Paseos Amazónicos

Amazon River

The Amazon River, if not the largest is one of the largest rivers on the planet; specialists have not agree on this yet. Its length, for some measured from its source, a small ice-melt stream in snow-capped Mount Mismi (Arequipa - south of Peru) is 4170 miles, surpasses the length of the Nile. But there is absolutely no doubt that the Amazon carries the most volume of water, pouring into the Atlantic Ocean between 6.3-10.5 million cubic feet per second depending on the season, more than the combine discharge of the Mississippi, Nile and Yangtze Rivers.

The Amazon Basin has a 1-million sq. miles draining area, which represents 10% of South America's surface; at least 500 of its thousands of tributaries are navigable, its main course flowing through the largest tropical rainforest on the planet. It accounts approximately 3000 fish species, many of these representing the most important food source for the Amazon people.

Most of its length it follows a winding way through the jungle, thus creating a channel web with numerous islands. The Amazon's average depth is 150 feet and its width varies between 1 and 2 miles. Some medium-size sea cruiser can reach Iquitos, located some 60 miles from the main headwaters –Ucayali and Marañon- that give birth to the Amazon itself.

The name Amazon comes from "river of the Amazons", name that was given by Francisco De Orellana in 1542 after battling an indigenous tribe apparently composed of female warriors like in the Greek myth.