Amazon

Mototaxis: The Amazon Jungle Transport

Mototaxis: The Amazon Jungle Transport

When thinking of movement in Amazonia, river transport probably comes to mind. Being home to the longest river in the world, with countless tributaries, it is certainly true that a myriad boats - ranging from dugout canoes to narrow peke-peke speedboats to luxury cruise ships - ply the waterways, carrying people and supplies.

And yet, when you step out of the airport in Iquitos, Tarapoto, Pucallpa, or any city in Peru's Amazon, you will be struck by the sight - and sound - of another form of transport: the mototaxi, which will generally outnumber cars by at least five to one.

Peru Creates 'Yellowstone of the Amazon'

Peru Creates 'Yellowstone of the Amazon'

In November 2015, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala approved the creation of the 1,354,485 hectare (3,347,005 acre) Sierra del Divisor Reserved Zone, protecting an immense expanse of Amazon rain forest. The new park, in the Departments of Loreto and Ucayali, is larger than Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks combined, and protects the only mountainous region in the lower Amazon jungle, as symbolized by El Cono - an iconic 488 m (1,600 ft) high extinct volcano, covered in dense foliage.

Downriver From Iquitos

Downriver From Iquitos

These days, nearly all Amazon river cruises travel upstream from Iquitos to the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers, and the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. However, when I first took one of these cruises, in the year 2002, the Rio Amazonas took me and my group downstream to the tri-border with Colombia and Brazil. It remains a very interesting - albeit busier - river journey, which can be visited using local transport or by chartering your own vessel.