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The Amazon

Getting around

Virtually every major town along the Amazon, Solimões, and Madeira rivers has both a port and an airstrip – but no roads in or out – so travel is limited to plane or boat. Choosing between flying and boating is really a matter of time, money and preference. Boat travel is certainly an experience, and most travelers cover at least one or two legs by water. But the distances are enormous and the boats very slow, especially going upstream. Flying gives you more time to do the fun stuff (hiking, canoeing etc) and frequent promotions can make the cost of flying surprisingly close to that of taking a boat. Bus service is available in states along the edges of the rain forest, like Pará, Tocantins, and Rondônia. Highways conditions are improving, and there are more deluxe and direct options available, which help make the invariably long bus routes a bit less taxing.