Great River Amazon Raft Race Blog, 2009

by Captain Bill

The Great River Amazon Raft Race Blog, 2009

Great River Amazon Raft Race, Iquitos Peru

The Great River Amazon Raft Race has been held in Iquitos Peru since 1999. At first it was just a one day affair attracting local people. In 2006 the race was extended to cover 180 kilometers or 112 miles of the mighty River Amazon over three days making it the longest raft race in the world.

Each team of four must construct their own raft out of balsawood logs and other materials (which are provided) and then paddle the raft for three days through the magnificent rainforest to the finish line in Iquitos.

The Great River Amazon Raft Race 2008 race attracted 46 crews from 18 different countries including the famous Sisterhood and Brotherhood teams from London, England. Most of the teams were sponsored and raised money for their favorite charities.

Sisterhood in the Great River Amazon Raft Race, Iquitos Peru

The big surprise of the 2008 Great River Amazon Raft Race was that a Peruvian team did not cross the finish line first. Dave Kelly, West Hansen, Carter Johnson, and Mike Scales of team “Easy Living” from the USA completed the course in a record 12 hours and 19 minutes, followed closely by the reigning champions “Los Increibles de Padre Cocha”.

Another exciting part of the 2008 race was when Dave Petroski’s “Canada One” team was swept into some fallen trees by the strong current, wrecking the raft and spilling the crew into the water. They were rescued by Dawn on the Amazon’s safety boat.

David Petroski’s crew in the Great River Amazon Raft Race, Iquitos Peru

The next Great River Amazon Raft Race Race will be in September 2009 with raft construction on Thursday September 24th and the race will take place over the next 3 days finishing in Iquitos on Sunday, September 27th.  At present over 20 international teams have expressed an interest to compete in this race which will be even bigger and better than ever.

It is advisable for all teams to be in Iquitos by Tuesday September 22nd for the Raft Race Reception in the Amazon Café.

Mark these dates on your calendar;

  • September 22, orientation, reception, party.
  • September 23, support boat leaves for Nauta.
  • September 24, raft construction.
  • September 25, race begins.
  • September 26, 2nd day of race.
  • September 27 race ends in Iquitos, award ceremony, party.

Join us for a great Amazon adventure

La Noche in the Great River Amazon Raft Race, Iquitos Peru

For more information please click this link to the Iquitos Times.

For those participants or spectators who would appreciate more comfort and better food during the race, I will have space available on my Dawn on the Amazon riverboats on a first come first serve basis. To ensure the best experience for all, Dawn III will be limited to 10 guests. Dawn I will be limited to 6 guests. To put those limits in perspective, Dawn III’s legal capacity is 24, sleeps 12 comfortably, and Dawn I’s legal capacity is 14, sleeps 8 comfortably, so there will be plenty of room to be comfortable on both boats.

For information about the Dawn on the Amazon riverboats prices, schedule and benefits to spectators of the Great River Amazon Raft Race, click this special cruises link, one day is free.

To see more great photos from the Dawn on the Amazon photo gallery of The Great Amazon River Raft Race click the link.

Arco Iris children’s orphanage, Iquitos Peru, Great River Amazon Raft Race

If you would like to leave a comment, if you have a question, or if you have already competed in a previous Great River Amazon Raft Race, please share your thoughts with us by clicking on the comment link below. We want to hear from you.

The Great River Amazon Raft Race Blog, 2009

Mike Collis and Bill Grimes

Other articles of interest about the Great River Amazon Raft Race

The Great River Amazon Raft Race Blog, 2008, with 380 comments

Iquitos Peru and the Great River Amazon Raft Race

The Great River Amazon Raft Race and Easy Living,  by John Fenner

Behind the Scenes of the Great River Amazon Raft Race 2008

The Great River Amazon Raft Race, Iquitos Peru

The Great River Amazon Raft Race, 2005

{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hogar Arcoiris November 29, 2008 at 7:54 am

Looks very good en especially inviting to participate. I´m already gathering up teams for next year ….

