CNN Names Amazon River as World's Best River for Visitors

With the help of travel experts and tourists, CNN published a list ranking the top rivers based on a variety of different criteria: scenic beauty, nature and wildlife, culture, adventure, and activities. With 24 out of 25 possible points, the Amazon River was awarded the #1 ranking.

As the second-longest river in the world, the Amazon River enters the national territory of nine different countries: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Its source is Lago Villafro in the Andes Mountains, Peru.

With the rising popularity of eco-tourism, thousands of visitors arrive at the Peruvian Amazon every year. In Peru, the most important gateway to the rainforest is Iquitos. It's also the most important river port and the main city of the Peruvian Amazon, the largest city in the Americas not accessible by road. One can reach Iquitos by plane or boat, and there are a host of activities for visitors both within the city itself, in the surrounding rainforest, and along the Amazon River and the two rivers which converge into it (the Marañon and the Ucayali).

Along the river, one can spot a variety of wildlife which gathers by the riverside, especially monkeys, caiman, anaconda, river otters, capybara, and tropical birds. It is very, very rare to spot a jaguar, but it is possible. Popular activities include swimming with the pink and grey Amazon River dolphins, fishing for piranha, and visiting a river estate to learn about the local way of life. Aside from navigating the rivers, one can explore the jungle paths, visit local indigenous communities, learn about medicinal plants, take night hikes to observe nocturnal life, visit parrot or macaw clay licks, and more.

The city itself has some surprising and eccentric architecture dating back to the rubber boom. The streets are filled with motocarros, three-wheeled motorbike rickshaws, and there's a surprisingly vibrant nightlife. Its floating Belén market located on the waterfront is a local hub, attracting vendors and buyers from 150 native communities from upriver. Aside from sampling tropical fruit juices (such as cocona, aguaje, and ungurahui) in the Upper Belen market, try visiting Pilpintuwasi butterfly farm, the manatee orphanage, and Monkey Island.

Inca World Team
Publication date: 23 Oct 2013
Sources: <a href="">Carla Colon</a>

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