Though they are located on opposite sides of the Amazon jungle, the cities of Iquitos in Peru and Manaus in Brazil have a lot in common.
Surrounded by the Amazon jungle, isolated from the rest of their respective countries and home to a unique rainforest culture, these jungle metropolises are the starting points for many of the most exciting, breathtaking and luxurious Amazon River trips that operate in the region.
As both of these cities are located deep within the jungle, a trip to either one will be an eye-opening experience for intrepid travelers. However, if you want to get a real feel for the river, its people and its journey across a continent, a trip from Iquitos all the way to Manaus will be the ultimate experience.
How long the trip takes will depend which direction you’re travelling in, whether you want to pay a little extra for a faster boat and whether or not you want to make any stops along the way.
In general, if you’re travelling from Iquitos to Manaus, you’ll have to stop in Tabatinga on the Brazil/Colombia/Peru border. There you’ll need to change boats for the onward journey to Manaus.
If you take the fast boat, the trip from Iquitos to Tabatinga lasts around 8 to12 hours whereas the slow boat takes around three days. From Tabatinga, there are plenty of Amazon River trips to Manaus, most of which take around five days to complete the journey.
Boating on the Amazon River is an incredible experience. The trip from Iquitos to Manaus may not be action-packed, but it does give you the opportunity to relax, unwind and appreciate the vast Amazon jungle that surrounds you.
Along the way, you’ll have a good chance of the spotting the friendly pink river dolphins that inhabit that waterway, the colourful birds that live in the canopy and the noisy monkeys that have made the jungle their home.
If you want to catch a standard passenger ferry, you’ll have to change boats in Tabatinga. There are also Amazon River hammock boats but please note that the Tabatinga to Manaus boat trip may not be the most comfortable experience. However, there are some luxury Amazon cruises that take in the entire route from Iquitos to Manaus.
Once you reach your destination, whether it’s Peru or Brazil, there is a fantastic range of Amazon River trips and excursions to choose from that will allow you to get even closer to the rainforest and its unique environment.
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Is an expert in everything South America, his passion for the region and exploring off the beaten path makes his travel writing both useful and interesting. He has written for several mainstream publications and you can read his guides on Ecuador, Peru, the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. Andre is also an accomplished photographer and has been recognized as one of the best wildlife photographers in the region, his photos have been featured in National Geographic and other journals. As a travel agent Andre specializes in curating unique experiences, crafting tailor made itineraries and helping visitors make the best of their vacation, always putting the experience first