Tropical forests are a strong source of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) to the atmosphere which can potentially impact the atmospheric oxidation capacity. Here we present airborne and ground-based BVOC measurements representative for the long dry season covering a large area of the northern Amazonian rainforest (6–3° N, 50–59° W). The measurements were conducted during the October 2005 GABRIEL (Guyanas Atmosphere-Biosphere exchange and Radicals Intensive Experiment with the Learjet) campaign. The vertical (35 m to 10 km) and diurnal (09:00–16:00) profiles of isoprene, its oxidation products methacrolein and methyl vinyl ketone and methanol and acetone, measured by PTR-MS (Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry), have been used to empirically estimate their emission fluxes from the forest canopy on a regional scale. The mixed layer isoprene emission flux, inferred from the airborne measurements above 300 m, is 5.7 mg isoprene m−2 h−1 after compensating for chemistry and ~6.9 mg isoprene m−2 h−1 taking detrainment into account. This surface flux is in general agreement with previous tropical forest studies. Inferred methanol and acetone emission fluxes are 0.5 mg methanol m−2 h−1 and 0.35 mg acetone m−2 h−1, respectively. The BVOC measurements were compared with fluxes and mixing ratios simulated with a single-column chemistry and climate model (SCM). The inferred isoprene flux is substantially smaller than that simulated with an implementation of a commonly applied BVOC emission algorithm in the SCM.