Ask anyone for their bucket list adventure and many will have “exploring the Amazon river” on it. From the mysterious medicinal properties of secret plants in the Amazon to stories on building fortunes with the help of the local tribes, what better way to prepare for a trip than to delve into a book based in the Amazonas?
This holiday season, we pick out some of the best reads for you to check out. Whether you’re heading on an Aqua Expeditions cruise or planning for your big Amazon adventure, get inspired with our recommendations.
Aria Amazon & Aqua Nera Cruises – Recommended Books
The Peruvian Amazon has its own list of “must read” treasures that evoke the sights, sounds and smells of the jungle and all that lies within.
Best for adventure
Lost City of Z – By David Grann
This heart-pumping book and movie is sure to ignite your wanderlust for unchartered lands. David Grann tells the true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett’s disappearance into the Amazon as he sets out to find a lost city in the jungle in 1925. He then vanished without a trace, and for the next eighty years, hordes of explorers go looking for evidence of his journey, and the mysterious City of Z.
Best for botany buffs
One River – By Wade Davis
Renowned anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wade Davis carries the reader on an unforgettable journey through the twentieth-century Amazonian rainforest. In 1941, Professor Richard Evan Schultes took a leave from Harvard and disappeared into the Amazon, studying and living among dozens of Indian tribes to understand the use of medicinal and psychoactive plants.
Best for history and politics
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey – By Candice Millard
The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth. After his election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon together with his son and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon.
Tree of Rivers: Story of the Amazon – By John Hemming
This enthralling book brilliantly describes the local and regional struggles that have taken place in Peru and Brazil in order to utilize, protect and understand the wonder that is the Amazon. The book recalls the adventures of the explorers, missionaries, indigenous Indians, naturalists, rubber barons, scientists, anthropologists, archaeologists, political extremists, and many more.
Conquest of the Incas – By John Hemming
On 25 September 1513, a force of weary Spanish explorers cut through the forests of Panama and were confronted with the Pacific Ocean. It was the beginnings of a vast expansion into the Inca Empire. From the forays of this first small band of Spanish adventurers to the execution of the last surviving Inca, forty years later, this is a story of bloodshed, infamy, rebellion and extermination.