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Amazon Vs. Amazon

Everyone has heard facts and figures, stats and standards about the Amazon—how it is the largest flow of water in the world, the largest rainforest in the world, the list goes on. But which Amazon is the best to visit?

It spans many countries: Brazil is the most famous with the lion’s share, but the Amazon also spills into Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia. I have had the fortune to visit from many different destinations, and can safely say it is an incredible experience no matter where your kick-off point is. Here are a few pointers.

The Brazilian Amazon is ridiculously vast and much of it is impossible to visit as a traveller. The main gateway is the industrial town of Manaus, famed for its opera house: Teatro Amazonas. From here you can reach a plethora of Amazon lodges; the longer it takes to travel there, the more remote and authentic it gets. The last thing you want is to see is a city in the distance. It is in Brazil where you will see “the meeting of the waters”, where the dark, almost black Rio Negro meets the sandy Amazon River—but they do not mix, they jut against each other, sometimes creating a marble-like effect. If you’re lucky you may also spot some pink river dolphins.

For the highest standard of accommodation, on land or water, head to the Peruvian Amazon. The M/V Aqua is the only luxury cruiser currently traversing the Amazonian waters and it is a splendid way to see the rainforest. Huge windows make for an inescapable panorama so you can simply enjoy the views from your room.

The Ecuadorian Amazon is reached by a phenomenal flight from the capital of Quito—taking you from the highlands of the Andes down to the low-lying Amazon basin: make sure you book a window seat. Next follows a journey by speedboat, a walk, and a trip in a dugout canoe to reach your lodge. The journey itself is an interesting, integral part of visiting this land.

Colombia’s Amazon town is called Leticia: an open frontier town connecting with Brazil and Peru, so on a trip through the rivers here you may dip your fingers in the waters of three different countries. All of the Amazonian experiences mentioned here feature great excursions; again you may see pink river dolphins, fish for piranhas (then swim in the same waters), visit indigenous Amazonian villages, and stop at floating cafés. Venture out after dark for some night caiman spotting and trek through the enormous forest itself, avoiding tarantulas while observing the incredible plants and animals of this amazing destination.

Anton Lynch is Trufflepig’s newest trip planner, and he brings with him a wealth of South America expertise. If you’re looking for an adventure way south of the border, get in touch.

The longer it takes to travel there, the more remote and authentic it gets. The last thing you want to see is a city in the distance.