The Amazon is definitely one of the most amazing places on Earth. It’s the largest tropical rainforest in the world, hosting an enormous diversity of flora and fauna, and the Amazon River is the widest and the second longest (only after the Nile). The Amazon is a place that deeply impresses every single one of its visitors. From the less outdoorsy to the most incessant adventurers, this destination will spark your senses in many ways…
1. Stand in awe of its grandioseness
There is no doubt about it… when you experience the Amazon, you know you are in front of something truly BIG. It is the biggest rainforest in the world, extending over more than 5.5 million square kilometers (about two times the size of India!). The Amazon River is the second longest river on Earth, flowing over approximately 6,600 km, but also the widest one. During rain season it can expand to up to 48 km width… It’s also by far the largest river in terms of average water discharge.
2. Feel humid, warm and sort of sticky
The environment is tropical, with generally high temperatures, averaging between 25º and 30º celsius. Humidity is also very high, usually ranging between 70% and 90%. So, prepare mentally for a tropical slap as you get off from the plane.
3. Enchanted by the mysticism
The Amazon is an intensly mystical place. There are endless legends about creatures and spirits living in the forests. These stories are part of the native communities’ oral traditions and also have a strong influence on their daily lives. Paintings by local artists and chants by shamans all convey that mysticism and guarantee an imagination boost.
4. Be amazed by the indigenous tribes and locals’ daily lives
The Amazon is inhabited by around 350 ethnic groups. Some tribes are even believed to have never been in contact with the outer world. Others have been more or less influenced by occidental ways of living, but still preserve their traditional customs as well. Many are happy to welcome tourists and show them a bit of their daily lives.
5. Live your own jungle book story
This gigantic rainforest is home to 10% of all species known to mankind, more than any other terrestrial ecosystem. With over 40,000 plant species, more than 400 mammals, around 1,300 birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes, you’ll be surrounded by wildlife, even when you are not aware of it… So, keep your eyes and ears open!
6. Feel respect for this great source of life
The Amazon actually also plays a big role in YOUR day-to-day life. Thanks to its size and dense vegetation, the Amazon rainforest produces over 20% of the world’s oxygen. The Amazon River is highly important for the water cycles, releasing around 55 million gallons of water per second into the ocean. Tons of food consumed by the world are produced here. And about a quarter of all western pharmaceutical products use amazonian ingredients.
7. Feel alert (slightly afraid)
Although the Amazon’s biodiversity can indeed be utterly fascinating, there are some deadly creatures out there… venomous snakes and frogs, caimans, electric eels, jaguars, spiders, among others. It is thus highly important to comply with safety guidelines, always walk in groups, look where your stepping or grabbing and follow your expert guide’s instructions… Be alert and you’ll be just fine. It’s totally worth it, believe us! 😉
8. Suddenly feel smaller
Everything is superlative here… from the widest river to the tallest trees. Plants and insects are bigger than usual. A bullet ant can be up to 1.2 inches long, beetles up to 6.5 inches… and some tarantulas can grow up to a size of 12 inches (leg span). The list can continue endlessly, but you get the idea.
9. Be surrounded by an intense and ongoing sountrack
Most of the animals make some sort of noise, either on purpose or just caused by their movement. You can hear monkeys howl and jump between trees, fish and eels moving in the water, birds singing for their mates, cicadas chanting non-stop… The forest itself resonates as the rain pours down or the water flows down the streams. So you’ll have an ongoing sountrack for your jungle adventure.
10. Waterways and boats will feel like standard transport
Cruising the river is the best way to get around… by the second day you’ll feel completely normal hopping on a boat just to go visit the neighbouring community. The movement of the boat can also be very soothing, but that’s just a plus. Oh, and keep an eye open for pink dolphins! 😉