Amazon Rainforest Tourism:
Tourism in the Amazon rainforest is increasing, although it doesn't play a major role in the economic life of the region. There are some reasons that keep the regular tourist away from the Amazon rainforest. The most important is the lack of reliable information making it much harder to plan a trip to the Amazon than to other places.
Another problem is the fear from tropical exotic diseases like Yellow Fever or Malaria. Both are very present in the forest, but both also have effective vaccines you can (and you should) take before you visit the region. There is a fear of crime and violence created by drug dealers and other criminals, but this is shouldn't be a fear, as the Amazon rainforest is relatively safe place to travel. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are much more dangerous places. There is fear from the wildlife, some people panic just to think of being in a place where even the frogs can be poisonous. There are crocodiles, giant snakes and predators like the Jaguar, but chances are you won't have any problem with wildlife except for the mosquitoes .
But the real problem inhibiting tourism in the Amazon rainforest region is the lack of tourism infrastructure. This means good airports and hotels , multi-lingual speaking staffs and regular attractions like expeditions to remote areas. You can only find most of these in big cities like Belem and Manaus , but truly inside the forest you can't, at least not in a direct way.
If you want to really know the region you can hire local boats with a guide, cook and all the staff you need to make whatever expedition you like for many days. You can go deep into the forest with those boats to see and hear all the abundant wildlife. To do this you will probably need a specialized guide. You can find guides like that in specific travel agencies in or outside Brazil , as they can provide you with all the information you need to enjoy your trip like not many people have done.
You can also travel by yourself or in small groups and have a less planned trip. Some people have their lives so planned that this is exactly what they don't want in their vacations. These are good for people with less money also, as it's very cheap to travel in the region if you are not going through a travel agency package. Of course its more risky and you need to be prepared for a couple of mistakes that will cost time and maybe some food adaptation problems, usual stuff in an adventurous trip.
Any way you choose to tour the Amazon rainforest you will like and have a very pleasant and astonishing trip. You will take pictures that you will keep for the rest of your life and make all your friends speechless. It's really an unforgivable and unique place in the world and every person should have the opportunity to experience it.
If you are not convinced yet, there is still one more reason you be aware. Tourism in the Amazon rainforest is one of the ways to preserve its biological and ethnic diversity. What tourism does is to provide the local populations an alternative for making their living honestly. If there are no alternatives the local population has an extremely difficult decision to make, should they start to work in illegal activities or bear the lack of resources to sustain their family. For a poor individual someone offering them money equivalent to what they would earn in a year just to capture a bird or a frog is very tempting, even more in countries that don't have great police capabilities and wide spread poverty.
What are some of the reasons that keep the regular tourist away from the amazon?
“the real problem inhibiting tourism in the Amazon rainforest region is the lack of tourism infrastructure” Discuss the meaning of this statement.
What are some of your options for travelling into the Amazon?
Describe who tourism into the Amazon can be a good way to preserve the biological and ethinic diversity?amazon forest
Amazon Rainforest Travel:
The Amazon rainforest is huge, and you can enter from several different countries. The easiest countries to enter from are Ecuador and Brazil. To enter from Ecuador , take an international airline to Quito . From Quito travel to the Amazon rainforest, by bus, small plane or private guide. Quito is a unique city, rich in history which should be explored if time permits. To enter from Brazil , you can easily find flights from all over the world to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro . If you have time spend a few days in those cities if you want, especially Rio which is famous for its carnival parade in February. From Sao Paulo or Rio you can get another flight to the Amazon cities, you can choose among many state capital cities like Manaus , Belem , Macapa, Boa Vista , Porto Velho or Rio Branco . Manuas and Belem have the most infrastructures for tourists.
In the Amazon rainforest you can travel in small airplanes (very nice to get an aerial view) between the smaller cities. But on the ground level there is just one way to travel in the Amazon rainforest, which is by boat. The Amazon rainforest is full of rivers, from the smallest one to the biggest one on the planet. The Amazon River is responsible for 25% of the fresh water that goes into the oceans. The Amazon River is so big that in some places you can't see the other side of the river. Certain areas seem just like an ocean since you have white sand beaches and waves! In some places the rivers edges are 30 miles from each other.
The size of the boats depends on how far you are going. For smaller day-trip travel the usual boat is called "Voadeira" (the best translation it would be "Flyer Boat") which are small aluminum boats for just a dozen people with stern nautical engines, they are very common, fast and you can go in most places in a voadeira boat.
If you are going to make a longer trip you will use wooden boats that vary in size but sometimes can carry hundreds of passengers. In these boats you can pay for a cabin (on some of the better boats air conditioning is offered, this will make your trip more pleasant through the Amazon rainforest). If you can't or don't want to pay for the cabin, you will travel the way the local do, with nets! Yes, for the common Amazon man and woman when they travel for long distances they sleep in nets, they are very used to it since a net is one of the most common things in the region. If you are adventurous enough and like to travel like the local population, this is your way and it's much cheaper (although the cabin is not expensive).
