Often referred to as the ‘lungs of the earth’, the Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest on Earth, and the Amazon River is the the world’s mightiest. Covering almost half of Brazil’s landmass and extending into eight other South American countries, the Amazon is a rewarding destination for anyone looking for an experiential trip that will linger long in the memory.
The sheer scale of the Amazon rainforest can be both awe-inspiring and intimidating. When planning a trip here it makes sense to concentrate on one region. The Brazilian portion alone is huge, but many of the jungle’s most compelling attractions are within the reach of travelers who want to experience the world’s largest tropical forest without abandoning their creature comforts.
While the Brazilian Amazon offers great scope for rugged jungle adventures, a trip here needn’t be an endurance test of your wilderness survival skills. Today’s visitor can also find high-end jungle lodges offering impeccable cuisine, while luxury yachts provide a floating base to explore the jungle in style.
During the dry season, pristine white sand beaches spring up alongside rivers that are so broad they’re more like inland seas, making the Amazon a surprisingly perfect location for a beach holiday, and with a sense of splendid isolation that you won’t find anywhere on Brazil’s more famous coast.
• There will be lots of mosquitos – this is not necessarily true. In fact, the regions we like most to take our travelers, the Negro and Tapajós rivers, the acidity of the water of the rivers make them almost completely mosquito-free! Yes, really!
• Swimming is not possible – on the contrary, swimming in many of the rivers is very safe and will very probably be one of the many highlights of your trip!
• Meeting natives – Don’t expect to encounter a world of isolated indigenous communities; although some uncontacted tribes do still live in the Amazon, they are not only impossibly remote, but there are also strict controls in place restricting access to these tribes
The Brazilian Amazon teems with attractions and activities for younger visitors. There’s no need to let commonly-held preconceptions about the region forbid you from planning a family trip to the jungle. Fears about uncomfortable accommodation, a sticky climate and biting creatures rarely match the reality.
The Amazon offers plenty for kids to get excited about at any time of year. Canoeing through the flooded jungle is a highlight of the rainy season, while in dry season virgin beaches spring up alongside the clear, calm rivers, and swimming opportunities abound. Children will get to see how Amazon communities live in the jungle, and while visitors are unlikely to spot dangerous wild animals, they’ll have a good chance of sighting countless colourful tropical birds and butterflies.
Fishing and paddling in dugout canoes are popular activities for older children, while adventurous teenagers can trek through the jungle and get clued up about jungle survival: learning which plants are edible and which are poisonous, how to identify birds and spot caiman at night, all make for an exciting and educational experience.
The Amazon’s largest tributary, is itself the 7th largest river in the world in terms of water discharge. This beautiful black river is one of our very favorites because of its mosquito-free environment, easy logistical access from Manaus and the breadth of travel possibilities in the region.