Seasons

Understanding the seasons in the Amazon

 

What is the best season to visit the Amazon?

This is a common question we get from most people that are visiting the lodge for their first time. The simple answer to this question is ANYTIME. There is no time that is better for visiting the jungle than any other. There is a wet season and a dry season. Each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, but one is not better than the other.

Seasons

The wet/dry season differs within the Amazon basin depending how far south/north, east/west you are. In the upper Amazon basin around Iquitos, Peru, we have a bell curve of water level in the Amazon River by Iquitos (see graph), which peaks the end of April. Water level is determined by melting snow and glaciers in the Andes Mountains, especially from the huge glacial mass in central Peru known as the Cordillera Blanca.

The hottest time of year is when the sun is directly overhead upon its return from the Tropic of Capricorn, which is near the first of March. The water from the snowmelt takes some time to flood the Amazon basin around Iquitos, so we start to see the seasonal flooding of the lower ecosystems of the Amazon forest in late March, reaching its peak of flooding by late April.

As the seasonal flood spreads through the forest, the probability of rain increases due to evaporation/condensation. In April and May, we may have 65% chance of rain at some point during the day (usually late afternoon), while in September and October the daily probability of precipitation falls to about 35% (usually late afternoon storm).

Effect on our trips

  • Due to Andean summers becoming longer and hotter, we have had seasonal floods exceed the average water level in each of the past 15 years, with two devastating floods in 2012 and 2015, which impacted native communities, regional agriculture and even flooded homes and businesses in Iquitos city.

 

  • Only once have we had issues conducting tours during the flood season. In 2012 the main lodge was flooded, and we built a temporary lodge for our guests in high forest. After having some parts of the main lodge flooded again in 2015 we re-built the main lodge much higher, to withstand any conceivable flood. The research center lodge is on higher ground, but it was also flooded in 2012 and 2015, although it was closed only for a few days. Throughout the bad flood years, we have always been open and operated tours throughout, while the other 90% of lodge operators in Iquitos shut down.

 

  • Dry conditions in August-November can also occasionally have impact if the level of water in the rivers get too low. If the rivers get too low, it takes longer to get to the main lodge and can be a laborious process to get to the remote research center lodge. On a few occasions we came close to temporarily closing the research center but that has not yet happened.
El Chino village wet vs dry season

Differences between wet & dry seasons

During the high-water season, we have more boating and canoeing excursions, and during the peak of most flood years only terra firme ecosystem is good for hiking. During the peak of the dry season some species, such as pink dolphins, migrate out of the Tahuayo River and excursions by boat and canoe are more limited, however, hiking opportunities are improved.

To see regular updates on water levels in our area please follow our Facebook posts.

https://www.facebook.com/amazonia.expeditions/

Tahuayo Lodge wet vs dry season

Reservation is made with a deposit of $250.

3% service charge may be added

All Amazon land trip purchases are 75% refundable up to 40 days before trip departure

capped-heron-near-tahuayo-lodge

We recommend the purchase of travel insurance.

Travel protection should be purchased to cover most penalty costs in the event you need to cancel or change your travel plans.  It also can provide medical and emergency assistance protection.  Amazonia Expeditions does not assume responsibility for problems or losses arising from the operation of flights such as cancellations, delays or lost luggage. If you do not take the recommended flight and arrive late you may have to pay for a chartered private boat to the lodge. For protection against problems with airlines or other problems such as illness or political or natural disasters beyond control of the tour operator we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.

   

The trip was wonderful! We enjoyed every bit of our stay and tour in Amazonas.

Just wanted to say what an amazing experience staying at the lodge was, I only wish I had stayed longer… I hope I can come back again soon.

It was incredible and a trip of a lifetime Paul! My sister Paula and I had an amazing time and loved everything — your facilities and staff are top notch and I want to come back with my husband and daughters!!