Magnificence and awe come to mind when exploring the possibilities of visiting the great Amazon. The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest making its presence known in nine South American countries while taking up half the planet’s rainforest space. Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana are treasure troves of spectacular scenery, striking vegetation, breathtaking scenic views and awe-inspiring experiences across 1.4 billion acres of land. Hosting the largest collection of living plants and animal species in the world and the largest river in the world, the Amazon River, the Amazon is truly a one of kind vacation destination.
In Brazil, Riverboat tours are available on the Amazon River and can be enjoyed in comfort while watching for the animal species that live in this area. Some include armadillos, river dolphins, boa constrictors and spider monkeys. Many of the tour boats have bathrooms with showers, air conditioning, buffets and beautifully designed interiors. However because of the solid vegetation, some species cannot be seen from the tour boat. Even though there is more than enough to do in the jungle, it would be remiss not to mention one of the most popular cities in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. Referred to as the Carnival Capital of the World, it boasts great food and is well known for the statue of Christ perched on Corcovado Mountain.
Touring the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador is a major treat as you can spot Amazon rainforest fauna to your heart’s content. These islands are made up of 13 major volcanic islands and 40 smaller islands. Ecuador is also the domicile to the most superb animals and plants. You can snorkel, sail, scuba dive and bird watch. Other areas of interest are the Avenue of Volcanoes and the Devils Nose Train. The Avenue of Volcanoes is home to native Indian villages in South America. They are unique because the way of life for these Indian tribes have not changed in many centuries. The Devi’s Nose Train runs down the mountain in a winding pattern through the villages. The Andean Sierras lakes and the Ingapirca Ruins which are important historical sites can be seen on this journey.
If you are ready to rumba all night, perhaps Venezuela is the place for you. Musical choices range from Latin pop and salsa to Reggaeton and rock. Shopping is also high on the agenda. Tourist may be intrigued by the wares and products made by the native people. Another place that you may want to visit is Angel Falls. It is the highest free-falling freshwater waterfall in the world. It measures 2,648 ft. If you’re not afraid of cable cars and heights, then the El Teleferico located on Cerro El Avila shows fabulous views of the city of Caracas. There are also many Amazon rainforest plants to identify and photograph.
There are many different options to explore on Amazon tours in Bolivia. There are boat tours of the upper Amazon basin, or if you prefer you can trek in Lake Titicaca. It’s 121 miles long and 45 miles wide and is considered the highest passable lake in the world. On the southern shores of Lake Titicaca there is the town of Copacabana which is great for exploration of the Inca ruins. Bolivia also offers the chance to mountain bike the World’s Most Dangerous Road. Keep in mind this bike route descends 11,000 feet in 40 miles. It’s pretty steep but perfect for the adventurous with no fear of heights. There is also the ancient city of Tiahuanaco, whose ruins are believed to have been built before the birth of Christ. If you want to ski at the top of the world, check out Chacaltaya Mountain. It has an elevation of 17,785 feet above sea level and the world’s highest ski resort. You will also spot many animals in Amazon rainforest of Bolivia.
Colombia is unique because it has coasts on both the Caribbean and the Pacific sides which makes for a great Amazon holidays adventure. The Colombian sugar and coffee industry is located in Cali, the third largest city in Colombia. Its first Spanish settlement was Santa Marta which currently has great beaches and access to national parks such as Tayrona and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Isla Gorgona, a former prison in the Pacific Ocean is now a nature reserve and is available to those that would like to visit the ruins and wildlife.
A very popular hiking trail referred to as a royal highway is the Inca Trail whilst on Amazon trips in Peru. It is 27 miles of paved construct created as a way to travel to the citadel of Machu Picchu. The 15th century Inca site is located 7,970 feet above sea level and is deemed to have been built for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Some refer to it as the Lost City of Incas. This trail cannot be traveled or experienced without a professional tour guide. Peru is also nationally known as the best in birding.
In Guyana, the Kaieteur National Park is the center of the Guiana Highlands and is estimated to be around two billion years old and the earth’s oldest surface. Featuring a rainforest system and mountain plateaus, 80% of Guyana’s territory is strictly tropical rainforest. Try to fit in some shopping whilst on your Amazon vacations in Guyana which is available at the Stabroek or Hibiscus Craft Markets. Birding is also very popular and has been featured in publications around the world.
Suriname is famed for water lilies and orchids amongst the Amazon rainforest animals. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve is made up of 1.6 million hectares of tropical forest. There is a high diversity of plant life and many animals typical of the region such as jaguars, armadillos, otters and more. You can also visit the town of Paramaribo. It’s located on the northern coast of South America and was a 17th and 18th century Dutch colonial town.
French Guiana which is a department of France is divided into two sections, the coastal strip with residents and the rainforest. Here, the rainforest has not really been developed and is not populated. However, you can visit the Tumac-Humac Mountains which are the tallest peaks in French Guiana or Devil’s Island, a small island that used to be a penal colony.
The exploration possibilities of both the Amazon River and Amazon rainforest are almost endless. Books, photos, exhibits or research just won’t do it justice. Now all you have to do is to decide which country, or indeed countries, to visit on your exploration of this great destination.
You can also read our full country travel guides;
Brazil Travel Guide
Ecuador Travel Guide
Venezuela Travel Guide
Bolivia Travel Guide
Colombia Travel Guide
Peru Travel Guide
Guyana Travel Guide
Suriname Travel Guide
French Guiana Travel Guide
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