Amazonia is a forest basin filled with wonder which spans seven million square kilometers, five and a half million square kilometers of which are covered by rainforest. Nine nations have territory in Amazonia-Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.
This lush basin-which represents more than half of the world’s existing rainforest-contains the most illustrious diversity of life found on earth, including 500 mammals, 175 lizards, 300 other reptile species, a vast array of tree climbers, and one third of the world’s birds. The plant species in the Amazon are also the most diverse of any place on the planet. One official estimate indicates that one square kilometer in the region may contain more than a thousand types of trees and thousands of species of other higher plants.
The Amazon River is vital to Amazonia’s eco-system and carries 16 percent of all the river water in the world over its 6,500-mile span. As the world’s largest river, it conveys a fifth of all river water discharged into the earth’s oceans.
There are two major views of how the term “Amazon” came to be used in connection to the region. The first arises from the 1542 expedition of Francisco de Orellena who is believed to be the first European to extensively explore Amazonia. Orellena called a tribe he encountered “Amazons,” deriving the term from the ancient people by this name that Herodotus and Diodorus referred to in Greek legends. An alternate etymology for the term Amazon hearkens back to the native word amazona (Spanish) meaning “destroyer (of) boats,” a term used to describe the destructive root systems that some riparian plants possess.
Register for the Into the Amazon Virtual Tour and Online Study Course and travel with expedition leader Doug Phillips and his team deep into Amazonia where you will meet tribes like the Aguaruna. Enter the gateway to the Amazon through Iquitos and travel by barge and by boat through the rainforest as Doug and team catch some of their our own meals and come face to face with some of the most unusual and dangerous elements the Amazon has to offer—anacondas, vampire bats, strange bugs, and bizarre flora and fauna which are part of the story of the Amazon Rainforest. Along the way, rediscover the principles of bold manhood as Doug encourages the team to be explorers and dominion-takers for the glory of God.