ariaú, amazon

Sunset over AriaúOne visits the Amazon to visit the jungle.  But how?  The most accessible way for the casual visitor are jungle hotels.  This one, the Ariaú Amazon Towers, is a two hour boat ride up Rio Negro from Manaus, visited some years ago.  They say it was Jacques Cousteau’s idea, back in 1982, to build a hotel on stilts due to the huge fluctuations in the river’s level during the rainy season.  (During a different high-water visit to the Amazon, I got to swim in clear water over tree tops, the childhood dream of flight over large trees come true.)  Ariaú Towers has 5 miles of catwalks, which are 10-20 yards up in the air.  Howler monkeys share them, graciously, with the tourists, who are many, filling 288 rooms.  [please hover over images for captions]

About Ben

Ben Batchelder has traveled some of the world's most remote roads. Nothing in his background, from a degree in Visual & Environmental Studies at Harvard to an MBA from Wharton, adequately prepared him for the experiences. Yet he persists, for through such journeys life unfolds. Having published four books that map the inner and exterior geographies of meaningful travel, he is a mountain man in Minas Gerais, Brazil who comes down to the sea at Miami Beach, Florida. His second travel yarn, To Belém & Back, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. For more, visit

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