About the Amazon
The Amazon basin provides a large percentage of oxygen for the planet. It is home to over 400 types of mammals, 1000 bird species and 50,000 species of plants. This magical paradise is one of the most popular eco-tours in Brazil. Quite a bit of the Amazon is still unexplored and scientists believe there are still many plants, animals and insect species in these unexplored regions to be discovered. Unfortunately, a large part of the Amazon has been destroyed to make way for soybean farmers and ranchers. Today, there are several conservation groups working to protect this amazing rainforest.
The starting point for a visit to the Amazon Rainforest is the city of Manaus. With 2.5 million people it sits on the Rio Negro just before it joins up with the Rio Solimoes to become the Amazon. Before setting off on an Amazon adventure a quick tour of the city might be in order. The Opera House, Mercado Municipal and Science Museum are quite enjoyable and educational. There are also several beaches in the area to rest, relax and conserve strength for the trials of the Amazon River.
Visiting the Rainforest
There are two places that tour guides take visitors when they visit the rainforest. First, is the Rio Negro basin that is more civilized and devoid of mosquitoes thanks to the acidity of the water. Many of these tours will visit the Mamori Lake. A better trip is to Juma Lake with more wildlife and less homes and farms. Some tour guides will take visitors up into the canopy of the rainforest trees to observe the wildlife while relaxing in a specially made hammock. They also offer boating excursions lasting from 1 to several days. Riverboats are also available to explore the Amazon for up to 15 days. These boats have hammocks or beds, showers, a bathroom and a cook. Riverboat excursions also involve hiking, camping, canoeing and even fishing for piranha. Finally, there are some amazing resorts within the rainforest were visitors can stay while setting out.