The Amazon River is located in the northern part of South America and is known as the largest river in the world.
Because of its size and the sheer volume of water it possesses, many people dreamt of swimming in it.
But the question is, can you swim in the Amazon River?
Can You Swim in the Amazon River?
You can swim in the Amazon River. However, you must never do it alone. The river is a dangerous area prone to accidents, infections, and sudden attacks by creatures living in and along the river. Some people do not know this but the Amazon River has several lakes, lagoons, and beaches that you can swim into.
5 Best Locations to Swim in the Amazon River
Undoubtedly, the Amazon River is filled with stories and mysteries that have always made people think and wonder.
But aside from the dark stories that have always been linked with the river, surprisingly, it also has great locations that you can visit and enjoy.
Can you swim in the Amazon River? Check out these locations you can go to.
1. Ponta Negra
Ponta Negra is a stunning white sand river beach located along the Amazon River. Aside from enjoying the glistening white sand and swimming on the cool beach, individuals also go here to witness the stunning view of the sunset.
2. Rio Negro
Rio Negro is considered the largest tributary of the Amazon River. It is a huge and wide black river famous for the number of swimming spots along its route.
Swimming here is fun and exciting. However, you still need to be very careful as the water flows quickly. It is required to wear floatation equipment when taking a plunge in this river.
3. Rio Tapiche
If you want to swim with nature surrounding you, Rio Tapiche is your best choice. This river has some of the most immaculate and untouched parts of the Amazon. I heard a lot of people talk about it as the perfect place to swim.
However, there is limited knowledge about this river since it is considered a sanctuary. But if you want to take a quick plunge into this river you will need a guide who can point out the river’s best swimming spots.
4. Novo Airão
Novo Airão is a great location where you can swim with the Amazon River’s famous pink dolphins or Botos. Although it’s still underdeveloped, many people have started to visit this area — especially those who want to take a peaceful swim and get closer to the river dolphins.
5. Jaú National Park
The best place to visit in the Amazon River where you can swim with the pink dolphins while you’re on your Amazon cruise is the Jaú National Park. It is known as the largest forest reserve in South America and is home to a large population of river dolphins.
So, can you swim in the Amazon River? Absolutely! As long as you choose safe spots, and heed the advice of the locals or your guide.
Can You Swim in the Amazon River? Top 5 Threats The River Possesses
Since the Amazon River is a very large and diverse ecosystem, various creatures can be found living around it — like the Botos or pink dolphins. But it is also the home of some of the most dangerous creatures on the planet.
These creatures are considered one of the deadliest living creatures on Earth. By the way, there are also sharks living in the Amazon River.
Here are the top 5 most dangerous threats you can find in the Amazon River.
I’m sure people born in the ’90s have watched the movie Anaconda once or twice, so you probably know what I’m talking about.
In the movie, the behavior of the snakes is a bit exaggerated but these gigantic creatures that are found in Brazil are very dangerous.
Although it only happens rarely, there are recorded incidents in Brazil where these snakes have killed and eaten humans.
Anacondas or what Brazilian locals call “Sucuri” can reach up to 393.7 inches (10 meters) in length. They also like to reside in shallow waters with lots of mangroves so it’s best to avoid swimming in these areas.
Aside from pink dolphins, there are other river creatures found in the Amazon River like the Arapaima or “Pirarucu”.
However, the difference between these two is that you can never swim in the river where an Arapaima lives. These gigantic carnivorous fish are mostly seen in flooded regions in the Amazon. They like to feed on piranhas, other fishes, birds, and even humans.
3. Black Caiman
The American alligator is not the only large crocodilian creature found in America. The Amazon River is also home to relentless and huge carnivorous reptiles known as the Black Caiman.
They are mostly found in lakes, slow rivers, and other flooded savannas and they can grow between 16 ft (4 m) to 20 ft (6 m). Although the odds of these creatures killing humans are pretty low, locals still believe that anyone should be very careful when swimming in the river.
4. Bull Shark
Some may think it’s impossible but there are indeed sharks in the Amazon River. Bull Sharks are pretty common in the region of Brazil.
Bull Sharks have special kidneys that help them sense the change in water salinity which helps them adapt. Bull sharks prefer shallow waters so it’s best to stay away from waters where these creatures are known to reside.
5. Toothpick Fish
The Amazon River is a sanctuary for both large and small creatures. One example is the Toothpick Fish or what residents call “Candiru”.
To be honest, these creatures are the ones that I am most afraid of on the list. Apparently, the Candiru is a small parasitic fish that is famous for entering the urethra or anus of anyone who dares to urinate in the river. They enter the human genitals, eat it from inside and even lay eggs in the bladder.
Swimming With Botos (The Amazon River Dolphins)
There is no doubt that swimming with the pink dolphins in the Amazon River is one of the most popular activities that many residents and tourists do when visiting the region.
It’s very safe to swim with Botos as long as you follow the safety instructions provided by the locals and your guide. Unlike dolphins that are found in the sea, Botos do not do acrobatic moves but they are relatively seen doing small jumps.
There is a popular legend in the Amazon associated with the Botos. This legend is so popular among locals that it even affects the rules they set around their region.
Legend has it that during festivals (specifically June festivals), the pink dolphin transforms into a stunning and handsome young man dressed in all white and is seen wearing a hat to hide his nose — the only part of him he cannot transform.
The young man is said to seduce young girls and takes them to the deepest parts of the river.
So when you attend parties in the Amazon with a hat on, someone will come up to you and ask you to take your hat off. It’s a rule between locals to help assure them that you are not the Boto.
On the other hand, when a woman living in the Amazon gives birth to a child with an unknown father, they will immediately say he is the son of the Boto.
What Does It Feel Like Swimming in the Amazon River?
Swimming in the Amazon River is not an uncommon thing. A lot of locals and tourists have their fair share of fun and amazing experiences while swimming in the Amazon River.
But have you ever imagined swimming in the whole Amazon river?
Apparently, in the year 2007, Slovenian Martin Strel swam and crossed the full length of the Amazon River in 66 days. Strel swam from Peru to Belém, over 3106 miles (5000 km) of the river. According to him, he faced lots of challenges during his journey.
But the biggest challenge he has faced was not the creatures living in the Amazon but pirates. With the help of the locals, Strel and his team were able to go through their territories without being noticed.
Strel immediately received medical treatment the morning after he finished his journey. The doctors who helped the swimmer said he suffered from delusions and even said that Strel did not feel his legs when he arrived at the port.
The locals around the area have helped him a lot in keeping distance from waters that are habited by some of the most dangerous species living on the planet. This huge effort of his will never be forgotten in history.
Frequently Asked Questions About Swimming in the Amazon River
What Is The Most Dangerous Thing in the Amazon River?
Piranhas are one of the most dangerous aquatic creatures found in the Amazon River. Although this river is home to many other creatures, piranhas are considered the most dangerous because many locals have already seen their attacks.
How Dirty is the Amazon River?
The Amazon River contains a lot of mud and sand which is the main reason why its waters are muddy-brown in color. The largest branch of the Amazon River, the Rio Negro, contains lots of chemicals from soil and plants causing the water to turn black. Hence, why it is called the Black River.
Is It Safe to Go Swimming in the Amazon River?
You can swim in the Amazon River as long as you choose the right swimming spots. And to ensure your safety, it’s best to follow safety precautions and instructions provided by the locals around the area.
Can You Swim in the Amazon River? Final Words
Swimming in the Amazon River is possible. Although the river is home to dangerous creatures, as long as you choose to swim in safe spots then you’re safe. In fact, the Amazon River has a lot of lakes, beaches, and lagoons that many tourists enjoy swimming in.