Conditions along the Amazon River in Peru divide into two seasons: a high water season from December through May and a low water season that lasts from June until November. Cruising the Amazon in either season promises rich rewards with breathtaking opportunities to view and photograph magnificent plant and animal life unlike anywhere else on earth.

Weather in this region of the Amazon remains generally warm with some rainfall even during low water season. In fact, despite being the “rainy” season, during the high water months, the Amazon only gets about 10% more rain than in the low water season. So, as you choose the time of your Aqua Expeditions cruise on the Amazon River (in either season), we suggest you consider the following three key points:

1. Some rain will fall in whichever season you choose. This is the Amazon Rainforest.

2. You will see spectacular Amazon wildlife, birds and plant life any time of year on the Amazon.

3. In either season, you will definitely see the Amazon River’s rare pink dolphins.

PINK DOLPHINThe Amazon basin is as lush and green as it is because it gets an abundance of rain — 3.6 meters, or 12 feet, a year on average. In a typical year, the Amazon River rainforest experiences 200 rainy days, which means that there will be days of rain even in the low water season. However it rarely rains all day. Rain most often falls in passing cloudbursts, which allow Aqua Expeditions to coordinate our excursions accordingly. When it does rain, we provide sturdy ponchos to ensure our guests stay extremely comfortable so they can focus on the astonishing Amazon jungle scenery.

High Water Season on the Amazon: December Through May

Peru’s rainy season runs from December through May, which is summer and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. This is our relatively cooler and wetter season when the Amazon region receives more than half (60%) of its total annual rainfall. During the high water season, the average temperature is 86°F (30°C), only 12°F (7°C) cooler than in the average low water season.

Benefits of visiting Peru’s Amazon at this time of year include the dramatic high water panorama. The Amazon Basin’s rivers and streams rise about 23 feet (7 meters) higher than during the low water season. Aside from the striking visual affect, this also means that every river, creek and lake is navigable. Thus, Aqua Expeditions tenders are able to cruise further along the wildlife-rich waterways of Amazonia and bring our guests up close to more plants and Amazon animals than during the low water season. Flooded waterways carry us significantly deeper by water into the Amazon jungle canopy, where our kaleidoscope of Amazon birds flutter about. Although the odds of sighting wildlife do not change significantly between the two seasons, you are likely to see more of some Amazon wildlife favorites such as monkeys, turtles and caimans during the high water months.

FLYING BIRD 3Enhanced navigation by water has a flip side – areas to walk and trek become less accessible at this time of year. When we do find usable hiking trails, so will the mosquitoes that are more prevalent now than during the low water season. Fishing in the Amazon River is actually more limited during these high water months too, but you still have close to a 50:50 chance to reel in a memorable catch.

Low Water Season on the Amazon: June through November

Low water season in Amazonia coincides with our winter in the Southern Hemisphere, from June to November. This is the warmer season on the Amazon River, with temperature averaging about 98°F (37°C). Despite its name, the low water season still exhibits some heavy rains.

A key difference between visiting Peru in low season vs. high water season is we can now access the jungle trails that get flooded from December to May, allowing our small groups to follow Aqua Expeditions naturalists and local Amazonia guides deeper into the jungle by foot, and accompanied by fewer mosquitoes than during the high water season.

Our guests also tend to spot an even greater abundance of migratory birds in flight during the low water season. However, the trade-off at this time of year is that water levels on the Amazon River and its tributaries drop much lower from June to November, which means that many of the creeks and lakes that we visit by tender during the rainy season are now inaccessible. Lower water levels, do offer a bonus: good fishing is 100% guaranteed, you even stand a fair chance to catch a piranha.

PIRANHA

The Bottom Line:The Best Times to Visit Peru’s Amazon

If seeing our glorious Amazon rainforest at its lushest and getting up close to lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying slightly cooler temperatures) sounds most attractive, then December to May might be your best choice.

If jungle hikes and spotting exotic migratory birds perched on trees between flights across Amazonia appeals most to you, while still having the chance to see capuchin monkeys, kinkajou, and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions, you might be happier choosing the warmer, low water season.

