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How to take a boat from Iquitos to Santa Rosa/Laticia/Tabatinga?

This is information for those who plan to do the same, as I could not find solid information.

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How to take a boat from Iquitos to Santa Rosa/Laticia/Tabatinga

Where to get up-to-date information

iPeru provides information.

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In Iquitos, their office is at the location marked with (i) near the main square (Plaza de Armas). They can explain the boat companies and where to take the boats (boat to Manaus as well). L-S means Lunes/Monday - Sabado/Saturday 9am-6pm, Domingo/Sunday 9am-1pm.

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Boat operators

There are multiple companies who operate the high speed boats, slow boats.

Speed Boat

Takes 8 hours and 200 soles per person.

Operators:

  • Golfinho
  • Transtur
  • Flipper

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I took the boat operated by Flipper. Bought a ticket at their office in Iquitos and at a hotel in Santa Rosa. Make sure to get a proof that you have bought a ticket at Santa Rosa in some form or contact their office to confirm your seat has been booked on the intended date. The hotel did not give a ticket and booked a wrong date causing me a trouble.

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They provide breakfast and lunch with coffee. If concerned with food poisoning or contaminated water, bring your own. (Although others had no issue, I had some uncomfortable stuff in my sandwich).

The boat makes several stops as it is also a transport for the local people. At stops, people come on board to sell foods and drink for the passengers.

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Inside is not the most cozy place on earth. It can be cold with wind so make sure to bring stuff to keep you warm.

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Watching sceneries can get monotonous and reading books could be difficult in a speed boat. TV is inside but unless you can understand Spanish, not much entertaining.

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Slow Boat

Takes 2.5 - 3 days. 80-100 soles per person.

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Airplane

You can take airplanes too. 220 soles per person.

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Where to take the boat

The boats leave from the Puerto Enpau (Enpau port) or Puerto Pesquero. It departs 5 or 6 am.

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How to get to the port

Take the bikes to get there. 10 pesos max to pay as it is early in the morning (3 pesos enough daytime). Better to arrange and fix the price in advance. If you need help, ask the hotel or contact a tour guide to help.

I got to know a lady who is a founding member of the Lions Club there and she introduced the tour guide David who arranged his friend to take me to the port by bike. He could take you around too in Iquitos.

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Moving around Rosa/Laticia/Tabatinga

Take a boat waiting. Easy to find them. Better bring water proof jacket in case for raining or getting splashed.

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Be mindful of the opening days/hours of the immigration offices for passport control if you carry on to/from Colombia or Brazil to avoid the situation where boats leave before you get the chance to go there.

Colombian immigration is in the airport where you can take a bike or tuk-tuk like taxi. Peruvian one is near the boat stop of Santa Rosa. Brazilian immigration below in the image is walking distance from the boat stop of Tabatinga.

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If carry on taking the boats to sail down the amazon river to Manaus, you can arrange the boats at the port near the Brazilian immigration office (you can walk from the immigration office). A lady was sitting at a desk outside to sell tickets.

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There looks to be a few operators and boats departing regularly.

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Where to stay

Santa Rosa is a tiny & muddy village, hence would recommend Leticia (Colombian side) which is the biggest of three and you can find a lot of places to stay with cafes/restaurants/supermarkets around. The airport is located in Leticia too. I stayed a few days at Leticia and and booked a hostel in advance using Air B&B and moved to a near by hotel which was better.

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Tabatinga was also busy place but I did not stay or hanged around there.

I stayed at Santa Rosa before/on the day when the boat back to Iquitos left as it left quite early around 3am. Finding a hostel was easy too at Santa Rosa although there were not many.

Moving back to Iquitos

Boats leave very early. Bring a torch with you to see the road and the passages to the boats as there could be no light or power down. It is better to book ticket in advance in Iquitos if you can fix the date, but you can buy tickets there too being sold at the shops or hotels.

Flipper had their office in Tabatinga which was aporox 5 min by motor-bike. In front of a cafe.

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