The Brazilian Amazon is far more than a large river surrounded by rainforest. It is a continent of forests, savannas and mountains, coursed by myriad veins of flowing water, pocked with lakes, overflowing with flooded forests and home to several million people. They live in vibrant cities, little towns, indigenous villages and tiny river settlements of stilted or floating houses.
Visiting even a small part of the region is the highlight of many trips. A journey through offers the experience of a lifetime. And as it would take a lifetime to visit everywhere (the Brazilian Amazon alone occupies an area a little smaller than Western Europe), it can be hard to decide where to go and what to see. First time visitors often base a decision on where to see wildlife. This can be a mistake. For whilst the wildlife is spectacular, the forests are dense and seeing animals other than birds is far harder than in the Pantanal or cerrado. What is magical about the Amazon are its vast landscapes – it’s oceanic rivers and winding streams, its shimmering skies and labyrinthine backwaters – and the unique human drama which is played out here day after day.