The Amazon rainforest is the lung of our planet.
The Amazon rainforest in Brazil and other South American countries is the world’s largest lung for the air we breathe and our collectively most important access to oxygen produced above the water surface. 20% comes from the Amazon. The other 80% is produced by microorganisms in the oceans around us. The Amazon covers 40% of South America.
So it is a huge natural organism, which is unfortunately still getting smaller in pace with brutal tree logging. Brazil´s coastal forests have been reduced to only 5% of what they have been.
But there are still tremendous areas to see from the tropical Amazon rainforest, and perhaps, or rather surely, it is one of the great experiences of your life to explore a jungle of this size, global significance and beauty. A little background is perhaps needed.
The Yellow and Black Rivers uniting in the Amazon of Brazil
The two rivers Rio Solimões and the Rio Negro are most beautifully united in the colossal Amazon River, which is already 10 kilometers wide at the junction and has to flow all the way to the Atlantic Ocean with huge bodies of water. The whole trip is 6400 km and the river passes on its journey French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Truly a journey worthy of the world’s largest river.
Around this great river formed an unbelievably large rainforest “in the morning of times”. The water itself from the two rivers that meet is yellow from Solimoes and bright black from Negro (not unexpectedly the name given) and each shows its color miles before ending in marriage forever: Amazon. The Amazon rainforest is formed in the fertility of the Amazon River over millions of years and we trace back to the present.
The climate in the Amazon is warm and humid
The climate in the Amazon rainforest is typically tropical with very hot and humid weather both day and night (the definition of tropical climate is always at least 20 Celcius degrees at night). Here it is really wet all year round, although one can define a “drier” time between April and September. It is important with the right clothes and shoes, but with the right clothes, such as a rainproof poncho or raincoat, and equipment, you are set for a life´s experience. The expected risk of wild animals and diseases is close to absent if you travel in a group with a reputable guide and have taken the necessary pills and received the necessary vaccinations.
Fauna and flora in the Amazon rainforest
The fauna and flora of the Amazon jungle are of another world: over 40,000 plant species, 1300 bird species, 3000 fish species, and 390 reptile species.
The rarest animals are hiding, it’s not a safari country here, but there are jaguars, cougars, anaconda snakes, wild piranhas (carnivorous fish) giant vampire bats and large spiders. Also Macaw, Amazon River Dolphin, Black Spider Monkey, Poison Dart Frog. On the whole, it is all fascinating and no more dangerous than crossing the road in a major city.
Travel tips to South America and adventure travel
- More about Brazil as a travel destination
- Also read about Peru and the giant kingdom of the Incas
- On your quest to discover el Mirador in the jungle of Guatemala
- The rainforests in the Amazon on World Wildlife’s page
- The highest waterfall in the world in Venezuela
- Son Dong, an enormous cave in Vietnam, a true natural wonder