Local Tribes People
Emperor Tamarin

Things to Do

Amazon River cruises generally explore Brazil or Peru and often include stops in Rio de Janeiro or Lima in addition to nature reserves and small villages. Itineraries and shore excursions can offer a variety of sights, experiences and activities.

Explore the rain forest with an expert naturalist in search of exotic animals like caiman lizards, rare frogs, monkeys and vibrant butterflies. This stunning tropical oasis also is a bird-watcher's dream. Travelers can board a handcrafted canoe for an opportunity to spot some of the roughly 1,300 spectacles of the sky, from vibrant macaws and toucans to rare harpy eagles and hummingbirds.

Spanning roughly two miles on the border between Brazil and Argentina, Iguassu Falls encompasses hundreds of cascades. Ride a jungle train or hike the area to take in stunning views of the falling waters.

Or, try your hand at catching one of the toothy piranhas of the Amazon River. Several species of this feared fish inhabit the waters. Though they are known for attacking in packs, many of the myths surrounding them are largely exaggerated, as their group behavior is based on defense against larger predators.

Deep in Brazil's interior, Manaus is the chief port of the Amazon River and was called the "Paris of the Jungle" in the late 19th century; its ornate pink-and-white opera house is a favorite photo spot here. Your cruise may include time in the lively Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, where tantalizing beaches and bustling markets provide a contrast to the lush wilderness of the Amazon. For the best views of Rio and its harbor, ride the cable car to the peak of Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Other activities on Amazon River vacations can include a visit to a butterfly farm, a lesson in the medicinal plants of the jungle, or a barbecue and samba show.

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