The greatest river in the world
The mighty Amazon river is believed to have been discovered in 16th. century -around 1541- by Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana.
Later on, Portuguese explorer Pedro Teixeira led the voyage upstream that opened it to world's knowledge.
As legend goes, he named it as such because of reported encounters with wild women warriors - the Greek myth about the women warriors whose valor and war cry had fearful effect on their adversaries.
Amazon River from Space - © NASA-Johnson Space Center.
Its source is lake Lauricocha, in the Peruvian
Andes, and known as the Marañon in its upper river. Ucayali river joins the Marañon to eventually form the river of rivers.
It spans over nine South American countries:
Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, French Guinea and Suriname.
Sixty percent of the total lies in Brazil.
Manaus, capital of the Brazilian State of Amazonas is the place from which to start exploring the region, and to organize a superb river cruise.
Brazil, adventure comes super sized and its rainforest is the premier colossus, not to mention the river fish and animals.
For a great cruise experience, shop around for the best riverboats, to where the real exploring begins: wildlife tracking, jungle treks, nighttime cayman-spotting, fishing for Piranha, etc. Best time of year to visit is June-July, when full rivers allow access to the more remote parts of the jungle.
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Facts on the Amazon River:
It's the largest river basin in the world.
It's about 4,195 miles long covering an area of 2,700,000 sq. miles including its 15,000 tributaries.
Its mouth is more than 250 miles long.
Its width ranges from one to 35 miles.
Its depth is over 150 feet and near the mouth goes up to 300 feet.
The Amazon produces about 20% of all the water that the world's rivers pour into the ocean on its own and discharges around 40,000 gallons of water per second in the Atlantic ocean- near Belem.
It provides 24,000 km of "trunk" waterway. Ocean ships can penetrate up a distance equivalent to crossing the North Atlantic.
Amazonia is believed to be the oldest tropical forest in the world, perhaps as much as 100 millions years. It extends over 5 million km, ten times the size of France.
The largest mammal that can be found there is the
manatee, who looks like a floating hippopotamus and can weight up to 500 kg.
Another famous mammal inhabitant is the pink river dolphin It holds the biggest fresh water fish in the world: Arapima or Pirarucu, up to 15 feet (4 meters) long and 440 lbs. (200kg) in weight.
It has the smallest monkey, the sagui or pygmy marmoset, with a length of only 15 cm and weights only 100 grammes, one of the many
animals that inhabit the jungle. One of the most curious plants to be found in the jungle is the delicate moon-flower, it opens up every few years for one night only.
river cruise and you too will be able to explore the greatest river in the world... a truly unique South America travel experience like no other.
Amazon River Parrot Kiss -
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