BRAZIL  |  Manaus, Brazil Travel Guide
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The Amazon

The Amazon

The Amazon is the world’s largest river by volume of water. And while the Amazon Rainforest covers four million square miles and 75% of it lies in Brazil, it extends into several other countries as well. From the air it looks like a gigantic green carpet crisscrossed by surging rivers. The Amazon River starts in Peru and, fed by hundreds of tributaries, flows 3,900 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. Seventeen of the tributaries are over 1,000 miles long themselves and at some points the river is so wide that one can’t see the opposite shore.

But all is not well in the Amazon. Amazon's rainforest has serious deforestation problems – an estimated 5.4 million acres of jungle are lost each year – yet it provides 30% of the word’s oxygen and 20% of its fresh water. It is home to over 400 species of birds, 750 species of trees, 125 different mammals and 100 reptile species. Most of these are found nowhere else in the world.

When the Portuguese arrived in Brazil it is estimated that several million indigenous people lived in Amazonia. Today, best estimates put that figure at 200,000. You’ll immediately notice that most of the people have indigenous faces, rather than the blond, bronze and black faces in other parts of the country.

Last updated May 17, 2011
Posted in   Brazil  |  Manaus
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