Spanning nearly 23,000 sq km, Jaú is Brazil’s second-biggest national park, and one of the largest tracts of protected tropical rainforest on earth. It stretches west from the Rio Negro along the Jaú and Carabinani rivers. The Unesco-listed park has a number of waterfalls, important stands of primary forest and a handful of access rivers. All of that said, visiting is less rewarding than the Reserva Extrativista Baixo Rio Branco-Jauaperi.
Wildlife – including numerous primate species, big snakes, dolphins and sloths, as well as forest birdlife – is more difficult to see here than in some other areas, although the forest is impressive. There are no lodges in the park, so it’s best to visit with a tour outfit that specializes in riverboat tours, such as Swallows & Amazons or Lo Peix in Manaus, or Em Cantos da Amazônia in Novo Airão. Advance booking is essential, as the operator must obtain special permission to enter the park.