Tag Archives: Iquitos

Rio Amazonas by Cargo Boat

28 Mar

The Amazon basin has approx. 80,000 kilometres of navigable water making it the largest river system in the world.  Much of this remote region is not connected by road and relies heavily on boat travel for transportation of goods and passengers.  Its rivers are the motorways of the jungle and taking a boat trip along them is one of the most iconic and memorable journeys in South America.  Six months earlier we’d had our first taste of river travel down the Peruvian Amazon from Yurimaguas to Iquitos so we were under no romantic illusions about spending 72 hours on another packed boat departing from Manaus in Brazil! But with just 10 days to go until Christmas and spirits sky high, we couldn’t help but feel excited about the riotous carnival of river life that was about to explode before our eyes.

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Iquitos – a steamy jungle metropolis

27 Dec

Iquitos is the largest city in the world which isn’t linked to the rest of its country by road and it’s best described as a sensual, steamy jungle metropolis with attitude. Despite its attractive promenade with wonderful river views, its historic buildings and leafy plaza with quaint eateries and coffee shops, Iquitos retains a working class identity with a somewhat edgy feel. We got the sense here that anything goes if you know the right guys and that the law of the jungle is very much alive and well.

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Cargo boat to Iquitos

23 Dec

We couldn’t imagine a more romantic notion than swinging in hammocks as we travelled by cargo boat along the mythical Amazon river in Peru for three days, from Yurimaguas to Iquitos. We dreamed of glorious sunsets and steamy evenings drinking dark rum whilst watching a lightning storm flickering far in the distance. We hoped for pristine, unspoiled rainforest and close encounters with monkeys, pink river dolphins and manatees. We wondered if indigenous tribes wearing loin cloths and with bones through their noses would wave as we passed from a sandy riverside spot. Despite our optimism, we knew that this trip wouldn’t be for the faint hearted and would test our patience to the very limits. Known for their very basic conditions, frequent lengthy delays and notoriously grumpy captains, cargo boats are not a luxury form of travel but they do represent one of the world’s last great leaders in river transport and offer those with adventurous spirits no end of rewards. We took the plunge and held our breath for the boat ride of our lives!

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