The Amazon rainforest from the air

An area of completely pristine forest. Every one of those dots is a tree crown, around 20-30m across. The scale is staggering. The trees continue past the horizon in every direction. This is completely undisturbed rainforest, as it should be.

I’ve just come back from a week in Peru, doing some reporting for a piece I’m writing for Wired UK. I’ll have more on that closer to the point of publication. For the moment, here are some photos of the Peruvian Amazon and nearby mountains, taken from the air.

I love the way the river splits and reforms.

It's around 20km long, and it's taken less than 5 years to make. It looks like a pustulent wound inflicted on the forest. Smoke billows from a patch where trees have recently been cut.

That ox-bow lake is what the water colour ought to be like. The sickly yellow colour of the main river comes from silt, sediment and run-offs from the many gold mines nearby.

Hills outside Cusco

Turquoise lake

There are 6 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Sathish
    August 20, 2011

    Amazing Snaps!!

  2. Don
    August 21, 2011

    Ed: Shots 2-4 show human activity: logging, fires, roads.

  3. Ed Yong
    August 21, 2011

    Yep. They’re separate stretches to the one in pic 1, and the caption for pic 1 only applies to pic 1.

  4. Roger Harris
    August 21, 2011


    So glad you made it to the Peruvian Amazon. It’s a place I have been visiting since 1992. If you want to see more photos (including aerial shots) check out my website Jungle Photos

  5. home
    August 22, 2011

    really beautiful blue of Turquoise lake…

  6. Bree Tanner
    May 28, 2013

    Totally going there some day!
    If it’s still there… :(

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