How To See the Amazon River

The Amazon River is the largest and longest river in the world.  It travels through the Amazon rainforest and supplies the villages along the way.

Whether to be going upstream or downstream along the Amazon River is the first decision you must make.  There are 5-6 day trips starting in either Belem or Manaus.  You have a choice to take a cruise designed for tourists, or a trip that has you roughing it more.  Depending on your travel experience, it may be better to take the one for the tourists.  You can choose the boat you wish to ride depending upon the different rooms and prices.

Within two hours after leaving Belem or Manaus, you will begin to appreciate the Amazon River views.  The rainforest will appear then, and it will seem hard to believe that you have just left a big city.  Villages along the way will be visited.  However, be aware that they are all poor, and it doesn't matter how large or small the town is.  But the Amazon villagers are friendly and interested in the tourists.   They sell different fruits, feathers, and other items that they have made themselves.  It is great to buy something from them, and to make contact with them.  These people will take pictures with you, and will be happy to speak with you as best as they can.   If you have the time, try to take a short walk through the forest, but don't go alone.  Being in such a different environment makes it safer to travel with other people.  There are also jaguars in this forest, so be careful.  Also, since most of the people on the boat probably don't speak English, it's helpful to have someone with you to help communicate with the villagers.

Exotic wildlife can be seen in and around the Amazon River.   In the river are the piranha, a very dangerous fish.  They actually hunt in packs, so you may see several at one time.   An anaconda snake will lie on the surface of the Amazon watching for prey.  They only attack humans if they feel threatened.   Since the Amazon rainforest is so damp, the giant horned frog can live there without even being in the water.  Birdlife ranges from the colorful macaws to the large-beaked toucan.

The Amazon River area is very humid.  Drink lots of water, wear cool clothing and protect yourself against the mosquitoes that thrive in such humidity.


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