Holidays don’t always have to be about beaches, for something wholly different, head to the mighty Amazon rainforest. A place for which there aren’t enough adjectives, time spent in awe at the diversity of nature will stamp itself on your memories forever.

The upcoming, Brazilian city of Manaus offers a convenient base to explore, with many connecting flights from Rio. Manaus has an opera house, restaurants and entertainment, and is a busy port. On your outbound flight, Gatwick offers a wide range of flights at affordable prices. Long-haul flying should be made as stress-free as possible, so check out car parking Gatwick for great rates.

Many environmentally responsible companies offer a variety of group holidays, providing an educational and safe way to explore this stunning display of nature at its most powerful, whilst raising money to preserve it. Tours are accompanied by employed guides, often local people, ploughing money back into small villages.

Tours advertise the level of fitness required. Please take note of this and check with your doctor if you have any worries. Whilst you’re there, have those all important vaccinations and malaria treatment. Better to be safe, than sorry.

Health and safety out of the way, onto the exciting stuff!

The Amazon basin is a World Natural Heritage Site. It is huge; in fact, it’s the world’s biggest rainforest and generates enough oxygen for the whole planet! Jaw dropping and awe-inspiring, there’s plenty to see and do. Kayaking, piranha fishing, trekking, alligator spotting, talks on village life, moonlight safaris, and colourful festivals – it’s not just about floating down a river.

There are different types of tours; canopy tours, linked by suspended walkways, river cruises, or hiking on the ground. All offer stunning views and a chance to meet the inhabitants of this diverse area. Of course, when cruising you will meet the famous pink dolphins – a certain must see. The Amazon River runs for 4007 miles, ending in the Atlantic Ocean, and it is an eerie sight to see boats slowly make their way down the black waters.

Accommodation is generally comfortable lodges. Despite the vision you may have, you’re wrong! Lodges are comfortable and clean, in the form of thatched wooden bungalows with mod cons. Food is also provided.

Don’t forget your camera! The Amazon is home to hundreds of species of mammal, thousands of species of fish and 1000 different types of bird, including colourful parrots. Don’t forget such awe-inspiring sights as noisy spider monkeys, huge, alien-like lily pads, and the meeting of the waters, a point where the black waters of the Rio Negro, meet the brown waters of the Rio Solimões. There are too many sights to mention!

It’s not the weather that will dictate when to go, but the water height. During wet season, although it can rain any time, the river can be much, much higher. However, all year around, temperatures are steamy, reaching 40s during July and August. If you’re not into heat, maybe avoid this time.

With all this wonder, it must be expensive, surely? Prices reflect the experience, but are not as high as you think. Cut costs where possible, eliminating the need for expensive taxis with Airport Parking for fantastic rates.

Not many destinations offer such a memorable way to learn about the wonders of the environment, with the chance to give something back. Maybe combine your stay with a few days in colourful Rio, giving you a memorable, and then relaxing, holiday with a difference.