Meet the Amazon Forest
The Amazon is the largest biodiversity reserve in the world, and the largest set of ecosystems in Brazil. At the enormous size of 4,196,943 km2, the Amazon occupies almost half (49.29%) of the entire Brazilian national territory. Its vegetation is formed by tall trees; whose canopies intertwine with each other. It is believed that more than half of all living species in the country are part of this ecosystem, with over three thousand species of fish. One of its most famous inhabitants is the pink boto, a type of fresh water pink dolphin that lives in the Amazon river.
The natural landscapes composed by the tropical vegetation of the Amazon rainforest enchant Brazilian and foreign tourists who visit the region. Boat trips, airplane tours and trails are some of the activities offered to visitors who wish to venture out and contemplate the biodiversity and stunning scenery of the largest Brazilian biome, such as the meeting of the waters of the Negro and Solimões rivers and the sunset on the banks of the Amazon river. The concern with the maintenance of natural resources makes nature tourism one of the main attractions in Amazonas, with trips by boat and canoe on several of the region’s rivers, overnight stays in forest lodges and forest hikes. Amazonas also has one of the highest rates of indigenous population in Brazil, with 65 different indigenous ethnic groups totalising about 170.000 people according to the 2010 population census.
The great abundance of fish in Amazonia – there are more than two thousand species – makes it the most widely used ingredient in local cuisine. Boiled, fried or baked, tambaqui, pirarucu, tucunaré and jaraqui are always on the menu, duly accompanied by cassava or tucupi (a sauce made from cassava). Regional fruits such as pitomba, tucumã and cupuaçu provide natural colour and flavour for dessert.
In the cultural sphere, the Amazonas theatre is one of the main attractions of the state capital, Manaus, which stands out in the urban landscape for its architecture and the dome with the colours of the Brazilian flag. Amongst the cultural events of the region, the Parintins Festival, held in June, is well-known for the presentations of the Capriccioso and Garantido Ox, which represent the traditions of the caboclo and indigenous peoples, and the Amazonian folklore.