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Amazon Travel Guide

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The wonderous Amazon River in Brazil The Amazon is simply the world's greatest bio-system. The region of Amazonia, the correct name of this area, houses the most diverse collection of flora and fauna in the world. As much as 20% of all the world's species are found in the enormous rivers and jungles of Amazonia. The common way to refer to this whole area is simply: The Amazon.

The Amazon River is the second biggest river in the world (just behind the Nile in Egypt) and just happens to pass through the region of Amazonia in Brazil. The river is formed at the meeting of Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes. At this location, appropriately named, Meeting of the Waters, the black waters of Rio Negro join and mix with the clay-colored waters of Rio Solimoes. The effect can be brilliantly enjoyed right in front of a visitor's eyes, and happens to be one of the greatest highlights of the region.

The Meeting of the Waters happens just near the central city in Amazonia: Manaus. This city has the biggest airport in the region and serves as the base for most trips into the surrounding Amazon.

The Amazon's fantastic size has bewildered the minds of many adventurers and explorers, giving rise to as many myths and legends, including those of giant sloth and amorous dolphins. Fantastic plans to dominate and profit from this natural wonder, from Henry Ford's attempts to tame the wild rubber trees to Brazil's Finance Minister Delfini Neto's attempts to pay off the countries' foreign debt through profit from the Amazon, have all ended in failure, and have given this mystical and steaming green land the alternative title of "Green Hell."

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Exploring the Amazon

1 EcoLodges in the Amazon

A great way to experience the rainforest is by living in it. Eco Lodges provide this unique opportunity, with an array of options depending on how wild or "uncivilized" you want to be. Some Eco Lodges come fully equipped with pools, air conditioning and telephones. Others are closer to the ground, both literally and figuratively, and give you a sense of the immensity of the jungle- heat, humidity, mosquitoes, and all.

Can you imagine waking up to the sounds of the Rio Negro drifting by, the echoes of the spider monkeys saying their morning hellos, the fluttering of the many wings of the endless amounts of birds and butterflies, all amidst the quiet dripping of the dew drops falling from one lush green plant to the next? Well, all of this is possible and available to you: and it even comes with volume control, depending on how luxurious a Lodge you choose. Each Eco-Lodge comes with its own package deals for exploring the surrounding jungles and waters. Choosing an Eco-Lodge also depends on what excursions interest you the most.

Ariau Jungle Towers

This is the world's largest treetop hotel with the rooms actually located amongst the treetops. Located 60 kilometers from Manaus, this lodge offers 2 swimming pools and an auditorium with a capacity for 450 people, which is fully equipped with audiovisual resources and a beautiful view of Rio Negro and the Amazon Forest. There are also two observation towers at 41 meters in height, 2 restaurants, a bar, and an Internet cafe. If you want only a taste of Jungle Adventure while experiencing living in the Amazon amongst the treetops, this Lodge may be perfect for you.
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Tiwa Amazonas Ecoresort

This is a very pleasant lodge located just across the grand Rio Negro from the city of Manaus. The resort-style lodge features comfortable accommodations, a great pool, and a friendly staff. They also provide a full range of activities to explore this great region.

The Over Look Lodge

This lodge is unique for its location: it is the only one in the Amazon in which you can see the sunset. It is a family run lodge with a veranda that looks out on the Rio Negro. It is located 60 km from Manaus, and the Anavilhanas Archipelago preserve features virgin rainforest walkways and flooded forest canoeing trips. The 8 rooms are simple with twin or double beds, and home cooked meals are served, consisting of locally caught fish, tropical fruits and vegetables.

Amazonia Jungle Lodge

What marks this lodge is the attention it places on its desire of showing you all of the diversity of the Amazon: the rich waters and the deep jungles. The packages that the lodge provides were helped put together by local and internationally renowned scientists who would be willing to accompany your excursions upon request. The staff is multilingual, speaking Portuguese, French, English, Italian, German and Dutch. There is also a library, which is located close to Manaus, and also Itacoatiara: the oldest city in the Amazonian state.

Amazon Village Lodge

Located 30 km from Manaus, this lodge is set on the edge of a rainforest reserve area and a 2-hour boat ride takes you to the Amazon Village. On your way you pass the Meeting of the Waters, and as you turn off the main waterway of the Amazon and go onto a smaller channel, you get to experience the life of the local people, because you see from within your boat how natives adjust to life here in the Amazon Jungle. The Amazon Village is formed by an open-air lodge surrounded by 21 bungalows containing the clean and simple rooms. There are private bathrooms and showers, and electricity is limited to the evenings. The Restaurant serves up local dishes and cuisine. Guides are very well informed.

Jungle Palace

This is as close to a luxury hotel as you can get in the Jungle, floating on a steel barge on the Rio Negro, about 50 KM from Manaus. Rooms include modern amenities such as telephones, and showers have hot water. Each room has a balcony, and there is also an observation deck, pool, lounge, bar and restaurant.

