Have questions? We're here.
Canoeing on the Amazon

10 Unforgettable Amazon Rainforest Activities

Talk with an expert
Build your ideal Amazon trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip

Best Things to Do in the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest is an extraordinary destination that appeals to adventurers, nature enthusiasts, families, and anyone seeking a profound connection with the natural world. The world's largest tropical rainforest, the Amazon is a place of unparalleled biodiversity, offering a multitude of captivating activities and attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. Let's explore the best things to do and see in this remarkable natural wonder.

Explore the Canopy Walkways

Spot wildlife from the hanging bridge
Spot wildlife from the hanging bridge

Walking through the treetops of the Amazon Rainforest offers a unique perspective on this lush ecosystem. canopy walkways provide an exhilarating experience, allowing visitors to observe diverse bird species, monkeys, and other wildlife from above. These elevated walkways often lead to stunning observation platforms, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the forest canopy and the wildlife that inhabits it.

Who it appeals to: adventurers and nature lovers seeking an up-close encounter with the rainforest's rich biodiversity will find the canopy walkways both thrilling and educational. families with older children can also enjoy this activity and create unforgettable memories together.
Insider Tips: To fully appreciate the abundance of wildlife, it's best to embark on these walks in the early morning hours when animals are most active. Additionally, hiring a knowledgeable guide will enhance the experience by providing insightful commentary on the flora and fauna.
Practicalities: canopy walkways are typically open during daylight hours. It's advisable to wear comfortable clothing and sturdy, closed-toe shoes suitable for walking. Visitors should also be prepared for the varying heights and lengths of the walkways, as well as the possibility of encountering some physical exertion.

Wildlife Watching and Birding

Toucan relaxing in the tree
Toucan relaxing in the tree

The Amazon Rainforest is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers, offering unparalleled opportunities for spotting unique and diverse species. Guided expeditions through the rainforest present the chance to observe iconic animals like jaguars, sloths, pink river dolphins, and countless bird species in their natural habitat. The Amazon's incredible biodiversity ensures that every wildlife-watching adventure is an unforgettable experience.

Who it appeals to: nature enthusiasts, wildlife photographers, and anyone with a passion for encountering extraordinary wildlife will be drawn to the Amazon as a premier destination for wildlife watching and birding.
Insider Tips: Experienced local guides possess intimate knowledge of the rainforest's secret spots, making guided tours essential for witnessing the most elusive creatures. Patience is key, as wildlife sightings can be unpredictable, and remaining still and silent increases the likelihood of close encounters.
Practicalities: Wildlife excursions are typically best enjoyed during the early morning and late afternoon when animal activity peaks. Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars and cameras with zoom lenses to capture wildlife moments without disturbing the animals.

Indigenous Community Visits

Meet the Indigenous people of Ecuador
Meet the Indigenous people of Ecuador

Exploring the Amazon Rainforest provides the opportunity to engage with indigenous communities that have inhabited these landscapes for centuries. Visiting these communities offers an immersive cultural experience, providing insights into traditional customs, local knowledge of the rainforest, and the chance to participate in communal activities such as craft-making, traditional dance, and storytelling.

Who it appeals to: Travelers interested in cultural exchange, anthropology, and sustainable tourism will find immense value in visiting indigenous communities. families with children can also benefit from the educational and eye-opening experiences that these visits offer.
Insider Tips: When visiting indigenous communities, it's crucial to show respect for local customs and traditions. Learning a few words or phrases in the local language and purchasing crafts directly from artisans are meaningful ways to support the community.
Practicalities: Visitors should arrange community visits through reputable tour operators like Adventure Life to ensure responsible and ethical interactions. It's essential to be mindful of cultural sensitivities and be open to learning from the knowledge and traditions of the local community.

Piranha Fishing

Fishing for Piranha
Fishing for Piranha

Embarking on a piranha fishing excursion provides a thrilling opportunity to engage in a favorite local pastime while learning about the fascinating diversity of fish species in the Amazon's waterways. This activity offers a chance to catch and release these iconic, sharp-toothed fish under the guidance of experienced local fisherfolk, contributing to an unforgettable and educational adventure.

