Outdoors + Nature

Natural Wonders

by Nicola McCormack

FEBRUARY
Brazil: The Longest Wave in the World

The world's longest wave—known as the Poroc-poroc by the native Tupi Indians and, more commonly, as Pororoca in Portuguese—rolls down Brazil's Rio Araguari, near the Amazon Basin, twice a year in February and March. The tidal bore—generated by the resistance of the narrow Rio Araguari against the mighty Atlantic Ocean—can reach heights of 15 feet, lasts about 30 to 40 minutes, and is amazing and terrifying in equal measure. Poroc-poroc translates as "great roar," which gives you an idea of just how powerful this wall of water is. For hard-core surfers with a death wish, there's the added "attraction" of surfing a muddy wave, but considering that it sweeps up trees, alligators and other wild animals, piranhas, snakes, and spiders on its way inland, we advise viewing the Pororoca by air or by boat.

Where to stay: Situate yourself close (but not too close) to the Pororoca in one of the Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge's 16 wood-paneled rooms; the hotel is located on a bluff overlooking the Rio Negro in the Amazon Basin.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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