The Amazon River is the world’s second-longest river (after the Nile), but it is one of the most wondrous and exotic places on Earth. The river winds through the Brazilian rain forest, where it is a vital part of the natural ecosystem.
The best way to visit the Amazonian rain forest is by riverboat. There are many different trips of various lengths you can take. But to get the complete riverboat experience, the optimal length is probably three days. Any more than that, and there’s the chance that the scenery — while exotic — can become redundant.
Tips for Touring the Amazon by Riverboat
Here are some tips for making the most of your Amazonian riverboat experience:
1. Hammock Time — Many riverboats aren’t equipped with the kinds of staterooms found on luxury liners. Rather, guests can rent hammocks to sleep in during their journey. While costs vary, usually you will pay between R$15 to R$40 per night for hammock rental. In many cases, this includes a rope on which to hang your hammock and a sheet or sleep sack to keep you warm at night.
2. The Rain Forest Is Rainy — Keep your gear dry by wrapping it in a large plastic bag and tying it on top. This will help prevent moisture from infiltrating your personal belongings.
3. Triple Deckers — Most riverboat have three decks. The top deck is for viewing the scenery. The middle deck and lower decks are for hammocks. Stake out your hammock spot early because the prime spots can go fast. Avoid setting up your hammock near the latrine, which is smelly, or the buffet, which is crowded and noisy. If you need help setting up your hammock, there’s usually a helpful porter who will assist you in exchange for a R$2 or R$3 tip.
4. Protect Your Valuables — While theft isn’t as rampant on riverboats as it is in some urban areas, it’s always a smart idea to protect your valuables by locking your zippers and knotting all drawstrings.
Riverboats are one of the most pleasurable and exciting ways to view the Amazon rain forest. Follow these helpful tips to make the most of your experience.