Biggest River

The biggest river in the world is the Amazon. Located in South America, its flow at the mouth is 180,000 cubic meters per second. The drainage area is 2,270,000 square miles. Its length is 4,000 miles or 6,400 km.

General Characteristics

The Amazon runs from the Andes to the open sea. In terms of length, it is second only to the Nile. But by the number of tributaries and watershed dimensions, it is the biggest on the planet. The Amazon is also the largest in terms of water being released into the sea.

The Amazon basin encompasses more than 2 1/2 million square miles. This is greater than any rainforest. Currently, there is no bridge that crosses its length.

The biggest river in the world flows through Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and Peru. Its source is Lago Villafro in the Andes Mountains, Peru.


The Amazon has numerous river systems going into Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. These go into Ucayali and Maranon and into the Amazon. Some of its rivers are Huallaga, Napo, Nanay, Chambira and Morona.

The Amazon’s most distant source is a glacial stream at the Nevado Mismi peak. It is 5,597 m (18,363 ft) high and snowcapped. This is at the Andes around 160 km (99 mi) to the west of Lake Titicaca. It is 430 miles to the southeast of Lima.

The Mouth

The Amazon’s mouth is difficult to establish due to the unusual geography. The Para River is included by some researchers. But other scientists believe that it is the Tocantins River’s independent lower reach.

The Para River is 60 km (37 mi) wide. The Amazon and the Para are linked by several river channels close to Breves town. Between it is Marajo, the biggest river / sea island. It is as large as Switzerland.

If the Marajo island ocean frontage and the Para River are combined, the Amazon estuary will have a width of 325 kilometers (202 mi). In this instance, the mouth will be gauged from Cable Note at Amapa, Brazil.

Using this definition, the mouth’s width is greater than the length of England’s River Thames. The biggest river in the world has more than 1,100 tributaries. 17 of them are 1,500 km or longer.

The Amazon rainforest is home to 1/3 of all the species on the planet. The river basin and forest cover an area 5,400,000 square kilometers (2,080,000 sq mi). In terms of biodiversity, it is unmatched on the planet.

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