Amazon Basin, Brazil

The Amazon lies in the north of Brazil and flows through the largest rainforest on earth. The gigantic Amazon basin covers almost half the area of the South American continent.

Probably all of us are familiar with the Amazon - a river of enormous dimensions that winds its way through the northern half of South America. The rainforest that surrounds it and its tributaries covers a staggering 6.7 million square kilometres. The mighty watercourse in the midst of breathtaking nature is one of our top 10 sights of Brazil.


The Amazon River itself measures about 6,400 kilometres from the origin of the previous river, the Ucayali, to its mouth in the Atlantic, surpassed only by the African Nile. Controversial higher length figures would make it the longest river in the world.

PICTURES: Amazon Basin

Photo gallery: Amazon Basin

Through which countries does the Amazon River flow?

Aerial view of the Amazon, Brazil - © satori / Fotolia
© satori / Fotolia

The Amazon Basin is the area through which the Amazon River and its tributaries flow - from the Andes in Peru to the Atlantic Ocean. Most of this area lies in Brazil and extends over 8 other countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Guyana, Ecuador, Suriname, Venezuela and French Guyana.

What makes the Amazon so special?

In the Amazon Basin, you are surrounded by a mixture of gigantic trees, magnificent palms and exotic sounds, Brazil - © achiaos / Shutterstock
© achiaos / Shutterstock
  • The Amazon is the world's most water-rich river. It carries a fifth of the earth's entire freshwater supply. In places it is so wide that from its centre you can no longer see the shore in any direction - sea feeling in the middle of South America.
  • The Amazon basin is home to the world's largest number of different freshwater fish species, and its rainforest also has some 750,000 insect and 250,000 plant species.
  • It is not called the world's catalyst for nothing. A large part of the air consumed by animals and humans is converted back into fresh oxygen in the Amazon. One of the most serious reasons for protecting the rainforest! Deforestation, climate change and poaching are the biggest threats to the Amazon.
  • The Amazon estuary into the Brazilian Atlantic is an incredible 100 kilometres wide. Up to 300 million litres of water per second flow into the sea here and displace the salt water up to 200 kilometres away.

Tour through the Amazon Basin

Tourist boats depart from Manaus for excursions into the Amazon Basin, Brazil - © Christian Vinces / Shutterstock
© Christian Vinces / Shutterstock

Excursions into the rainforest usually start from the port in Manaus. From there, they first set off in tourist boats, from which they later switch to motor canoes, as the side rivers are very shallow at certain times.

Place of interest: Meeting of the Waters

About 10km from Manaus, two of Brazil's great rivers, the Rio Negro (black) and the Rio Solimoes (muddy brown), meet - © guentermanaus / Shutterstock
© guentermanaus / Shutterstock

After a short boat trip through the Amazon rainforest around Manaus, you reach the well-known border between the Rio Negro and Amazon rivers. This border is also called the "Meeting of Waters".

The dark water of the Rio Negro meets the river water of the Amazon. Due to the different temperatures of the rivers, the water does not mix very well and you can see this "border" or also "water colour differences" exactly with the naked eye.

Experience the rainforest with all senses

Fabulous atmosphere is guaranteed when you can let all your senses merge with the rainforest of the Amazon basin, Brazil - © Harald Toepfer / Shutterstock
© Harald Toepfer / Shutterstock

In the rainforest itself, you have the feeling of having landed in another world. During the trip by motor canoe through the tributaries of the Amazon basin, you are surrounded by a mixture of gigantic trees, magnificent palm trees and exotic sounds. Such a boat trip is a very special experience.


Canoe trips at night are particularly fascinating, when the boatman turns off the engine and lets the canoe drift off the river. Fabulous atmosphere is guaranteed when you can let all your senses merge with the rainforest. Pure nature for the eyes, ears and nose!

That's why the rainforest is called rainforest - tips against the wetness

The traditional dugout canoe is the classic mode of transport in the Amazon basin, used by the indigenous people of Brazil since time immemorial - © Ammit Jack / Shutterstock
© Ammit Jack / Shutterstock

Excursions in the Amazon Basin do not only involve river water. For excursions or a stay in an Amazon Village, it is highly recommended to pack sufficient clothing.

Due to the high humidity in the rainforest, it is almost impossible to dry damp or wet clothes again. If possible, transport your fresh clothes in a waterproof bag to keep them dry until you wear them. Ideally, you should also protect the rest of your luggage with a large rain cover or a waterproof bag.

During the boat transfer to the Amazon Village or to your lodge, a heavy rain shower may fall - not uncommon in the rainforest and motor canoes are usually not covered!

Tip: Some lodges do not have electricity. For this reason, you should definitely take a torch and a lighter with you to light candles. Caution: Matches quickly become unusable due to the high humidity.