Covering only 6% of the Earth’s surface, rainforests are the world’s oldest existing ecosystems and are home to over half of all plants and animals. Visiting a rainforest such as the Amazon is always a memorable and, for many people, a once in a lifetime experience. With a vast array of landscapes including mountain ranges, swamps, giant rivers and even coral reefs, it is not difficult to understand our fascination with these wild and often uninhabited places which offer exceptional opportunities for photography, outdoor pursuits, wildlife watching and fishing. However, visiting a rainforest is unlike most conventional holiday destinations so it is important to take note of some specific advice when navigating these remote parts of the world.
The easiest way to access the Amazon rainforest is to join a guided tour. These are available from various locations depending on which part of the rainforest you wish to visit so aim to fly into Iquitos, Cusco or Puerto Maldonado in Peru or Manaus in Brazil.
To find more information on obtaining some of the cheapest airlines flying to the rainforest region, visit http://www.cheapflights.co.uk
Clothing & Equipment
Conditions in the rainforest can be incredibly humid yet punctuated by heavy downpours so it is important to achieve the correct balance of lightweight and waterproof clothing. A breathable raincoat is essential as are sturdy, well-fitted walking boots (a spare pair to exchange when the first becomes soaked or mud-caked could be advantageous). Lightweight clothing, preferably cotton, which will cover the arms and legs, will help to prevent sunburn (as will high factor sun cream) and a hat also is a necessity. At elevated levels it can become cooler so appropriate clothing to keep you warm should be included.
A camera with spare memory card, simple first aid kit, hand sanitizer and mosquito net are among the most important items of equipment; consult http://www.ladatco.com/rf-bsc.htm provides a comprehensive list).
While the rainforest regions are fairly safe in comparison with many cities in developing nations, economic output tends to be on the lower side and consequently there is little need to carry large amounts of cash as you travel through the area. However, ensure that you have sufficient local currency with you for essentials as, beyond the major cities, credit cards are not widely accepted.
While the cost of many commodities may appear to be on the cheap side in comparison with UK prices, it is not unknown for foreign nationals to be charged unreasonably so be prepared to haggle for a competitive price when paying for goods or services.
It is likely that in the rainforest you will observe a variety of unusual or even rare plants, seeds and animals but these must be left in situ. Law enforcement agencies are acutely aware of the illegal trade in specimens from the rainforest and checks are stringent and thorough. Record your precious memories with your camera, not with real examples stuffed into your bag.
The Amazon rainforest is a destination unparalleled on Earth but its environment can, by comparison, be a little hostile. For this reason adequate preparation is a must to ensure that your trip is memorable for all the right reasons. For a useful list of travel tips from Amazon Rainforest locals visit http://www.amazon-rainforest.org/tips-from-locals.html.