Brazil // The Amazon //

Jungle terms

There are a few Brazilian jungle terms every visitor should be familiar with: a regatão is a travelling-boat-cum-general-store, which can provide a fascinating introduction to the interior if you can strike up an agreeable arrangement with one of their captains; an igarapé is a narrow river or creek flowing from the forest into one of the larger rivers (though by “narrow” around Manaus they mean less than 1km wide); an igapó is a patch of forest that is seasonally flooded; a furo is a channel joining two rivers and therefore a short cut for canoes; a paraná, on the other hand, is a branch of the river that leaves the main channel and returns further downstream, creating a river island. The typical deep-red earth of the Western Amazon is known as tabatinga, like the city on the frontier with Peru and Colombia; and regenerated forest, like secondary growth, is called capoeira.

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