The river is the highway of the Amazon and river boats are the best way to get around. For visitors several river boats are available as floating mini-hotels. They vary in size and comfort, and the areas they visit.
The Rio Amazonas is one of the best-known tourist riverboats. It regularly sails from Iquitos, Peru to Leticia, Colombia, 325 miles downriver, and then returns. The round trip takes six days. Offering simple but comfortable amenities, the cruise gives passengers a unique experience of the rainforest and its inhabitants. Trips on this vessel can be booked through a number of U.S. tour operators (see Travel Links). This picture was taken at the town of Pevas, Peru. In the foreground is the Rio Ampiyacu, whereas behind the island is the main stream of the Amazon River (or Solimoes). The Ampiyacu joins the Amazon a short way downstream, to the left of the picture.
In the left of the picture is another tourist riverboat, El Arca ("The Ark"), moored while a group of tourists is away on an excursion. Its itinerary is the same as the Rio Amazonas above. Note the large raft of floating vegetation in the foreground. These play a role in the dispersal of certain animals (see floating meadow).