South America Revealed Introduction to the Amazon
The Amazon may not be the longest river in the world but is certainly the mightiest and the most important. The river runs for some 4,000 miles (6,400 km) across South America and has many tributaries, of which 17 are longer than 1,000 miles. It discharges about 55 million gallons of water into the Atlantic every second.
The Amazon basin covers an area of approximately 2,900,000 square miles (7,500,000 km²), around 40% of South America. The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest tropical forest, home to 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.
The Amazon rainforest generates more than 20% of the world’s oxygen and around a quarter of pharmaceuticals use ingredients that are sourced there. Interestingly, it was established in 2006 that before the rise of the Andes, the Amazon once flowed east to west.
For many of us, a journey to South America would not really be complete without a trip into the Amazon rainforest, either staying at a jungle lodge for a few days or taking an Amazon cruise to explore some of the tributaries of the world’s mightiest river. Revealed Travel offer a choice of Amazon riverboat cruises and a range of jungle lodges.
These are some of our favourites:
Jungle Lodge: Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica (Puerto Maldonado, Peru)
This delightful ec0-lodge on the Madre de Dios River, a tributary of the Amazon, has 35 wooden cabanas, great excursions and activities including a 30m high canopy walkway. So far, 540 bird species have been recorded in the grounds. You are unlikely to see jaguars or harpy eagles but various types of monkey, black caiman, red-bellied macaws, hoatzin and giant otters can usually be seen.
Riverboat Cruise: The Manatee (Coca, Ecuador)
The M/V Manatee Amazon Explorer has just 10 standard cabins and 4 suites for a maximum of 30 guests to experience unparalleled adventures in the Ecuadorian Amazon. We will book return flights from Quito to Coca in conjunction with your itinerary.
Jungle Lodge: Napo Wildlife Centre (Coca, Ecuador)
This award-winning lodge is reached by travelling down the Napo River from Coca and along the Añangu Creek, then across a lake within Yasuní National Park. The lodge has just 20 comfortable cabins with private bathrooms, There is a hybrid solar and diesel electricity system with silent generators. Full board and a range of excursions and activities including excellent bird-watching, a 40 metre viewing tower, forest trails and parrot clay-licks. It is operated by and for the Kichwa Añangu Community.
Riverboat Cruise: Aria Amazon (Iquitos, Peru)
The Aria Amazon has just 16 beautifully designed suites, each of which has a floor to ceiling window. Itineraries include off-ship excursions in groups of 8, each led by experienced local naturalist guides. Superb cuisine. Itineraries start and end in Iquitos, Peru.
Jungle Lodge: Cristalino Lodge (Alta Floresta, Brazil)
The Cristalino Lodge in the Brazilian Amazon is one of the richest places for observing birds, mammals, butterflies and orchids in a primary rainforest environment. Cristalino State Park is an extremely important conservation area of nearly half a million acres. The park is connected to other protected areas forming a huge conservation corridor in the Southern Amazon. Almost 600 species of birds have been catalogued in Cristalino Reserve.
For other lodges in Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador or Peru and for longer cruises which travel down the Amazon River or some of its important tributaries please contact us.
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