This page contains a list of the world’s most famous rainforests. The list includes tropical and temperate rainforests, larger rain forest regions, and individual national parks and reserves.
This article is part of our Rainforest Series.
- You can see some amazing rainforest animals here: Rainforest Animals List
- It’s not all about animals! Discover rainforest plants here: Rainforest Plants List
Famous Rainforests Introduction
We’ve all heard of the Amazon Rainforest, but what are the other famous rainforests, and where are they located? This list contains a list of rainforests you need to know about. It also contains information on some of the animals and plants that are found in each region.
Read on to become a rainforest (and geography) expert …
Famous Rainforests In South America
The Amazon Rainforest is the biggest and most famous rainforest in the world. Located in South America, the Amazon rainforest covers parts of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
The Amazon rainforest covers much of the Amazon Basin. This is the area that drains into the Amazon River. The Amazon forest is almost twice the size of India.
The Amazon Rainforest is a tropical rainforest. It is incredibly biodiverse (i.e. many different species live there), and is home to one fifth of the world’s bird species, and one third of the world’s plant species.
You can find out more about the Amazon Rainforest here: Amazon Rainforest Facts.
Atlantic Forests, Brazil
The Atlantic Forests are located along the east coast of Brazil. They consist of several ecoregions, and include tropical lowland rainforests, mangrove forests and montane forests.
(An Ecoregion is a large area with distinctive animals, plants and conditions).
You can find out about the different types of rainforest here: Rainforest Facts.)
Sadly, much of the Atlantic forest has been subject to deforestation. In the past, the Atlantic forests covered around 1,000,000 km² (386,000 mi²). Today, only patches of the original forest remain. It is estimated that over 85% of the forest has been lost.
Although a fraction of their original size, the Atlantic forests are still incredibly biodiverse. For example, they’re home to over 2,000 butterfly species (one eighth of the world’s butterfly species) and around 20 primate species.
Many of the Atlantic forests’ plants and animals are endemic. (Endemic means that they aren’t found anywhere else.) An example of an animal that is endemic to the Atlantic Forests is the Maned Sloth, rated as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN.
Find out more about deforestation on this page: Deforestation Facts.
Central Suriname Nature Reserve
The Central Suriname Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It covers 16,000 km² (6,177 mi²), and includes lowland and montane rainforests.
Suriname, located on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America, is one of the least-densely populated countries in the world. Its rainforests are largely unspoiled.
The rocky outcrops found in the reserve provide an ideal habitat for birds such as the Guianan cock-of-the-rock (shown in the above picture).
Iguazú National Park, Argentina
Argentina’s Iguazú National Park forms part of the Alto Paraná Atlantic forests ecoregion, which covers parts of southern Brazil, northeastern Argentina, and eastern Paraguay.
Iguazú National Park – and the world famous (and incredibly beautiful) Iguazú Falls, which lie within the park – are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The park is also home to 450 bird species.
Manú National Park, Peru
Manú National Park in Peru is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes the southwestern edges of the Amazon rain forest. The park covers an area of 15,328 km² (5,918 mi²), and includes tropical and subtropical rainforests, and montane grasslands regions.
Over 20,000 plant species are found in the park. Animals found here include Peruvian jaguars, pumas, ocelots, giant otters, giant anteaters, southern tamanduas, armadillos, sloths, marmosets, capuchins, tamarins, spider monkeys and howler monkeys.
You can learn more about the different kinds of rainforest monkeys here: Rainforest Monkeys.
Find out more about the Manú National Park here.
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Bolivia
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park is situated in Boliva, on the border with Brazil. It includes the south western reaches of the Amazon Rainforest, together with savanna and wetland habitats.
First explored in 1908 by British adventurer Percy Fawcett, the park covers 7,500 km² (2,895 mi²).
2,705 plant species have been found in the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park. 130 species of mammals, 620 species of birds, and approximately 127 species of amphibians and reptiles are also found here. These include river otters, river dolphins, jaguars, black caimans, and spider and howler monkeys.
Famous Rainforests In Asia
Borneo Lowland Rain Forest
Covering 743,330 km² (287,000 mi²), Borneo is the third largest island in the world. It is divided between three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Some of the world’s oldest rainforests are found on the island.
The Borneo Lowland Rain Forest covers 427,500 km² (165,000 mi²). The island is also home to montane rainforests and mangrove forests.
Around 10,000 plant species can be found in Borneo’s lowland rainforest. The rainforest is also home to some extremely rare and threatened animals, such as the Sumatran Rhinoceros, Borneo Pygmy Elephant and the Bornean Orangutan.
Kayan Mentarang National Park, Borneo
The Kayan Mentarang National Park is an area of dense rainforest found on the border between Indonesia and Malaysia in Borneo.
Animals found here include the Malayan pangolin, long-tailed macaque, proboscis monkey, greater slow loris, western tarsier, clouded leopard, sun bear, Hose’s palm civet and several species of hornbill.
Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Khao Sok National Park is located in the south of Thailand. The park contains Thailand’s largest area of untouched rainforest. It is some of the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world.
Like many rainforests around the world, Khao Sok National Park is used as a tourist attraction. As well as bringing money into the country, this also helps to make more people aware of the importance – and beauty – of the rainforest.
There are several rainforest regions in India.
The Western Ghats are hills and mountains that stretch from the southernmost tip of India north to the Gulf of Khambhat, running parallel to the west coast of India. They are a World Heritage Site, and among the eight ‘Hottest Hotspots’ for biodiversity.
Although only a third of the area’s natural vegetation still exists, the rainforests still cover around 20,000 km² (7,700 mi²). There are several national parks and reserves in Western Ghats, protecting the region from the farming and development that has destroyed the original forests.
