Who would think the Brazilian Amazon is a family friendly destination? But it is, indeed, filled with attractions and activities for younger visitors, and there’s no need to let commonly-held preconceptions about the region deter you from planning a family trip to the jungle. Fears about uncomfortable accommodation, a sticky climate, swarms of mosquitoes and biting creatures rarely match the reality – it’s just a matter of knowing where to go and where to avoid.
The Amazon offers plenty for kids to get excited about at any time of year. Canoeing through the flooded jungle is a highlight of the rainy season, while in dry season virgin beaches spring up alongside the clear, calm rivers, and swimming opportunities abound.
Children will get to see how Amazon communities live in the jungle, and while visitors are unlikely to spot dangerous wild animals, they’ll have a good chance of sighting countless colourful tropical birds and butterflies.
Fishing and paddling in dugout canoes are popular activities for older children, while adventurous teenagers can trek through the jungle and get clued up about jungle survival: learning which plants are edible and which are poisonous, ho to identify birds and spot caiman at night, all make for an enthralling and yet ducational experience.
Visitors young and old alike will enjoy tucking into bowls of piranha soup, feasting on colourful tropical fruit – many of which are unheard of outside Brazil – and learning about the jungle’s many animal inhabitants.
The importance of the preservation of the rainforest only truly becomes meaningful if it speaks to your personal experience.
Stick to the international Leave No Trace principles to minimise your environmental impact.
How to get around Manaus and the Amazon