Tourism in the Amazon rainforest is increasing, although it doesn’t play a major role in the economic life of the region. There are some reasons that keep the regular tourist away from the Amazon rainforest. The most important is the lack of reliable information making it much harder to plan a trip to the Amazon than to other places.
Another problem is the fear from tropical exotic diseases like Yellow Fever or Malaria. Both are very present in the forest, but both also have effective vaccines you can (and you should) take before you visit the region. There is a fear of crime and violence created by drug dealers and other criminals, but this is shouldn’t be a fear, as the Amazon rainforest is relatively safe place to travel. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are much more dangerous places. There is fear from the wildlife, some people panic just to think of being in a place where even the frogs can be poisonous. There are crocodiles, giant snakes and predators like the Jaguar, but chances are you won’t have any problem with wildlife except for the mosquitoes.
But the real problem inhibiting tourism in the Amazon rainforest region is the lack of tourism infrastructure. This means good airports and hotels , multi-lingual speaking staffs and regular attractions like expeditions to remote areas. You can only find most of these in big cities like Belem and Manaus , but truly inside the forest you can’t, at least not in a direct way.
If you want to really know the region you can hire local boats with a guide, cook and all the staff you need to make whatever expedition you like for many days. You can go deep into the forest with those boats to see and hear all the abundant wildlife. To do this you will probably need a specialized guide. You can find guides like that in specific travel agencies in or outside Brazil , as they can provide you with all the information you need to enjoy your trip like not many people have done.
You can also travel by yourself or in small groups and have a less planned trip. Some people have their lives so planned that this is exactly what they don’t want in their vacations. These are good for people with less money also, as it’s very cheap to travel in the region if you are not going through a travel agency package. Of course its more risky and you need to be prepared for a couple of mistakes that will cost time and maybe some food adaptation problems, usual stuff in an adventurous trip.
Any way you choose to tour the Amazon rainforest you will like and have a very pleasant and astonishing trip. You will take pictures that you will keep for the rest of your life and make all your friends speechless. It’s really an unforgivable and unique place in the world and every person should have the opportunity to experience it.
If you are not convinced yet, there is still one more reason you be aware. Tourism in the Amazon rainforest is one of the ways to preserve its biological and ethnic diversity. What tourism does is to provide the local populations an alternative for making their living honestly. If there are no alternatives the local population has an extremely difficult decision to make, should they start to work in illegal activities or bear the lack of resources to sustain their family. For a poor individual someone offering them money equivalent to what they would earn in a year just to capture a bird or a frog is very tempting, even more in countries that don’t have great police capabilities and wide spread poverty.