Negro River is the largest tributary of the mighty
Amazon, and the second largest river in the world
in terms of water discharge. Its name means literally
waters appear as a dark reflective surface, due to the tea
colored staining caused by the slow decay of organic material
in its bottom. This process raises the levels of acidity
in the water. The most important result, from the travelers'
viewpoint, is that mosquitoes cannot breed.
Negro is home to a majority of the remaining indigenous
groups living in the Brazilian Amazon region, and to many
small river communities made up of the mixing between native
Indians, early European settlers, Northeastern Brazilians,
and more recent immigrants from all parts of the world.
The river is still the primary means of travel the people
of Amazonas. From hand-hewn
canoes to ocean going vessels, we have seen it all.
is a river free of dams and bridges, and a giant with sandbars,
islands, and rocky formations. On the upper Negro, these
formations are the cause of untamed water rapids, including
the notorious "São Gabriel da Cachoeira." The depth
variation of the Negro (up to 50 feet) also produces radical
changes in its surroundings.
year hundreds of islands appear and disappear. The largest
fresh water archipelagoes in the planet belong to the Negro
River, including the Mariuá and Anavilhanas. The
fauna also comes and goes in their search for food. At times,
they are colorfully and graciously represented by macaws
and wading birds, and at other times only represented by
aquatic species, such as the "Pink Boto," a river Dolphin.
scenery along the river is highly diversified. It includes
waterfalls, such as the 660 feet high Acará, a plateau
full of orchids, and unique geological formations, such
as the hills of 6 lakes and "Pico da Neblina," the highest
mountain peak of Brazil, reaching almost 10,000 feet. In
the mid Negro, the Jaú National Park is an unique
attraction which spans 6,750,000 acres; by far the largest
in South America.