How to Visit the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon River system, containing the Amazon and its tributaries, begins high in the Andes Mountains and travels through 6 countries on its 4,000 mile (6,440 km) journey into the Atlantic Ocean. The thick jungles that comprise most of the Amazon basin make up the largest rain forest in the world - nearly three-quarters the size of the United States. With diverse flora and fauna, the Amazon Rainforest offers excitement for nature lovers of all types. If you count yourself among them, you might want to experience the Amazon yourself. While those who only want to visit the river usually take a cruise, there are many options available for how to visit the Amazon Rainforest.


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    Obtain a passport and any relevant visas. Regardless of which type of Amazon rainforest adventure you choose, you will need a passport to be able to travel among the countries that make up the Amazon basin. Depending on your nationality and the destination country you wish to visit, you may also require a pre-arranged visa. Be sure to check with the relevant consulate or embassy in advance.
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    Get vaccinated. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccinations against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever for those whose vaccinations are not current.
    • Full vaccination against Hepatitis A requires 2 shots administered 6 months apart.
    • Hepatitis B vaccination is most important for those who may come into contact with the bodily fluids of a native. This vaccine requires an initial shot, with booster shots administered 1 and 6 months later.
    • Typhoid vaccination is usually accomplished by taking a series of 4 pills, 1 every other day, finishing at least 1 week prior to your trip.
    • Yellow fever vaccinations should be administered at least 10 days before beginning your trip.
    • Depending on where you live and where you plan to travel, you may need additional vaccinations before traveling to South America. Check with your government and health care provider about vaccinations you may need to stay safe in the Amazon rainforest.
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    Arrange transportation to South America. An Amazon rainforest adventure can begin in any of the 6 countries that are included in the Amazon River basin. Unless you arrange for a full-service tour, you'll need to get to South America to begin your visit.
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    Choose an Amazon jungle tour. You have many different options for visiting an Amazon Rainforest.
    • Take a full service tour. Full service tours include food, travel and lodging. Some offer mix and match jungle expeditions and cruises, with activities such as canoe trips and Cayman (South American alligator) spotting trips planned during the tour.
    • Stay in an adventure camp. In a camp, you might stay in the same place for your entire Amazon Jungle tour. Activities in camps range from day hikes, to overnight trips, to day trips onto the river or tributaries.
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    Take an Amazon River cruise. An Amazon River cruise allows you to visit many different jungle locations. They can be fairly rustic aboard a paddle boat or a luxurious cruise like you might take to a tropical island. Most Amazon River cruises offer expeditions into the jungle, along with opportunities to see Amazon River animals, such as dolphins, piranhas, caymans, howler monkeys and toucans. Because you are on a cruise, you can also expect high-quality service and great food.

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Categories: South America