Let’s start with…both are incredible!
Having cleared up the top 5 Peruvian Amazon traveler delusions in our previous blog post, you may be thinking about planning you next vacation to the Amazon. The vision many travelers have of the Amazon is that it is only possible to do so in in Brazil.
Amazingly, the whole Amazon Rainforest covers 2.5 million square miles spreading into Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela!
Although 60% of this gigantic natural haven is within Brazil, 17% is found in Peru and both destinations provide you with a completely different Amazon experience. There is however no doubting that whichever part of the Amazon rainforest you visit you will have an amazing time exploring this unique ecosystem and its diverse nature.
Ease and Accessibility
One of the main differences between visiting the Amazon in Peru and Brazil is the distances you will need to travel in order to reach them.
Due to the sheer size of Brazil, Manaus is over 1000 miles inland and is over a 4 hour flight from Rio de Janeiro.
This means that if you plan to visit the Amazon during your vacation in Brazil you will need to set apart more travel time in order to reach Manaus and the gateway to the Brazilian Amazon. One way in which you can combat this is by flying via Miami from the US and Canada to Manaus and making this part of your journey to Brazil. Alternatively, the Peruvian Amazon, located in Southern Peru, is easily accessible from both Lima (1hr 40mins flight) and Cusco (1hr flight) allowing you to fit it in to your travel itinerary as you visit Machu Picchu and the Amazon in successive days or arriving at Lima’s International airport!
Near or Far: Both Are Worth The Journey
Located 1768 miles from the golden beaches of Rio de Janeiro, flights to Manaus aren’t expensive in monetary terms but if you have a short period of time in Brazil, it is better to start off in Manaus if you plan to visit the Brazilian Amazon. Once you arrive in the Brazilian Amazon, the experiences and vacation you will have are unforgettable and are well worth the journey! You can have an equally as spectacular vacation in the less explored Amazon in Peru without having to spend a lot of your time traveling there.
Just 193 miles from Cusco is the Amazon rainforest town of Puerto Maldonado and with regular internal flights to this area the flights are competitively priced and take no time at all!
Taking a flight from Cusco allows you to see the sunrise or sunset over Machu Picchu, before heading into the jungle and the chance to arrive, settle into your jungle lodge and perhaps go on a nighttime outing into the rainforest.
The Amazon in Peru
Although the Amazon in Peru is only 17% of the total area of the Amazon Rainforest, it actually covers over 50% of Peru and is one of the most diverse regions in the world. The Tambopata Reserve on the Madre de Dios river system near Puerto Maldonado has become increasingly popular with travelers seeking the Amazon experience in Peru. With its luxury jungle lodges, river otters, cock of the rock birds, colorful macaws and the incredible parrot clay lick of Tambopata; the Peruvian Amazon is a biosphere sanctuary!
Seeing the world’s largest clay-lick in Peru’s Amazon is a photographer’s dream with up to 1,000 vibrantly colored macaws and parrots flocking there for your enjoyment and amazement.
The sheer number and variety of highlights in Peru such as Machu Picchu, the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca means that the Amazon doesn’t make it onto every Peru traveler’s agenda. However with its narrower rivers than those found in Manaus and the variation in its scale, the whole Amazon experience in Peru feels different to the one you will have in Brazil.
The Brazilian Amazon
It can be said that Brazil offers the classic archetypal Amazon trip including a cruise to the unforgettable ‘Meeting of the Waters’ and of course incredible wildlife that can be seen.
There is no getting away from the fact that visiting the Brazilian Amazon does have certain advantages and sense of exclusivity.
A traditional Amazonian vacation in Brazil will repay you with stunning pink dolphins, flooded forests and giant water lilies as well as being able to say that you went to the largest section of the biggest rainforest in the world! It is worth keeping in mind that the epic size of Brazil means that Manaus and the Amazon is a long distance away from the other popular sights so make sure to start off your vacation in Manaus or ensure you have sufficient time. The Amazon is certainly a destination that you will not want to rush as there is so much to see, do and experience that you time as in any destination is especially precious! Whether you choose to go to the Amazon in Brazil or in Peru, we can assure you that will not be disappointed!