2 Cruises in the Amazon

Another popular way to experience the Amazon is on a multi-day cruise. A variety of ships and itineraries are available to you on such adventure.

A spectacular way to experience the Amazon is on a river cruise. Beautiful and comfortable cruise ships are equipped with air-conditioned cabins, private showers, a sun deck, library, and always at least one English-speaking guide. The boats are usually small, holding up to 20 passengers, and provide an intimate ambience that allows you to get acquainted with yourself and the Jungle intimately.

Canoes are on-board and take you onto smaller creeks to experience what life is like on the flood plains, which are surrounded by rubber trees, jute, market-garden produce, giant water lilies and the natives who live between them. There are several excursions guided by a specialist for you to experience the insides of the forest, and to discover Brazil-nut trees and diverse fruit trees. Fishing is also included, along with night trips to do some animal spotting: nighthawks, sloth, snakes and frogs. You will see houses on stilts, floating docks, and at the end of your trip will have experienced vicariously the life that natives live.

Cruise Duration
Longer and shorter trips are offered, with the option of a cruise of 3 days/ 2 nights, or you can opt for a 6-day/5 night cruise. A 9 day cruise is offered into the "heart of the Amazon," where stands proudly the most untouched forestry in the entire Amazon.

3 Activities in the Brazilian Amazon

There are many options available to you, depending on your interests. You could take a brief flight into the Amazon to experience a quick love affair with the forest and then return back to "regular" civilization. For the more adventurous traveler, it is also possible to immerse yourself in the steamy jungles and lush waters and experience first hand the way of life of the local people.

A number of standard tours and excursions are offered in every lodge and cruise on the Amazon. These activities are well thought out and complete your wilderness immersion.

The Meeting of the Waters

The location where the Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes meet is officially the beginning of the Amazon River. At this location, the black and yellowish waters of the two rivers meet and produce an amazing spectacle. You can literally see the two rivers mix together, and your boat can be put in such a position that on the one side the water is one color, and on the other side it is another.

Jungle Walking

This short trek through the Amazonian rainforest is a great way to experience the nearby jungles. Guides will introduce you to this beautiful landscape as you are immersed in the wild outdoors.

Piranha Fishing

Piranhas are some of the deadliest animals on the planet. It is said that a group of piranha can eat a full-grown cow in under an hour. You have a chance to go fishing for this unique fish in the jungles of the Amazon.

Alligator Spotting

At nighttime alligators, predators of the wild, will come out and search for prey. Your guide will catch a baby alligator and provide you with an interesting description of this unique animal.

Swimming with the Dolphins

The Amazon River is also the home of one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet: the dolphin. Freshwater dolphins come right up to you and eat out of your hands. You can also jump into the water and these amazing animals will swim all around you.

Visit the Lilly Pads

Hidden away in some of the most discreet parts of the Amazon are giant lily pads. Some grow to a diameter of 4 meters and are a very interesting sight when grouped together. The cruise through the jungle channel to where these lilly pads grow is also very memorable.

And Most Importantly

Thus far, we have not mentioned the most important activity to be enjoyed in the Amazon, and that is simply sightseeing. Boat cruises around serene channels are the main highlight of this natural wonderland.

4 Specialized Activities in the Amazon

Some activities and excursions are not included in standard trips to the Amazon, but that does not mean they do not exist. Specialized trips such as fishing, hunting, and deep jungle exploration can certainly be enjoyed in this great region.

Amazon Fly Fishing Tour

This 11-day tour departs out of Manaus on a 2-deck riverboat, and takes you upstream to more remote areas in the tributaries of the Rio Negro, where sports fishing does not occur due to more shallow waters. Within the Jungle Camp set up by the side of the river, you spend your days fly-fishing for giant peacock bass, accompanied by several English speaking local experts who are extremely knowledgeable about the region and fly-fishing. Night fishing may allow you to catch giant catfish that weigh up to 100 pounds; other types of fish in the Amazon include piranha, arawana, jacunda, pacu, and traora.

Some lodges offer tours to quiet mountain houses where visitors are truly in the middle of the jungle. The setting is very serene since it is miles away from modern civilization. These houses are usually far from luxurious, but are very authentic and quite special. Meals made on an open fire and fishing off small docks are all parts of the Amazon experience in such a lodge.

Stay at a Remote Jungle House

Some lodges offer tours to quiet mountain house where visitors are truly in the middle of the jungle, in a very serene setting. These houses are usually far from luxurious, but are very authentic and quite special. Meals made on an open fire and fishing off small docks are all parts of the Amazon experience in such a lodge.  

Amazon travel guide and tourism information such as accommodation, festivals, transport, maps, activities and attractions in Brazil - Brazil Travel Guide

 

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