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Amazon (Bradt Travel Guides) Paperback – 15 Jul 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides; 3 edition (15 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841621730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841621739
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 870,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'This Bradt guide to the Amazon describes every aspect of travel in this unique South American region. this is an indispensable guide.' Reviewers Bookwatch '[an] all-encompassing guide.' The Independent 'With this book, you'll be able to capture the adventure of Amazonian exploration for yourself.' Wanderlust

About the Author

Peter Hutchison is a journalist and tour leader specialising in Bolivia.

Roger Harris is a natural history expert and leads expeditions throughout the Amazon region.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Si B on 11 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this in advance of a recent trip to Brazil. I've only just started reading it as my other half wouldn't put it down. It was glued to her for about 3 weeks! The few bits I've sneaked a look at are incredibly informative with facts and figures that cover almost every aspect of the Amazon Basin from history, wildlife, transportation, politics, health the list goes on. Written in plain english, we wouldn't have been without it.

Highly recommended
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived in good condition and was really useful for my thesis. If i was traveling to the amazon i'd buy this book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Well worth the money; an excellent guide and resource 3 Mar. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an author who has published two guidebooks myself (and as a critical reader and user of guidebooks), I highly recommend Harris and Hutchison's The Amazon. This book is really two guides in one: Practical advice on where to go, where to stay, what to see and do, etc. and a valuable natural history companion. Biologist Roger Harris provides fascinating and highly readable information about the flora, fauna, and cultures you may encounter in a well-organized fashion. Not to mention thumbnail sketches of history, climate, language, health issues and other subjects of interest. The writing is rich enough to classify it as armchair travel but the hard information provided makes it practical and well worth the reasonable investment. We bought it before our trip, used it extensively during the expedition, and still refer to it now that we are home. As a writer, I'm envious of the product; as a reader I'm satisfied.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Denis Benchimol Minev - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Among all guidebooks I have seen on the Amazon, this one did the best job of gathering information and putting it in an easily readable fashion.

The book is divided among the different countries in the region. Knowing the attractions mainly of the Brazilian Amazon, I can say that about half of the businesses, phone numbers, addresses, etc. are outdated. It is to be expected, since this guide was published 4 yrs ago. The Brazilian section is good, with good advice especially on the surroundings of Manaus. It also provides good advice on what to bring and what to look for in the Amazon, which is useful and timeless.

