Virtual Tour - Amazonia
A canopy of green spreads over a 2,030,000 square mile ecosystem that includes the Amazon River Amazon Forest (the largest and densest rainforest in the world) and upwards of five million animal species.
Over 25,000 species of plants and more butterflies can be found here than anywhere else on the planet. There are also 170 Indian cultural groups living in the Amazon remnants of the 7 million who flourished there once but who have been reduced to no more than 200,000 today
The Amazon Basin is the planet's largest body of fresh water with 1100 tributaries 17 of which are more than 1000 miles long. Many of the tributaries begin in Colombia and Peru.
Recognized as the worlds greatest reserve of life form with the greatest biological accumulation of carbon on Earth the Amazon is one of the largest remaining contiguous tracts of nature on earth. The Amazon is the "lungs of the world."
Marajó Island located near the river mouth is the size of Switzerland.
Once an oceanic gulf some 250 million years ago opening westward to the Pacific Ocean the Amazon River today flows 1/5 of the worlds fresh water into the Atlantic Ocean. Travel on the river may be by houseboat or by the more primitive method shown here.
Photo from the space shuttle Endeavour showing an area shown approximately 5 miles by 25 miles (8 kilometers by 40 kilometers). The two large rivers in this picture are the Rio Negro (at top) and the Rio Solimões (at bottom). They combine at Manaus to form the Amazon River. The green areas are heavily forested while blue areas are either cleared forest or open water. The yellow and red areas are flooded forest or floating meadows.
Wedding of the waters - where the dark water of the Rio Negro meet but do not mix with the muddy waters of the Rio Solimões - photo thanks to VVD Seguros and Pallas Gradmann & Holler of Brazil.
Peru's Madre de Dios River is a tributary of the Amazon. Tambopata Rain Forest and Manu Biosphere Reserve offer rainforest experience through the lodges shown here.
Continue on the Expanded Virtual Tour of South America or choose your next stop:
- Angel Falls
- Iguazu Falls
- Rio de Janeiro
- Buenos Aires
- Southern Chile
- Northern Chile
- Inca Empire
- Galapagos Islands
Photo from South American Expeditions
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