Best part of the Amazon?
I’m considering doing a grand tour of South America in the future, so I’m for sure going to try and make it to at least one corner of the Amazon. Wanted to ask, given that it was contiguous in days gone by, does it particularly matter what part of the Amazon one goes to for seeing different animals – so, namely, if I went to just, say, Manu NP, and did it for a while could I expect to see the same diversity of species as a trip of similar length to Manaus or the Ecuadorian Amazon?
According to the world biodiversity mapping site, Western Amazonia and the Amazon river delta have the highest diversity. But it really depends on what you are most interested in:
I think nowadays, and with the increased awareness of ecotourism, and mammal watching specifically, your rate of success will mostly depends on how well your accommodation is ready to suit your needs. For instance, if you want to go exploring independently with a thermal scope, then you need a place that will let you go out on your own (I think most places allow that to some extent?) Or if you mostly want to photograph while an experienced guide is spotlighting, then you need to find a place that caters to that. I think nowadays, with thermal scopes, any trip to the amazon will start seeing more species than ever before. My guess – night cruises on medium-sized streams (like some sections of the Manu river) should be particularly productive.
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I would recommend going to a decent protected area with low hunting pressure like Manu. The number of mammals seen tends to be much higher than in areas along main rivers with higher hunting pressure. Manu is generally good for mammals and offers one of the best chances of Jaguar in the Amazon in my experience. Though note that areas nearer the Andes, like Manu, do not have the river dolphins etc.