If you are traveling to the Amazon Rainforest and looking to live unique experiences in the region, check out our tips with 18 must-see attractions in the destination!

The Amazon has never been more in evidence than it is now. And we're not talking about anything that appears in the news almost daily: let's step away from that for a moment and face what causes the demand in tourist agencies. Incredible experiences that the inhabitants of the other regions of the country do not even imagine exist.

Not to mention ecotourism. The Amazon rainforest or jungle is the name given to the broadleaf tropical rainforest in the Amazon biome that covers most of the Amazon basin of South America. It covers 7,000,000 km2, of which 5,500,000 are covered by this same tropical forest.

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Note well: the region itself includes territories belonging to nine nations and 3,344 formally recognized indigenous territories. Most of it is in Brazilian territory (60%), followed by Peru (13%), Colombia (10%) and other small portions in the territories of Bolivia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela. Four nations have the term “Amazons” naming one of their first-level administrative regions. Another curious point is that France uses the name “Amazon Park of Guyana” to name its protected area of tropical forest.

More than 30 million people from 350 different ethnic groups live in our Amazon, which is subdivided into nine different national political systems and 3,344 formally recognized indigenous territories. Indigenous peoples constitute 9% of the total population, with 60 of the groups remaining largely isolated.

All this diversity in the same territorial strip could only generate different attractions. Here we list 18 tourist highlights that will convince you to stop by and see these amazing places on the amazonThe. Do you accept the challenge?

Unforgettable experiences to have in the Amazon

The options are many and range from visits to indigenous tribes to visits to waterfalls and interaction with animals. Check out the list below and prepare your adventure.

Take a boat trip (River Route)

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What to do in the Amazon? Start with a boat trip. This may seem like a thing of the distant past, but some still find this kind of fun quite an experience. And the further we go north the more we realize how much things seem to have frozen in time. So nothing more appropriate than a good river trip.

THE classic route Belém – Manaus is the most sought after. There is no comfort, but the experience is quite remarkable. Take advantage of the trip to understand a little about the so-called riverside peoples, a traditional population that lives near rivers. Its main activities are fishing and small-scale agriculture, for its own use only. They usually live in houses and travel in boats called voadeiras, with which they reach neighboring cities.

Discover the Anavilhanas Archipelago

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The Anavilhanas Islands are one of the largest river archipelagos in the world, with 400 or more islands, which vary according to the water level of the river due to flood pulses. The cyclical fluctuation of the water level during the ebb and flow period can reach 10 meters, the flood period goes from October to March and the dry period goes from April to September.

The archipelago is in a federal protection unit, which has recently moved from an ecological station category to a national park, incorporating public use issues into its management plan. Anavilhanas National Park is located on the Rio Negro, about 40 kilometers from Manaus, and is managed by ICMBio (Instituto Chicomendez de Conservação da Biodiversidade), based in Nova Ailang. The archipelago has two floating bases and one land base to support surveillance and investigation.

Enjoy the beaches of Alter do Chão

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Alter do Chão is one of the administrative districts of the city of Santarém, in Pará. It is located on the right bank of the Tapajós River, about 37 kilometers from the city center along the Everaldo Martins Highway (PA-457). The British newspaper The Guardian reported that the city is the main tourist attraction of Santarém “because it has the most beautiful freshwater beach in the world”.

On the banks of the Tapajós River and Lago Verde there are several beaches. The most famous of these is Praia de Alter do Chão, which is located on a peninsula with sandy and flood-prone terrain, also known as Ilha do Amor. There are also smaller beaches on the edge of the area, such as Cajueiro. The region is also the gateway to other resorts, such as Pindobal and Porto Novo in Belterra, and Ponta de Pedras in Santarém.

Discover ancient trees

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Researchers from north to south of Brazil are identifying rare monumental trees in the country that stand above the forest and maintain a network of interactions with animals and other plants. Based on flybys and light sensors, researchers from the states of Minas Gerais, Amapá and São Paulo found that at least 20 trees in the Amazon forests of western Amapá and northeastern Pará are over 70 meters tall, of which 6 are tall. more than 80 m, more than twice the height of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.

