The Amazon isn’t called a rainforest for nothing: it rains here at least 130 days per year, with average annual rainfall of 2,300 mm and humidity levels almost permanently above 80%. But visitors are often surprised by the variation in precipitation and climate which can vary greatly by season and region.
The Amazonian winter or wet season, runs between January and June, and summer or dry season, between July and December. In the northern Amazon – home to Santarem, Manaus, and other major destinations, it starts to rain in December and the rivers progressively rise until June, when the water is at its peak.
Rainfall averages vary between 300 cm per month in March and April, and less than 60 cm in August. In the Southern Amazon, home to Alta Floresta, the rains can vary from as much as 442 cm in March, to less than 10 cm in July. Temperatures vary little throughout the year, hovering at around 30 degrees.
Travelling to the Amazon can be comfortable and hassle-free in both the wet and dry seasons, provided you come prepared for the climate
Both seasons have their pros and cons, and choosing the best time to visit depends mostly on your preferred activities, interests and expectations.
The white sand beaches of Rio Tapajós appear with the lower water levels during dry season, and this is arguably the best time for family travel. The main advantage of traveling during the wet season is that the higher waters allow much greater access for canoes and small boats for wetland excursions. Rains tend to come in short, heavy bursts, so there will be plenty of dry periods for exploring even during the wet season.
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