The Amazon river runs for some 4,000 miles (6,400 km) in South America and has over a thousand tributaries, 17 of which are longer than 1,000 miles. It discharges about 55 million gallons of water into the Atlantic every second.
The Amazon Rainforest is home to many indigenous tribes, some of which have never been contacted, as well as at least 10% of the planet’s biodiversity, 16,000 types of tree, 4,000 species of plants, more than 2,000 different types of fish and 1,300 types of bird, around 2½ million species of insect and hundreds of varieties of amphibians and reptiles. It generates more than 20% of the world’s oxygen and covers approximately 40% of the land area of South America. Around a quarter of pharmaceuticals used in modern western medicine use ingredients that originated in the Amazon Rainforest.
Exploring the Amazon
A journey into the Amazon rainforest is quite an adventure, especially for the first time visitor to South America, although we appreciate that of course it is not for everybody. Certainly the feedback we have received over the years from passengers who might have been a bit nervous about going into the jungle is that they find it rewarding to see and hear wildlife in their natural habitat and an altogether interesting experience.
One of the best ways to explore the Amazon jungle is to use a lodge as a base for three or four nights from which to take excursions into the surrounding rainforest. We also book a range of river cruises which explore some of the smaller tributaries of the Amazon. There are various key gateways into the Amazon basin such as Manaus and Alto Floresta in Brazil, Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado in Peru, Coca in Ecuador and Rurrenabaque in Bolivia.
In this month’s newsletter, we outline some of our favourite Amazon lodges and popular Amazon cruises.
Download: Revealed Travel – Amazon Newsletter
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