In this paper we use large scale spatially explicit modelling and case study based analyses to assess the links between recreational ecosystem services and the benefits for wellbeing of traditional livelihoods in the Brazilian Amazon. Our results show that, at the scale of the Brazilian Amazon, associations between recreational ecosystem services and extractivist activities of Brazil nut and rubber are very weak with no significant differences regarding Brazil nut (p = 0.61) and rubber (p = 0.41) income across the different tourism development classes. However, qualitative analysis of the case studies reveals that where there are multifunctional livelihoods, recreational ecosystem services are indeed helping to enhance non timber forest product extractivist social values that otherwise would be suppressed by prevailing "cattle ranching" lifestyles. We therefore support innovative ways to make both recreational ecosystem services and non timber forest products extraction not merely a juxtaposition of activities, but integrated into multifunctional livelihoods.