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Unless you have seen a rainforest up and close, finding words to describe the experience is difficult.  Even watching movies about the Amazon jungle, reading a book, or looking at someone else’s pictures simply does not provide you with the real experience.  When you enter the Amazon jungle, you immediately gain a sense of empowerment, energy, reverence, and primeval. 

When first going into the jungle, you notice the thickness of the air, which is humid and heavy.  Although the air is so heavy, there is a sense of tranquility about it.  The reason is that in the Amazon jungle there is no wind.  As you walk around under a massive canopy of trees, all you feel is still, heavy air.  However, understand that the air is also oxygen rich, which can be seen in the abundance of life all around.  There is a sense of vibrancy and excitement resonating through the jungle. 

You will notice that some areas of the jungle are so heavy with humidity and moisture with a fog that seems to follow you everywhere you go. This phenomenon actually has a name, “Cloud Forest.”  While it may seem a little eerie at first, it also creates a sense of harmony and peace.  In addition, the Amazon jungle can reach horrific temperatures.  It is common for days to reach upwards of 100 degrees and even more above the canopy.  

However, when you make your way down into the jungle, you will notice several differences.  For example, as you look around, you will see colors of greens that you did not even know existed.  The reason is that less than 10% of sunlight makes its way down into the depths of the forest, which is why temperatures there are generally 80 degrees or less. 

You will also notice that there are hundreds of species of trees and vegetation.  The display of nature is truly unlike anything you have ever seen.  The strange thing about the Amazon jungle is that it seems as though everything is in some state, whether living, growing, breathing, or dying.  You will see incredibly tall trees that tower over the jungle, many with leaves the size of large umbrellas.  The tree’s vines are unbelievably large, wrapping around as though trying to capture the essence of the forest along with you.  Even the trees have other plants growing out of them, creating an impressive sight. 

To give you an idea of the vast vegetation, it is estimated that up to 15 different tree species lives on just one acre of land.  In addition to the 300 some species of trees, the variety of plant species ranges upward of 400.  Truly, each time you turn around or turn a corner, you will see something new and exciting.  Then, you add in the filtered light shining down through the trees, the awesome shadows, varying shades, and magnificent hues of green, and you feel as though you just walked into heaven. 

The Amazon jungle is something every person should see at least once.  If you want to appreciate life and miracles, one look and you will convinced that there is no place on earth more beautiful.

  Lake Titicaca   Quito, Ecuador
  LaPaz, Bolivia   San Paulo, Brazil

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