Supplying water for drinking, washing, and feeding crops and livestock, as well as providing food and a means of transportation, rivers around the planet have helped sustained human life for tens of thousands of years.
Nowadays, they also serve another purpose – Eco-tourism
American news corporation CNN just named its favorite rivers for everything from spotting wildlife to white water rafting to leisure cruising and the Amazon River topped its list. The 4,000 mile-long (6,400 km) river winds through Guyana, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and, of course, Peru.
Each year thousands of tourists embark on Peru’s Amazon often starting in Iquitos and later making their way deeper into the jungle to swim with pink dolphins, fish for piranha, and track elusive anaconda, according to the report.
The Amazon, which can reach 120 miles wide (190 km) in some areas during the rainy season, is home to more than 400 indigenous Indian tribes and ten percent of the world’s plant and animal species, including 4,000 different types of fish. Peru’s Amazon jungle is one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth with more bird species living there than any of place on the planet. It’s also third in the world for the number of animal inhabitants.
Travel experts and tourists alike weighed in, giving each criteria a possible five points. The Amazon received a score of 24 put of 25 possible points due to its wildlife spotting safaris to kayaking trips and gnarly jungle treks. CNN rated 15 rivers around the world based on:
* Scenic beauty — the physical beauty of the river; waterfalls, color, drama of the landscape.
* Nature and wildlife — diversity and prevalence of flora and fauna.
* Culture — depth, diversity and accessibility of local culture; tribal/medieval villages etc.
* Adventure — thrill factor of the river’s topography and location
* Activity options — rafting, wildlife watching, hiking, biking etc…
While the Amazon topped CNN’s list, others also made the cut for a place in the top 15. They are:
2. Zambezi (Africa)
3. Río Cahabón (Guatemala)
4. Sepik River (Papua New Guinea, Indonesia)
5. Danube and Rhine (Europe)
6. Irrawaddy River (Myanmar)
7. Kenai River (United States)
8. Ganges (India, Bangladesh)
9. Rio Futaleufú (Argentina, Chile)
10. Nile (Africa)
11. Caño Cristales (Colombia)
12. Colorado River (United States, Mexico)
13. Loire (France)
14. Li River (China)
15. Volga River (Russia)
*What do you think? Did CNN get it right by crowning the Amazon the king river? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments section.*
Terra Hall is a journalist living in Lima, Peru. View more of her work at www.TerraHall.come on our planet has relied on rivers for millions of years. Nowadays, humans are using them for a little something extra beyond basic survival.