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Jungle Marathon: World's Wildest Race

  |   Sports

The Amazon is an exotic, untamed destination through which you can cruise, trek, swim… and even participate in a marathon. Jungle Marathon, entering its 12th edition, is perhaps one of the most incredible (and physically intense) ways to experience the natural environment of the Amazon, quite different from the runs you’re used to back home. Called “the world’s wildest eco race”, Jungle Marathon is a unique opportunity to combine sport and eco tourism as you run through this gorgeous natural environment. 



Amazon Jungle Marathon (ph. 

Amazon Jungle Marathon (ph. 



Participants will have the option of choosing between three different distances: the marathon 42km race, the 4 stage 127km race, and the 6 stage 254km race. Each course will take runners through swamps, river crossings, steep climbs and descents within the jungle, village trail and fluvial beaches, all amidst a hot and humid setting full of incredible flora and fauna. 


Jungle Marathon takes place in the primary Amazon of Brazil, embarking from the village of Alter do Chao, and ending in the base camp in Santarem, Brazil. 


The 2016 Jungle Marathon will begin October 6th, ending on October 15th with guests leaving the base camp on October 16th. 



Jungle Marathon through the swamps (Ph.

Jungle Marathon through the swamps (Ph.


The Experience

Jungle Marathon is about more than running: it’s an experience in becoming self-sufficient and surviving in the Amazon. Of course, you will be with others, but a huge part of the experience is to fully immerse yourself in the natural environment. 


The experience will take about ten days or more (depending on the distance chosen). On the first day, runners and support staff will embark on riverboats headed for base camp. From the moment you set foot on the boat, you are expected to become self-sufficient. This means you will need to bring enough food for the pre-race days (two days of travel), as well as food to live on during the race. Runners will also need to bring a hammock with mosquito net.


The boat sails for about 12 hours into the Amazon, with one stop at a beach along the Tapajos River. You will have the chance to swim in the waters amongst dolphins here, before continuing the journey. 


Once at base camp, you will spend one day full of briefings from firemen, doctors, and foot-care experts.  You will learn about jungle safety, including which plants to avoid, how to handle creatures you encounter, and how to avoid medical issues. Kits will be packed for the journey, and excess luggage will be left behind.


And then… you’re off! Those choosing the marathon distance, rather than the 4 Stage and 6 Stage races, will spend the first day doing some accompanied hikes, acclimating, and exploring the area as an eco-tourist. Others are already running through the jungle!


Over the next four days, you will run through the Amazon. You will be left to your own devices during the day, but there will be checkpoints every 5-10km or so, and a communal camp to meet at each evening where medical assistance is available. 


Those choosing the 6 Stage race will continue two days longer than the other, with all runners completing the race ten days after the start. Everyone will reconvene for a final night in the comfort of a hotel, where you can celebrate the completion at the runner’s party!



Through the waters during the Jungle Marathon

Through the waters during the Jungle Marathon



Those entering Jungle Marathon will need to be physically fit, but also have a strong mental tenacity to pull them through. And of course, a strong sense of adventure!


Competitors must be 18 years or older, and men and women are welcome to compete as individuals or teams (teams must have at least three members). 



Trekking through the Jungle Marathon

Trekking through the Jungle Marathon


How to Make the Most of It

If you’re looking to be a participant in Jungle Marathon but want to see a little more of the Amazon, consider combining your run with a more leisurely experience afterwards to make it a truly unforgettable experience. Many Amazon River cruises embark from various points in Brazil, and can be combined with the marathon. Spend anywhere from 4-10 days after Jungle Marathon comfortably cruising the wilderness, taking advantage of chef-cooked gourmet meals, comfortable beds, hot showers, and even Jacuzzis for your sore muscles. Contact Us for more information about traveling to the Amazon jungle. 

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About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.


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The Johannson family encounter a sloth on their rainforest cruise.
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