Amazon Weather and Seasons
Seasonal Variations in Central Amazonia
Our trips take place in about the center of the Brasilian Amazon, within two degrees of the Equator. Because of its proximity to the equator, the temperatures are warm year round. The most important season differences are the rainy and dry season. High altitude winds during the rainy season draw moisture from the Caribbean and distribute it in the form of rain over central Amazonia. Central Amazonia receives much less rainfall than either the eastern coastal rainforests or the Andean forests to the west. In the rainy season which roughly runs from mid-December to mid-May, the temperature is a bit cooler than the June-December dry season, though overall there is only a five degree average temperature difference between months. Amazonia!
The average daytime temperature in the rainy season is usually in the mid-80's [F] with nighttime lows in the mid 70's to high 60's. In the dry season the daytime temperature can go up to the mid-90's though there is much variability and cool days are common. Nighttime temperatures during the dry season are usually in the mid-70's, though there are also some very cool nights.
Is is desirable to travel to the Amazon in the Rainy Season? Yes! Even though it does rain more this time of year, it is also true that many plants have evolved to fruit and flower during the rainy season which attracts birds and primates to the water's edge for us to observe. Our expedition boat The Motor Yacht Tucano is very comfortable and will keep us dry. The gigantic thunderstorms are a great pleasure to observe from the windows of the salon.
How about the dry Season? The dry season has some advantages too. The weather is dryer but more importantly, the lower water attracts some kinds of creatures that are not as commonly observed in the rainy season. The dry season is a time when the levels of most of of the rivers in central Amazonia begin to drop, showing sanding beaches. This is a time of beach nesting birds like Black Skimmers and various Terns, and also the time when turtles nest. When the waters are at their most shallow, in November through January, it is sometimes possible to see millions upon millions of migratory fish in the shallows laying eggs. These fish attract every type of tropical fishing bird including large storks and spoonbills. The Amazon's crocadillians, Caiman are also much in evidence as they nest in the dry season to take advantage of the abundance of fish.
So, when is the best time to travel? In the final analysis, the best time to travel is whenever your schedule permits. There are always interesting creatures to see in the Amazon and it will be an enjoyable experience whenever you choose to travel. The real keys to success in observing wildlife are that you visit natural areas away from settlement, that the guides are both skillful and focused, that you commit enough of your time so that you have opportunity to see a variety of habitats, and last but no means least, if you the traveler are persistent in looking for the creatures. On our voyages on the Motor Yacht Tucano we do everything that we can to increase opportunity to observe wildlife so that our trip Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon is interesting whichever time of year you choose to travel.