Immerse yourself in one of the world's most amazing destinations -- The Amazon. See spectacular sights, stay in exotic lodges, explore indigenous tribes and enjoy adrenaline-pumping activities.
Explore the Amazon rainforest, or <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/video/the-forests-of-amazonia">Amazonia</a>, and its indigenous plant life, including the water plant Victoria regia (pictured). This dense, lush forest covers more than 2 million square miles of South America’s Amazon basin. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, followed by Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The jungle represents more than half of the planet’s remaining rainforest, making it the largest and most diverse rainforest in the world.
Plan a mind-blowing excursion down the 4,000-mile-long <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/daily-escape/amazon-river">Amazon River</a> -- the largest river in South America, and the largest drainage system in the world. Although the length of this river is equivalent to the distance from NYC to Rome, there is much debate as to whether the Amazon is longer than the Nile River in Egypt. The Amazon River’s source comes high within the Andes Mountains, near the Pacific Ocean, and its mouth is in the Atlantic Ocean on the northeastern coast of Brazil.
Adventurous travelers can take a cruise along the Negro River from <a href="http://blog.travelchannel.com/the-traveling-type/2014/02/05/manaus-2014-world-cup-countdown/">Manaus</a>, Brazil, to experience the Amazon Rainforest and to explore the January Ecological Park. Some cruise lines offer unique excursions, including a hike through the jungle, alligator spotting, fishing, tree climbing, snorkeling, parasailing and educational excursions to learn more about the indigenous people that live along the river.
Stay at the <a href="http://www.ariauamazontowers.com/" target="_blank">Ariau Amazon Towers</a>, a hotel built high in the treetops with canopy walkways 70 feet in the air. During your stay, enjoy the fauna and wildlife like the friendly monkeys, macaws, sloths and parrots. This exclusive hotel made <i>Conde Nast Traveler</i>’s list of the “25 Extraordinary Places Worth That Extra Mile.” We agree. For the perfect honeymoon hideaway, we recommend the honeymoon suite, built 110 feet up a mahogany tree.
If a treetop hotel isn’t your thing, try the <a href="http://www.thegrandcollection.com/en/hotels/manaus/iberostar-grand-amazon" target="_blank">IBEROSTAR Grand Amazon</a>. Guests can check into this floating luxury hotel -- featuring 73 cabins, each with private balcony -- for a 3-night stay along the Solimões River that includes a visit to a local village, bird-watching around the Igarapés and piranha fishing. For the 4-night stay, guests tour the Negro River and take a motorboat safari to the Anavilhanas Islands. Make the most out of your trip and combine the 2 options for a 7-night stay.
While you are visiting the Amazon, you may be lucky enough to immerse yourself in a unique cultural event like the Indigenous Nations Games of Para in Altamira. Indigenous people from 38 ethnic groups participate in the Games in which athletes compete in disciplines like spear throwing, canoeing and swimming. In the photo, a member of Brazil's Kayapo tribe prepares to compete in the bow and arrow competition.
Take an Amazon kayaking tour on the Urubu and Jatapu rivers. Manaus is surrounded by the Amazon Negro rivers, but some companies do not offer kayaking tours on these rivers because they are miles wide and can be dangerous for kayakers during rainy and stormy weather.
Plan a fun trip to witness the Festival do Boi-Bumba or the Parintins Folklore Festival in June. This festival is the 2nd largest annual festival in Brazil -- only <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/rio-de-janeiro/articles/carnival-in-rio-de-janeiro">Rio’s Carnival</a> draws more participants. Held in Parintins, Amazonas, this 3-day festival celebrates a local legend about a resurrected ox, and 2 teams -- Garantido and Caprichoso -- must compete to retell the story in 2.5 hours. The teams try to outdo one another using flamboyant dances, singing and parade floats in the Bumbodromo -- a stage that holds about 35,000 spectators.
Located in Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, the <a href="http://www.pousadauacari.com.br/index.php?lang=en" target="_blank">Uacari Floating Lodge</a> is a rustic, eco-tourism getaway to observe the Amazon’s wildlife. Recognized by UNESCO as part of the Natural Heritage of Humanity, this floating lodge has 5 bungalows with 2 rooms, 2 bathrooms and a porch with a view of the river and forest. The central floating area has a natural swimming pool, kitchen, restaurant, bar, video room and library. What makes this lodge unique is that it generates income for the reserve’s 8 local communities and preserves the natural community.
Get an amazing view of Brazil and the Amazon’s canyons, rivers, waterfalls and more, by taking canopy tour. Rafting, hiking, cycling, snorkeling and surfing are few examples of how you can keep your adrenaline pumping when visiting the area.
Go shopping at the Ver-o-peso Market in Belem, Brazil. Locals and tourists visit this market to pick up fresh fish, handcrafts, natural essence perfumes, and native vegetables and fruits. Clock Tower Square, Solar da Beira, Feliz Lusitania and the Açaí Fair are a few places to visit and things to do when visiting this popular market.
For travelers looking for an alternative to “roughing it” in the Amazon -- visit the <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/brazil/photos/brazil-2014-world-cup-cities-tour?page=26">Amazonas Theater</a> in Manaus. This theater is home to the Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra, which regularly rehearses and performs here. Music concerts and other popular performances are held here.
From March until May, the Amazonas Theater also hosts an annual Amazonas Opera Festival. The Amazonas Philharmonic is the official orchestra of the Festival. This photo shows a scene from the 2008 world premiere performance of the opera Ca Ira, composed by former Pink Floyd vocalist Roger Waters and performed by an all-Brazilian cast.