The Amazon Basin comprises some 40 per cent of South America and not surprisingly, this unique natural resource is one of the continent's most popular tourist attractions. The region's fragile ecology and unique natural environment is the basis for a number of eco-tours which aim to both explore and conserve this unforgettable rainforest wilderness. From the mouth of the mighty Amazon River in Brazil to rainforest canopies in Ecuador and the dense jungles of Peru, the brooding Amazon remains one of the great natural wonders of the world.
Most Amazonian eco tours depart from Manaus – capital of the state of Amazonas in northern Brazil. Around 100 kilometres up-river on the south bank of the Amazon lies the popular Juma Amazon Lodge, from which environmentally sustainable excursions depart every day. Explore the Amazon's unique wildlife on a jungle hike, indulge in a spot of bird watching on a guided sunrise tour or try your hand at catching a fearsome Amazonian piranha. At the nearby Amazon Eco Lodge some 20 kilometres downstream, you can even take out a canoe to explore the river on your own.
Yasuni's untouched wildnerness
Only a fraction of the Amazon Basin lies within Ecuador's national boundaries, however the small portion which nestles against the Colombian and Peruvian borders is a region of stunning bio-diversity. So remote are sections of the Yasuni National Park that uncontacted indigenous tribes still reside in the area, and this pristine wilderness is home to a staggering array of plant and wildlife. Take a tour of the Yasuni and stay in an eco-lodge deep inside the heart of this protected Biosphere Reserve, with chartered flights over the area offering unparalleled views of the dense jungle below.
The Peruvian Amazon
Next to Brazil, Peru is home to the largest stretch of Amazonian rainforest in South America. As such, it's an ideal place to come face to face with some of the unique wildlife which makes the rainforest its home. Peru houses the largest number of bird species anywhere in the world – many of which are native to the Peruvian Amazon – and you can view a dizzying array of these majestic creatures on an ecotour of the region. Jungle homestays help immerse you in your surroundings and contribute financially to the on-going conservation of this important wilderness.