The Brazilian Amazon boasts one of the most vital ecosystems on the planet. Visiting the rainforest with kids lets them experience the magic of this remarkable ecosystem firsthand while learning important lessons about respect, compassion, and making responsible decisions. But what do kids love most about the rainforest?
From watching playful monkeys streak about the canopy to the thrill of a nighttime caiman safari, here’s a rundown of why children can’t get enough of the Brazilian Amazon.
The rainforest ecosystem teems with life. It contains thousands of tree species and upwards of 50,000 other types of plants. Trees tower 150 to 200 feet above the forest canopy. The canopy, characterized by a mass of continuous foliage, measures 80 to 100 feet in height and buzzes with animals. Each tree supports hundreds of species from orchids, bromeliads, and mosses to birds, sloths, and monkeys. By far, insects represent the most prevalent creatures with hundreds of thousands making their home here.
On a hike through the Amazon, you and your kids will be dwarfed by these life-filled trees and revel at the cacophony of bird songs and monkey calls soaring from the canopy overhead. Kids can climb up the bottom of the Samauma, the tallest trees in the Amazon, or scope out orchid flowers. At the abandoned town of Airão Velho, a former hub of the rubber trade, locals teach kids about rubber trees and even make rubber bands right before their eyes.
The colorful parade of animal species inhabiting every inch of the forest captivates all ages. From howler monkeys and sloths in the treetops above to Amazon river dolphins and caimans in the waters below, the Brazilian Amazon pulses with activity. Endangered animals such as giant otters, jaguars, and margays (small wild cats) also take refuge here.
The canopy plays host to spider monkeys and scarlet macaws, highly intelligent birds that can live upwards of 60 years or more. The forest floor hides creepies and crawlies including shy anacondas, which will pique your children’s imaginations. But you’re far more likely to see giant stick bugs, exotic butterflies and moths, or colorful frogs than anything slithering along the forest floor.
At the river’s edge, you and your kids can fish for piranha using bamboo poles. When cooked, piranha makes for a delectable onboard treat. Caimans also lounge on the riverbanks and can be observed during night safaris in speedboats. The kids who came on our most recent night safari can’t stop talking about their caiman adventure!
The river provides the greatest source of joy among the kids. Sailing through the calm waters of the Rio Negro and living on a boat for a few days is a huge part of the adventure. Add to that the numerous opportunities to swim and jump off the boat into the refreshing waters and you’ve got a bunch of very happy kids.
In addition, while short hikes bring the majesty of the rainforest to life for kids, by far the best way to see this region is aboard a riverboat. You’ll have a great vantage point for viewing the canopy and experiencing the vastness of the rainforest.
The Rio Negro is the largest tributary of the Amazon River and the largest blackwater river in the world. It supports more than 700 species of fish and two types of freshwater dolphins, the Pink river dolphin and the Gray river dolphin. Unique to the Amazon, you won’t find these creatures anywhere else in the world. Feeding the Pink river dolphins of the Rio Negro always proves to be a huge hit with the kids on our trips.
The natural acidity of the Rio Negro prevents mosquito larvae from developing, and so cruisers can kayak in its waters or lounge on the ship deck without encountering mosquitoes. What’s more, piranha and caiman stay close to shore. That means, the inviting deep waters near the center of the river welcome swimmers to safely splash around during the heat of the afternoon. On our most recent trip, the kids couldn’t get enough of diving off the ship into the cool waters of the river.
The Rainforest with Kids
Interested in traveling to Brazil with kids? Check out our seven-day Brazilian Amazon River Cruise itinerary. This family-focused tour takes you deep into the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. You’ll hike through a pristine forest, swim with river dolphins, explore waterfalls, and much more.
At Our Whole Village, we create tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.