Amazon Rainforest also called “Amazonia” is a huge region covering almost 40% of the South American continent.

It encompasses most of northern Brazil, parts of northern Bolivia, eastern Peru, eastern Ecuador, southeast Colombia, southern Venezuela, and southern Guyana, Suriname & French Guiana.

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Sunset view, Amazon river

Amazon is one of the world’s most diverse biological areas and is fed by rivers taking their offspring in the Andes of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia and running into the Atlantic ocean in eastern Brazil.

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A native tribe, Amazon Brazil

The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests, and comprises the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world, with an estimated 16,000 species of trees.

No wonder it is often called the “lungs of our planet.” Think about it.

Countries Covering Amazon Rainforest

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Photo by Wikimedia CC BY SA 3.0

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Photo by Neil Palmer CC BY SA 2.0

Top Cities Near Amazon Region

  • Manaus, Brazil — the largest city and chief port in the Amazon region, and an important jumping off point for expeditions into the rain forest
  • Itaituba, Brazil — a small city in Para, Brazil on the west bank of the Tapajos River
  • Alter do Chao, Brazil — Cozy riverside destination on the Tapajos River
  • Belem, Brazil — the last big city before the Amazon reaches the Atlantic ocean, south of Marajo island
  • Rio Branco, Brazil — A Brazilian state capital
  • Santarem, Brazil — A Brazilian town on the confluence of the Tapajós river and the Amazon
  • Macapa, Brazil — Brazilian state capital north of Marajo island
  • Iquitos, Peru — the largest city in the world that can’t be reached by road
  • Georgetown, Guyana — the capital of Guyana
  • Paramaribo, Suriname — the capital of Suriname

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A freshwater lake in Amazon rainforest

Things To See In Amazon

The most important thing to see and experience in the Amazon rainforest is its abundant biodiversity.

One in ten known species in the world lives in the Amazon rainforest. This constitutes the largest collection of living plants and animal species in the world.

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Squirrel Monkey of Amazon

Wet tropical forests are the most species-rich biome and tropical forests in the Americas are consistently more species rich than the wet forests in Africa and Asia.

As the largest tract of tropical rainforest in the Americas, the Amazonian rainforests have unparalleled biodiversity.

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Turtles in Amazon River, Ecuador

Insects, Birds & Trees

The region is home to about 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 birds and mammals.

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Colorful crabs 

To date, at least 40,000 plant species, 2,200 fishes, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptiles have been scientifically classified in the region.

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Exotic caterpiller

One in five of all bird species are found in the Amazon rainforest, and one in five of the fish species live in Amazonian rivers and streams.

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A grey-winged trumpeter

Scientists have described between 96,660 and 128,843 invertebrate species in Brazil alone.

The biodiversity of plant species is the highest on Earth in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest with more than 1,100 tree species per quarter square kilometer. The total number of tree species in the region is estimated at 16,000.

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A suspension bridge in the Amazon jungle

To date, an estimated 438,000 species of plants of economic and social interest have been registered in the region with many more remaining to be discovered or cataloged.

Animals and Anacondas

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Anaconda, Amazonia Brazil

The rainforest contains several species that can pose a hazard. Among the largest predatory creatures are the caiman (crocodile), jaguar, cougar, and anacondas.

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Caiman, Amazon

In the river, electric eels can produce an electric shock that can stun or kill, while piranha are known to bite and injure humans.

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Amazon river piranha

Various species of poison dart frogs secrete toxins through their flesh.

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Poisonous Frog

Vampire bats dwell in the rainforest and can spread the rabies virus.

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Vampire bat

There are also numerous parasites and disease vectors. Malaria, yellow fever, and Dengue fever are also common in the Amazon region mainly caused by the mosquitos.

The Amazon River

The Amazon River in South America is the largest river by discharge volume of water in the world, and by some definitions, it is the longest.

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Riverboat – the primary mode of transportation in the Amazon

There are over 3,000 species of fish currently recognized in the Amazon basin, with more being discovered every year. In addition to the thousands of species of fish, the river supports crabs, algae, and turtles.

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Life in Amazon

Amazon River Pink Dolphin

The Amazon is one of the main habitats of the Boto, also known as the Amazon River Pink Dolphin. It is the largest species of river dolphin, and it can grow to lengths of up to 2.6 meters (8 ft 6 in).

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Baby boto pod

The color of its skin changes with age; young animals are gray, but become pink and then white as they mature.

The dolphins use echolocation to navigate and hunt in the river’s tricky depths. The Boto is the subject of a legend in Brazil about a dolphin that turns into a man and seduces maidens by the riverside.

The Tucuxi, another dolphin species, is found both in the rivers of the Amazon basin and in the coastal waters of South America.

Seacow

The Amazonian manatee, also known as “Seacow”, is found in the northern Amazon River basin and its tributaries. It is a mammal and a herbivore. Its population is limited to freshwater habitats, and, unlike other manatees, it does not venture into salt water.

The Giant Otter

The Amazon and its tributaries are the main habitats of the giant otter. Sometimes known as the “river wolf,” it is one of South America’s top carnivores. Because of habitat destruction and hunting, its population has dramatically decreased.

Lodging in Amazon Forest

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Simple living

There are cabins near the park entrances (with very basic accommodations). Some of them are Free to use. There is a kitchen there that visitors can use, but you should bring all the food from outside the park, as there are no places to buy food in the park.

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Life is centered around water

What To Eat

Most of the Amazon is so remote and isolated that food will have to be local, and thus having fewer and more expensive vegetables, less meat, and far less dairy.

On the upside, this means that you will be eating lots of fresh food, like fish and fruit, and on the downside, you might wind up eating a certain amount of canned food as well.

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For fish, look out for local favorites like pirarucú and dorado. The former is leaner but delicious and the latter very fatty and rich.

Piranha is another common local food since Amazon is really full of them. While too small to make for an easy meal, piranha meat is actually quite tasty.

Drinks

Ayahuasca / Yage – Yage pronounced yah-HEY is a drink uniting virtually all the multitudinous and disparate indigenous cultures of Amazonia.

A strong hallucinogen, its primary use is religious, for divination and healing. As it is potentially harmful, it should only be drunk under the guidance of a shaman, who will both monitor your health, help you “see” more, and chant in the dark for hours on end.

On the first use, yage is likely to induce pretty serious vomiting and diarrhea. If you are very interested in the drink, culture, and tradition it may be worthwhile to schedule two nights in a row with a trusted shaman, which will really boost your chances of experiencing something more interesting.

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Safety Tips

You should always buy a snake bite kit, mosquito repellent. It is also important to stay hydrated and never go far from your tour guide.

June 5, 2019 10:33 pm Published by

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