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Amazon Rainforest

Photo © marlis

Travel Guide South America Amazon Rainforest

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Introduction

Giant waterlilies, Amazonia

Giant waterlilies, Amazonia

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

The Amazon Rainforest, also known as the Amazonia, the Amazon jungle or the Amazon Basin, contains over half of the rainforest in the world and is by far the largest rainforest with about 7 million square kilometres. The area actually containing forest is slightly smaller and is divided by 9 countries of which Brazil has the largest part. The other countries that the Amazon rainforest stretches into are French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

Although the name comes from its main river, the Amazon River, there are over 1,100 other rivers running through the tropical rainforest like the Orinoco River, Rio Madeira and Rio Negro. The Amazon River itself is the most important one and arguably the longest in the world (the Nile claims the same) with about 6,600 kilometres from its delta near the Atlantic Ocean to its source high in the Peruvian Andes. Sometimes it is named the Amazon Basin referring to the total flooded area in the wet season of the Amazon River and all its branch rivers.

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Getting there

Getting to the Amazon Rainforest requires time, money and sometimes a combination of the two. Although it is possible to travel overland or by river to most places, the occasional flight is a fair welcome when you are tired of travelling slowly.

There aren't many cities in the Amazon Rainforest itself, but the city of Manaus probably holds the title 'Capital of the Amazon' and actually has nearly 2 million inhabitants.

Other places from where to explore the rivers and rainforests are Porto Velho, Tefe and Belem in Brazil, Iquitos in Peru and the so called triple frontier area of Colombia, Peru and Brazil.
Although Belem, Porto Velho and Manaus can be reached overland when travelling between these places, access is only by boat or by plane.

Quick Facts

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Local names
Brazilian Portuguese: Floresta Amazônica; Spanish: Selva Amazónica
Countries
Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
Area
7,050,000 km² (2,720,000 sq mi) approx.
Rivers
1,100+
Main river
Amazon River - 6,400 km (4,000 mi) approx.

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This is version 5. Last edited at 19:54 on Jan 20, 13 by Utrecht. 16 articles link to this page.

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