World record holder Serginho Laus surfs the Pororoca tidal bore wave past debris from the Amazon jungle on the Araguari river in northern BrazilThe time has come for me to leave Brazil and I am going to have to do that without seeing the world’s longest ‘wave’.

The Pororoca like the Severn Bore is a tidal bore, which is a phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave of water that travels up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay’s current.

Pororoca 2The Pororoca has waves up to 4 metres high that travel as much as 800 km inland upstream on the Amazon River and adjacent rivers. Its name comes from the indigenous Tupi language, and translates to “great destructive noise”.

It occurs at the mouth of the river where its waters meet the Atlantic Ocean, and is best seen in February and March, so I can’t blame the Panamanian customs for missing it.

The wave has become popular with surfers and an annual championship has been held in São Domingos do Capim. However, surfing the Pororoca is particularly dangerous, as the water contains a huge amount of debris from the shores of the river. The record for the longest time captured on tape riding the wave is a staggering 43 minutes!


I had talked about surfing this with my Brazilian friend Rommel before he died, however it is probably just as well that I didn’t have the time to have a go at it on this trip.

Apart from crocodiles, cayman, etc living in the river the Amazon is also home to it’s own very angry fish. The Piranha!

Check out this footage of a few people who did manage to surf it a few years back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a_2g6uTDb0




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