One remark … it would be nice if the comments on the
the-great-river-amazon-raft-race-blog had a different order (last comments first ….. now you have to go all the way down to look for the latest news en comments!!)

I´ll be writing (and thanking) soon on this blog

Yolanthe (Arco iris)

2 Bill November 29, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Hi Yolanthe, thanks for your comment and remark. I understand your reasons, and I bet you have a slow internet connection which can be frustrating waiting for all the comments to load to get to the bottom where the fresh content and the comment box are.

I hope we will have a conversation here with our community that’s interested in the Great River Amazon Raft Race. To have a conversation the answer can not come before the question.

I don’t like Twitter for that reason. The new tweet is on top, out of context. It’s a broadcast, not a conversation. At least that is how I see it.

Bill Grimes
Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises

3 Ellen December 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Hi, I will be living in Peru next year and I’d love to be part of the race. Can you let me know if anyone needs a team member?



4 CHUCK HALEY December 15, 2008 at 10:49 am


5 Mike December 18, 2008 at 10:33 am

Praise the lord you are still alive !

No one had heard from you for a while and we were a bit concerned.

Yes Chuck I will not be organising next years race but I will be recruiting
the foriegn teams. The entry closes 24th August 2009 after that I will be just a spectator. I am sure there will be a Support Boat but I will not be organising that either. I think the Regional Government will do it. If Bill can get sufficient passengers on his boat then he will be going too.

Take Care chuck,

Happy Christmas

6 CHUCK HALEY December 21, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Hi Mike
Good to hear from you. If you find out anything about the support boat,please let me know.
I am also trying to get a team together. But I will be on the suport boat,I wish I could go on Bills boat but thats too mush for this guy.
Merry Christmas to you and Bill

7 Bill December 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Thanks Chuck, and Merry Christmas to you. We will keep you and everyone posted on progress, here on the Great River Amazon Raft Race Blog.

Best wishes for the New Year,

Bill Grimes

8 CHUCK HALEY January 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Hi Mike & bill
I will see you guys for coffee Feb. 23. I will down to celebrate my Birthday #72
HOW TIME FLYS . hopefully I can get some information on the surport boat by then,
See you,
Chuck Haley

9 Damaris Lugo January 21, 2009 at 10:20 am

Hello Bill & Mike,

I recently came across Tim Sohn’s article in Outside Go magazine about this Amazonian raft race. After reading the article, I have been inspired to
join the Raft Race this year. I am from New York and I have a friend from Belgium and he is interested in doing the race with me. We are still 2 short of the 4 person team but have a couple of people to ask. I see the dates we need to be in Peru to participate. Any and all other info ie., fees, transportation and how the food and sleeping arrangements work would be greatly appreciated.

I am so excited.

Damaris Lugo

10 Mike January 24, 2009 at 10:36 am

Hello Damaris,
Thank you for your enquiry, it will be just great to have you along. But ! be prepared this is, after all, “The World’s longest Raft Race” and it aint easy, however, last year the Canada One team led by the the indominable Dave Petrosky completed the course in an accumulated time of approx., 18 hours (over 3 days), and that was after they were raftwrecked on the 2nd day, had to be rescued by our safety boats, then they commandered an abandoned raft and got to the Finish Line. Dave Petrosky had celebrated his 71st birthday on the 2nd day of the race !
Our webpage is nearly completed with only photos of last years race to be included. to get a preview of the site please click here ;

Damaris, try and get a crew together but if you dont, we always have lots of paddlers looking to join a team. Last year an Australian traveller called Joel heard about the Amazon Raft Race while travelling in Bolivia. He immediately aborted his tour and made “b line” here to Iquitos and had no trouble in joining a team.

Keep watching this blog for up to date information.

11 DaveVvolkmann January 24, 2009 at 10:48 am

We are happy to see you are going to have the raft race again.

12 Mike January 25, 2009 at 10:16 am

Thanks Dave for your kind words.

I organised the Great River Amazon Raft Race for 9 years, last year I played a lesser role leaving it in the capable hands of Cristina Alegria ,the Director of Tourism for this state of Loreto. This year they have asked me to help again, but in an even lesser role. It is my job to encourage as many foriegn teams to enter as possible, after that, during the actual race I will be just a mere spectator.

