September 13, 2012
A little-known fact about the Peruvian Amazon is that the landscape and terrain varies quite significantly according to location and time of year. The northern Amazon near Iquitos is largely water with very little dry land, whereas further south at higher elevations terra firma is much more widespread, especially during the dry season.
Choosing the Best Time to Visit the Amazon Rainforest
In Manu National Park, it is more common to travel during the dry season between May and September when water and river levels are lower and there is more dry land for hiking and nature spotting. The dry season in the Amazon conveniently coincides with the dry season of the Andes Mountains making this a great destination before or after a trip to visit Machu Picchu.
Although this time of year receives the least amount of rain, you can still expect rainfall year round and it’s common to have heavy rain even during the dry season. Many people also automatically assume the Amazon is always hot and humid. Temperatures can be above 30 degrees Celsius during the day and it´s often much cooler at night.
During the dry season, it’s common for winds to descend from the Andes, bringing in cold fronts where temperatures can drop to as low as 15 degrees Celsius, sometimes lower. It’s always important bring a light jacket or a sweater, especially if your itinerary will include transportation on a motorized canoe where the wind can make you feel much cooler.
For birdwatchers, the dry season is an especially good time to travel if you are interested in visiting the various clay licks. The more dry the clay licks are the better your chances in viewing large numbers of various macaws, toucans and parrots feeding. This is a true highlight for anyone serious about birding in the Amazon.
It’s still possible to visit the Manu National Park in the rainier months from November to March. One of the biggest advantages of travelling during the rainy high water season is that all of the rivers and tributaries are navigable making it a great time to explore by canoe or boat.
With the rainy season brings more insects into the Amazon, however, most people who visit are usually surprised at the smaller then expected amount of mosquitos during rainy and dry seasons. As long as you pack a good rain jacket, the right clothing and some good repellent, there should be nothing to stop you from travelling at this time and enjoying everything the Amazon has to offer.
Although the dry season from May to September attracts more visitors to the Amazon Jungle, it’s certainly not the only time travellers can visit. Travellers are accommodated year round in most areas and there are different wildlife viewing opportunities at different times of year. For more details on when to plan a Manu tour, or for more information on our Manu lodge, please get in touch with us today.