Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest contains thousands of different species of birds, hundreds of reptiles, mammals, insects and countless plants and trees, many of which are unique to the region. Huge, lazy rivers flow into secret lakes, untouched over thousands of years and surrounded by the dense green vegetation of the jungle. It is the most breathtaking natural wilderness on the planet.

The city of Manaus, the capital city of the state of Amazonas and an international port, is the gateway to the forest’s uninhabited depths. Huge sailing vessels make it all the way up the river to pick up the valuable natural wealth of the jungle. Tour operators abound, catering to all schedules (it is a good idea to check their credentials before boarding their boats). Alternatively, you can make your own way up the river using the ferry services that are the only way the locals can get around. The forest eats up any road that the government tries to build.

There is plenty to do before you disappear up the river as well. There are several museums, a zoo, and the incredible Teatro Amazonas, where you can sit in the splendour of the great rubber boom of the 1890s that temporarily made Manaus one of the richest cities in the world. In October, the city is the centre for the Festival of Boi Manaus, which celebrates traditonal Amazonian dance and music.

One word of warning: it is best to be careful if you venture into the port area of Manaus, and better to avoid it altogether. You can also visit at any time of the year you like, but due to river flow rates and other natural phenomena it’s best to check with the tour operators when and where to go.

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