Río Madre de Dios Ferry Dock

Puerto Maldonado

This dock close to the Plaza de Armas is a cheap way of seeing a little of the action on a major Peruvian jungle river (the Río Madre de Dios), which is about 500m wide at this point. River traffic is colorful − multiple peki-pekis (canoes powered by two-stroke motorcycle engines with outlandishly long propeller shafts) set off from here.

However, the number of boats is vastly reduced since the opening of Puente Guillermo Billinghurst (Puente Intercontinental), the bridge now carrying the Carr Interocéanica across the river a few hundred meters to the northwest. Gone are the days when a fleet of decrepit catamarans ferried Brazil-bound drivers and their vehicles across the river alongside a flotilla of smaller craft coming and going to this-or-that port amid a splutter of wheezing engines. Bienvenido to the 21st century.