To someone considering a trip to different places in the Amazon, if you want to get just one guide, I would recommend this one. If you are going to just one place, perhaps as a second guide book this would help, but I would not rely too heavily on the companies listed there, many of them no longer exist.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Good, fascinating, wide-sweeping 'book-to-take-with-you' 14 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
THE AMAZON Great rivers, vast impenetrable jungles, exotic lost cities and remote tribal people are the kind of images most of us conjure up when the Amazon is mentioned. But there is more to the region than this. I liked the way this book gives the adventurer, traveller or dreaming reader a resource that reveals some of stuff of myth, mystery and legend - while also providing the nitty-gritty detail of how to get there, what to do, what to see, moving around (from first class river boats, internal airlines, buses and taxis through to hitch-hiking) - and how to enjoy what could well be the experience of a lifetime.
The authors' challenge was to encapsulate an area three-quarters the size of the continental United States in a handy book. A task in which I think they succeed. The book in four sections. The first orientates us with an overview across the entire vast region. You will find: a brief history, getting there, what to take, descriptions of the people, sleeping and eating, climate, river regimes, planning an expedition and such like. For most travellers, the tropical forest will be an alien environment, so specific attention is given to health and personal safety - a topic that crops up in down-to-earth detail throughout the book. When snakes are mentioned for instance, you'll find advice on recognising those that are poisonous - and what to do if in the rare event you are bitten. And of infamous piranha we read with relief that their "attacks have injured people, but records show not one fatality."
Whereas the typical guide might describe the architecture and art, the next section enables the traveller, be it by river-boat and canoe, by trail-walking or by road, to grasp the detail of the forest's architecture, the 150ft high trees and the surrounding super-abundant natural art. You can marvel at nature's beauty - the orchids, flowers, ferns, floating meadows, and all manner of lianas and vines. And that's just the flavour of the flora. There is also a guide to the fauna - the animals of the canopy and forest floor, the birds like parrots, toucans, hummingbirds, plus a host of other exotic avian creatures. With the rivers so ubiquitous you are helped to identify reptiles, amphibians and the fabulous fishes. Most of the common insects are covered too.
Tucked away for the traveller to find are the forest's human inhabitants - so there is also information about these more ancient folk who have evolved a way of life, a culture that has adapted them to hard task of living in the dense jungle.
But those journeying through the region will need to go through at least one of the Amazon countries. So the third part of the book consists of a series of mini-guides. These give all the basic data any visitor will need. For each of the eight nation-states (and colony of French Guiana) there are the essential facts and figures - including how to access Internet - as well as introductions to the major towns and cities: where to stay (first class, middle and budget), eateries and the like. Outline maps of the countries and larger scale street maps of the bigger towns and cities will help readers find their way around.
Being monolingual I particularly appreciated the short English-Spanish and English-Portuguese 'survival' glossaries (with pronunciation keys) and the list of books for further reading.
Did the writers meet the challenge? I think so. Wisely the authors included extracts from other travellers and experts - so the drawings, maps and colored photographs are interspersed with boxes and sections that help to present a more balanced view of what travelling and staying in this vast region might actually be like - warts and all.
There is a downside. While prices are given in US dollars and many distances given in miles alongside their kilometre equivalent, most other numeric information is given in the more scientifically correct metric system. Also perhaps, I would have welcomed a few more light-hearted anecdotes about the area. As a seasoned traveller with over 45 countries under my boots, this is the kind of guide I would want study thoroughly before I went. I would also want to keep the book with me in my back-pack or suitcase to help me relish the ever changing surroundings. It's the kind of guide that will make your time in the region safer - and so much more pleasurable, exciting, rewarding and memorable. Buy it. It will be an investment.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An excellent overview of the region 17 Sept. 2004
By Richard A. Jenkins - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was lucky to stumble onto this book, which is relatively difficult to find in most chain bookstores. It is an excellent trip planning resource, although it is likely that you will want to supplement it with country-specific guides or one of the "shoestring" type guides for the South America (e.g., Lonely Plant, Footprints). The book provides useful overviews of each country in the region with attention to major transport/tourism hubs and to major attractions and parks. The guide will help you focus a trip on one or more countries in the region. It also is helpful in terms of considering how to navigate adjacent countries in terms of transport, visas, etc. The overviews of flora and fauna provide more information than you will find in other guidebooks. The lodges and travel companies listed tend to skew upscale, although they do mention budget lodgings in cities like Manaus and Iquitos. The number of hotels and restaurants surveyed in any one place tends to be limited, so you'll want a country-specific guide to provide more depth. The value of this guide is its overview of the Amazon region, however, it's likely that you'll want a country-specific guide esp. if you are a budget traveler. I found the Lonely Planet Brazil guide to be the best of the major Brazil guides (it also takes in the Triple Frontier area with Peru & Colombia and Roraima which borders Venezuela) for the Brazilian Amazon, although it has some deficiencies for other places like Rio & Salvador.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good introductory book to the Amazon 11 Mar. 2008
By Andalus - Published on
Format: Paperback
This was the first book that I bought for my upcoming trip to the Amazon and it is the best overall. It gives a clear and concise discussion on the natural history, the geology, the history, the food, and the overall background of the area. The section on what to bring and what to expect is helpful whether you are going to be adventurous and try the small boats or go on a cruise. The discussion of the extent of the Amazon river basin and the amount of land that it drains and the natural history is fascinating. The discussion of the types of plants and animals is a good introduction. The section on the various areas is short but helpful in planning a stay in the cities. The listing and description of the museums is invaluable and the discussion of good places to shop is intriguing. I loved the maps of the Amazon basin and the maps of the various cities are helpful. It is very well written and easy to understand. They manage to make even what for me would be dry topics interesting. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who is planning a trip to the Amazon.
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