Our guests are awed by the Amazon at whatever time of year they visit  (as are we) and regardless of whether they choose a cruise on the Aqua Amazon or a cruise on the Aria Amazon. Perhaps the best solution is to choose one season this year…and the other in the future!

 Best Times To Visit Peru And The Amazon
Peru & The Amazon

Peru & The Amazon

In 2007, Aqua Expeditions established itself as a global leader in small ship luxury cruising by bringing international luxury and local knowledge to the previously little explored Peruvian stretch of the Amazon River with the...

About The Amazon River In Peru

About The Amazon River In Peru

The Amazon River originates in streams that run through the Andes Mountains then flows mightily across South America through Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Considered the longest river...

Pacaya Samiria Reserve

Pacaya Samiria Reserve

Located deep within the Amazon rainforest and accessible only by water, the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, also known as the “Mirrored Forest”, offers one of Peru’s most fertile havens for sighting Amazon mammals, birds and...

 Best Times To Visit Peru And The Amazon

Best Times To Visit Peru And The Amazon

Conditions along the Amazon River in Peru divide into two seasons: a high water season from December through May and a low water season that lasts from June until November. Cruising the Amazon in...

Visit Machu Picchu And The Sacred Valley In Peru

Visit Machu Picchu And The Sacred Valley In Peru

Machu Picchu, the fabled “Lost City of the Inca,” (and Quechua for “old mountain”) is a true masterpiece of the Inca civilization. Machu Picchu, built around 1450, lies 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of...

Amazon Animals & Wildlife

Amazon Animals & Wildlife

The Amazon animals and wildlife you experience while traveling with us both on board our cruiseships and on skiff excursions couldn’t be more diverse and fascinating. Scarlet Macaw, Ringed Kingfisher, Orange-backed Troupial, Yellow-headed Caracara,...

Map  - Peru & the Amazon River

Map – Peru & the Amazon River

Aqua Expeditions luxury cruises on the Amazon River begin in Iquitos, Peru considered the birthplace of the Amazon River, and transport guests in exceptional comfort deep into the Amazon rainforest and Pacaya Samiria Reserve....

Visit Cusco (Cuzco) In Peru

Visit Cusco (Cuzco) In Peru

At 3,400 meters (11,150 feet) above sea level, Cusco (Cuzco), the onetime southern capital of the Incas, today offers visually stunning opportunities to observe how native traditions in Peru intersect with Spanish colonial heritage....

Visit Lake Titicaca In Peru

Visit Lake Titicaca In Peru

According to Inca legend, Sun God Inti ordered his children Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo to rise from the waters of Lake Titicaca in Peru and establish the Inca civilization. Today Lake Titicaca is...

Visit Arequipa And The Colca River Canyon

Visit Arequipa And The Colca River Canyon

At 3,233 meters (10,607 feet) deep, the Colca River Canyon slices through the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Peru for more than 100 kilometers, running twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in...

Visit Lima Peru

Visit Lima Peru

Peru’s capital and international gateway city, Lima makes a convenient and fascinating complement to Aqua Expeditions luxury cruise on the Amazon River.  Lima stretches for miles along South America’s Pacific coast and while at...

Peru Bird List

Peru Bird List

A visit to the Amazon region in Peru is an unparalleled opportunity to see birds you will never see anywhere else. On every Amazon cruise, each of our guests receives a complementary copy of...

Amazon Wildlife Lists

Amazon Wildlife Lists

Cruising the Amazon River on board the Aria or the Aqua Amazon takes our guests on a nature tour of unimaginable richness. The diversity of mammals living in the Amazon’s rainforest accompany us as...

Visit the Nazca Lines

Visit the Nazca Lines

In the arid Peruvian coastal plain, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of Lima, living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings as well as geometric figures several kilometers long were scratched into the dry...

Take a Virtual Tour

Take a Virtual Tour

Learn the secrets of Amazonia, her wildlife, birds, cultural traditions and ecosystems as you travel on board the Aqua Amazon or the Aria Amazon. Begin your journey...