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What to see in The Amazon

The Amazon Attractions

Those looking for bustling nightlife, luxury shopping trips and fancy restaurants in the Amazon will be disappointed.. For those who are keen to marvel at unrivalled natural wonders and have authentic experiences in one of the world's last mostly unspoilt locations however, the Amazon is just the ticket.The Amazon is one of the world's greatest natural wonders, home to 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 different kinds of birds and mammals. It teems with unique wildlife, from scarlet macaws, jaguars and giant anacondas, to poison dart frogs, piranhas and electric eels. The list of weird and wonderful creatures to tick off the list is endless.

In response to deforestation and climate change, the Amazon's tourism industry has started moving toward ecotourism; benefiting the local people, while also providing an unforgettable experience for visitors. The impact on the environment is always important to consider when travelling to undeveloped areas, and requesting things such as non-motorised boats and only qualified, locally-trained nature guides can make a big difference.

Because the Amazon is so large, there are a multitude of regions, each as uniquely fascinating and worthwhile as the next. Manaus is the largest city in the Amazon, with around two million inhabitants. It's a great base from which to travel, as one can find plenty of boat- and land trips into the jungle. Manaus has a variety of parks, beaches, a zoo and the wonderful Amazon Theatre for sightseers, and there are a number of lodges within range of Manaus that cater for tourists.

Belem is much smaller, with beautiful colonial architecture lining its streets, a number of interesting natural indentations and islands on its coast, and several bustling markets, including the Iron Market and the Ver-o-Peso, both near the waterfront.

There are many protected areas and national parks within the Amazon that provide great opportunities to interact with nature. Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve near Tefe is a protected area covered in swamp and flooded forest accessible by canoe. Its infrastructure is set up for ecotourism, including a unique floating lodge.

Cabo Orange National Park is the only protected area of the Amazon on the coastline, so the flora and fauna are unique to the rest of the rainforest. Infrastructure is lacking, but you can visit it from the nearby Oiapoque City. Cantão State Park has better facilities for tourists and an interesting topography that transitions from flat plains to rainforest.

The sun beats down mercilessly this close to the equator, especially during summer, so make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, hats and other protective gear. Be careful not to remove any plants, animals or seeds from the rainforest, as poaching and smuggling are a big problem in the region and the authorities won't hesitate to prosecute.

The Amazon is rural and generally poverty-stricken, so tourists shouldn't expect to use credit cards outside of the cities. Tourists are overcharged as a rule, so it is always a good idea to haggle.

Adolpho Ducke Botanical Garden

This vast forest reserve, covering more than 39 square miles (100 sq km) to the east of Manaus, provides tourists with the opportunity to discover what lies beneath the dense Amazon canopy. The park…

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Lake Janauari Ecological Park

An hour by boat from Manaus on the Rio Negro, this breathtaking park provides visitors with a taste of the Amazon experience, encompassing 22,240 acres (9,000 hectares) of forest, lowlands and flooded…

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The Meeting of the Waters

The Meeting of Waters is an incredible natural phenomenon occurring when the dark waters of the Rio Negro join the lighter-coloured stream of the Rio Solimoes. The difference between the blackwater…

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