Located in the Western Ghats is the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. This protected area contains 722 species of flowering plants, 128 of which are endemic to the Western Ghats.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka
The Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka is a small area of virgin rainforest, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It contains many endemic species, including the Purple-faced langur, a species of monkey. Asian elephants and leopards also live in the area.
Famous Rainforests In Africa
Congo Rainforest (Congolian forests), Africa
Another of the world’s most famous rainforests is the Congo Rainforest. The Congo Rainforest is located in the Congo Basin – the area of land that drains into the Congo River.
The Congo rainforest is the second largest tropical rainforest in the world. It covers parts of Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.
Madagascar is large island in the Indian Ocean located off the south east coast of Africa. Madagascar is the world’s 4th largest island, and is roughly the size of France.
There are a number of ecoregions in Madagascar, including the Madagascar lowland forests. These dense tropical rainforests are located on the east coast of Madagascar.
Many of Madagascar’s endemic species are found in the Madagascan Lowland Forests. These include many of the island’s Lemurs, Fossas, and birds such as the Couas.
Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Salonga National Park is a national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This large tropical rainforest reserve covers about 36,000 km² (13,900 mi²), and is part of the Congo rainforest.
Sapo National Park, Liberia
Sapo National Park is a national park in Liberia. It is located in both the Upper Guinean forest ecosystem and the Western Guinean lowland forests ecosystem. The park is home to around 125 mammal species and 590 bird species.
Famous Rainforests In Australia
Australia’s Daintree Rainforest is a tropical rainforest located in Queensland, in the northeast of Australia. Daintree Rainforest forms part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Daintree Rainforest is thought to be around 135 million years old, making it older than the Amazon Rainforest. It covers 1,200 km² (463 mi²), and provides a home to many of Australia’s native species.
30% of the Australia’s frog, marsupial and reptile species are found in Daintree, together with 65% of Australia’s bat and butterfly species and 18% of its bird species.
You can read more about the Daintree Rainforest here: Daintree Rainforest Facts.
Fraser Island, Australia
Fraser Island lies off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The island is 1840 km² (710 mi²) and contains tropical rainforests and mangrove forests.
Tasmanian Temperate Rain Forests
The Australian island state of Tasmania is famous for its temperate rainforests. They are home to many of the country’s most famous animal species, including Tasmanian Devils, Echidnas, Quolls and Platypuses.
Famous Rainforests In North America
Pacific Temperate Rainforests
North America’s Pacific temperate rainforests ecoregion is the largest temperate forest ecoregion in the world. It stretches from Kodiak Island in Alaska south through Canada until coming to an end in Northern California.
Hoh Rainforest, USA
The Hoh Rainforest is a temperate rainforest located in Washington State, USA. As part of the Olympic National Park, it is protected from commercial exploitation such as mining.
The main tree species in the Hoh rainforest are Sitka spruce and western hemlock. Animals found in the Hoh rainforest include Coyotes, Wolves, Black bears, Fishers, Porcupines, Pumas, Bobcats, Roosevelt elk, Black-tailed deer, and Snowshoe Hares.
Animals endemic to Hoh Rainforest include the Snow mole, Olympic chipmunk, Olympic marmot and Short-tailed weasel.
Find out more about the Hoh Rainforest here.
Quinault Rainforest, USA
Also in the Olympic National Park is the Quinault Rainforest, which lies in the valley formed by the Quinault River and Lake Quinault.
Tongass National Forest, Alaska, USA
Tongass National Forest is a temperate rain forest located in Alaska, USA. Tongass is the largest national forest in the United States, and is 69,000 km² (26,640 mi²). Most of Tongass National Forest falls within the Pacific Temperate Forests ecoregion.
As well as being home to many animal and plant species, Tongass National Forest is a popular destination for recreational activities such as fishing, camping and cycling.
Famous Rainforests In Central America
The Lacandon Jungle is located in Mexico and Guatemala. It is the largest area of montane rainforest in North America. Part of the Lacandon Jungle falls inside the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve.
Much of the Lacandon Jungle has been lost through deforestation. It is thought that only 10% of the original forest remains. Even today the deforestation continues.
The Lacandon Jungle is one of the few places in North America in which jaguars are still found.
Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, Honduras
The Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve in Honduras is one of the few areas of tropical rainforest left in Central America. It is now on the UNESCO list of World Heritage in Danger. The reserve covers 3500 (1350), and surrounds the Río Plátano (Banana River) from its source in the mountains all the way to the ocean.
Monteverde Cloud Forest
The Monteverde Cloud Forest is located in Costa Rica, and was founded in 1972 by a visiting scientist named George Powell and members of a Shaker community who inhabited the area. In 1975 431 people visited the reserve. Today, over 70,000 people visit the reserve annually.
3021 plant species have been found in the reserve, and 10% of these are endemic to the region. Visiting birdwatchers hope to catch sight of a resplendent quetzal, or any of the region’s other exotic species.
Famous Rainforests List Conclusion
We hope that you have enjoyed finding out about some of the world’s most famous rainforests. Sadly, rainforests – including many on this list – are still under threat from deforestation.
Whether it’s the Amazon rainforest, the Congo rainforest, the Lacandon Jungle, or the Western Ghats, all are growing ever more fragmented and today are a fraction of their original size.
However, many countries now have conservation schemes in place to prevent further deforestation. Perhaps in the future the rainforests will start expanding, rather than shrinking.
Why not pick one of the famous rainforests listed above, and learn more about it – including what’s being done to protect it from deforestation?
- Find out more about rainforests, and meet some of the plants and animals that call them home here: Rainforest Facts.
- Meet some amazing rainforest animals here: Rainforest Animals List with Pictures and Facts.
- You can find out more about deforestation here: Deforestation Facts.
- Download printable rainforest worksheets here: Rainforest Workbooks