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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 Greek legends.

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 plants

Amazon River

Amazon River

The Amazon River discharges nearly a fifth of the total amount of freshwater going into the oceans of the world and it has the largest drainage basin in the world.
Learn about the incredible Amazon River.

Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest

Amazonia is home to the world's largest closed tropical forest system that's estimated to be about 3.7 million square kilometers (or 1.4 million square miles.)
Learn more about the Amazon Rainforest.

Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Wildlife

Amazonia is home to an amazing array of bird, mammal, reptilian, and insect life.
Learn more about the Amazon Wildlife.

Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Destinations

You'll be surprised how many ways it is possible to see Amazonia.
Learn more about the Amazon Destinations.

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