These are the so-called giant trees, defined as those with a diameter of at least 70 centimeters, easier to measure than their height, which can vary from 25 meters in the cerradão to 80 meters in the Amazon.

Bird watching (birdwatching)

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Among the 1,300 species of birds that exist in the Amazon, 929 of them are in the Amazon. The large number attracts more and more ecotourists and lovers of bird watching, mainly from Presidente Figueiredo (107 kilometers from Manaus), where 480 birds live, including rare ones such as the uirapuru and the serrated rooster.

Bird watching has been explored by tourists for over 10 years, who are fascinated by the sounds of the forest. This activity helps in the fight against depression and anxiety and counts on commercial operators, who receive more than 5 thousand tourists between Brazilians and foreigners each year.

Meet an indigenous community and learn more about the culture

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Photo: Camila Boehm

The world press makes a lot of allusion to the Amazon and the indigenous peoples who live there. It is in the region that most of this population in the country is mentioned, with around 440,000 indigenous people from 180 peoples, occupying an area of around 110 million hectares. These lands play a fundamental role in guaranteeing the protection of the rights and identity of these peoples.

Although they are not as well known as the indigenous peoples and rubber tappers, there are other traditional quilombola populations, riverside dwellers, artisanal fishermen, family farmers, piaçabeiros, peconheiros and others.

Visits are organized in Manaus through several channels. There are several tour packages that include this item. But beware: these are tribes used to receiving visitors, as they depend on these visits to obtain their resources. There are no tours that include wild type Indians.

Travel on a luxury boat along the Rio Negro and Solimões

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The Rio Negro or Guainía, as it is known in its upper part, is the largest left tributary of the Amazon River, responsible for about 14% of water in the Amazon basin. It is also the largest blackwater river in the world and one of the ten largest rivers in the world by average flow.

The Rio Solimões is the name often given to the upper reaches of the Amazon River, from its confluence with the Rio Negro, upstream, to the border with Peru. At the confluence, it is already by far the largest river in the world, although its two largest tributaries have not yet entered (the Rio Negro and the Rio Madeira). The Solimões portion of the Amazon River is entirely in the state of Amazonas and a part of the state is often referred to as the Solimões region.

A trip to the Amazon would not be complete without a trip down these two rivers. The Solimões River Cruise, offered by the Iberostar Grand Amazon, is one of the most popular. It lasts about three nights and always departs on Fridays from the Port of Manaus. It is the most comfortable and least adventurous way of getting to know the forest. The official website emphasizes: “choose between the three possible itineraries and live an original experience exploring the wildest Amazon, with activities scheduled daily. Enjoy this adventure without sacrificing excellence in service, facilities and gastronomy”.

Official site

Staying in a luxury hotel

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Many have the image that the Amazon is associated with a rudimentary tourist infrastructure. This couldn't be more wrong. It is totally possible to find luxury accommodation in the middle of the forest, as evidenced by Mirante do Gavião, an architectural project in hardwood and fully integrated with nature, located on the banks of the Rio Negro, 184 kilometers from Manaus.

The hotel is located almost next to the Anavilhanas Archipelago ecological reserve. It presents a structure with an original design, which harmonizes art with the nature around it. It was created by the architect Patricia O'Reilly, from the office Atelier O'Reilly Architecture & Partners Sustainable Strategies, and consists of seven housing units and a leisure area with swimming pool, restaurant/bar and three viewpoints.

Official site

boat expedition Amazon rainforest

Photo: DisclosureThis attraction is for lovers of ecology and ecotourism. “We believe that the experience of being in a different world should be lived on a level far beyond the digital photos and memories of our cameras. There is a whole universe of new understandings about the jungle and the people of the waters for us to explore, through readings, conversations, looks and countless experiences lived in loco”, defines the official website.

Building a bridge between the forest and the urban is not an easy task, but Katerre manages to show the Amazon in a different light. “Interacting with traditional populations. Showing that of the animals in the forest, none look at us as prey. Diving in the Rio Negro, in its beaches of fresh water, black and at the same time crystal clear. Showing that there is an Amazon that is very different from the boxed vision on TV, trumpeted by the media”, he emphasizes.

