Amazon is the name of the world's mightiest river and the surrounding biogeographic region, the tropical
forests of the Amazon river system. The vast lowland basin surrounding the Amazon river and its tributaries -
Amazonia - covers 3.7 million square kilometers (1.4 million sq miles). Countries through which passes the
Amazon river are Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.
To visit the Amazon is an exhilirating experience, not to mention humbling. It is also a rude awaking to
how much damage man can do to fragile environments. The sheer size of the region and the beauty of the
surroundings can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, at the same time, a lot of destruction can be seen by
mining, logging, and the spread of settlements. If you are looking for an adventurous vacation and take
in the geographical beauty of this ancient river and forest, the Amazon is second to none.
The name Amazon is said to arise from a war which Francisco de Orellana
had with a tribe of Tapuyas and other tribes from South America
where the women of the tribe fought alongside the men, as was the
custom among the entire tribe. (Orellana's descriptions may have
been accurate, but a few historians speculate that Orellana could
have been mistaking indigenous men wearing "grass skirts"
for women.) Orellana derived the name Amazonas from the ancient
Amazons of Asia and Africa described by Herodotus and Diodorus in
Another etymology for the word suggests that it came originally
from a native word amazona (Spanish spelling) or amassona (Portuguese
spelling), meaning "destroyer (of) boats", in reference
to the destructive nature of the root system possessed by some riparian