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The best way to travel around the Iquitos area is by boat, and hundreds of vessels come and go each day, from seagoing ships that travel all the way through Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean to tiny dugout canoes bound for jungle enclaves.
Various companies run cruises out of Iquitos, or the nearby town of Nauta, that provide comfortable access to the province's protected areas and indigenous villages. Nature lodges transport guests in swift launches with outboard engines and canvas tops to protect you from the sun and rain. If you have plenty of time, and are up for an adventure, you could take a local boat to one of the region's other towns or cities, though you'll need to bring a hammock, food, water, and lots of bug spray. Passage to Pucallpa, for example, takes four to eight days and costs around $40 USD.
Various companies offer speedboat service to the border with Brazil and Colombia. It's an 8- to 10-hour boat ride to the border town of Santa Rosa, across the river from Leticia, Colombia and Tabatinga, Brazil; the one-way trip costs only $70 USD. Each company runs twice a week, so boats depart every day; all the ticket offices are on the 300 block of Calle Raymondi, a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas, so you simply go there and buy a ticket from the company that departs the day you want to travel.
American citizens don't need a visa to enter Colombia, but they do need one for Brazil; you can try to pick one up at the
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