Amazon Highlights

by Roger Harris

Amazon Highlights

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About this book

One-stop-shopping travel guide
The Amazon -- a region of mythic proportions, and of a mythic number of travel choices. Plenty of travel guides compare and contrast this or that hotel, lodge or restaurant in the various countries encompassed by the Amazon rainforest, and traversed by the world's biggest river. But when it comes to researching a trip that is right for you, an online search spills forth thousands of results. Online reviews only go so far. It is sometimes hard to tell if a review has been posted by the tour operator or lodge owner. That's where Amazon Highlights comes in. This book caters to the first-time Amazon traveler by narrowing down the choices.

Based on more than 20 years of travel to the region, leading natural history and photography tours, author Roger Harris shares his experience to explain to the reader exactly what to look for in a tour operator. A step-by-step checklist allows the reader to easily see "red flags" to steer them away from the "cowboys" and toward reputable, reliable tour operators. The book highlights the most reputable and eco-conscious "tried and trusted" tour operators and lodges, as well as the best travel opportunities the Amazon has to offer. The book includes several sponsored sections featuring carefully selected tour operators renowned for their reputation and expertise, thus providing the reader an "insider" perspective of the region's travel opportunities.

The book is lavishly illustrated with gorgeous photos, maps and even diagrams such as one that shows the variation in annual river level, and thus the best time to travel there. The author is a qualified biologist so the detailed natural history information is scientifically accurate. Comprising almost a third of the book, this section focuses on the animals and plants a first-time visitor is likely to see, rather than just the glamorous animals that are the sole interest of most travel guides or magazines. Other invaluable information includes health and safety, shopping tips, viewing wildlife and photography, and so much more. The book really does provide one-stop-shopping for a first-time traveller to the region.

About the author

Roger Harris has been travelling to the Amazon region for nearly 20 years, documenting the area's natural history. He manages Saving Species, a conservation group.

Reviews Contents


Press reviews

'Bradt Travel Guides simply have the best wildlife coverage of any of the popular guide books.'
BBC Wildlife

'If you're planning to visit the Amazon, ensure this Bradt guide is in your rucksack. You will find yourself thumbing through it again and again for tips and advice, as I will I on my next trip.' Ron Toft, wildlife journalist

Recommended reading, The Daily Telegraph
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Introduction ix

1. History and People 3
History 4
People 10

2. The Natural World 17
The Origins of the Amazon 19
Geography 21
Climate and weather 25
Flora 27

3. Wildlife Highlights 49
Biodiversity in the Amazon 50
Mammals 51
Birds 66
Reptiles 84
Amphibians 91
Insects and other invertebrates 97
Aquatic life 111

4. Planning a tour 123
When to visit 124
Organising your trip 125
Your tour: 10 top Amazon experiences 138
Red tape 141
Getting there 141
Health and safety 142
What to take 144
Organising your finances 146

5 On the Ground 149
Health and safety in the Amazon 150
Banking and foreign exchange 157
Viewing wildlife 158
Photography 158
Eating and drinking 161
Shopping 165
Media and communications 166
Business and time 166
Cultural etiquette 168

Amazon Highlights 169

6 The Peruvian Amazon 171
Iquitos 172
Manu National Park and environs 186
Peruvian cloudforests 191
Peruvian canopy experiences 193

7 The Brazilian Amazon 201
Manaus 203
Further afield 217

8 The Colombian Amazon 229
Leticia 230
Tres Fronteras 236
Amacayacu National Park 238
Palmari Nature Reserve 241

9 The Ecuadorian Amazon 243
National parks and wildlife reserves 244
Major cloudforest areas 256

Language 262
Selected reading 269
Websites 274
Index 277

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