13 Cédric January 26, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Hello all,
Hello Mike,
My name is Cédric from Belgium (around Bruxelles… I hope you have at least heard about this town… 😉 and I am a friend of Marc who is now living in Iquitos. He has convinced me to visit him and discover Peru and more specifically Iquitos, so I plan to come in September and… yes… this is the period when Mike & Co are organising the famous race!!!! So thanks Mike & others (I don’t know you yet but I am sure we will be friends…) and I have decided to be part of a Team (Marc being the organizer for the Team…). I will do my best to cross the finish line with a local Team and hopefuly I will find sponsors in Belgium and will raise money for a local charity organisation.
This is great… thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(in facebook : Cedric Gilleman)

14 Doug Norvell January 27, 2009 at 10:30 am

It seems a shame tome that no one has given recognition to Linda Flynn and Claudine Kochner the only rafters who have completed the Great River Amazon Raft Race TWICE !

One of them mentioned it to me.

That would be a good move.


15 Mike Collis January 28, 2009 at 11:20 am

Hello Doug,
What can I say Doug except you are right and I am very sorry that we did’nt recognise the achievements of these 2 brave girls,Linda Flynn (USA) and Claudine Kochner (Swiss). These 2 are the only people who had the guts to take on the Amazon not once but twice and they are both women, no man has ever done this!.

I can only say that in the rush to get the story of the last raft race out we only mentioned Dave Kelly and his teams record breaking achievement and David Petroski’s raftwreck story.

Claudine and Linda please accept my sincere apologies.

16 Mike January 29, 2009 at 10:14 am

Hello Cedric,
Thank you for your comment.

Its going to be great to welcome your team to Iquitos, the first Belgian team to enter since the Great River Amazon Raft Race started in 1999.
Great idea about raising money for a charity.

17 Damaris Lugo January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Hello Mike,

Thank you for the response. I think I have a third team mate. Working on the 4th. My firend Kris and I are definitely coming. My friend Emmett is hoping to join.

When do we submit payment to make this official?

Thanks again. I look forward to meeting you and Bill in September.


18 Mike Collis February 3, 2009 at 10:12 am

Hello Damaris,
All Entry Fees are to be paid by electronic transfer into a dedicated bank account with the Regional government of Loreto. I will advise on this blog details of paynent.

Who will be raft No. 1 ?

19 Mike Collis February 7, 2009 at 10:15 am

The dedicated bank account to recieve Entry Fees is now open.

Please contact me for payment instructions;

Which crew will be Raft No. 1 ?

20 Mike Collis February 10, 2009 at 11:10 am

Hello Amin,
What great news , we would just love to have a team from Iran
in our race. Iran is a long way from the Amazon and I know your expences would be a lot. I am going to start by offering your team free accomodation in my bunkhouse and food and drink for the duration of your stay in Iquitos.

Anyone else out there prepared to offer assistance to our fellow paddlers over there in Iran ?

21 Gart van Gennip February 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Hey guys!

I want to sponsor a team for, although I do feel a bit sorry for the competition. My team of Capoeiristas is bound to blow them out of the water! :-))

A question; where can I find some info about the race in Spanish?


22 Bill February 11, 2009 at 8:28 am

Jim deleted this comment by mistake. Putting it back now.

Yesterday, February 10, 2009, 10:38:58 AM | Amin Adili
We are a group of paddlers from Iran and we are not supported by our country (it’s not a govermental institue). We want to compete in this great event but we do not at this moment have any financial support. I was wondering if you can support us in any ways.We have to participate the events on our expenses so I’d appreciate if you tell us if you provide us with any accomodation and the like.
And because getting visa might take long was wondeing if we can be for the events on time and whether you can send an invitation for the team.

23 Damaris Lugo March 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Do you know any travel agents in Iquitos that could arrange the Lima to Iquitos and back to Lima flights? Booking from the US costs double what I paid for my international flight.

