The Amazon Rainforest has been called the "Lungs of The Earth", and it is a biodiversity wonderland unequaled anywhere in the world. The Amazon is believed to remain the home to several uncontacted tribes and it's the eco-tourist's dream. This is a hot, steamy, and inhospitable environment that a witheringly large number of plants and animals call home. Regardless of the horror movies seen, the traveler doesn't need to worry about being squeezed to death by giant anacondas or eaten by swarming piranhas (mosquitoes on the other hand are another matter entirely).
There are some things about the Amazon one should be aware of before going to this wonderland both general information about the Basin and tips for visiting there.
Where Is The Amazon Rainforest?
- Size: The Amazon Basin Covers 2,700,000 sq miles or 7 Million Sq Km
- Forested Amazon Basin: 2,100,000 sq Miles or 5.5 Million Sq Km Is Forested
- Number of Indigenous Territories: 3,344 Formally Acknowledged
- Number Of Trees: 390 Billion Individual Trees (16,000 Species of Trees)
When one thinks of the Amazon Rainforest one normally thinks of Brazil (has things that enticed and scare us at the same time). They do have the largest part of the Amazon Rainforest and the largest parts of the mighty Amazon River, but not nearly all of it. There are numerous countries to choose from when considering one's Amazon adventure.
Countries In The Rainforest:
- Brazil: 60% Of The Rainforest
- Peru: 13% Of The Rainforest
- Colombia: 10% Of The Rainforest
- Others: Parts Also In Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Ecuador, French Guiana
Why Cruise The Amazon River
This is one of the world's most adventurous regions and is very rewarding. This is an impenetrable wilderness ruled by anaconda snakes the elusive jaguar. A great Amazon cruise will place one deep in the heart of this fairytale forest still the home of uncontacted tribes. See here for a romantic cruise on the Danube.
But this is a vast forest and the forest is different in different regions. In Peru's Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve one can spot the playful pink river dolphins. While over in the Ecuadorian Oriente one can see the kaleidoscopic colors of the clay licks. In the Anavilhanas National Park of the Brazilian Amazon, one may be rewarded with a rare peek at the odd seal-like Amazonian manatee. Or perhaps one could go to Bolivia and see three kinds of tropical rainforests.
The Amazon rainforest is dense and only possible by boat on the Amazon River and its many many many tributaries. This mightiest of the world's rivers and reaches all the way up into the imposing Andes mountains and then courses its meandering 4,000-mile trek to the Atlantic Ocean.
- Birds: The Amazon Is Home To 20% Of All Bird Species
When To Visit And What To Be Ware of When Visiting The Amazon
Still, no reading of statistics or content online will ever prepare one for the real experience. It is a trip that looms large for those who are keen to see nature at its most spectacular and lush.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when visiting the Amazon.
- Scale: The Sheer Scale Of The Forest Is Difficult To Comprehend
- The Amazon River: During Flood, It Discharges 32 Million Gallons Every Second (The Mississippi is only 4.4 Million Gallons)
- Rain: The Amazon Rainforest Is Called A Rainforest For A Reason! Be Prepared For Rain - A Lot Of It
- Dry Season: It's A Rainforest, So Even Coming In The Dry Season It Rains
- Tip: Bring Plenty Of Bug Spray For The Mosquitoes
One of the advantages of coming in the dry(-ish) season is that the water levels will be lower. Lower water levels mean more jungle paths are accessible and it is possible to get up close to exotic animals like the iconic sloths. Additionally, there are substantially fewer pesty mosquitoes in this season. On the downside, its going to be around 12 degrees hotter than the wet season and one should expect temperatures in the mid to high 90s.
If by Amazon River Cruise one is just expecting to be in the boat cruising around and going ashore is a low priority, then consider the wet season. In this season the water levels are way higher - around 21-23 feet higher. This also means that many of the smaller tributaries are accessible. The higher water also raises the boat much higher to the forest canopy. At this time the flowers are in full bloom, this is a feast for the exotic birds and monkeys, and they tend to come closer to the water's edge. On the flipside, mosquitoes. So if one comes in June, then be prepared to be the main course for these little bloodsuckers.