Looking for places to visit in Brazil with the family? Imagine a verdant expanse of more than 350 elongated islands teeming with wildlife in the Brazilian Amazon. Now, imagine the dark waters separating those islands. They are rich in aquatic species: crocodiles, dolphins, manatees, and bounties of fish. Welcome to the archipelago of Anavilhanas—one of the largest archipelagos (or island clusters) in the world.
Located on Brazil’s Rio Negro river, the archipelago is 43 miles upstream from Manaus. It receives 83 inches of rainfall annually and contains rivers, lakes, flooded forests in the rainy season and beaches in the dry season.
We just got back from yet another adventure with 5 other families in that part of the world, and it was truly magical — a must-see destination on your next trip to Brazil.
The Anavilhanas Archipelago
The archipelago is an accumulation of sediments and debris from the erosion of the Guyana Hills. Transported down the Rio Branco, these sediments get deposited in the dark, acidic waters of the Rio Negro. Over time, spectacular delta formations have amassed. They extend for nearly 60 miles along the river. All told, the Anavilhanas Archipelago boasts more than 247,000 acres of islands and canals within the Rio Negro. It encompasses almost 642,500 acres of riverside forest.
Among the protected species found in the park are:
- giant anteaters
- giant armadillos
- giant otters
- Amazonian manatees
- Amazon river dolphins
Originally designated as an ecological station in 1982, the area became a national park in 2008. The park protects the archipelago and supports scientific research. This research seeks to enhance the conservation of the area’s rich biodiversity. When it comes to Brazil for kids, the archipelago provides a living lesson in Brazilian ecology and conservation.
What to Look Out For
Wildlife is abundant in the Anavilhanas Archipelago. But what’s the best way to catch it? On a motorized canoe through the islands and lagoons of the archipelago. As your canoe navigates between islands, pay attention to the dark waters and emerald canopy.
What should you look for? Skim the Rio Negro for two species of river dolphins as well as long-necked water birds like herons and egrets. But don’t forget to scan the green islands on either side, too. They contain vibrant collections of jungle birds including macaws, parrots, caciques, oropendolas, and jacamars.
Places to Visit in Brazil
If you’re looking for truly unique places to visit in Brazil, put the Anavilhanas Archipelago at the top of your list. Known for its rich biodiversity and stunning views, you and your family will be amazed by its abundance.
Interested in traveling to Brazil with kids? Check out our seven-day Brazilian Amazon River Cruise itinerary. This family-focused tour takes you deep into the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. You’ll hike through a pristine forest, swim with river dolphins, explore waterfalls, and much more.
At Our Whole Village, we create tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.