Who it appeals to: Anglers, outdoor enthusiasts, and families looking for a unique and memorable rainforest experience will revel in the excitement of piranha fishing. It's suitable for children who are comfortable around water and have some basic fishing skills.
Insider Tips: Opt for catch-and-release fishing practices to minimize the impact on local fish populations and maintain the ecological balance of the river systems. local guides can share tips on baiting and hooking piranhas while ensuring safe and responsible interactions with these fascinating creatures.
Practicalities: Piranha fishing excursions are typically best enjoyed in the early morning or late afternoon, coinciding with peak fish activity. Visitors should be adequately equipped with fishing gear, and it's recommended to select tours that provide instruction, equipment, and follow sustainable fishing practices.

Spotting Pink River Dolphins

Pink River Dolphins
Pink River Dolphins

The Amazon River and its tributaries teem with life, including the enchanting pink river dolphins. Guided boat excursions offer the chance to witness these graceful creatures in their natural habitat and learn about their unique behaviors and cultural significance to the indigenous communities living along the riverbanks.

Who it appeals to: Nature lovers, animal enthusiasts, and families seeking a magical wildlife encounter will find joy in observing and learning about the pink river dolphins. It's also an ideal activity for photographers seeking to capture stunning images of these iconic yet very rare and shy aquatic mammals.
Insider Tips: Be attentive to the guidance of experienced boat captains and guides, as they are adept at locating the best spots for dolphin sightings. Respect the dolphins' space and avoid any behaviors that could disrupt or stress them.
Practicalities: Boat tours aimed at spotting pink river dolphins are usually offered in the morning or late afternoon when dolphins gather to feed. It's advisable to wear comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing and apply sunscreen and insect repellent for a pleasant and protected experience. An excellent place to to search for Pink River Dolphins is the Ecuadorian Amazon on a river cruise.

Nighttime Jungle Walks

Holding a wild tarantula found during a guided night hike
Holding a wild tarantula found during a guided night hike

Exploring the Amazon Rainforest under the cover of darkness unveils a world of nocturnal creatures and fascinating behaviors that are seldom seen during daylight hours. Guided nighttime jungle walks provide a chance to encounter mesmerizing bioluminescent insects, nocturnal mammals, and the symphony of nighttime sounds that emanate from the forest.

Who it appeals to: Adventurous spirits, wildlife enthusiasts, and travelers seeking a deeper understanding of the rainforest's diverse ecosystems will find nighttime jungle walks to be a captivating and immersive experience.
Insider Tips: Wear lightweight, long-sleeved clothing and use insect repellent to protect against biting insects commonly active during the night. Use a dim, non-intrusive flashlight to observe creatures without disturbing their natural behaviors, and remain attentive to the guidance of knowledgeable guides.
Practicalities: nighttime jungle walks are typically conducted in small groups with experienced guides for safety and educational purposes. Visitors are encouraged to respect the rainforest's tranquility and minimize noise to increase the likelihood of wildlife sightings.

River Canoeing and Kayaking

Soak in the Amazon from your night-time canoe explorations
Soak in the Amazon from your night-time canoe explorations

Immersing oneself in the Amazon's intricate waterways through canoeing and kayaking expeditions offers a profound connection with the rainforest's aquatic ecosystems and a tranquil experience in nature. Navigating through narrow tributaries and lagoons, travelers have the opportunity to observe wildlife, explore hidden corners of the rainforest, and appreciate the serene beauty of the waterways.

Who it appeals to: adventurers, nature enthusiasts, and families with older children seeking an active and immersive rainforest experience will appreciate the exploration and tranquility that river canoeing and kayaking provide.
Insider Tips: Choose tours that prioritize safety, provide equipment, and offer guidance on paddling techniques to ensure a rewarding and secure experience. Early morning and late afternoon excursions are ideal for wildlife sightings and calm water conditions.
Practicalities: Visitors participating in river canoeing and kayaking should be prepared to wear appropriate water gear, including life jackets and waterproof apparel. It's advisable to secure belongings in waterproof containers or bags and maintain respect for the natural environment throughout the journey.

Traditional Indigenous Medicine Walks

Beautiful flowering plant
Beautiful flowering plant
 led by knowledgeable indigenous guides offer insight into the traditional medicinal plants and healing practices that have been integral to the indigenous communities of the Amazon Rainforest for centuries. These walks provide a captivating educational experience, highlighting the profound knowledge and respect for the forest's medicinal resources that have sustained these cultures for generations.

