The biggest river in the world, the Amazon is located in South America and the river flow is larger than the total of the other eight big rivers combined. If you combine the river flows worldwide, the Amazon will have around twenty percent of it. The upper stretches of this river are called Solimoes in Brazil and Maranon in Peru.
When the wet season arrives, the Amazon can get to a width of 120 miles, and people call it the River Sea because of this. There are no bridges over the Amazon, but the width is not to blame here. Engineers would have no problem building a bridge for the majority of the river’s course, but the Amazon rainforest doesn’t have that many roads, so a bridge isn’t necessary.
Even though the Amazon is considered to be the largest river, it’s not the longest. The longest river in the world is the Nile according to most scientists, but not by much.
The basin of the Amazon covers around forty percent of the continent, with a total area occupied of over 7 million sq. km. (2.7 million sq. mi.). The waters which the Amazon gathers start from the northern latitude, at 5 degrees, and end at the south latitude of 20 degrees.
Over the year’s course, the river grows, tripling in size. When the season is dry, the area occupied by the Amazon is around 110,000 sq. km, while during the wet season it grows to over 350,000 sq. km.
During each second of the wet season, the Amazon river releases over 300,000 cubic meters of water in the Atlantic Ocean. A fifth of all the fresh water that goes into the ocean comes from the Amazon River. Even though you’re in the ocean, if you’re close to the area where Amazon spills, you will notice that the water is fresh and drinkable.
The Orinoco and Amazon basins unite naturally, in the canal called Casiquiare. Casiquiare is actually a river from the upper area of the Orinoco, which goes through Rio Negro and eventually flows inside the Amazon.
Some of the rivers that flow into the Amazon are Pastaza, Morona, Chamira, Nanay, Tigre, Huallaga, Nucuruay, Napo and Urituyacu. Other rivers flow into Ucayali and Maranon first, while others flow directly in the Amazon.
The farthest source of water for the Amazon is known to be a stream which originates from the Nevado Mismi peak, of the Andes Mountains, which is a few hundred kilometers from Lima and 160 km from Lake Titicaca. This small stream flows into Carhuasanta, Quebradas and in the Apacheta. These three go in the Rio Apurimac, then into Ucayali, which flows into Maranon, and it finally reaches the Amazon. Usually people consider that the point where the Amazon river begins.
One it passes the confluence of the Ucayali and of Rio Apurimac, the Amazon will leave the terrain of the Andes. For over a thousand miles, the river banks are low, and they are usually inundated as they are only a bit above water. You will see only a couple of hills here and there, after which the river will go into the huge rainforest.
Most part of the Amazon river goes through the countries of Peru and Brazil, with many of its tributaries coming from Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.