24 Mike Collis March 17, 2009 at 10:20 am

Hello Damaris,
Peruvian domestic flight tickets purchased outside Peru usually
cost much more than those purchased within Peru. I have just bought a round trip Iquitos-Lima, Lima-Iquitos for $137US.

25 Robbie Dowling, Ireland March 18, 2009 at 10:40 am

“hi mike ,,relax shitttttttt happens,cant wait until sept to get back on the river,,tell me you are still in charge and not the goverment,,,”

26 Mike Collis March 18, 2009 at 11:02 am


Raft N0. 1. Kindred Spirits, Captain Damaris Lugo,,
Representing USA and Belgium.

27 David Volkmann March 29, 2009 at 11:50 am

To Damaris and anyone else traveling to Iquitos,

I buy my plane tickets Lima/Iquitos in the states on the internet from Lan Peru. So far I have always gotten better prices than anyone I know in Iquitos can. First in the upper right corner I change the version to Peru. Than you have to make your reservations in Spanish. To pay for the tickets can be a little problem. You have a choice of paying with a credit card drawn on a Peruvian bank or paying at a few locations in Iquitos and Lima with cash in a limited number of hours. Our daughter who lives in Iquitos, uses her ATM card to take the money out of my account, and pays for the tickets.

28 Mike Collis April 1, 2009 at 3:31 am

Official Line Up as 31st March 2009.

Raft No.1. Kindred Spirits. Captain Damaris Lugo. USA and Belgium.
Raft No.2. The Titans. Captain Lee Stewart . England

29 Paul Opp April 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Hi guys,
Some of our doctor volunteers from CA entered the race last year and had a great time. They enjoyed a respectable finish and I am sure it was a memory of a life time. They had good things to say about the race but were told there would be adequate food and water supplied for the race. The operative word here would be adequate….Were the small rations part of the overall ambiance of the race or was it just an oversight that will be corrected this year?
I do plan on putting a team together and have just published the race dates on my website under the “trip planning/Dates” tab. I will add a link to your information and see what interest we can raise for additional teams. We have had over 850 volunteers here over the last 5 years so our readership is quite large.

30 Terry Price April 5, 2009 at 2:51 am

I.m Terry from Kington,England and my dad took part in the River Wye 100 miles Raft race in 1978. This race was organised by Mick Collis who went to Peru and started the Amazon Raft Race. I was only 1 year old in 78
when the Wye race was on. Now Mick Collis has come back for a visit and everyone is taking about the old raft race and how those paddlers in 78 were heroes. Well we,ve decided that we are going to have a bit of this so me and my mates are coming over to do this race. So look out, we are all builders,fit as fiddles and raring to go, so look out , the sons of those rafters of long ago are going to show you all what rafting is all about.

Terry Price, The Royal Oak,Kington,hfds.

31 Mike Collis April 6, 2009 at 1:05 am

Hello Paul,
I thank you for your comment.

Yes Paul,last year there were shortcomings but overall I think everyone had am experience that they will remember for ever. Please remember,the Entry
Fee in 2008 was only $150US per team of 4 ,that works out at $37.50cents per person and it included everything. In England we have an old saying “You can,t make a silk purse out of a sow,s ear”.

However, I had a meeting with Cristina Alagria (the Director of Tourism) late last year and it was agreed to increase the Entry Fee to $600 per team ($150 per person) but Cristina assured me that with this extra revenue they will employ more helpers,have more support boats, great food etc.etc,and they are going to make sure that the 2009 Great River Amazon Raft Race will be the “Best Ever”.

32 Cristina Alegría April 6, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Hello Paul:

It’s Cristina, from the Tourism Office in Loreto, Iquitos.

What Bill says is right. Last year the entry fee for the race was only USD150.00, not enough for the expensive costs during the race (Fuel for the auxiliary boats, food, transportation, nurses and doctor, staff, etc.). We did our best I swear, and the Regional Government had to give a considerable quantity of money to guarantee the success of this great event.

There were some mistakes, we know, but this year, with all the experience, We are sure this race is going to be the best.

Thanks for undersrtanding, and thanks Bill for your support.

