Hi Im hoping to take a boat from Belem to Manaus and from there have to get to Peru ,can you recommed cheapest ,safe way to do so...?Also would any one know best way to get down to Cuzco once in Peru...?Will be spending alot of time on the boat in th Amazon so will be cutting it fine for time aswell.....!
Excited and nervous.....Niamh.!
I have travelled between Belem and Manaus by boat a few times. I don´t think you need to be nervous. Ask around and people will tell you where and how to get a ticket. Should be around 220 reais one way (sleeping in your own hammock on a public deck) or 800 (own cabin).
There is a weekly big boat leaving once a week in either direction (I forgot the name of the company). I think - but may be wrong - that it leaves every Wednesday (in either direction). You should probably try to get a ticket at the latest the day before.
Be extremely careful with any valuables. Hide them well, do not show to anyone, especially if you don´t get a private cabin. This includes cameras. (On one trip a Norwegian girl got her camera stolen from her backpack on the last night of the trip.) If you have valuable stuff with you, e.g. a laptop, the captain may possibly be able to store it for you in his cabin. (I´ve done it this way.)
I don´t know the boats to Peru personally, but they should function pretty much the same way. They should bring you to the Brazilian-Peruvian border, from where you should be able to continue in the same way.
If you need to save time, you should also be able to go by air, with some Brazilian company. I have never done it myself but hear that prices would be pretty much equivalent to other means of transport (bus, boat).
[ Edit: Edited on 19-Apr-2009, at 15:54 by tcjohans ]
I agree with tcjohans 100%. Follow his steps to Manaus, and remember to be extremely cautious with your valuables specially on the last 12 hours on any boat trip in the Amazon. You should spend some time in Manaus and nearby sites if you can - it really worths it.
You can take another boat from Manaus to Porto Velho, the trip lasts about 3 days taking the Madeira river. Nice trip, costed about R$ 180 the last time I took it, food included.
When you get to Porto Velho I suggest you to visit the Madeira-Mamoré museum, really close to the port.
From Porto Velho you take a bus to Rio Branco, where I live - about 8 hours trip. I usually take it at night and sleep on the way - not very comfortable, but it works. Rio Branco has a lot to be seen.
From Rio Branco you need to go to Assis Brasil (3 or 4 hours trip), where you can cross the border to Peru, heading for Puerto Maldonado (1 more hour), where you can take a plane to Cuzco for about US$ 80. Do not expect the best airplanes on the world ;-)
If you decide to follow the suggested way, I invite you for a açai juice in Rio Branco.