Iquitos is probably the largest city in the world that is unreachable by road. The dense jungle and web of waterways make building a road to Iquitos impractical. Most people and products arrive and leave via the airport or the river, as we did.

The Amazon river is deep and wide enough for ocean going vessels to make it all the way to Iquitos, which is remarkable considering that this city is nearly two thousand miles from the Atlantic Ocean! On our journey, we traveled down only a fraction of the Amazon, from Iquitos three hundred miles through the Peruvian Amazon to the Colombian/Brazilian frontier, and back.

Our boat was appropriately named the "Rio Amazonas," a 100-year-old river boat originally built in Scotland. A comfortable, yet noisy way to see the Amazon, this diesel-powered vessel served as home for the week-long trip. The boat stopped at small villages along the way and occasionally docked at uninhabited spots for nature excursions in a smaller boat.

 Watching from the top deck of the ship, we began to grasp the scale of the river we were traveling down. Even though it was the height of the dry season, and two-thousand miles from the Amazons' end, the river was still nearly a half-mile across. In the rainy season, the river spills over its banks and floods the adjacent forest. It is a tough time for many of the villagers who live on the river banks because their houses (most of which are built on stilts) are surrounded by water. It takes a dugout canoe just to travel from house to house.

From the Boat 

 Blaise Cendrars Quote

 Discovering the Amazon:
The World's Greatest River


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