Exploring the Amazon Travel Guide


Exploring the Amazon Region

To help travellers with decision making, below are some suggestions and tips for exploring the Amazon from different countries, and what else those destinations have to offer. In all these destinations it is possible to explore the Amazon Rainforest by boat, on trips that vary from the day to over a week. Each offers the chance to see pristine rain forest, some allow interaction with indigenous tribes and/or wildlife, so check with individual operators before booking an adventure.

Brazil

As the largest South American country, Brazil offers many things to see and do. See exquisite waterfalls like Iguacu Falls which is often called one of the seven natural wonders of the world. For adventure, go rappelling over amazing waterfalls like Roncaderia and Cachoeria.

Experience Brazil's beaches. With over 4,000 miles of coastline, Brazil offers numerous gorgeous beaches. Walk on the beautiful golden sand and enjoy snorkelling and swimming in some of Brazil's amazing beaches like Alter do Chao in Para or Praia do Toque in Alagoas.

Organize a riverboat cruise down the Amazon River. Depart from Manaus, cruise through the thick jungle and see exotic wildlife, trees and flowers and meet friendly locals. Trips vary from day trips to a weeklong exploration. The longer you go for, the more remote the areas you travel too. Whichever you choose, don't forget to try the piranha fishing.

Spend the day in Pantanal Wildlife Reserve. Left to develop naturally, the reserve attracts fishing fanatics and bird watchers from all over the world.

Visit Sao Luis, one of Brazil's oldest and most charming cities. See its beautiful, old colonial architecture and the ruins of the city's original settlement. Head to the popular tourist city of Rio de Janeiro for exciting shopping and lively nightlife.

Colombia

Located in north western South America, Colombia includes regions of the Andes Mountains, the Amazon rainforest and coastlines of both the Caribbean and Pacific. Here visitors will find a wide array of things to see and do. Visit the old colonial port of Cartagena with its lovely balconies and hanging bougainvillea. From Cartagena, arrange canoe tours with native guides to see the mangrove labyrinths or enjoy a mud bath at the top of Mud Volcano.

Spend time in the Tayrona National Park, one of Colombia's most popular attractions. Enjoy the gorgeous bays with coral reefs and coconut trees. Arrange a tour into Colombia's Amazon Basin. Depart from Leticia, explore the exotic jungle and meet up with some of the local natives. See the Zipaquira, the amazing Salt Cathedral built underground in a salt mine.

Venezuela

Situated on the northern coast of South America, Venezuela ranges from the Andes Mountains to the Amazon Basin to the Caribbean coastline. A must see and do in Venezuela is a boat or plane tour from Ciudad Bolivar to Angel Falls in the Canaima National Park. Once considered a sacred site by the Incas, it is the world's tallest waterfall. Admire the beautiful rainbows glistening over the free falling water that thunders into a lovely pool.

Explore the enormous limestone cave at Cueva del Guacharo National Park and catch a glimpse of the thousands of nocturnal birds that call it home. Organize a deep sea fishing tour off of La Guaira, a port famous for its plentiful blue marlins. See the pink flamingos at Morrocoy National Park.

Admire fine art and fascinating archaeology at museums in Merida or get in on the lively nightlife at Caracas. Take a daring and exciting ride on the Telerifico, the highest and longest cable car in the world. Start in Merida and ride to the chilly peak of Pico Espejo. Be amazed at the odd phenomenal lightning displays at the Cienagas del Catatumbo National Park.

Peru

Located in western South America, Peru has been inhabited by many ancient civilizations including the Inca Empire. A must see and do is Machu Picchu, Peru's most popular attraction. Cloaked in clouds over 7,000 feet above sea level, Machu Picchu is a mysterious and ancient Inca site. Organize a hiking tour along the historical Inca Trail or take a scenic train ride.

Arrange a riverboat trip from Puerto Maldonado to the secluded jungle of the Amazon Basin. Camp in a jungle lodge, listening to the exotic sounds of monkeys and the tropical rain.

Organize an air plane fly over tour of the Nazca Lines and marvel the mysterious geoglyphs. Swim and surf at the pristine beaches of Mancora. Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Go horse riding, mountain biking or river rafting among the spectacular landscape. Check out the numerous historical and archaeological sites in the area.

Bolivia

Located in the Amazon Basin, Bolivia is a territory that has been inhabited for over 2,000 years. Plan a jungle trip with local guides into the rainforest. Travel the Amazon River by motorized canoes, camp in an isolated jungle lodge and experience the indigenous wildlife and plants.

Visit La Paz, the highest capital city in the world. For some adventure, ride a mountain bike down one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Begin in the Andes Mountains outside of La Paz and zoom down the mountain's twisting road. Or, for a more moderate adventure, take a day hike or horse ride through the region of Zona Sur of La Paz and enjoy Bolivia's stunning mountain landscape.

Also in La Paz, visit the ancient city of Tiwanaku and see its temples. Definitely check out the museum that displays artifacts of pottery and stone tools from ancient civilizations.

Tips

When planning a trip to the Amazon region, consider the climate. The rain forest is often humid and hot with frequent afternoon rainstorms. In some of the more arid areas, nights can be chilly so clothing should be taken into consideration.

Never travel alone but always plan excursions with a group or local guide who knows the area and the possible dangers.

Ask your physician if immunization or malaria vaccines should be required before travelling to South America.

Visitors are advised to take caution when travelling across the Colombian border. Though drug trafficking and other crime incidents have dropped in recent years, travellers should only cross the border of Colombia at official crossing stations.

Travellers are cautioned against carrying personal valuables or large amounts of money on themselves.

Travellers should educate themselves about the risk of altitude sickness, or AMS, Acute Mountain Sickness.

Exploring the Amazon is an incredible experience not to missed. Like all travelling destinations, there are risks involved and travellers should educate themselves on any possible dangers but should not let these risks prevent them from experiencing the beauty and wonder that is unique to the Amazon.

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