The Río Amazonas lays claim to being the biggest river in the world. Originally it flowed east to west, before becoming an inland sea when the Andes began to rise along the Pacific edge of the continent around 100 million years ago. Another 40 million years of geological and climatic action later saw this “sea” break through into the Atlantic, which reversed the flow of water and gave birth to the mighty 6500-kilometre river. Starting in Peru as an insignificant glacial trickle on the Nevada Misma, northeast of the Colca Canyon, the waters swell as they move down through the Andes, passing Cusco before heading across the continent towards the Atlantic Ocean, still many thousands of miles away.

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