Longer trips are a very nice way to get to know the region. You can go from Manaus to Santarem (a medium size city) or from Belem to Santarem by boat. These boats have regular schedules and it's safe. You can also go from Belem to Manaus (and vice-versa ) but then you would spend a week in a boat, to Santarem it will be only a few days and there you have an airport with direct flights to the Amazon region capitals or other cities in Brazil like Brasilia ( capital of the country) or even Rio de Janeiro . On the largest boats you can eat and take small foot tours in the small villages they stop by on the way up the river.
Along with the big boats and the voadeiras, canoes are very common and are the local population's most important way of transport. Canoes can be used for small trips or to go deep in small rivers. These canoes are hand made by Indians, or local individuals that learn from Indians, using Amazon rainforest wood and although they were originally conceived to be propelled by paddles, nowadays people use small engine propellers. Going deep in a small river branch in a paddle canoe is an incredible experience. You are almost completely covered with the rain forest canopy and you can feel and hear the Amazon rainforest in all its greatness.
Which two state capitals have the most infastructure for tourist.
What is the only mode of trasporation available once inside the Amazon Rainforest?
Describe what the Amazon River is like.
What is a "Voadeira"?
What is the most important form of transport in the Amazon?
Amazon Rainforest Destruction:
There are many threats reasons the Amazon rainforest is being destroyed, but if you take a closer look all of them share the same principle, profit. For someone that is exploiting the forest and destroying it in the process there is nothing that will change their minds unless they find a more profitable business. Although this is a sad statement it is true and well known. But the local population usually can't fully understand the environmental issues and how they can affect other people's lives. They lack information and education, and although this can be solved with special environmental education programs, this doesn't solve the problem if you don't provide a means for the people to survive. Take that and the fact that the Amazon population is actually small for the area the forest covers and you will see that the problem is not the local population, but they are just instruments in hands of profit mongers.
The businesses that are destroying the forest are also well known. The two that are the most responsible for the actual deforestation occurring in the Amazon rainforest are agriculture and cattle. Both activities need land to prosper and all other regions in Brazil are already saturated, there is no place for new crops or more cattle if, and only if, the producers keep using the same old techniques. This is truer with the cattle industry that still uses very inefficient processes.
Another business that affects the forest is the wood sector. Where there is legal reserves for wood the activity doesn't create much damage, the illegal cutting is devastating. Since most of the wood is exported, the buying countries should always require the proper certifications, which can proof the origin of the wood if its from a legal reserve. This would be a very effective way to make this problem a lower deforestation factor. Illegal mining also create a lot of problems by polluting the rivers with toxic substances used in the mining process.
What needs to be done is to create development possibilities that have high sustainability for the region. This is not a trivial task, but is not impossible either. Take for instance the researches on medicinal plants. Although these researches are good, they need to help protect the Amazon rainforest. This is a simple conclusion if you think how much needs to be researched and how fast the Amazon rainforest is being destroyed.
Additionally there is a lot of illegal trade of biological species. There are two kinds of illegal biological trade; one is for living animals that go to private collections, usually in Europe and United States . The other goes to laboratories for research, again, this usually happens in Europe and United States where the big pharmacy corporations have their headquarters. The first one just needs to stop. Brazilian police in the last few years have improved the surveillance and control of this kind of crime. Additionally something should be done to stop the importation in the Europe , US and any other country that have private dealers of living animals (usually endangered species). It's very hard to control this crime when someone offers to a poor local individual US$ 200 for a Capuchin Monkey or a Macaw, as this is more money than most of the people living in the Amazon rainforest earn in a year. So, the demand for these animals should also be fought in the receptors country where the demand exists. The other kind of illegal biological trade is for laboratories all over the world. It's difficult to understand why a laboratory can't pay for the knowledge and plant species they use in their research, as we are talking about a billion dollar international industry. Doing illegal trade or paying very low prices for it makes their profit even higher, but also don't help to protect the Amazon rainforest at all
So, the Amazon rainforest is being destroyed just like all the other forests in the world, including the ones in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa and there will be nothing able to stop this process unless a strategy is developed that has the environmental condition as a factor of wealth and well being. This sustainable development should integrate the forest and its people in one single system where one depends on the other to survive and maintain their features, natural features for the forest, and cultural features for the people.
What basic principle do all of the reasons for destroying the rainforest share?
What four businesses are largely responsible for destroying the rainforest? Describe why they need the Rainforest land?
What needs to be done to stop the destruction?
Describe the two forms of illegal trade of biological species.
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