A tour promoted by this agency guarantees quite an experience. The itineraries vary in length and include Anavilhanas (four days), Apuaú Selvagem (four days), Parque do Jaú (five days), Anavilhanas-Jaú (seven days), Jauaperi-Xixuaú (eight days) and Apujaú (eight days).

Official site

Discover the typical fruits of the region at the Ver-o-Peso Market

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Photo: Mauricio Mercer / Wikimedia Commons

The Ver-o-Peso market is a municipal establishment in Belém, Pará, located on the banks of the Baía de Guajará river. It is called “Ver-o-Peso” according to a tradition from the colonial period, because there was the main post of the tax collector, which was called “Casa do Haver-o-Peso”. It was there that taxes on goods brought from the Amazon rainforest, rivers and countryside were to be paid to the Portuguese crown, but only after their weight had been measured, hence the name, which later suffered a contraction. It has a free market, where handicrafts, perfumes of natural essences, typical foods and native fruits such as taperebá, bacuri, pupunha, inajá and biribá are sold.

It is located a few meters from the Feliz Lusitânia complex, a set of buildings from the 16th and 18th centuries, including a fortress, an old hospital turned museum and two churches: a baroque one where the sacred art museum and the Belém cathedral are located. This entire area was declared a national heritage site by the National Historical Museum and even competed for UNESCO's list of world heritage sites, but was not included.

dance Carimbó

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Photo: Jeso Carneiro

This dance was common in northern Brazil, since the times of Portuguese colony. It is originally from the region of Pará, around the island of Marajó and the capital, Belém. Defined as a loose and very sensual dance, it involves movements from side to side and many twists and turns of the hips of the dancer, who normally wore a round skirt. The music was mostly drums. In it, a woman threw her handkerchief on the floor and her partner tried to retrieve it using only his mouth.

Over time, the dance changed, as did the music itself. It was influenced by Caribbean and French/Spanish Caribbean dance styles, especially Colombia. The style survives to this day, with Caribbean radio stations from northern states such as Amapá playing the song. The Carimbó style formed the basis of some new rhythms such as Sirimbó, Lari Lari and Lambada.

On August 26, the Municipal Carimbó Day takes place in Pará. It is the birth day of Mestre Verequete, a musician who became known as Rei do Carimbó.

Visit the Amazon Theater

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One of the most famous spots in Manaus is an opera house in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. It is where the Amazonas Opera Festival takes place annually. It is also home to the Amazon Philharmonic Orchestra, which rehearses and performs regularly along with choirs, concerts and other performances.

The establishment represents, with its more than 120 years, the heyday of the city during the height of rubber extraction. It was chosen by Vogue magazine as one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world.

Official site

Discover the Amazonian Venice

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Afuá is located to the north of Marajó, in the Microregion of Furos de Breves, limited to the north by Caviana Island, to the northeast by the municipality of Chaves, to the south by the municipalities of Anajás and Breves, to the southeast by the municipality of Anajás. , to the southwest with the municipalities of Breves and Gurupá, east with the municipality of Chaves and to the west and northwest with the State of Amapá. It is in a floodplain region, which meant that the entire city was suspended on stilts, including the streets. Hence the nickname of Amazonian Venice.

The most used means of transport is the Bicitáxi, a non-motorized four-wheel vehicle assembled from the junction of two bicycles. A tourist highlight is the Shrimp Festival which takes place in July and draws crowds from various parts of the country and beyond. It is a celebration in honor of the main commercial attraction, the freshwater shrimp.

Meeting of the Rivers

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Photo: Marcelo Camargo / Agência Brasil

The Pororoca or the Meeting of the Rivers is a tidal meeting that generates waves up to four meters high and that travel up to 800 kilometers inland upstream in the Amazon and adjacent rivers. There are two versions of the name. One would be from the Tupi language, which would mean “great roar”. The other would be from Portuguese, derived from the term poroc-poroc, which in indigenous language was a way of expressing the act of destroying everything.

