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Belem to Macapa (Amazon River), Brazil - 1 Night On The Hammock Deck

Brazil travel blog by a backpacker - April 2015   » View Photoset (69 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for nearly 10yrs!
After enjoying several days in Belem, at the main port I bought a ferry ticket to Macapa in the north / west. Although there is an office at
Brazil Photo - A river junction and houses in Barcarena, west of Belem.
A river junction and houses in Barcarena, west of Belem.
the port that sells tickets to Macapa, it was not open. Men sell the tickets from inside and outside the port terminal, but they do not wear any form of identification so I asked a woman at another ticket office if they were legitimate and she said yes they were. So I bought my ferry ticket for $130 Reals (about $40USD) and was told the journey would take around 23hrs. In the end it took 26hrs. We left at 11am and arrived at 1pm the following day. Meals cost $10 Reals (about $3USD) and there was a snack bar onboard as well.

Departure Day

On the day of departure I made my way to the main port at around 8am. After a few other people had arrived we were all taken in a free taxi to the old port where the
Brazil Photo - Wooden house surrounded by a sea of palm trees in the Amazon, west of Belem.
Wooden house surrounded by a sea of palm trees in the Amazon, west of Belem.
ferry would be departing from. The name of the ferry was N/M Coronel Jose Julio with 2 hammock decks full of people.

Passing Through Barcarena

The ferry headed west out of Belem with views of Amazon houses and huts along the river and the beauty of a million tall palm trees. Within an hour we passed by the town of Barcarena, the Bauxite (aluminium ore) capital of the world. Barcarena was once home of the Jesuits but was originally inhabited by the Arua Indians. The rest of the day I spent enjoying the view of, well you know, the Amazon! That is the best part about these ferry journeys from place to place in the Amazon - the free tour, but without the guide and souvenir shop.

Amazon Sights

Cute little churches,
Brazil Photo - A woman and her 2 children in a canoe outside the home beside the river in the Amazon, west of Belem.
A woman and her 2 children in a canoe outside the home beside the river in the Amazon, west of Belem.
houses, huts and shacks, tugboats pushing barges, people traveling by motorized canoe and kids paddling small wooden canoes outside their houses are the most common sights on such a journey. Did I mention palm trees? That's right I did! It was great fun to watch a woman and her 2 daughters throwing plastic bags full of clothes to the locals in their canoes throughout the day as we passed by.

Peaceful Evening

That night after a meal,
Brazil Photo - B/M Meruu, an orange ferry on the river in Belem.
B/M Meruu, an orange ferry on the river in Belem.
people hung out in their hammocks or on the back part of the upper deck where the snack bar was. Sleeping in a hammock for me is never absolute bliss. I get a little here and there.

Drawing Closer to Macapa

The morning started off a little cloudy. Breakfast was served - bread, butter, coffee and it was free. The woman and her daughters threw out more clothes and everybody started packing up their hammocks and bags. If you have never been to the Amazon you will love a ferry trip of this kind, just for the experience. This was my 3rd voyage of this kind on the Amazon River and I look forward to doing it again! EDIT: I did do it again in 2016 in Peru to Iquitos! We arrived in Macapa and I shared a taxi into the center of the city, a 30 minute drive.

     

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Distances & times (if available) from about halfway from Belem to Macapa (Amazon River) (Brazil) to:


Map location: Belem to Macapa (Amazon River), Brazil. 1 night on the hammock deck! This was my 3rd trip on the rivers of the Amazon on a ferry!
 A : Santarem to Belem (Amazon River) - Brazil 190 kms 190 kms straight distance
 B : Macapa - Brazil 222 kms 222 kms straight distance
 C : Macapa to Oiapoque - Brazil 357 kms 357 kms straight distance
 D : Santarem - Brazil 483 kms 483 kms straight distance
 E : Belem - Brazil 227 kms 227 kms straight distance
 F : Oiapoque - Brazil 632 kms 632 kms straight distance
 G : St Georges / Oiapoque Border - French Guiana / Brazil 637 kms 637 kms straight distance
 H : Sao Luis - Brazil 691 kms 691 kms straight distance
 I : Saint Laurent du Maroni, French Guiana 887 kms 887 kms straight distance
 J : Cayenne to Kourou to Saint Laurent - French Guiana 798 kms 798 kms straight distance
 K : Cayenne, French Guiana 761 kms 761 kms straight distance
 L : Saint Laurent / Albina Border - French Guiana/Suriname 893 kms 893 kms straight distance
 M : Paramaribo, Suriname 990 kms 990 kms straight distance
 N : Manaus - Brazil 1079 kms 1079 kms straight distance
 O : Nickerie & the Journey from Paramaribo - Suriname 1114 kms 1114 kms straight distance
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


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