Cristina Alegría
Director of Tourism
Regional Government of Loreto

33 Paul Opp April 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Hi Mike and Cristina,

People of Peru Project will not have any volunteer groups here during the race so I wanted to offer the use of our boat for support. If the Race organization will simply pay the fuel we will provide captain and crew. It is a new 75 passenger river boat with some nice amenities. perhaps you have seen it parked at the Pavis Port. It is quite nice and has a full deck for observation.

People of Peru Project is planning to have a team (or more) in the race this year. I have a domain address called and it is linked to my website. We want to encourage other teams to join. I have a couple questions:

1. What is the exact date for the 2009 race? (maybe it is posted but I didn’t see it)
2. What is the official web site address for the race? I want to add a link from our domain name to your official website.

3. What other assistance do you need? For example we have housing at our facility for 30 people and a full food service facility…We are five minutes from the airport and also have a truck, bus, motorcars etc.

Well, that is all for now. Perhaps we can meet for lunch and talk about some of these things.

Paul Opp
People of Peru Project

34 Captain Bill April 6, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Hi Paul, That is the best offer I can imagine to take the Great River Amazon Raft Race to the next level. I believe you have come along at the perfect time.

The important dates for the 2009 Great River Amazon Raft Race are;

All foreign teams must be in Iquitos by Tuesday 22nd September.

Rafts will be built near where the race begins in the village of Nauta by the 4 person crews, on the day before the race, the 24th of Sept.

The 3 day race will start in the town of Nauta on Friday, 25th September 2009, and finish in the City of Iquitos on Sunday, 27th September 2009.

I just spent an hour going through some of your excellent web site. You are doing a lot of good here in Iquitos. You either work all the time or are expert at delegating authority, or both.

Welcome aboard, I’m looking forward to getting to know you.

Bill Grimes

35 Mike Collis April 7, 2009 at 1:41 am

Paul, What can I say ? Thank You Very Much for your generous offer.It occurs to me that you are like many of us gringos here in Iquitos, we love the people, the city and want to do all we can to help.
With people like you working with us under the leadership of Cristina I think the raft race this year will be fantastic.

I will contact Lalo our webmaster and put a link to your site on our webpage :

36 rob April 7, 2009 at 8:19 am

will be great to see paul and his team enter the race,i recall paul saying to me last year darn i missed it.
ref comments linda and claudine,i think it was unfortunate this achievement was over looked,but with all that was happening on the project.i can see how,perhaps this time around we can make a geasture of sorts,mike i feel it is vital that you are still seen as a part of this wonderful challenge.lets wait and see how the goverment handle this.i dont mind paying extra for a more professional set up.the toilet arrangments especially for the opposite sex,food more off,if i wasant on the boat i would have been starving.also a word of thanks to Edward who was a true champion,and he made many notes on how best to move forward with this year challenge.a real life gentleman.Iquitos and all of you are my second family and home.kind regards rob

37 Ross Britt April 7, 2009 at 10:36 am

Hey Mike, I feel like I’ve known you all my life. We met last year at the race. You and your group of friends are truely “good people”. Thank you for a wonderful experience. We brought down 3 teams from the San Francisco Bay Area, Healers Blue, Red and Green. I kept a few notes of our trip and of the race. Our story can be found at There is a link to a page devoted to the Amazon River Raft Race. Please check it out… Ross

P.S. I want to send some money to you to spend on the poor kids and families in the area. How do I send it to you?

38 Paul Opp April 7, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Sorry guys,
I was on some other blog looking for this one…ooops. OK now I hope I don’t get as lost on the River as I did on the web..ha ha

39 Lee April 8, 2009 at 6:12 am

Hello everybody, I am writing on behalf of The Titans,team no 2 (origin of the actual team name choice unknown, but fitting me thinks if you bear in mind that we are all green and scaley and dont get on with Mount Olympus in any way at all)

It’s great to be participating in such a fantastic event as this. Alot of people at home seem to raise their brows in delight, despair, surprise (we are not actually all that fit presently) and utter confusion in why we feel we need to build a raft out of logs and row (at a very leisurely rate mind you) down the Amazon when we have a perfectly good river here in London..Well for the four of us it’s perfectly simple, (when I have the answer I will of course make it known)

I look forward to continuing reading the blog with all the banter. I shall of course bring over the usual Uk supplies over for all the “Gringo’s” I have read about, Marmite, tea, the odd digestive biscuit( or Hobnob) and of course gin.(any other supplies?)
Tat Ta and good luck to all other competitors!!
Thanks also to all the organizers of this epic ( and wet ) adventure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Lee ( aka Captain Lee)

40 rob April 9, 2009 at 11:17 am

lee good uk team coming over,a irish team will give you lot a head start,,,smiles

41 Amin Adili April 10, 2009 at 7:38 am

Hi mike….

I hope see you in September…
I have dream about amazon . it is great

42 Robert Derkash April 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm

How do I sign up@

43 kathy Britt April 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Hi Mike and Ed, what an adventure I had. I thought I would conquor the river..instead the people and the river stole my heart! The race was my greatest adventure and challenge. It was a great life altering event. I still think fondly of the other paddlers we met and the beauriful people of all of those villages we passed along the way. You and Ed are the heart of this must stay involved ! Have fun, Kathy from Healers Blue of San francisco

44 Mike Collis April 13, 2009 at 6:39 am

Hello Robert Derkash,
If you send me an e mail I will send you the information about signing up.


45 Lee April 14, 2009 at 2:19 am

Thanks Rob for that, god loves a tryer…..( a smile back) Good luck with your journey…



46 Amin Adili April 14, 2009 at 7:51 am

Hello dear Mike

The ticket price is expensive for us. because peru is too far from IRAN. (about 1700 us Dollar per person (without hotel, travel, transfer , food & … but I know , we have good friend at there that name is mike and he will help us), and we are 4-5 person….
We really need find a sponser to help us for expenses .


47 Mike Collis April 15, 2009 at 1:54 am

Hello Everyone,
Regarding Amin and his team from Iran. I know that you all agree with me that politics does not have a place in sport,and I want, and will do everything I can to get Amin and his team all the way from Iran to Iquitos.I would say that they would have to make the longest journey of any team to come here and raft with us, but they need our help.

I am offering Amin and his team free accomodation in my bunkhouse and I will also provide their food.
I am not a rich person,I am a pensioner but notheless I hereby pledge $100US
(about £65UK) towards their airfair.If 40 other kind people did the same most of the cost will be met. Of course I expect Amin and his crew to make up the balance. If you would like to help our Iranian friends then please contact me :

Thank You.

48 robert dowling April 15, 2009 at 4:01 am

hi mike,ref the team from iran…you can put my name in the hat for $100
it would be great to keep the spirit alive no politics,come on people lets all kick in here.i will western union to you when you decide.
kind reg rob ireland

49 Rosemary Underhay April 15, 2009 at 11:13 am

Hello Mike,

I shall contribute US$50. Best of luck.


50 amin adili April 15, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Hello everybody,
Thank u for your support .Mike I am really excited to hear u are paying this much attention to us.I’d really appreciate that.We are also hospitable people and hopefully we could make up for ur help when u come to visit Iran.If we have to opportunity to come there we’ll definitely make u familiar with our rich and ancient culture.

51 Lee April 20, 2009 at 11:14 am

Hello mike, put me also down for $100 for Amin’s team.
Many thanks

Lee (Titans)…. well sort of just smaller.

52 Damaris Lugo April 23, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Hi Mike,

You promote raft races and world peace. You are a good guy! I am in for $100 for Team Iran. Let me know when you need me to send it.


53 CHUCK HALEY April 28, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Hi Mike & Bill
Do you have any information on what support boat will be used,and bill will you be on support boat for race?Also what will the price be on the support boat and the person to contact to pay for it. I may have a group of 6 with me on this trip.
Chuck Haley (amazonchuck )


54 CHUCK HALEY April 28, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Hi Mike
Just one more note put me down for $100.let me know if you are still collecting and how and when to send monies for the Iranian team.also will you Mike also be on the support boat

55 Mike Collis May 1, 2009 at 10:17 am

A Big Thank You to all those who have pledged to help Amin and Team Iran. If we can get enough pledges to help our iranian friends come here and compete against teams from all over the world
then I will advise donors how to make their donation when the time comes.

To Amin,
I promised you some time ago that we will do everything we can to help you get here, but it is most important that you do your part too by getting sponsors in Iran. I know that you have said that you will also try and raise some money for the orphanage here, I understand that ,some sponsors will only donate to a charity.

We are with you Team Iran.

To Everyone,
Please make your pladge on this blog, no matter how much, every little bit helps. Thank you.

56 Mike Collis May 1, 2009 at 10:25 am

Hello Chuck,
Thank You for your pledge to help Team Iram (and you too Damaris).

Chuck I have organised the Great River Amazon Raft Race since 1999 and its time for new blood to take over. Cristina Alagria and her team ( mostly girls I must add) now have the entusiasm and experience to run a great race this year. I promised Cristina that I will try and get as many foriegn teams here as possible. The Closing Date for entries is 24th August , my work will be finished on that day and I will be just another spectator on the Support Boat with you.
I have asked Ed Hudson if he will be kind enough to take charge of the support boat, I hope he accepts, he is the best person for the job. But Ed please make sure the beer will be cold this year Thank You.

57 Kath & George Collis May 1, 2009 at 10:32 am

Hello, we are Michael’s Mom and Dad.
Michael has always loved to build rafts more so after we told him not to when he was 8, he could not swim and we had lots of canals near our house, we were always worried, but we could not stop him building rafts and exploring waterways.Little did we know he would be doing raft things on the amazon one day.

We think it would be very nice to do what we can to to help the Iran team so we want to offer 100 english pounds towards their costs,

58 Mike May 2, 2009 at 10:25 am

Thanks Mom and Dad,
But you should’nt of, you are pensioners after all.

HAPPY 82nd BIRTHDAY MOTHER (Monday 4th May)

59 aAmin Adili May 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Hello Everyone ,
I am your friend from IRAN…..
I cant speak English very well , than I cant say my hearts sound for you…. sorry
I can say only thank you my unseen friends……

HAPPY BIRTHDAY miss Collis , thank you …..


about IRAN :

60 CHUCK HALEY May 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Hi Mike
I will see you and Bill for breakfast on sept 21,2009.I look fro0ward to being on the support boat with all my friends in Iquitos
THIS IS A NOTE FOR ED HUDSON , I have tried to reach you by email
I am hoping you do get the Support boat together.. If you will be handling the boat ,Please let me know what boat and the cost per person Email me at

61 Mike Collis May 3, 2009 at 10:27 am

To all foriegn rafters.

Buying your peruvian domestic flights outside Peru is very expensive.
The Amazon Explorers Club based here in Iquitos can arrange domestic flights for you saving you a lot of money.

Please contact Gart at the Amazon Explorers Club by email on ;

62 CHUCK HALEY May 4, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Hi Mike
Yhis is for your MOM—-HAPPY BIRTHDAY>
If we could just be like Mike.s Mom & Dad
and forget about ,politics,In Iquitos let us show the rest of the world that we can have peace
and togetherness at lease on The AMAZON RIVER,If each team could contribute $100. (Thats Only $25. extra per team member)
As Rob Ireland had said earller
it would be great to keep the spirit alive no politics,come on people lets all kick in here
Chuck Haley

63 amin adili May 5, 2009 at 12:14 pm

hello all esp Mike,
As i told u before my English is not good so I am getting help from a friend to write on the blog.
Thank you everyone for your support but only I have to mention that we are a few young people who live a normal and decent life in Iran and the reason I asked for help was the long distance betwen our places and thus the expenses which go up .my main goal is the spirit of the world peace and this is our motto.if we can make it to Peru we can show that Iranian are not terrorists but we are very kind and if u have the opportunity to visit us here u’ll see how hospitable we are.Iran’s civilization has been one of the Greatest in the world and Human Rights rulles was first written by Kourosh the King(the great King 500 years BC.)in that the equality of women and men ,religons and races were emphasized.
Also the poem of our Geart poet SAADI is written on the UN enterance door.And Presidnt Obama in his Speech for Iranian’s
New Year quoted that rhyme in Persian.
Thanks again for helping us and the world peace.
I’ll try to send u links about Iran soon.

