"The gods are mighty, but mightier still is the Jungle..." — Amazon Proverb
From the Greek, "Amazon", woman warrior of antiquity who rode horseback. Also applied to legendary women warriors who once inhabited the tropical forest.
Derived from the Sanskrit "jangala", this word was originally used by Anglo-Indians to any impenetrable vegetation. Today, Jungle is the popular term for Tropical Rainforest, the World's most complex and spectacular ecosystem. Of all the regions of Tropical Rainforest in the world, the Amazon Jungle, one of the great wild places left on Earth, is by far the largest. The Amazon River itself carries the greatest volume of water compared to any other river in the world. With an area of approximately 8.5 million square kilometers, the Amazon is a part of nine South American countries: Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The extraordinary wealth of plants and animal life in the Amazon basin has attracted explorers and scientists since the early sixteenth century. At least 30,000 out of 100,000 species of plants in Latin America grow in the Brazilian Amazon. The wildlife is equally diverse; there are thousands of creatures, amazingly different but each ideally suited for its particular way of life in the jungle. Clearly, this is a world of enormous fascination to everyone interested in nature! With its legends and myths, the reality of the Amazon is still an enigma for humanity.
Often referred to as "The green Inferno", the Amazon jungle is the largest tropical rainforest on Earth. Although the jungle's area is so big that reaches out to several different countries (Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Panama, and Ecuador), most of its area is located within the Brazilian territory. The rainforest covers 7 out of the 27 Brazilian states, holding 39% of Brazil's 3.3 million square miles of area, which means that 1,28 million sq. miles of the Amazon is located in Brazil alone.
The Amazon river is the world's largest river in volume of water, and the second in length. The Amazon starts at the top of the Peruvian section of the Andean Mountains, and flows into the Atlantic 4,007 miles away from there. The Amazon river is sixty times greater than the Nile on its mouth, pouring 8 trillion gallons of water into the ocean every day, to have an idea of the river's hydrography, which by the way holds 20% of the world's fresh water!
The area covered by the eternal rainforest, consists of many different Ecosystems and the richest diversity in flora and fauna on our planet. The River generally called the Amazon has two major sources. The Rio Solimões, coming down from the Andean mountains and the Peruvian border carrying with it sediments from the mountains which gives its water a brownish color.
From the north, the Rio Negro is winding its way through the dense forest. In the rainy season the river is flooding huge areas, in the process natural acids are extracted from the flooded woodlands, which makes the waters look very dark which gives the River its name Rio Negro, the black river.
The length of the Amazon river varies between 6.400 and 7.025 km depending of its water level of its tributaries. The Amazon river pours 8 trillion gallons of water into the ocean every day.
The Amazon basin covers an area of 8.512.000km² two fifth of the South American Continent. Two thirds of all river water on our planet flows in the River systems of the Amazon. Just a little south of Manaus the two rivers meet and due to the different consistence of their waters, they are flowing side by side for miles only gradually mixing.
This natural phenomenon is known as the "The Meeting of the Waters ".
Name of indigenous tribe, which originally inhabited this particular area and meaning "Mother of God" in the native tongue, the city of Manaus - capital of the state of the Amazonas, with over 1.8 million inhabitants is today the best-equipped starting point for Eco-tourism in all of Brazil.
Manaus on the Gateway to the Rainforest:
At the turn to the 20th century Manaus was one of the richest cities in the world, architectural monuments from this period are witnesses of this great time. The reason for this extreme wealth was the invention of Charles Goodyear, a process to transform the "Milk" of the Kautschuk tree into natural rubber. The rubber barons could afford all the luxury available in Europe and happily imported everything they could put their hands on, to the middle of nowhere. Famous architects constructed the "Amazon Opera House", having as models the "Scala "in Milan and the Grand Opera of Paris, the "Black River Palace ( Palácio Rio Negro)”, and the "County Market (Mercado Municipal)", a copy of the Les Halles in Paris. The floating port was imported from England.
With the end of the rubber boom came the end of the golden days and Manaus was forgotten for many years to come.
Only when the Government installed a free trade zone in Manaus the region came alive again and a new modern infrastructure was developed. Tourism is a main beneficiary of this process. In order to get a real feeling of the rain forest, one must leave the big city.
The Amazon Village Jungle Lodge in the middle of the Forest offers a unique opportunity for an unforgettable experience.
The Amazon is the ultimate last frontier,
and now is the ideal moment to discover!