The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. It’s located in South America, spanning across 9 countries; Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. The rainforest covers over 5.5 million square kilometers (2.1 million square miles). That’s over half the size of Canada. The Amazon River itself flows at a length of around 6,400km. It’s the second longest river in the entire world, second to the Nile River. The entire population of the Amazon is estimated to be at 30 million people.
Throughout the seasons, the Amazon offers various best times to travel there depending on what you’d like to experience and do there. One of the best times of the year to plan your trip and visit the Amazon is between the months of May and June. It’s right between the rainiest months and the hottest/driest months. Water levels in the Amazon River are at its highest and surrounding area are most flooded during this time. When the river levels are at the peak, it provides the best canoe experience. You are able to glide silently through and enjoy the sounds o
f nature around you. The river rises and falls from 12 to 15 meters annually which means that during dryer seasons it’s more favorable to leave your canoe behind and do long hikes.
The low-down of the Amazon
The rainforest has a very rich ecosystem; there are over 40,000 plant species, 3,100 types of fish, 3,000 fruits, 450 mammals, 1,300 bird species, and estimated over 30 million insects. Between 400-500 indigenous Amerindian tribes also reside there. Some experts believe that over fifty of these tribes never have had contact with the outside world. Scientists are discovering brand new species of plants, fish, birds, mammals and insects every single year.
The Amazon River was originally named ‘Rio de Orellana’ by a Spanish explorer named Francisco de Orellana in 1542. During Francisco’s exploration of the Rainforest, they encountered and fought with native tribes. Francisco was surprised to see women fighting alongside the men of the tribes. The women were powerful and just as strong as multiple men that they named the Rainforest the Amazon after Greek mythology.
‘The lungs of the Earth’ is another name that the Amazon Rainforest goes by. Because of the immense natural beauty and rich vegetation, the area takes carbon dioxide out of the air, and releases oxygen back in. More than 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced by this Rainforest. Because of how thick the canopy is at the highest points of the trees the ground area is pitch black. When it rains, it can take as long as ten minutes for water to fall through the canopy and reach the ground.
If land isn’t your forte, you’re also able to take a river boat or a canoe down the river itself when the river level is high. If you decide to take a river boat, you can fit up to 20 others with you, plus the crew and guides. You still have plenty of room to relax as you float down the river. You get to experience it exactly the way the locals do, even sleeping on the river boat itself.[expand title=”more…” swaptitle=”less” trigpos=”below”]
There are many islands you can visit by river. One of them is called Macaw’s Island. It’s home to some very brightly colored birds. It’s a perfect spot to take a rest and relax from your time on the boat and enjoy some food. At night you’ll have a chance to star-gaze from your hammock at a sky filled with stars.
Sometimes you can bring your own fishing rod and selection of tackle and catch your own food fresh. Fish in some parts of the Amazon River are easily caught, and extremely tasty. The rest of your food you can buy cheap and local.
Most riverboat adventures last between 3-5 days, enough to get the full experience of the Amazon by river exploration. You’ll want to ensure you bring your camera here too, because the views are amazing.
You will build unforgettable memories hiking through the Amazon during dryer seasons. It’s an experience that is truly unbeatable, but don’t try it alone. A knowledgeable experienced guide is required to help you tread though and experience the journey.[expand title=”more…” swaptitle=”less” trigpos=”below”]
Get your camera ready, because along your journey by foot, you’ll be able to see countless animals, including many species of monkeys. These all range in size and level of intelligence. While most eat plants, fruits, and nuts, some even eat bird eggs. The howler monkeys are some of the loudest and territorial monkeys in the world, they can be heard as far as 5km away.
Monkeys aren’t the only amazing thing you get to see up close and personal. Over 7,000 known species of butterflies can be found in the Rainforest. In all the colors of the rainbow, you will have a chance to see them as they flutter around. But not all them can be seen, some of them are masters at disguising themselves. Certain butterflies take on the appearance of objects around them, like trees, bushes, and even fallen leaves.
When you plan your next trip to the Amazon Rainforest, these are the five amazing feats that you absolutely can’t miss during your visit: