Travel Guide

Amazon boat journey by gradual boat

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An Amazon River Cruise is a tremendous journey that may be performed in many alternative methods and on nearly any price range. On this article we have a look at how we traveled on the Amazon on a backpacker’s price range and at some extra choices for exploring this mighty river. The Amazon river cuts throughout South America making its manner by three totally different international locations; Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. A large number of animal species reside within the Amazon rainforest surrounding the river. Cruising on the Amazon you might have an opportunity to see tamarin monkeys, three-toed sloths, scarlet macaws, Amazon River dolphins, caimans, large otters, and rather more. Go on a cruise that can take you to discover the jungle and go to villages deep within the coronary heart of the forest seen by few others.

The everyday surroundings cruising down the Amazon River.

Totally different Methods to do a Cruise on the Amazon River.

Sluggish boat on the Amazon

A gradual boat is an enormous ferry that may transport each passengers and cargo on the river. Since there are not any roads connecting many elements of the Amazon jungle these boats are the widespread public transport utilized in these elements. Sluggish boats on the Amazon cowl varied routes and are pretty low-cost. Most individuals sleep in their very own hammocks on the deck, some have a few cabins obtainable. Taking a gradual boat for a few days on the river is a well-liked backpacking journey in South America. We liked touring this manner, however it’s public transport not a tour for vacationers so seeing animals is pure luck.

E-book Manaus to Belem 5-Day Sluggish Boat on the Amazon

  • Contains Resort pickup in Manaus
  • Digital ticket
  • Sleep choices – AC Cabin with toilet or hammock on deck
Alya sitting subsequent to her ‘mattress’ having fun with a morning espresso. 

Riverboat Journey

A small to medium sized  riverboat tour, experience the Amazon in fashion. Tour to discover the river and surrounding jungle for a few days, often contains each day excursions by motorized skiff to discover the rainforest residence and superior wildlife that lives right here count on to come across sloths, toucans, caymands, pink dolphins and extra, experience the jungle up shut. Meals on most excursions is top quality. Meet indiginous folks and get a glimpse of how they reside.

Small-ship journey – discover the Amazon River and a few of its tributaries within the Pacaya Samiria Nationwide Reserve from Iquitos through Nauta. Contains excursions, journeys to the jungle in slightly skiff, instructional lectures, a go to to an area shaman, an indigenous village, and the unbelievable wildlife. 7 Days, Lima to Lima, together with flights.

Exploring the river on a small skiff
Exploring the Amazon river on a small skiff

Amazon River Cruises

Discover the Amazon on a big luxurious purpose-built riverboat with comfy cabins, glorious delicacies and professional naturalists and properly certified workers. On many cruise you get to fulfill indigenous communities and study their lifestyle, kayak down Amazon Tributaries, go on day & Night time Hikes by the the rainforest with professional naturalists and an opportunity to identify wildlife together with sloths, otters, capybaras, and perhaps even a jaguar fish for piranhas, see and perhaps even work together with pink river dolphins, be taught in regards to the conservation efforts on the river. Anticipate to pay a premium value for a luxurious cruise.

Luxurious Amazon River Cruise – Discover the Amazon in luxurious aboard the Aria, a 16-suite luxurious river boat that provides the final word in fashion and luxury. Experience the wonderful range of wildlife, together with, dolphins, unique birds, monkeys, piranhas, large water lilies, and lots of extra throughout day excursions. Chill out on board with effective eating, wine and a luxurious cabin at evening. Tour departs and ends C.F. Secada Airport, Iquitos Peru.

Amazon Jungle Excursions

Keep in a lodge within the Amazon Jungle, get pleasure from a tremendous journey with loads of superior day journeys similar to observing the distinctive pink and gray river dolphins, a fishing expedition for piranha and peacock bass, go to the native households and study their tradition, go cayman recognizing at nightfall and keep in a single day on  floating visitor homes or jungle adventures like tenting within the Amazon.

Discover the Amazon river and jungle on a 2, three or 4-day tour together with highlights like Piranha fishing and recognizing Caymans Anaconda Jungle Lodge Pickup and drop off in Manaus.

small slow boat amazon
The smaller measurement gradual boat typically seen on the Amazon.

Amazon River Day Tour

Discover the Amazon Rainforest on a daytrip. Swim with river dolphins, go to an indigenous village to work together with the Dessanos and Tucanos ethnic teams, go to Januari Ecological Park and head to the Assembly of the Waters.

Amazon River Day Journey

Amazon Sluggish Boat Journeys 

There are a few routes generally performed by travellers on the Amazon by gradual boat 

  • Leticia, Colombia to Iquitos, Peru (three days) 
  • Yurimaguas to Iquitos, Peru (three days)
  • Leticia, Colombia (Tabatinga, Brazil) to Manaus, Brazil (Four days)
  • Manaus to Puerto Velho (7 days) Brazil
  • Manaus to Belém (5 days) Brazil

Lodging earlier than a Amazon Cruise


Our Amazon Boat Journey Experience

We did two journeys by gradual boat; Leticia to Manaus downriver for Four days and  Manaus to Porto Velho upriver for 7 days. Doing analysis earlier than happening the river we heard about journeys with horrible/little meals, soiled bogs and so many vacationers there was a bit jokingly known as ‘Little Europe’. In accordance with Lonely Planet; ‘boats are all the time gradual and crowded, typically moist and smelly, typically boring and by no means comfy.’ Our experience was nice, we had two wonderful journeys. We have been the one vacationers on each our journeys, receiving good  meals with massive servings and the bogs have been clear. We did see some animals. Mainly we have been mendacity in our hammocks for 2 weeks, studying, writing and looking out on the jungle.

Tabatinga to Manaus taking a gradual boat

Our first journey was from Tabatinga to Manaus in Brazil on a model new boat known as ‘The Mun M Fernandez’. Manaus is deep within the Amazon Jungle and may solely be reached by airplane or boat. 

amazon boat trip down river
Amazon boat journey, our boat kind Manaus to Puerto Velho.

Flying into the Amazon

We flew to Leticia in Colombia from Bogota. We stayed in Leticia and walked to Tabatinga in Brazil, it’s principally one city with a border that you simply cross someplace on the town. 

Immigration Process

You enter a unique nation, however there is no such thing as a border publish, simply bear in mind to go to the airport and get stamped out of Colombia and discover the immigration workplace in Tabatinga to get stamped into Brazil. Do that the day earlier than departure otherwise you may miss your boat; we sat in entrance of a closed workplace for hours ready for officers on lunch. It’s your accountability to get the proper exit and entrance stamps and the effective is $500 if you happen to get caught with out these.

Getting on to a ship

In Tabatinga we walked to the harbour and requested round for boats, there are smaller wood boats and larger boats that may take 100 plus passengers, automobiles and cargo are on the underside deck and passengers on the highest two decks. We did each our journeys on the larger boats. It was simple to purchase tickets immediately on the boat; this additionally offers you an opportunity to take a look at the boat.

We spent most of our time within the hammocks! Amazon Boat Journey

Manaus to Puerto Velho taking a gradual boat

For the gradual boat from Manaus to Puerto Velho we purchased a ticket at our hostel in Manaus (Ocara Hostel), the value was the identical as within the harbour they usually organised a trip for us to the harbour.

Value of taking a gradual boat on the Amazon

Our experience and from what I heard from different vacationers is that the value for a slowboat is about B$ 220 ($45); this contains three meals per day, limitless chilly consuming water and on our journey from Tabatinga to Manaus we had bottomless espresso, robust and already sweetened. The space of our journeys have been about the identical however going up river is far slower than down river.

Folks on our gradual boat journeys

We have been the one vacationers on each boats, all different passengers have been utilizing the boats for public transport. There have been a few automobiles being transported on each our journeys. Different vacationers advised us they’d produce and cattle on boats they have been touring on. We made associates from Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. The truth that Alya speaks fluent Spanish helped loads. Should you don’t bear in mind to put in Google Translate in your telephone.

On the boat from Manaus to Puerto Velho we had about 15 Brazilian military officers touring with us, they stayed on the highest deck and have been very pleasant, the troopers ate loads, so our parts have been a bit smaller on this boat. It was typically attention-grabbing watching different passengers; there was a girl with a small baby, she was out of her hammock early each morning doing her make-up and getting all dressed up for a day of hanging across the military officers, smiling and flirting.

We all the time felt our things have been very secure on the boat, however nonetheless all the time tried to control our belongings and locked our backpacks. One other passenger’s telephone received stolen. A passenger was suspected, we’re not positive why. The police searched his baggage at one of many stops and located the stolen telephone and medicines in his bag!

Alya having breakfast in the 'diner area'.  Amazon boat trip
Alya having breakfast within the ‘diner space’.  Amazon boat journey

Meals on our River Cruise Journeys

The meals on our boats was good and sufficient. We packed noodles, massive bottles of water and extra provides, it was positively not crucial, we ended up giving it away. Snacks is a good suggestion, it’s good to lie in your hammock consuming, chips, cookies and different snacks trying on the jungle. The meals we had on board was bette than we regularly ate travelling by South America.

Breakfast in Brazil will not be very massive; breakfast is at 6 o’clock and is simply bread rolls and margarine, so I can suggest that you simply carry some peanut butter or jam that will help you get up with a smile. I like espresso, however the best way they drink it over right here is one thing to get used to, black with a number of sugar, a lot it’s nearly syrup. You drink it like a shooter, pulling your face and every little thing. Lunch was at 12:00 and dinner at 18:00. We ate a number of rooster and I used to be very bored with rice and rooster on the finish of the journey.

Nature on our gradual boat journey

RIVER DOLPHINS, I by no means knew that contemporary water dolphins have been so widespread in The Amazon; we noticed many pink and gray river dolphins swimming, taking part in and leaping daily throughout our two weeks cruising on the river. Sadly we didn’t have a digicam and lens ok to take image.

CAIMAN CROCODILES, we spent many hours scanning the river banks, throughout our journey from Tabatinga to Manaus we didn’t see any. Through the seven days cruising from Manaus to Puerto Velho we noticed three, all massive crocodiles swimming on the floor. Apparently you may see many small caimans on guided excursions from Manaus, particularly at evening when their eyes mirror and shine in torch gentle.

TURTLE, sadly we noticed one, two locals guys got here as much as our boat with a small boat attempting to promote a turtle to our boat for meals, I’m not positive what our chef shouted at them, however they drove of shortly.

MONSTER CATFISH, this factor was huge perhaps 50kgs, it was struggling on the floor and two of the military guys jumped right into a small boat tied behind our boat and chased after this catfish doing all kinds of manoeuvres on the floor. I feel it was a Piraiba catfish, they develop as much as 180 kgs and apparently eat something, even monkeys have been discovered inside these catfish! It was most likely attempting to dislodge one thing caught in its throat that it tried to swallow.

The monster Piraiba catfish caught while struggling by the army guys.  Amazon boat trip
The monster Piraiba catfish caught whereas struggling by the military guys.  Amazon boat journey

BIRDS, we noticed many birds from the boat, most important was some giant Macaw parrots that flew by, making their loud regular noise.


About 15km earlier than Manaus the white Solimoes River meets the black Rio Negro river. The “white” espresso color is brought on by mud and the extra clear “black” color is the results of tannins suspended within the water. The density of those two rivers is so totally different that they by no means combine and run subsequent to one another for a few kilometres.

'The Meeting of the Rivers' the white Solimoes River meets the black Rio Negro river close to Manaus. Amazon boat trip
‘The Assembly of the Rivers’ the white Solimoes River meets the black Rio Negro river near Manaus. Amazon boat journey

Things to Pack

  • Purchase a hammock, they promote them within the departing cities for about $10.
  • Two items of rope (1.5m every) to tie the hammock
  • Sleeping bag/Low cost blanket, it does typically get chilly at evening.
  • Books to learn
  • Adapter, European plug
  • Torch
  • Locks to your bag
  • Snacks
  • Espresso if you happen to don’t like sugar/tea
  • Peanut butter/Jam
  • Binoculars
  • Digicam
  • Laptop computer
The toilet/showers on our boat were always clean.
The bathroom/showers on our boat have been all the time clear.

Up to date 10 July 2020

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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