Amazon, approximately 6,450km in length,
is the second longest river in the world
after the Nile. Flowing eastward from the
Andes to the Atlantic, it is part of six
countries in the broad equatorial part of
South America, it has the world's largest
drainage basin, more than 7 million sq km
or nearly 5% of the world's total land area.
It carries almost 20% of the earth's total
water discharge to the ocean-more than the
next six largest rivers combined. The flow
is so powerful that it dilutes the salt
water of the Atlantic 160km beyond the coast.
The Amazon rises in the Peruvian Andes little
more than 160km from the Pacific Ocean.
In 1541 the Spanish explorer Francisco de
Orellana began European exploration here,
descending the river to the Atlantic. He
is variously reported to have imagined,
sighted or been attacked by female warriors.
He gave the river its name, which refers
to the Amazons of Greek mythology.
for PDF file of brochure