Today’s guest post is a topic near and dear to my heart. One of my favorite ecosystems is the rainforest.
Rainforests are some of the most fascinating and diverse natural environments on Earth. They offer unique ecosystems, astounding natural beauty and a real sense of adventure for those who visit them.
Because of this, it is unsurprising that they are among the most popular destinations for travelers who are looking for something a bit more exciting than lounging on the beach or wandering through a city. These types of trips do pose more risks, though, so backpacker travel insurance can be a necessary precaution.
Rainforests have very specific conditions that make them suitable for the vast array of plant and animal life that they contain. They can be found across the world, on every continent except Europe and Antarctica, from the conventional picturesque rainforests of South America to the more surprising environs of Canada. The great rainforests of the world have plenty to offer for the intrepid visitor, but backpacker travel insurance is a must.
Perhaps the world’s most famous rainforest is the Amazon in South America. Named after the biggest river on Earth, which snakes its way through this steamy and verdant forest, it covers 1.4 billion acres and spans most of the countries in South America with the majority found in Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests and is the most species-rich tropical forest in the world. For these reasons, among many others, the Amazon is one of the top rainforest destinations in South America and across the world.
Lush and green throughout, the Amazon gives visitors the chance to see many species, such as jaguars, tapirs and anaconda, which are found in few other places. The river itself is also a magnificent attraction, often reaching up to ten kilometres wide and is home to many species of fish and reptiles such as the piranha and the caiman.
Ecuador Cloud Forest
Elsewhere in South America, the cloud forest of Ecuador is another major attraction for nature fans and is a truly fascinating natural environment. It gets its name from the fact that the forest’s climate and location mean that it is regularly hidden in low-level cloud.
Exploring these forests is a real expedition but visitors are rewarded with the chance to see many different species of flora and fauna. One of the main bases for exploring Ecuador’s cloud forest is the rural parish of Mindo, which is a rapidly-growing eco-tourism spot.
For a more unconventional rainforest experience, MacMillan Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada, is quite different to anything that you would find in the southern hemisphere.
Situated on the western shore of Cameron Lake, the forest is ancient and is home to species such as the black bear, cougar and elk. In addition, perhaps the biggest attraction of this peculiar northern rainforest is Cathedral Grove, a 150-hectare stand of old-growth Douglas firs which draws visitors from across Canada and beyond.
Japan may also appear to be a strange rainforest destination but Yakushima Island, to the south of Kyushu, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its rainforest credentials are clear – it is Japan’s wettest place.
In terms of biodiversity, it also doesn’t disappoint as it is the largest nesting ground for loggerhead turtles in the North Pacific, as well as home to deer, red-bottomed macaques and Tanuki, or Japanese raccoon dogs. Its unparalleled and somewhat mystical atmosphere has provided the inspiration or setting for a number of films and books.
Thanks again for the guest post. My favorite rainforest not listed is Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. Where is yours?
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