The ABCs of: Wildlife spotting in Peru

February 21, 2019

A trip to the Amazon Rainforest is not complete without spotting one of the thousands of incredible species that call the ecosystem home (don’t worry — even if you don’t spot a wildcat or primate, you’ll almost certainly see an amazing tropical bird or a very cool insect). And while many trips to the rainforest — including those to Peru — involve wildlife-spotting excursions, it’s important to keep a few key tips in mind while heading out to spot some fascinating fauna. Here are three:

Active listening

When you’re wildlife spotting in the Amazon, you’ll likely be with a guide — and they will be the best person to ask about what to watch out for, and when. You might not be able to spot animals that have evolved to camouflage themselves from predators (or prey), but your guide might have a few tips and tricks in this regard. But it’s also important to listen to key tips and advice on how to enjoy the rainforest respectfully, which includes keeping a safe distance from animals, and not disturbing or threatening wildlife in any way. You can also take a look at our Animal Welfare Guidelines in advance!

Basic safety

You might be tempted to stray from the path to get a good photo of a beautiful wildflower or interesting insect, but this could put you — and the rainforest ecosystem — at risk. It’s important to stick to pre-made paths and designated walking areas, not only for your own safety, but for the sanctity of the forest and its inhabitants. You’ll also want to take note of any health and safety tips provided ahead of your wildlife-spotting hike: be sure to wear appropriate footwear, guard against bug bites (using non-DEET bug spray), and wear clothing that allows you to be comfortably mobile.

Caution and care

If you’ve done both of the above, this might seem a bit repetitive! But while you’re enjoying the Amazon rainforest, it’s important to make sure that you’re always aware of your surroundings — treat the forest, in other words, like your living room! Don’t litter or drop food, pick up after yourself, and don’t purposefully break anything — such as tree branches or plant stems. There is so much to learn about in the Amazon rainforest and many animals to see. Remember, the best way to get the most out of your experience (and to ensure others will be able to have amazing rainforest experiences for years to come) is to be cautious and careful as you move through this incredible ecosystem.

Getting there

Discover the wildlife of Peru and more through a trip with National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures, a new line of trips for adventure-loving families in search of a meaningful way to discover the world together. With itineraries inspired by National Geographic's expertise in photography and storytelling, wildlife, culture, history, and geography, these trips let families connect with the world and each other.

Learn more here.

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