Many of our guests inquire about visiting the Amazon and whether this makes sense if you’re traveling with children. While there are a few considerations to keep in mind as you plan your trip, rest assured, a visit to the Ecuador Amazon rainforest with kids is worth your while!
Is the Amazon rainforest safe for kids?
Yes, the Amazon is safe for kids, AS LONG as all safety recommendations provided by your lodge or tour guide are followed.
The Amazon rainforest is a wild and beautiful place, this combination is what makes it such a thrilling destination. However, when you visit the Amazon, you must do so with great respect. Amidst the incredible diversity it offers, poisonous plants and animals abound, as well as a few other monsters and critters you might not want to encounter face-to-face.
Despite some of the safety concerns when planning a trip to the Ecuador Amazon rainforest with kids, this is the type of trip you and your family will be reminiscing about for decades to come. You’ll see anacondas, pink dolphins, piranhas, caimans, tropical birds, and wildlife you can’t see just anywhere.
Visiting the Amazon is also a wonderful way to inform your children, firsthand, about its importance in our ecosystem, so that they might advocate for its protection in the years to come.
Tips for traveling to the Ecuador Amazon rainforest with kids
If you’re visiting the Amazon with children, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Allergies and bites
This is the most common inconvenience when visiting the rainforest and is especially uncomfortable for kids. Make sure the place you’re visiting has mosquito netting on all beds, and bring sufficient bug repellent for the whole family. Another tip is to wear long sleeve, light colored, breathable shirts and pants (linen is a good option for shirts).
Along some sandy river banks you might also encounter an unpleasant insect: the sand flea. These don’t respond as much to mosquito repellent and one tip is to rub oil on your skin, which causes the fleas to stick (but not bite).
Keep in mind, depending on the season, there might be fewer (or more) mosquitoes and biting insects.
Regarding any other allergy, make sure to come prepared with the proper medication, such as Claritin or even Epinephrine.
Exploring and swimming
Your lodge, tour operator or tour guide should warn you about areas where you and your family should not swim. The main concern here is aggressive piranhas (the red-bellied ones are the most aggressive), though you should also watch out for caiman, anacondas and other snakes.
Never let your kids explore areas of the rainforest that are not clearly marked and within a safe radius of the place you’re staying. Ideally, always accompany them and go with a guide. Though there will likely be fewer animals around a lodge than in the deeper forest (unless wild animals are being fed by the lodge or nearby communities, which will attract other predators), you might still come across a poisonous snake or spider along a regular trail.
Sunburn and heat exhaustion
Even though you’ll be in the humid rainforest, you’re still on the Equator! Sunburn and heat exhaustion is a real concern in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Make sure to carry sufficient water and sun protection, including hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, long-sleeved shirts (if you have fair skin – also useful for bugs).
Make sure the lodge or hotel where you’ll be staying offers potable water. This should be a given if they regularly work with tourists. Stomach bugs can ruin a 4-day experience in the Amazon, do your best to avoid this!
Games, books, drawing
Especially on rainy days in the rainforest, you’ll need some additional entertainment and activities for the kids. Sometimes, it rains so hard you lose electricity, so that iPad or smartphone may only get you so far. Bring materials to draw, books (or a Kindle – long battery life) to read. Some lodges might already offer family games.
Baby wipes and disinfectant
Baby wipes come in real handy, even if you don’t have a baby. They just have this additional element of cleanliness… A small bottle of hand sanitizer is also a must-have.
If you can, bring nuts, granola bars and other snacks that are easy to pack. Especially on long boat rides, these might quell the hunger of ravenous children.
Convenient gear (waterproof, quick dry)
There is a possibility that you will experience torrential downpour (emphasis on “rain” in rainforest) during your trip. In preparation, a couple of tek-towels and quick dry shirts might be worth the investment. Keep in mind, the lodge you choose might already have towels and even a dryer, though this isn’t always the case.
How to enjoy your trip the most?
A few additional tips to make your family trip to the Ecuador Amazon rainforest as pleasant as possible:
- Recommendations and reviews: Personal recommendations trump reviews, but look at both.
- Invest in an all inclusive tour: All-inclusive tours are more convenient and you won’t have to worry about food and transport.
- Go during the dry season: Try to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon between June and September, when it rains less.
- Go to a lodge that offers activities for children: Many lodges offer board games and specific activities for the kids, which might give you some time to relax and take in the rainforest.
- Plan a trip with another family: This is a great idea if the other family has kids around the same age as your own.
Wanderbus offers extra tours to Cuyabeno Reserve and Misahualli / Ahuano River region. These are both convenient destinations in the Amazon that will only take up 3-4 days from your Ecuador itinerary.
If you’re planning to get to the Amazon independently, consider traveling with the Wanderbus. The Wander Pass Express, the Cotinga Pass or the Amazona Pass take you through Baños and Misahuallí, both great jumping off points to explore the deeper Amazon.
If you’re on a budget and want to see many parts of Ecuador in a safe, convenient and flexible way, you should definitely consider traveling with the Wanderbus. As a hop-on, hop-off bus, you can adjust your itinerary as you like, and are guaranteed a ride to the next stop for the selected Wanderbus pass. Also, you’ll be traveling with like-minded individuals and potential friends. Click here to see all of our available passes.
The Ecuador Amazon rainforest with kids is an incredible opportunity to experience one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. Book your Amazon adventure today!