Thursday, February 21, 2013

Amazon Basin: Before and After the Rains

The guest cottages on the left, the pool and the runway during the fishing season.
Each year, during our trip to the Agua Boa River, anglers ask me how high the water gets during the rainy season. I tell people the river rises 27-30 feet. Yes, that's feet. This year, during our visit, we could have waded across the river in many spots. The low water leaves many large islands and sand bars exposed. During the rainy season you would be under 30 feet of water in those same spots. 
Perhaps the best way to demonstrate how much water drains out of the Amazon Basin each year is with photos. What follows are some before and after shots of the lodge and its guest cottages. It is truly hard to imagine how much water flows down the Agua Boa  during the rainy season. The river climbs a 20 foot cutback, overflows the lawn, then overtakes the lodge and its buildings on its way to inundating the forest. It becomes deep enough that Carlos the lodge manager, photographed a tapir (that was being chased by a jaguar) swimming in fromt of the dining room. Have a look at these before and after shots...

During the dry season, sand bars are exposed and the water is very low.
The pool with the guest cottages beyond during the dry season (when we come to fish).
A look upriver from the lodge.

The river on the left looking downriver and over the lawn from the pool.
A look upriver... notice the 20' cutback on the left that the river has to climb before it overflows its banks!

But from the same spot, during the rainy season, you might feel a bit different... like you were up to your ears in water!

The same cottages with 27 feet more water in the river

The view upriver
The lodge from a runway that is now underwater!
A Tapir swims in front of the dining room.
The pool from where we have cocktails and look out over the river 22 feet below!


  1. Wow, thanks for posting those high water shots. I hadn't seen them. When you think how far that water can spread out before it is contained by high land, that's a helluva lot of water.

  2. Kinda shocking isn't it Doug... and to think we could have walked across the river at many points!