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Home > Peru Itineraries > Rainforest Tours > Rainforest > Amazon River

 

Amazon River

 

The Amazon River is the longest, the largest, wider and deeper river and also drains the largest basin on Earth. A full 20 percent of the water that pours out of the planet's rivers into the oceans comes from the Amazon.

 

General Information

Length

3,980 miles

Source(s)

Iquitos, Peru

Mouth

Atlantic Ocean, off Brazil

Countries Flows Through

Brazil and Peru

Major Cities Flows By/Through

Manaus and Macapa Brazil; Iquitos, Peru

Where Name Comes From

Amazons, warrior women in the Greek tradition



How long is the Amazon River?

With 6762 km long, starting from the snowy Mismi, in the city of Arequipa, is the longest of the rivers. The Nile River is 6671 km.
The Amazon, the world's largest river in terms of volume, is almost 4.000 miles long, or 6.400 kilometers. Its source is high in the Peruvian Andes, and it runs to the northeastern coast of Brazil.

Download to Atlantic between 200 000 and 220 000 m3 of water per second, which is between 6.3 and 6.9 billion m3 per year.

Download to the sea near of 15.47% of the Earth's freshwater. Also, download the Atlantic Ocean nearly a billion tons of sediment per year. The Andes contributes about 13.5 t of sediment per second.

In Manaus, the Amazon contains 0.1 g / liter of sediment.
It has a very steep slope in the upper basin, with about 5000 m in 50 km in a straight line. The middle and lower the gap is small: from Iquitos (Peru), 2375 km and from mouth to mouth reaches 4.5 cm / km.


Discovery

The Amazon River is believed to have been discovered in the sixteenth century, about 1541, by the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana.
He gave the river its name and was the first European to travel the length of the river. He and his men encountered a tribe of fierce women who reminded him of the story from ancient Greece about Amazons, who were warrior women. Perhaps to warn later travelers about these fierce women, he named the river Amazon.

Some time later, the Portuguese Pedro Teixeira led the expedition that opened up would the Amazon to the world.
Together with its tributaries through nine countries in South America: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname.
60% of the total lies in Brazil.

Main tributaries

*along the left

Putumayo River. - This river originates in Ecuador and serves as a natural border between Peru and Colombia, draining into the Amazon in Brazil.

The Rio Napo. - This river originates southeast of Quito, Ecuador. It is the largest river in the Peruvian tributaries, its growing starts in February and ends in August. It is characterized as navigable throughout its course, in Peruvian territory. It has two major tributaries, which are the Curaray, on the right bank and Aguarico River, along the left margin. Francisco de Orellana followed the course of the Napo to explore the Amazon in 1542.

Nanay River. - This river that flows north of Iquitos.


*On the right bank

Yavari River. - This river originates in the watershed that exists south of the parallel 7 ° South Latitude, in the Province of Maynas. It has a length of 1,200 km. and forms the border between Peru and Brazil, along its course.

Yurúa River. - This river originates in Peruvian territory, under the name River Torolluc. One of its tributaries is the River Breu, which serves as a natural border between Peru and Brazil.

Purus River. - This river is located at the southern end of Ucayali, and serves as a natural boundary in a small area between Peru and Brazil.

The Madre de Dios River. - This river is responsible for draining the entire eastern flank of the eastern chain of the Andes of South and Central.

Animals

The Amazon River basin is the home of a variety of quantity animals particularly "extreme" species, like catfish which, in the U.S, grow up to 40 lbs., but in Brazil have been measured up to 200 lbs. There is also the anaconda, the largest snake in the world and the piranhas, the most ferocious fishes in the world. The Amazon River has 2,000 different species of fish, an extreme number for any given area.
Another interesting animal to see particularly at the Peruvian Amazon is the Pink Dolphin: The Amazon pink dolphin is the most romantic aquatic animal imaginable. Even, we can say that sexual behavior can be similar in some ways to that of apes and humans.

In all the rivers of the Amazon, There are many of cat fishes, of all shapes, types, sizes and colors. This fish, has maximum 6 centimeters and is defined as a "parasite" because sometimes inserted into the holes of the people who decide to take a bath, at the river and, as has spines directed backwards, get rid of he is a very complicated operation, so is important to be careful with that.

Definitely one of the most famous and feared species at the Amazon basin are the piranhas. Although its fame is frightening, actually, its danger is partly exaggerated. These fishes, have the important function of cleaning dead animals’ cascades that could cause epidemics and basically are dangerous only under certain conditions, for example when there is over population or food a shortage.

 

 

Flora

In the Amazon there are an incredible number of trees of all kinds: Itahuba, Caricari, Tajibos, Cedar, Ginger Cuta, Almandrillo and others. 50% of the wood species are exotic.

There are many species of medicinal plants that can cure all kinds of diseases such as ulcers, asthma, snake bites, blood problems, appendicitis, heart, respiratory, dental, and other digestive problems.

There are also gaps in some varieties of Lilies very striking as the Queen Victoria that can measure up to 2 meters in diameter which is the largest aquatic plant in the world.

Wildflowers of incredible beauty and variety to add color to the area. And can be found along the entire bush.

Also abound at all levels epiphytes, those that grow on other plants to be in a better position to receive sunlight. Many of them play important roles in the forest; conserve water and food (dead leaves and insects) after a storm. Among the best known are epiphytic orchids.

Other plants, such as water fern, floating in the water, feed through the leaves, or installed in the branches, as already mentioned epiphytes.

 



For more information, click at the following links:

*Amazon River Facts
*Amazon Rainforest
*Amazon river Map
 



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