6 Amazing Things in the Amazon
Pack your bag. We’re Taking You to Experience These 6 Amazing Things in the Amazon.
From July 8-22 this summer, ADRA Connections is taking around 200 young people from the US and Brazil to the heart of the Amazon. We’re talking 30 hours by boat down the Amazon River to one the most remote locations on earth! Once there, the students will complete the construction of a new school where there’s never been a school before and experience everything this amazing corner of the world has to offer.
Wondering if this trip is for you? We’ve rounded up 6 of the most exciting things you’ll get to experience while you’re there.
1. Meeting of the Waters
Near the city of Manaus, two of the Amazon River’s largest tributaries converge to form one of the most unforgettable sights you’ll ever experience—the Meeting of the Waters, known locally as the Encontro das Águas. The Solimões River, carrying mud and silt for over 1,000 miles, meets the Rio Negro, the largest blackwater river in the world. For nearly four miles, the two contrasting rivers run side-by-side without mixing, a phenomenon that occurs due to the fact that both rivers have different temperatures, speeds, and water densities. It is only from this point on that Brazilians call it the Rio Amazonas, or Amazon River.
2. The World-Famous Rainforest
About 90% of Brazil’s rainforest land is on higher ground and doesn’t flood during the rainy season, allowing for an abundance of life to thrive, including insects, birds, animals, flowers, towering trees, and extensive green canopies. A recent ADRA Connections traveler named Nathan described it best: “The Amazon is this magical wonderland of jungle, and breeze, water, animals, craziness and chaos. But it’s been brilliant getting acquainted with it.”
3. And the animals!
Keep your eyes peeled, and you’re likely to catch a variety of breathtaking wildlife around you, including brightly colored macaws, toucans, pink dolphins, butterflies, monkeys, parrots, parakeets, and yes, boa constrictors and tarantulas too. But don’t worry. Everyone keeps a safe distance. Shanelle, who traveled to Brazil with ADRA Connections said: “The Amazon is an amazing place filled with animals that I’ve never seen in my life. It’s full of life! It’s a place of wonder—including the sounds of animals calling out to each other.”
4. Swinging (and Floating) in your Sleep
Who thinks that sleeping in hammocks on a boat for 14 days is a good idea? We do! Imagine for a second what that’ll be like—listening to the sounds of the jungle at night, feeling the gentle breeze, and enjoying the constellations spread across the night sky as you float in one of the world’s most remote places. “It’s wonderful to get to see the beauty out here [in the Amazon], enjoy breathtaking moments on a boat as we cruise the river, and experience new things like sleeping in hammocks and living with other people,” said Nathan. About the nights, he added: “I really enjoyed gazing into the night sky. The Amazon has a beautiful night sky. So peaceful and so unique.”
5. Soccer – Yeah, Don’t Call It That in Brazil
Futebol. That’s Brazilian for soccer. When you land in Brazil, you’ll quickly realize how proud and deeply passionate Brazilians are about their futebol (pronounced foo-TCHEE-ball), which they’ve nicknamed jogo bonito, or The Beautiful Game. After all, they have a winning tradition that goes back decades, which includes five World Cups, more than any country in the world. Soccer is a passion that most Brazilians carry from a young age. So on this trip bring your best game. This year’s Amazon experience will coincide with the 2018 Russia World Cup and you can be sure that Brazilians will be ready to challenge you to a good game. Before you play though, learn these words: bola (BOH-lah—ball), penalti (penalty), falta (FAHL-tah—foul), escandelo (ehs-cahn-TEY-you—corner), and chute (SHOO-tee—kick). If you get lucky, you’ll need this one too: gol (goal). When you score, shout it out as hard as you can. Brazilians will love you for it!
6. Learn How Local Communities Live Life in the Amazon
Living 30 hours down river from the Amazon’s largest city in one of the most remote areas of the world means that you have to develop an intimate knowledge of your surroundings and learn to live without the usual amenities that we often enjoy or take for granted. This is why local residents have developed a vast set of skills in order to survive—weaving palm leaf roof panels for shelter; learning to climb the açaí palm to extract its popular fruit; hollowing out a tree to build a canoe; making farihna (flour) from dried mandioca (manioc) roots to feed their families. On this trip, you’ll have a chance to meet local residents and actually learn all these skills. It’s going to be amazing! Matthew, who experienced this, said: “The best part of the ADRA Connections trip was visiting the villages and interacting with the people.” Another traveler, Joanna, had this to say: “It was special meeting the people who live by the Amazon River. They only have the basic things to help them survive, but they are very happy.”