The Amazon Basin needs little introduction as being home to the world’s largest tropical rainforest and the ‘lungs of the planet’. The Amazon River itself begins in the Peruvian Andes and the Rio Negro merges with the Solimoes River to form the Amazon itself on its 6,500 km journey to discharge as much as one fifth of the world’s freshwater into the Atlantic Ocean.
- Head out into the creeks and tributaries in search of the pink dolphin
- Enjoy an afternoon’s fishing to catch a legendary piranha
- Canoe along the Cristalino River to enjoy some incredible bird watching
- Go hiking at night to spot nocturnal wildlife and a sky full of stars
- Enjoy the incredible diversity of plants and trees in this mighty forest
One of the most spectacular sights is the ‘meeting of the waters’, where the dark waters of the Rio Negro flow side by side with the clearer waters of the Solimoes River for over three miles without mixing. There are 80,000 sq kms of navigable river in the Amazon river system and the Amazon itself can take ocean going vessels across South America, from the Atlantic Coast all the way to Iquitos in Peru.
More than 520 mammals (such as jaguar, tapir, peccary, spider monkey, sloth, armadillo, caiman, alligator and river dolphin), 3000 fish species (including the piranha, tucunare, pirarucu, and electric eel), 468 reptiles (such as the boa constrictor, anaconda and many colourful frogs) and over 1800 bird species (toucan, parrots, macaws, hummingbirds and birds of prey), not forgetting the 55000 species of plants.
To this day, huge tracts of the forest remain unexplored and inevitably many species are yet to be discovered, but a visit, usually via the city of Manaus, to one of the jungle lodges offers guests a fabulous insight into the richness of its wildlife. Jungle walks, boat trips and piranha fishing trips will bring to life the outstanding scale, natural beauty and importance of this remarkable rainforest.
Another interesting way to explore the jungle is by boat and you can enjoy regular short cruises along the river, which allow guests to explore areas that are well off the beaten track and visit delightful river village communities.