Amazon river from Belem
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Dec 2, 2011 7:04 AM Last Post By: BubbaK
Nov 28, 2011 4:03 PM
Amazon river from BelemHey folks, I am currently in the Caribbean and as yet can't get hold of a South America guidebook, I've been perusing the FAQ section, but was wondering if anyone could share some up to date information on heading upstream along the Amazon, from Macapa (or Belem if necessary) to Manaus and then on to Leticia?
I would be travelling with a hammock, not a cabin. Typical budget backpacker - prefer cheaper ways if possible. Happy to bring/cook own food or buy on board the boat depending on costs. I'm actually heading towards Colombia, so if someone has a better reccomendation than Leticia (Iquitos??) to head to the rest of Colombia, please do let me know.
Thanks very much!
Nov 28, 2011 7:48 PM
Nov 29, 2011 3:39 AM
2Assuming you have a reason for going upstream, yes, the best option is Leticia for going to the rest of Colombia (puzzled why you would think anything else?). You'll get off the boat in Tabatinga and then find transport over to Leticia (taxi, mototaxi, etc).
You can't cook on board the boat (this comment makes me wonder if you have a different idea about what the boats are like than reality), but all the meals are included anyway. It will get tiresome, but you'll have enough to eat. I was only on board for four days (Tabatinga to Manaus); if I were going to be on for longer, I'd be sure to have fresh fruit with me. That was the only thing I missed. I ate almost none of the granola bars I'd brought on board.
Nov 29, 2011 9:37 AM
3Thanks for the responses.
I have a reason for heading upstream, I am starting in Belem!
And true, I don't have much idea at all about the boats, which is why I'm posting on here, trying to find out what I can in advance.
What sort of prices would I be looking at for slinging up a hammock on the boats? From Belem via Managuas to Leticia?
Nov 29, 2011 10:27 AM
4I don't mean you shouldn't ask questions--I just mean that it sounds like your impression of the boats might be way off, so keep that in mind as you research. It's just an open deck (with a roof over formed by the top deck). There's a small kitchen/dining room, and there are a few bathroom stalls and a few showers.
I think you'd be looking at roughly 600-700 reais for the whole trip. Remember, you are going to Tabatinga, not Leticia. They're practically the same place, but if you look for boats to Leticia, you'll be looking a long time.
Nov 29, 2011 3:37 PM
5I traveled downstreams (Leticia-Manaus-Belem) last year and payed 170reais (Leticia-Manaus) + 140reasis (Manaus-Belem). It takes a couple of days extra upstreams, but I can´t imagine that it can be that much difference in price. It´s a good idea to try to get into the boat early to pick a good spot for your hammock. On the second floor not to close to the exit and not to close to the bathrooms is a good spot.
Be ware of thiefs though. No need to be paranoid, but it´s a good idea to have a lock on your bag and keep a smal bag with your important stuff on you all the time.
It´s a amazing trip and well worth it. Since you stay on the boat for for many days you will get a lot of new friends, but it helps if you speak a little Portugues though.
Ps. bring a good book, can be handy if you want to kill some time every now and then:-)
Nov 29, 2011 7:43 PM
6The people on my boat who went Tabatinga to Manaus and then back said they were paying twice as much for their tickets on the way back (since it takes about twice as long).
Not even a suggestion of thievery on my boat (though of course it only takes one)--no one seemed to be locking anything or concerned about it. I've read that it's more important to keep an eye on things when the peddlers come on the boat in port, though we only had this situation a couple of times anyway.
Nov 30, 2011 9:41 AM
7Prices vary due to season, on holidays and christmas they go up to the double, so it depends when you travel...
also food is not includet anymore on all boats, and you will have to pay 5Rs for each meal, exept brackfast. even though food is very bad on the boats and its good to have snacks and fruits with you.
from Belem to Leticia will be quite a long journy on the boat, about 10 days, so I would recomend to fly a part of it, which wont cost you much more...
have a stop in Alter do Chao - Santarem. its worth it...
Dec 1, 2011 12:04 AM
Dec 2, 2011 7:02 AM
9You can buy and download individual chapters of the LP guide to Brazil (click on "Shop"), so you can in fact access a guide book as long as you have access to a computer and, ideally, a printer. Belem is not technicaslly on the Amazon, but there are lots of boats departing from there going upstream. There have been lots of posts on the pros and cons of taking such boats, which can, I hear, vary widely in comfort and speed and sanitation.
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