Boating the length of the Amazon is a big dream but it just occurred to me that it might not be that difficult. There is a public passenger boat that travels from Leticia to Manaus in four days. That is half the entire distance to the sea. While the cost of a voyage on this boat is reasonable (I've heard about US$100) it doesn't seem the most pleasant way to travel (24/7 in a hammock watching people drink beer all day and throw the cans overboard).

Instead, I would like to buy a small river boat in Leticia, and with a few friends, spend a month or more traveling slowly down the river, stopping in the towns and settlements along the way making rest stops, refueling, buying supplies and water, and continuing.

The total distance is about 3000km:

map of the amazon

What does one need to consider for such a journey?

  • You're going to have to reduce the number of questions in the post - remember (help center), generally one question per post, unless highly related. At present it's likely to be closed as too broad or unclear. – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Feb 11 '15 at 2:56
  • As an aside, I've been eyeing up that route for about 5 years now, really really want to return to South America to do it (although I was looking at going from Manaus to Leticia on that public boat). Just do it, don't worry about security concerns, if the public does it every day and they're ok, you will be too. (see the book 'Lunatic Express' as evidence of this). – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Feb 11 '15 at 2:57
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    Also 'are x a concern' is kinda subjective, which may also get the question closed. Some people don't care about those things (eg 'is the plane crashing a concern') while others won't fly on any airline with a plane crash in its history. Similarly, the Crocodile Hunter had no issues chasing crocs and snakes, while you or I may run in the other direction. – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Feb 11 '15 at 2:59
  • Yeah, I know it's super broad. But there really is only one question: Is it feasible to buy a small boat in Leticia and travel down the Amazon? The sub-questions are points that must be considered to decide if it is feasible. – Quinn Comendant Feb 11 '15 at 2:59
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    Movies don't seem to paint an encouraging picture of what happens when you go boating on the Amazon. You thought of Mosquito Coast; I immediately thought of Aguirre, the Wrath of God. – Nate Eldredge Feb 11 '15 at 4:47

Get out your computer and head for Google's satellite maps and work your way downstream. You can literally see where towns of any size are and their names. Then try doing some searches on what may be in that town. This will help you answer for yourself several of the questions you asked.

Call the Brazilian Embassy in Colombia and ask what the rules are on crossing the border with a boat you bought in Colombia. They will know better than anyone here.

Assuming you can get good answers from these first two steps, then ask yourself / your companions ... can you read the river, can you fix a boat's motor by yourself, do you love mosquitoes.

  • Why the down votes ... it is valid advice. – user13044 Feb 11 '15 at 10:49
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    Hi Tom, I didn't downvote you, but I'm guessing someone did because you didn't specifically answer the question, just alluded to how the answer could be found. But it's valid advice anyways. =) – Quinn Comendant Feb 11 '15 at 13:51

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