This is not so much a travel guide as I don’t think I can offer much advise that would be easily replicable for the average traveller. As Instead this is an account of my university conservation trip to the Brazilian Amazon. I feel so privileged to have seen this part of the world and I worry that it may not be here for much longer!
We flew from London to Sao Paulo and then took a connecting flight to Belém. Belém is a port city of the state of Pará in the northern part of Brazil. Belém was just our base for a night before heading off down the Amazon River.
Our trip was part of a Amazonia field course at Lancaster University that was being studied by a mixture of Geography and Ecology students. Our aim was to study the rural-urban development and ecological issues facing the Amazon.
We took the Amazon Star boat from Belém to Monte Almerim and Monte Dourado (barely discoverable places down the tributaries of the Amazon River. The boat ride itself was an incredible experience. People regularly travel between Belém to Manaus as a much cheaper alternative to flying. Colourful hammocks fill one of the decks as the trip from Belém to Manaus takes 5 days to complete, our trip just took 24 hours!
We arrived at the Jari Ecological Centre at the heart of the Amazon rainforest, this would be our base for our ecological research and discovery of a variety of bird and dung beetle species. The area of the Amazon that we visited was becoming increasingly threatened by loggers, this was so sad to see, and a devastating reality of life in the Amazon rainforest, particularly in recent times, with the control of the inept and destructive Jair Bolsonaro.
We saw so much and learnt so much too from our local guide Edgivar. Gigantic trees, metallic looking vibrant dung beetles, indigenous Amazonian bird species, frogs, spider monkeys and twisted tree branches, below are just some examples of the beautiful details of this unique part of the world.
Waterfalls and incredible forest vistas…
We also had the rewarding opportunity of meeting the local people of the village of Recerio and interview them about their life, needs and thoughts on environmental and economic issues in the Brazilian Amazon. It was my first time interviewing someone for research using a translator, so this was also a unique and enjoyable new experience.
After another meander eastwards down the Amazon River, we again arrived in Belém, where we took a smaller boat to the island, Cotijuba.
On the island of Cotijuba we planted trees and made jewellery from acai seeds with local jewellery makers and enjoyed plenty of yummy Brazilian food.
I went to the Amazon back in 2016, I cant believe that was over 5 years ago now! My memory is never good, but I will never forget the largely emotional feeling of being lucky enough to have seen and experienced the world’s largest tropical rainforest. I will never forget this place, and I hope it will still be there long into the future, to help offset our horrible human actions and to continue to support a multitude of diverse and unique animal and plant species.
If you are interested in supporting charities involved in acting to protect the Amazon Rainforest, or just want to learn more about this incredible ecosystem below are some links for you to explore!
RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK
AMAZON CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION