The Amazon rain forest is a moist broad-leaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America. This basin encompasses 7,000,000 square kilometers (2,700,000 sq mi), of which 5,500,000 square kilometers (2,100,000 sq mi) are covered by the rain forest. The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rain forests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rain forest in the world.
Take a tour of the sights and sounds of the amazon rain forest...
Wet tropical forests are the most species-rich biome, and tropical forests in the Americas are consistently more species rich than the wet forests in Africa and Asia.
As the largest tract of tropical rainforest in the Americas, the Amazonian rainforests have unparalleled biodiversity.
One in ten known species in the world lives in the Amazon Rainforest. This constitutes the largest collection of living plants and animal species in the world.
The region is home to about 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 birds and mammals.
To date, at least 40,000 plant species, 2,200 fish, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptiles have been scientifically classified in the region.
One in five of all the bird species in the world live in the rainforests of the Amazon, and one in five of the fish species live in Amazonian rivers and streams. Scientists have described between 96,660 and 128,843 invertebrate species in Brazil alone.
The biodiversity of plant species is the highest on Earth with some experts estimating that one square kilometer (247 acres) may contain more than a thousand types of trees and thousands of species of other higher plants. According to a 2001 study, a quarter square kilometer (62 acres) of Ecuadorian rainforest supports more than 1,100 tree species.
Rome, Milan and Florence are often the most sought out places in Italy, but the boot-shaped country has so much more to offer than just those three cities. Italy is overflowing with all kinds of hidden gems – from castles and forests, to waterfalls and botanical gardens rich in exotic plants. These 15 places are shining examples of these gems, with the added benefit of not being very well-known, so they’re not riddled with tourists. They are, however, a true representation of Italy’s rich and magnificent history.
The “Devil’s Bridge” got its name from an old Tuscan folk tale that describes it as having rare mystical powers. This beautiful stone bridge was constructed in the picturesque town of Cividale del Friuli during medieval times and spans a gorgeous river that crosses the town. This spectacular piece of masonry only shines brighter against a backdrop of the fantastic natural beauty in the surrounding area.
Built during the Middle Ages, this castle can be found near the city of Gubbio in the center of Italy. The castle has changed hands many times throughout the ages prior to 1909. It was converted into a prestigious hotel during that year, and it has been one ever since. Visitors get to enjoy a unique sense of isolation from the outside world, making this a perfect place where you can take a “time-out” and relax.
One of the world’s most captivating cave systems is located in Italy’s heel. The Castellana Caves, which contain two miles of breathtaking hiking trails, are over 90 million years old. Be sure to tour the “White Cave” – it is one of Italy’s most powerful experiences.
At the foot of the Torre Alfina castle, there is a magical forest filled with trees whose twisted, moss-covered branches seem to have come straight out of a fairy-tale book. The rare and colorful flowers, along with birds chirping and the cool breeze, make walking here a surreal experience.
Some 100 years ago, on a small, secluded island in the Lombardia district of northern Italy, a huge castle was built between two lighthouses and a large marina. The place is surrounded by lush, green gardens that give it the feel of a medieval royal palace.
“A Jewel on the Hill” is the nickname given to this magical town, whose name loosely translates to “the dying town.” The town has been on this hill for nearly 2,500 years and overlooks a stunning valley. Due to weather conditions the town is closed off to visitors for most of the year, but you mustn't miss it if you’re there in the summertime
Nestled between the green mountains of north of Lago di Garda, is the magical Cascate del Varone waterfall. The breathtaking beauty of this place is synonymous with Italy’s natural landscape. The fall’s uniqueness is partially the result of the rich vegetation that envelops it. This area is one-of-a-kind, and tourists should definitely make a point to see it.
Venice’s Ca’Sagredo Hotel offers an experience that you'll struggle to find elsewhere. Built in the 15th Century, the hotel is considered to be a work of art and makes patrons feel like royalty. The hotel overlooks the largest canal in Venice, and its rooms contain genuine and rare works of art.
If you visit this area during different parts of the year, you’ll have a hard time recognizing it. Nicknamed “Little Tibet”, this area transforms with the seasons. In wintertime, the whole region is white with snow and becomes a popular ski resort. In the spring, the hills become a kaleidoscope of shimmering green hues. In the summer, they are enveloped in yellows and browns, and in autumn the area turns a bleak gray.
During the 9th Century, Queen Margarita made Savonia her royal home, and it's easy to see why thanks to the magnificent gardens filled with countless species of beautiful plants. The castle has five towers that offer stunning views of the surrounding Aosta Valley in the north-western part of Italy.
Lake Como is the third-largest lake in Italy, but arguably the most beautiful. Located in the Lombardia district, Lake Como’s beauty is partially dependent on the tall mountains that surround it. On the lakeside village of Brunate, tourists can enjoy a stunning view of the whole area, which gave the spot the nickname “The Alps’ Balcony”.
Some claim that this castle matches the one in the story of Rapunzel, while others claim its construction was influenced by the story of Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty. Regardless of truth or myth, this castle is quite unique. Built in the 12th century, it is considered to be one of the finest fortresses built during the era.
Nature lovers will love visiting Marmore waterfalls. The falls are located between lush grasslands and a thick forest, and enjoy a powerful flow throughout the year. It is said that these falls were a muse for many of Italy’s greatest poets and artisans.
The direct translation of this site’s name is “Beautiful Island”, which fits it down to a tee. This small island is home to incredible gardens designed in the classical Italian fashion, as well as the Borromeo castle. The planning and care is evident in every part of this island, which is indeed a rare sight to behold.
In central Italy hides a garden that incorporates the beauty of nature with the elegance of medieval buildings. Walking in this botanical garden, travelers will enjoy beautiful, sweet-smelling flowers, sprawling vegetation, stillness and tranquility.