The Amazon River snakes through the thick forest like a long, fat anaconda. Off this mighty river run numerous tributaries reaching like tentacles into the most remote sections of the Amazon rainforest. This area of the Amazon Basin in Northern Peru hosts some of the greatest diversity of plants and animals known to the world. Anyone who reads the “The Diversity of Life” by the famous botanist E.O. Wilson will have a far greater understanding and appreciation of the symbiosis of this magnificent ecosystem like no other in the world.
In this Western Amazon Basin known as the "green paradise of the Amazon" plants have evolved with complex alkaloids used to fight off attacking insects. Modern pharmaceutical companies recognize the value of such chemicals and as a result over fifty percent of today’s modern medicine is based upon alkaloids from plants of the rainforest. The Amazon holds the greatest possibilities of yet new pharmacological discoveries. Many of the indigenous people and shamans of the forest make use of these medicinal plants for healings and ceremonies. Mark Plotkin writes of the wealth of accumulated knowledge from generations of shamans, or curanderos of the Amazon, in his delightful book, "Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice." Also fascinating is the interrelationship of the insects to the plants of the forest. The forest interacts with community precision to support all forms of life in this wonderful symbiotic relationship.
Visiting the rainforest affords one opportunity to eavesdrop on nature at its fullest.
You can learn more about the plants, the animals and the indigenous way of life in the rainforest. You may even choose to join in shamanic ceremonies or village volleyball or a fiesta and thus experience first hand the way of life in the forest.
Another important aspect of a rainforest visit is the connection to nature. Out where the only light pollution comes from the stars and the moon, the beauty of nature washes your senses and brings back to life a sharp awareness of the splendor of life and nature. Far removed from the stresses of modern life, one can truly feel what its like to "live in the moment" and become one with nature. Being surrounded by millions of green trees, ferns, and other plants giving off oxygen, we are literally pumped with a fresh renewal of life with every breath we take. Follow me to the forest and you will experience a far more unique journey than any words can express.