The Amazon Rainforest conjures up many different images in people's minds, but the reality is almost always different (and better) than the imagined. Even armed with a storehouse of facts about the region, first time visitors are amazed at the sheer magnitude of the rainforest and its accompanying river system. Three million square miles of Amazon Rainforest is an impressive fact, but flying for hours over a rain forest canopy broken only by the meandering of the many rivers, igarapés (creeks) and lagoons plus scattered small villages brings that fact to life. You can know that one fifth of the world's fresh water is contained in the Amazon River system, but until you have traveled on its waters and marveled at their expanse you really don't understand how much water there is. Biodiversity is just a buzz word that comes to life when you see pink dolphins, hordes of beautiful tropical birds, grasshoppers almost a foot long, butterflies big enough to cover a dinner plate and many of the other species found (some exclusively) in this magical land called the Amazon.