Amazon River Cruise in Peru and Colombia – Episode 735

categories: south america travel

Amazon River Cruise in Peru and Colombia (Podcast)

Hear about travel to the Amazon River in Peru and Colombia as the Amateur Traveler talks to Will Conway from the Baggage Claim Podcast about his slow boat journey from Leticia, Colombia to Iquitos, Peru.

Will says, “One of the things that I want to advocate for in this conversation is that I think the Amazon is a lot more accessible than people think. If you are considering a trip to Thailand or Switzerland, the Amazon comes with this stigma, this imposing almost intimidating quality, the piranhas and the snakes. I think it just ends up getting skipped. I know I came in with a certain level of fear. I ended up finding the Amazon a lot more accessible. The people are incredibly warm and courteous and helpful. It took about a day to ease into it but once I did it was the most incredible set of memories I had of my entire trip.”

Will spent 8 months backpacking through South America and comes on the show to focus on his two weeks in the Amazon. He started in Leticia, Colombia. Leticia translates as “joy” and that expresses Will’s experience in this small city. He did some excursions from Leticia up the river on the fast boat and later on a dory. He went fishing for piranhas and night hunting for caimans.

Then Will hopped on the local boat which was an incredibly cheap way to navigate the Amazon. He strung his hammock with the locals in the open deck of the ferry and watched the jungle go by. The boat moved at about a walking pace as it made its way up the river. He says to bring a book and maybe an extra battery for your smartphone if you plan to spend the time listening to old episodes of the Amateur Traveler podcast.

He took the boat to the big city of Iquitos Peru which has more than 500,000 people. Iquitos is the largest city with no roads connecting to the outside world. It can be accessed by river and by air. From Iquitos, you can take a number of excursions including to wildlife sanctuaries like Monkey Island. Iquitos is a colorful city filled with motorcycle rickshaws. It is also known for spiritualism and for ayahuasca.

See if this episode of the Amateur Traveler can lure you to the jungle of the Amazon. 

To get more info on the Amazon you can text “amazon” to 332-877-9540.

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Show Notes
The River of Doubt
Leticia, Amazonas
Parque Santander (Leticia)
The Rundown on Leticia Amazon – Leticia Forum – Tripadvisor
Leticias Casa de Huespedes
Iquitos to Leticia – Iquitos Forum – Tripadvisor
Iquitos to Leticia – 2 ways to travel via ferry
La Isla De Los Monos (Iquitos)
Amazon Rescue Center
Amazon resource guide


Jeff wrote about Travel to the Virginia Coast – Episode 732

So you were one of those kids the rangers so love!  Thanks for the kind words for our rangers!

Fun fact: Yorktown Victory Monument is the oldest Congressionally authorized area in the National Park System, October 29, 1781.  Therefore, it can be claimed that the currently named Colonial National Historical Park is technically the oldest continuous protected area in the National Park Service!

Need to add one National Park area, Fort Monroe National Monument.  Other NPS administered entities in the area include the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail, and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways or Network.  Finally, one often overlooked area of Colonial National Historical Park is the Cape Henry Memorial next to Virginia Beach.



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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “Amazon River Cruise in Peru and Colombia – Episode 735”



Thank you so much for producing this wonderful resource. Your program has helped me get through this year and be optimistic about planning a future that will include travel again. I’ve listened to almost every episode already, and I only found this podcast in May.

For folks who are intimidated by the level of service offered by backpacking but would still like to try the Amazon, there are some great comfortable alternatives to the slow boat. Many Amazon lodges exist throughout the basin, usually offering nice meals, comfortable rooms, and transportation to the lodge from a nearby airport.

Visitors include any type of tourist or families hoping to see the rain forest and local culture. These lodges are very popular with birders, but I’ve been surprised to be the only birder in an arriving group! They often include your choice of itinerary and provide naturalist guides during your stay. I’ve stayed at Napo Wildlife Center, a local community-run lodge in Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park, and the Cristalino Jungle Lodge in Brazil. Both provided excellent guides and comfortable stays, and the duration can be as short as a few nights.

It’s likely there are similar lodges wherever one might travel in South America. (Certainly in the Manu Wildnerness of Peru.)

As a resident of the Atlanta area, I was surprised by the ATL/Iquitos comparison. It’s true that the population of Iquitos and Atlanta are similar (~500,000), but most visitors to Atlanta probably wouldn’t recognize where the “city” ends or just how small an area it includes. The Atlanta metro population is around 6 MILLION people. There’s a lot of us, y’all!

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