Crossing Borders: Brazil – Bolivia by a Ferry Boat

After 6 nights in a boat, cruising through the Amazon river, we finally arrived in our destination – Porto Velho, Brazil.

From the port, my friend and I, together with a French couple, took a taxi to the bus station where we would then take a bus heading to Guajaramirin, Brazil border. At the bus station, the 4 of us opted to take a taxi, costing each of us $3 more than the bus fare, simply because it was faster.

Turned out to be a good decision because migration offices both in Brazil and Bolivia close at 3pm everyday. If we have taken the bus, we wouldn’t make it on time to get our exit stamps, and we will have to stay one more night in Brazil. And we didn’t want that.

Crossing the border from Brazil to Bolivia would only take 5 minutes via a ferry boat ride. But before jumping into that ferry boat, make sure to get your exit stamps at the migration office, which is just a walking distance from the port. Once you have your exit stamps, take that boat ride, which costs $3, and after 5 minutes, you are already in another country. How cool is that!

As for the currency exchange, don’t worry as there are several counters available once you disembarked from the ferry boat.

From the boat terminal, take a moto-taxi to bring you to the migration office for your entry stamp. Make sure to ask first about the price, and bargain if you can, before jumping into any public transportation.

From Guayaramerin, Bolivia, you can either take a flight out or a bus to go to another city. It will actually depend on your schedule and resources. My friend and I took a 27-hour bus ride, which left 8am the following day, to La Paz.

We considered taking a flight but decided against it because the next available flight was 3 days after and we were running on a tight schedule. And it saved us money because the flight cost $150 and the bus cost $15. Not bad, eh?

Taking an unusual route in crossing borders from Brazil to Bolivia proved to be a lot more interesting and worthwhile than doing the usual land border crossing. Once in a while, take a detour or ride in an off-beaten path because almost always, it’s worth it.