Who it appeals to: Visitors interested in ethnobotany, holistic wellness, and cultural exchange will cherish the opportunity to learn about the traditional medicine and healing practices of the Amazon's indigenous communities.
Insider Tips: Show appreciation for the wealth of knowledge shared by the indigenous guides and respect the significance and uses of the medicinal plants. It's essential to approach this experience with openness and reverence for traditional healing wisdom.
Practicalities: Traditional indigenous medicine walks and hikes are typically conducted in small groups, ensuring meaningful interactions and educational value. Visitors should be prepared for moderate walking and maintain a respectful demeanor during the walk.

Discovering Indigenous Artisan Crafts

Interact with the indigenous people of the Amazon
Interact with the indigenous people of the Amazon

Exploring the intricate and vibrant artisan crafts created by indigenous communities in the Amazon Rainforest offers a window into the cultural heritage and artistic expressions of these diverse cultures. Visitors have the opportunity to observe the craftsmanship of intricate textiles, jewelry, pottery, and other traditional crafts, and often can purchase directly from the artisans, directly supporting their communities.

Who it appeals to: Cultural enthusiasts, souvenir collectors, and those seeking authentic, ethically sourced mementos will value the opportunity to engage with and support indigenous artisans through the acquisition of their traditional crafts.
Insider Tips: Engage with the artisans to learn about the cultural significance and techniques behind the crafts, and express gratitude for the opportunity to support the preservation of traditional art forms. Purchasing crafts directly from the artisans ensures fair compensation and contributes to the continuation of their cultural heritage.
Practicalities: Indigenous artisan craft markets are often found in or near communities and accessible through guided tours. Visitors should exercise cultural sensitivity and conscientious purchasing practices, ensuring that their acquisitions align with fair trade and ethical sourcing principles. Do not purchase products made from wildlife, including feathers. See our list of top Amazon Local Market trips.

Sustainable Rainforest Stays

Canoe to your Amazon lodge
Canoe to your Amazon lodge

Embracing the unique opportunity to stay in eco-friendly lodges or community-based accommodations within the Amazon Rainforest allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the rhythms of the jungle. These sustainable stays are designed to minimize environmental impact while providing comfort, authentic experiences, and the chance to participate in conservation efforts and community engagement projects.

Who it appeals to: Eco-conscious travelers, nature lovers, and those seeking an in-depth rainforest experience will appreciate the sustainable accommodations and the opportunity to support ethical, community-driven initiatives.
Insider Tips: Embrace the spirit of eco-friendly living by participating in lodge-organized conservation activities, respecting the local flora and fauna, and learning about sustainable practices from the lodge staff and community members.
Practicalities: Sustainable rainforest stays require a degree of adaptability to rustic living conditions and a willingness to participate in communal activities that promote environmental conservation. Visitors should be open to the opportunity to contribute positively to the local community and ecosystem.

Seasonal Considerations and Packing Tips

When planning a visit to the Amazon Rainforest, it's crucial to consider the prevalent climate and ecological conditions during specific times of the year. Rainforest explorations can be impacted by seasonal variations in weather, river levels, and wildlife activity. Additionally, packing essentials such as appropriate clothing, insect repellent, and other items tailored to the rainforest environment are essential for a comfortable and prepared journey. All visitors planning a trip to the Amazon Rainforest will benefit from understanding the seasonal dynamics and equipping themselves with the necessary items for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Research the specific region within the Amazon you plan to visit to understand the local microclimates and how they may influence your activities and packing needs. Consider packing lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking clothing suitable for rainforest conditions. Insect repellent and high SPF sunscreen are essential items.
Visitors should consult with reputable tour operators and lodge staff to obtain accurate and up-to-date information on current weather conditions, expected wildlife sightings, and any additional packing recommendations specific to the time of their visit.

Let's Go! Now that you've discovered the incredible array of activities awaiting you in the Amazon Rainforest, it's time to plan your unforgettable journey with Adventure Life. As an expert tour operator specializing in immersive and sustainable travel experiences, Adventure Life can match you with the perfect Amazon Rainforest trip and customize it to make it your own. Embrace the wonder of the Amazon, knowing that on the ground, you will be accompanied by local guides fluent in English, ensuring a seamless, once-in-a-lifetime travel experience every trip. Get in touch with Adventure Life and start your adventure today!

Discover the abundant wildlife of the Amazon during your daily excursions
Discover the abundant wildlife of the Amazon during your daily excursions

Want to Go?

Amazon Travel Guide

Favorite Amazon All Trips

Top Amazon Travel Destinations

Amazon Trips by Departure Date

Top Experiences in Amazon

Amazon Trips by Duration

Amazon Trips by Activity

More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By