The word "Amazon" immediately brings exotic sounds and sights to mind--jungle noises, wild animals, primitive Indian tribes, and thick vegetation under thousands of miles of jungle canopy. The 900 miles of Amazon River from the mouth at the Atlantic Ocean to Manaus are nothing like this stereotypical picture. Visitors to the Amazon are sometimes disappointed because they expect an experience similar to what they've seen in the movies or at Disney World. The indigenous peoples of the Amazon live mostly on reservations far from the main river, and the animals usually only come out during the cooler hours of the early morning or evening. The Amazon is a big river with its own magic, but the vistas are of a very wide, muddy river surrounded by mostly flat land.
We sailed for over three days up the Amazon before arriving in Manaus, Brazil. Ronnie and I loved cruising the Amazon, even though it was different than expected! Alter do Chao was our first Amazon port.