Geography of the Amazon Rainforest

Contributor: Jody Muth. Lesson ID: 13169

Sure, the Amazon Rainforest has the Amazon River, but what other geographical features are found there? Discover its mountains, highlands, plateaus, and ocean!


Earth Science, World

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Did you know that the Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world?

It is approximately 6 million square kilometers and takes up most of the northern half of the country of Brazil.

Amazon Basin map

This rainforest is home to many species of vegetation and animals. It is also home to a wide range of geographical features. In addition to the Amazon River Basin, there are many features that make this a perfect place for plants and animals to thrive. Let's look at a few!

First, we need to learn some vocabulary that will be used in this lesson.

Using a dictionary, define each of the terms listed below.

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Great! Now we are ready to explore the geography of the Amazon Rainforest.

The Guiana Highlands are to the north the Amazon River. This environment is marked by three main elements. At the bottom, there are rolling, hilly uplands. Next, are the low mountains found near stream divides and the tabular plateaus with weather resistant sandstone tops. Finally, there are larger tabular plateaus such as Mount Roraima.

Mount Roraima, Venezuela

The Andes or Andean Mountains run along the western side of South America. These mountains are unique because they are a series of unbroken, high plateaus. They naturally separate the western coast from the rest of the continent and are the longest continental mountain range in the world.


The Brazilian Highlands or Plateau cover more than half of the central and southeastern country of Brazil. They include extensive plateaus enclosed by mountains. A plateau is different than a mountain because it is mostly flat when raised into the air; whereas a mountain remains fairly steep.

Brazilian Plateau

To the east of the Amazon Rainforest is the Atlantic Ocean, which is the second largest ocean in the world. The ocean forms a natural barrier for the rainforest and receives most of its moisture.

Atlantic Ocean off the coast of French Guiana

The Amazon Basin includes the Amazon River and its tributaries. This region produces approximately 20% of the earth's water because the humid, tropical climate of the area produces ample amounts of rain. It is also the largest river basin in the world.

Amazon River

Head over to the Got It? section to find these geographical features on a map of the Amazon Rainforest!

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