Central Amazon Conservation Complex
The Central Amazon Conservation Complex comprises a landscape of rivers, islands, lakes and forests with high biodiversity.
Specific species include the varzea forest, electric fish, river dolphins, and manatees.
The site includes the following four parks:
- Jaú National Park
- Amana Sustainable Development Reserve
- Demonstration area of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve
- Anavilhanas Ecological Station
Map of Central Amazon Conservation ComplexLoad map
Amazon, heart of the planet, you'd think it's an instant 5 star visit... Not so much. The inscribed areas are rather poor, especially the ecological centers where they feed dolphins as a tourist attraction. To truly enter protected areas you will need to take a boat cruise into Jaú National Park. That means taking a 3h drive from Manaus, then traveling further in for at least a day and finally reach the ranger station.
The cruises are also super tourist driven, so I can't recommend them. Macaw watching, cayman catching, piranha fishing, visit to ruins (read: rubber baron remains, not exactly native) and shopping with a local tribe: Portuguese immigrants, not indigenous at all. To get anything more you will need to find a deep trekking tour instead and while I'm sure the Amazon is great, other places to see them are much better visits.
During carnival this year, unlike most Brazilians, I opted not to party, but, instead, to reach Central Amazon Conservation Complex, the WHS Brazil dedicated to its largest bioma.
First stop is Manaus, a large 2-million people city situated in the heart of Amazon forest. After that, with a rental car one must drive 200 km (paved roads in good condition) to a town called Novo Airão, from where you can easily visit the Anavilhanas National Park (it is no longer an Ecological Station since 2008). Anavilhanas comprises an average of 400 river islands and islets, depending on the dry or wet season. All of them are located within the Rio Negro (Black River), the largest blackwater river in the world and one of the most important tributary rivers of Amazon River.
Truly amazing! Rio Negro has pure and tepid waters, black-tea-like coloured, very good for bathing. If you have luck, one might sight a "boto rosa" (pink freshwater dolphin), one of the symbols of Amazon forest.
From Novo Airão, one can also reach another protected area of the WHS: Jaú National Park. It is the largest national park in Brazil and one of the largest in the world. Jaú has approximately the same size of Belgium.
3 hours in a boat are necessary to reach the park entrance and prior visiting authorisation is required. I opted not to sleep withing the forest - which is what some people do to have more time to visit the NP -, but still, I could have a good idea of this enourmous and virgin slice of the Amazon Forest.
I was truly overwhelmed by this WHS.
Extension of Jaú National Park, to include: the Amana Sustainable Development Reserve, the Demonstration area of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve and the Anavilhanas Ecological Station
2003 Name change
From "Jaú National Park" to "Central Amazon Conservation Complex"
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