The Amazon Rainforest is also known as the Amazon Jungle. When I hear the “Amazon Jungle” I immediately think of a ride on a river that is dangerous and packed with man eating animal, I never think of it as a beautiful rainforest that it is.
The Amazon River Basin is home to the largest rainforest on Earth. The Amazon Jungle is a moist broadleaf forest that encompasses seven million square kilometers or 1.7 billion acres. Most of the rainforest is within Brazil. The basin itself is about the size of the contiguous United States, and covers about 49% of South America. The countries it includes are Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname. The area receives nine feet of rain every year and fifty percent of this returns to the atmosphere through the foliage of the trees. Most of the annual snowmelt in the Peruvian Andes is where the Amazon River’s water comes from. Between June and Oct the water rises from 30-45 feet.
Today the Amazon River is the most voluminous river on Earth and drains eleven times more than the Mississippi.
Many animals call the Rainforest home including the harpy eagle who loves to pry on monkey sloths, reptiles and other birds. The sloths spend their live in the tree tops of the rainforest feasting on the lo nutrition leave that make them conserve energy causing them to rest 80% of their lives... The howler monkey also lives there and loves the leaves but does find them hard to digest.
Riverboat rides through the Rainforest are available. You can depart the boat for an overnight river journey at one of its “ports of call” in Brazil or Peru.
So the next time South America calls remember to go and visit the Rainforest of the Amazon River and enjoy a relaxing and beautiful trip.
Photo by CIFOR on flickr
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