The Anavilhanas Archipelago

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The archipelago of Anavilhanas is located on the Rio Negro river, approximately 70 km upstream from Manaus, Brazil, at a place where the river becomes almost 30 km wide during the wet season. When the water rises, about four hundred elongated islands and canals form within the riverbed, covered by inundated forests and compact vegetation that serves as a shelter for diverse birds, animals, rodents and insects. The impressive black waters of the Rio Negro too, has an extremely abundant aquatic life with several species of fish, including the famous Pirarucu, Tucunaré, and piranhas, as well as crocodiles, dolphins and manatees.


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The archipelago was created by the buildup of sediments and debris resulting from the erosion of the Guyana Hills that was brought down by the Rio Branco and deposited here in the dark acidic waters of the Rio Negro in a spectacular delta-like formation. The archipelago extends for 90 km along the river and comprises of 100,000 hectares of islands and canals within the Rio Negro and a further 260,000 hectares of riverside forest.

The Anavilhanas Archipelago has had a protected status since 1997 and is on UNESCO's 'tentative list' as an important ecological site.


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The Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge located in one of the islands of Anavilhanas Archipelago. Photo credit


A tourist boat navigates a canal on the Anavilhanas Archipelago. Photo credit


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Sources: Natural Wonders of S.America / UNESCO / Blue Dot Post

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