Highlights and main attractions of the Amazon

The Amazon is one of the world’s most intriguing nature and wildlife destinations to explore. Manaus is the capital of the state of Amazonas, formed at the confluence of the Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes rivers, where a distinct line separating the different water colours can be seen. Here, the Amazon experience becomes wilder and the more you progress by road and canoe to some delightfully far-flung lodges, the more rewarding the wildlife. Put the hype to one side and discover the real Amazon during your time in Brazil.

Unlike some other areas of the Amazon basin in Peru and Ecuador, you will start your Brazilian Amazon experience with a connecting scheduled flight into the city of Manaus. Situated four hours by air from Rio de Janeiro, Manaus is – incongruously - known not only for being the gateway to the jungle, but also for its opera house.  And thanks to its Indian culture and the effects of the rubber boom, it is actually a very interesting city, and the most populated in the state.

Evocative images of prolific wildlife, traditional indigenous tribes and thick swathes of rainforest fringing a steamy tropical river of confounding scale and beauty.

Where is the Amazon?

The river, the wildlife and the experiences

The river itself is the largest in the world and generates a staggering one fifth of the planet’s total river flow. It begins in Peru in the height of the Andes and descends, weaving its way across the continent before reaching the Atlantic Ocean some 6,437 kilometres later. At Manaus the river is an astonishing 10 kilometres wide, but at times this is just 1.5 kilometres. During the rainy season, the width can rise to a staggering 40 kilometres and the depth of the river can amount to 40 metres, making a river of true superlatives.

It is said that the jungle that spans 1.34 billion acres of the Amazon region, covering 9 South American countries in total, contains the largest collection of living plant and animal species and the most incredible biodiversity of anywhere on earth, with over 1,500 bird species including tropical rainforest macaws and toucans. One in ten known species lives in the Amazon region and wildlife found includes the largest rodent in the world, the capybara, sluggish sloths, golden lion tamarin, the elusive and endangered jaguar, anaconda, pink dolphins, giant river otters and manatee. Alternatively, take a river cruise up the Rio Negro and try your hand at piranha fishing, watched by the hungry eyes of caiman…

A haven for wildlife, the jungle is brimming with fauna, from sloths and monkeys, to the world's largest rodent, the capybara.

Staying in one of the Amazon’s eco lodges, found deep in the jungle, form part of the Brazilian safari experience. This will allow you to explore deep into the forest in search of the wildlife above, either on foot or in canoes down some of the various tributaries. Most of the lodges will require a journey by road and canoe from Manaus. Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge is set along the world’s largest freshwater archipelago in untouched rainforest, whilst Uakari Floating Lodge is a fantastic and intimate overwater lodge in the protected Mamiraua Reserve whose remote channels, lakes and flooded forests offer unique explorations into the Várzea ecosystem. Alternatively, there are some wonderful cruises down the river, where you can venture out into the wild each day…

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