The Amazon rainforest, also known as Amazonia or Amazon jungle, is a humid broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America. This basin encompasses seven million square kilometers, of which five and a half million square kilometers are covered by the rainforest. This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest. The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world.
The Amazon River is the largest river in the world with a total river flow greater than the next ten largest rivers combined. The Amazon, which has the largest drainage basin in the world, accounts for approximately one-fifth of the world’s total river flow.
The Amazon River and its tributaries more than triples over the course of a year. In an average dry season, 110,000 square kilometres of land are water-covered, while in the wet season, the flooded area of the Amazon Basin rises to 350,000 square kilometres.
The river is one of the main habitats of the boto, also known as the Amazon River Dolphin. Also present in large numbers is the notorious piranha, which may attack livestock and even humans.
The pirarucu, is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, reportedly with a maximum length in excess of 4.5 metres and weight up to 200 kilograms. Anothers Amazonian freshwater fishes are: arowana, candirú, and catfish; all are native to the Amazon River.
Manaus is a capital of the state of Amazonas. It is situated at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers. It is the most populous city of Amazonas. Manaus has a tropical rainforest climate, but rainfall intensity is somewhat seasonal.
Manaus is a cosmopolitan city, and, because of its location next to the Amazon rain forest, it attracts a substantial number of Brazilian and foreign tourists, who can find plenty of boat and land trips into the surrounding jungle. A great diversity of wildlife can be found even in the surroundings of Manaus.
Tour boats leave Manaus to see the Meeting of the Waters, where the black waters of the Negro River meet the brown waters of the Solimoes River, flowing side by side without mixing for about 9 km. Visitors can also explore river banks, swim and canoe in placid lakes or simply walk in the lush forest or stay at hotels in the jungle.
About 18 km from downtown is Ponta Negra beach, a neighbourhood that has a beachfront and popular nightlife area. A luxurious hotel is located at the west end of Ponta Negra; its small but very interesting zoo and orchid greenhouse as well as preserved woods and beach are open for public visits.
The Mercado Adolpho Lisboa, founded in 1882, is the city’s oldest marketplace, trading in fruit, vegetables, and especially fish. It is a copy of the Les Halles market of Paris. Other interesting historical sites include the customs building, of mixed styles and medieval inspiration; the Rio Negro Palace cultural center; and the Justice Palace, right next to the Amazonas Opera House.
The city has a busy cultural calendar throughout the year, including the Opera, Theater, Jazz and Cinema festivals, as well as Boi Manaus (usually held around Manaus’ anniversary on the 24th of October), which is a great celebration of Northern Brazilian culture through Boi-Bumbá music.