I had the opportunity of a lifetime when I traveled to the largest rainforest archipelago in the world in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest.
Francois Correia is a travel blogger and frequent contributor for Cultura Colectiva. If you also wish to see your content featured in our website, click here to send a 400-word article for the chance to appear in our website.
Brazil has 60% of the greatest equatorial rainforest in the world. The Amazon forest is by far one of the most iconic and alluring destinations on the planet – vast, with abundant wildlife and with communities of indigenous peoples that only two years ago were found to be still untouched by modern civilization. Sounds like a script of a possible movie, right? But it is the reality of this key environment in the world.
As an avid traveler, the Amazon had been on my imagination as the last frontier of great adventures. Flying over from Rio de Janeiro, the grandiosity of the forest hits you much sooner than expected – halfway through the flight I had the first glimpse of the vastness of the Amazon: it was a ‘sea’ of endless green, so vast I could only gasp at the sight of it. It was breathtaking!
I had that feeling, my skin tingling as when something extraordinary is about to happen. The Amazon forest was expecting me.
I was heading to a place called Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge, but first, I would stay at the gateway to the Amazon – Manaus, the bursting capital of Amazonas State. Once, one of the most important cities in the world, during to the rubber heyday, the city holds remarkable tropical palaces and a stunning Opera House – built to host the greatest artists of its time and furnished with chandeliers from Murano, fabrics from Paris and exquisite panels painted in Paris and Rome.
Around the Opera House, the pavement was – guess! – made of rubber bricks to avoid the noise of the carriages disturbing the ambience around it.
Staying at Villa Amazônia, a modern hotel housed in a converted former mansion from the turn of the century, was a boho introduction to a city full of character.
Into the jungle
Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge is a remarkable operation in one of the most pristine areas allowed to welcome visitors in the Amazon. The Anavilhanas Archipelago is a protected area of 400 islands, the largest river archipelago in the world in the Rio Negro, which means ‘dark river’ due to its earl grey hued waters.
It is possibly like swimming in dark coffee. The good thing is that due to the water’s pH, more acidic, there are very few mosquitoes.
At Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge, the experience was unique. I then realized I did not come here to see nature – in the Amazon, I was reminded of the fact that I am part of nature, and that is priceless. It was magical to float in that almighty river, so close to remarkable wildlife.
Trying to spot the dolphins only to catch glimpses of their pink flesh when they were emerging for air during a swim in the river was magical. I could feel them swimming underneath me – you can feel the bubbles they make tickling your body as they pass near or under you. How to explain the feeling one feels when faced with the grandiosity of nature?
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