The phenomenon occurs at the mouth of the river where the waters meet the Atlantic Ocean. During new and full moons, when the ocean tide is at its highest, water flows from the Atlantic, not the other way around. The flow of the Amazon is reversed, the distance of which largely depends on the runoff generated by rainwater in the Amazon, and a bulge of water accelerates upstream with great force, forming a tidal pit with an audible noise. The phenomenon is best observed at biannual equinoxes in September and March during spring tide.

Interact with pink botos

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Photo: Nortondefeis / Wikimedia Commons

Another attraction linked to the Rio Negro. Those who book a place on the Iberostar tour are able to position themselves among these intelligent animals. The Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), also known as the pink dolphin, is a species of toothed whale classified in the family Iniidae. Three subspecies are currently recognized: I. g. geoffrensis (Amazon river dolphin), I. g. boliviensis (Bolivian river dolphin) and I. g. humboldtiana (Orinoco river dolphin). The three subspecies are distributed in the Amazon basin, in the upper Madeira River in Bolivia and in the Orinoco basin, respectively.

The Amazon River Dolphin is the largest species of river dolphin, with adult males reaching 185 kilograms in weight and 2.5 meters in length. Adults acquire a pinkish color, more prominent in males, receiving the nickname “pink dolphin”. Sexual dimorphism is very evident, with males measuring 16% more and weighing 55% more than females.

Several information sites linked to the Amazon state that from October onwards, tourists will only be able to spend 20 minutes with dolphins on interaction platforms. The presence of visitors will be limited to 80 people per day, a restriction that aims to reduce the environmental impact for the animals. More information directly at the travel agency of your choice.

Presidente Figueiredo Waterfalls

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Photo: Luciano cta / Wikimedia Commons

Known as The Land of Waterfalls, the city of Presidente Figueiredo, 120 kilometers from Manaus, is home to more than 100 waterfalls to satisfy lovers of a good invigorating bath. The Ministry of Tourism has cataloged all the waterfalls in the municipality, many of them economically exploited through ecotourism.

Highlights include the Iracema Waterfall, within the Iracema Falls Ecological Park, which also includes the Araras Waterfall, caves, trails, hotel and restaurant, eight kilometers from the city; the Waterfall of the Sanctuary, made up of three waterfalls and which houses a small image of Santa Clara in the first waterfall; the Porteira Waterfall, much sought after by those who love to camp, has a camping area, tables, bathrooms and trash cans; the Pedra Furada Waterfall, the most distant of all, formed by three large holes in the stone and make up a natural pool of calm waters; and the Asframa Waterfall, on private property, five meters high, with natural pools and rapids.

Official site

Parintins Carnival

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Photo: Ministry of Culture

With the official name of Festival Folclórico de Parintins or Festival do Boi-Bumbá, Bumba Meu Boi is an annual popular festival for three days in late June held in the Brazilian city of Parintins. It is one of the biggest annual festivals in the country, second only to the carnival festivities of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. The festivity is recognized as Cultural Heritage of Brazil by the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional.

The festival celebrates a local legend about a resurrected ox. It's also a competition where two teams, Garantido and Caprichoso, compete in lengthy retellings of history, each team trying to outdo the other with extravagant dances, chants, and parades of floats. Each team must complete their show in two and a half hours. A team that does not meet this time limit is subject to a points penalty. Each nightly performance is largely based on local Amazonian folklore and indigenous culture, but also incorporates contemporary Brazilian rhythms and themes. The place where the teams perform is called “Bumbódromo”, a round and grounded stage. The “Bumbódromo” serves 35,000 people in the audience.

Official site

Alligator Focus

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This high-profile activity takes place when a naturalist guide tries to catch one of these animals with his bare hands. It usually happens at dusk. Once captured, the prey is exposed for tourists to photograph the moment. After that it is returned to its natural habitat.

In most of the tours, the alligators are small precisely so they are not harmed by the interaction with tourists. Keep an eye on the options offered by your travel agency, as there are cases where this activity happens in conjunction with piranha hunting.






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