The Amazon River is the largest river in the world. It contains more water than the Nile, the Yangtze and the Mississippi together. It represents about a fifth part of the fresh water in liquid state in the whole planet. The Amazon, with the largest drainage basin in the world, accounts for an area of 7.05 million square kilometers. In South America it is the largest river by discharge of water and length.
Some historians believe that the term ‘Amazon‘ was coined by Francisco de Orellana, the Spanish explorer, who after facing a local tribe of men and women that fought and defended themselves without any difference in gender, lead Orellana to derive the name from the Greek mythology, especially of the Amazon warriors of Asia and Africa, narrated by Herodotus and Diodorus. However, it is also likely that the word Amazon was just a false cognate of an Indian word that to Spanish ears sounded like "Amazon", Indian word that meant "breaking of vessels". This vocabulary was especially used among Marayoara tribes; the ones that could see the tremendous crashes caused in this river when reaching the Atlantic Ocean
The discovery of the Amazon River was conducted between February 4 and August 26, 1541 by the Spanish expedition led by Francisco de Orellana. However, the complete navigation through the largest river in the planet was not something intentional, but due to a chain of events triggered by the desire to find great forests of cinnamon, El Dorado and perhaps a new viceroyalty.
Due to the unknown territory and broken relations with indigenous guides, Orellana tried to collect information and food with the company and assistance of about 70 men. Unexpected conditions and events did not allow them to return and they had to move forward, facing all kinds of privations and adversities.
Most historians and geographers claim that such hardships might have cast a shadow over the veracity of the story written by the Dominican order representative Gaspar de Carvajal, who was also a member of the expedition. Finally, Orellana's expedition successfully concluded on August 26, 1542, more than seven months after his departure. Little did they know that after this arduous trip they had managed to entirely sail the largest river on Earth, both in length and flow.
The Amazon lands are not only beautiful but interesting and rich in history and culture. In Advantage Ecuador, we have more than a million reasons to invite you to embark in a wonderful trip that would definitely open your eyes to a new world.