so you don’t have to worry about not being able to see due to being surrounded by heads and bodies.

2. Your Mornings

The way your mornings will go all depends on the company you’re cruising with. There are sometimes when you’ll go out and meet your guide first thing on the skiff boats and have breakfast while you’re out. This allows you to spend more of your day out exploring.

Other times, you’ll eat your breakfast on the riverboat either by having a hefty spread out in front of you or you’ll have snacks and coffee while you watch the birds fly by.

3. What You Should Wear

Amazon river cruises are hot, and so it can be tempting to wear short sleeves and shorts. You should fight this temptation because if you don’t you will end up with an awful sunburn.

Ditch this typical summer wear for breathable shirts and pants that completely cover your body. Bringing a hat to wear also won’t hurt and will protect your face and head from the sun.

While you’ll have a comfortable breeze to keep you cool on the skiff boats, things will get a little hot when you’re on foot. Don’t worry though, tour guides are usually prepared for this with cold towels.

Keep in mind that you should also invest in a decent pair of shoes to take with you. They need to be non-slip because it’s easy to fall and hurt yourself.

4. Lunch

After spending the entire morning on the river or walking through a safari with your guide, you’re not just going to be hungry, you’ll be exhausted. You’ll welcome the chance to go back to the air-conditioned boat to chill out with a delicious lunch spread.

After lunch, the next excursions usually take place later on in the afternoon so you should take the opportunity to take a nap that way you’ll be able to enjoy it.

5. Afternoon Safaris

There is a ton of active wildlife going on right at sunset. You’ll get the chance to see species that you didn’t get to see when you were on your morning excursion. You’ll also be able to spot some of the locals out on the river.

The sunsets that occur in the Amazon are some of the most beautiful that you’ll ever see. Storm clouds typically form during this time which makes the view even more breathtaking.

7. Dinner and Evening Cocktails

When the afternoon excursions are over you’ll head back to the boat for dinner. Like with lunch there will be no end to the choices so you’ll have a happy stomach by the end of the night.

You’ll also get the chance to wind down at the end of the night with cocktails and entertainment. You’ll be surrounded by talented musicians as you mingle and get to know your fellow cruisers.

8. Gear to Pack

You’ll need the basics so sunscreen, insect repellent, and a bottle with water in it. This will keep the insects off, give you an extra layer of protection from the sun, and keep you hydrated in the heat. There are also a few unexpected things that you’ll need.

Some cruises offer a set of binoculars to take with you on excursions but just in case they don’t you may want to bring your own set so you can get a better look at say, species of wild birds. You may also want to bring a hand fan with you. Again, some cruises provide these, but it doesn’t hurt to bring your own to keep you cool.

Know What to Expect When You Sign Up for an Amazon River Cruise

Taking an Amazon river cruise can be one of the most breathtaking experiences you’ll ever have but it can turn a little sour if you aren’t prepared for what you’re getting yourself into. Use these guidelines to get ready for your trip.

Are you ready to book your Amazon river cruise? Contact us and we’ll get you set up.

Is an expert in everything South America, his passion for the region and exploring off the beaten path makes his travel writing both useful and interesting. He has written for several mainstream publications and you can read his guides on Ecuador, Peru, the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. Andre is also an accomplished photographer and has been recognized as one of the best wildlife photographers in the region, his photos have been featured in National Geographic and other journals. As a travel agent Andre specializes in curating unique experiences, crafting tailor made itineraries and helping visitors make the best of their vacation, always putting the experience first

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