64 Damaris Lugo May 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Hello Everyone,

Quick note about flights within Peru. I was able to get a flight from Lima-Iquitos-Lima for US$124 on Star Peru from the US. And I believe my teamate Kris in Belguim got the same fare. So that’s an option. They just don’t offer as many flights as LAN.

To Amin and Team Iran. I hope you make it to Peru. Would love to meet you all.


65 Eric Sutherland May 12, 2009 at 6:40 pm

It was great to see you and Mike again. I got home to London and read about Team Iran. So I pledge $50 if it helps you reach your target…I agree absolutely that sport breaks frontiers and it would be a great achievement to see them on the Amazon !!!!

66 edward hudson May 23, 2009 at 10:25 am

Hello Brave Rafters & Intrepid Travellers. Coming to Peru its a great idea to visit South America’s No1 attraction; MACHU PICCHU, & also to see more of the Greatest River in the World. To do this we are preparing for you; -1, The Great Amazon Raft Race SUPPORT BOAT 4 nts/5 days starting 23 Sept 08.00hrs sailing Iqt – Nauta (about 12hrs+)24th Sept @ Nauta for Reception / Raft Construction, 25th,26th,27th sailing as support to the race, overnighting @ Porvenir then Tamshiyacu, arriving Iquitos 27th with the winners, see all rafts arrive at the finish line. 2, A 6 night 7 day Itinerary ex Iquitos to Lima /Cusco/Machu Picchu/Cus/Lim. Flying LAN Airlines, visit many Inca Empire sights around The Imperial City of Cusco, Spectacular Train Cusco – Machu Picchu, Ruins visit, stay overnight @ MP, numerous different activities next day, pm return train to Cus. Next day fly Lim, sample plenty local cuisine,drinks, experience a world of centuries old cultures & the extreme contrasts of Peru. Information on the dramatic history of the areas & developments written & provided by Ed Hudson; Options available for various extensions, Lake Titicaca & more. 3. A 3 night River Boat Itinerary Iquitos downriver 90miles to Pevas – Iquitos, packed with activities;early am Birding trips,Indian Village visits to see the culture, famous Painter visit spectacular !, Jungle walk, Pevas Town visit by day & night, Pirana Fishing, learn about History & development of the Area. This is a 1st advice,more detail & pricing to follow. Machu Picchu trip will be after the Raft Race, Pevas River trip dates soon to decide; We are MOST INTERESTED to receive any feedback,ideas,opinions at any time which will help build our picture of what you are thinking, needing & help our ability to meet yr needs,make things available & easy.Communications can be by this Blog or E Mail to dont be shy give me yr queries/views thanks. Ed Hudson

67 Edward Hudson May 30, 2009 at 10:52 am

I now have a price for the support boat, and I already have spectators ready to join us to watch the Great River Amazon Raft Race 2009.

Support Boat Information.

We sail on the Rio Amazonas which is a beautiful Amazon River Cruiser. We have air conditioned cabins (2 sharing per cabin).
Excellent meals are included and there is a bar which will be selling cold beer, spirits and soft drinks.

The 5 day cruise is:

Depart Iquitos 8.00 a.m. Wednesday 23rd September (Lunch and dinner inc.)

Day in Nauta Thursday 24th September (Breakfast, lunch & dinner inc.)

Friday 25th September following the first leg of the race , Nauta- Prvenir
(All meals inc).

Saturday 26th September following 2nd leg ,Porvenir – Tamshiyacu(all meals inc)

Sunday 27th Final leg back to Iquitos ( Breakfast inc).

Total Cost $290US per person .

Contact Ed Hudson on ;

68 CHUCK HALEY June 18, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Hi Mike and Bill
Whats happening on the race, Idon,t see any comments on the blog since Eds comment on may 30.
do you any rafters signed up? I signed on the support boat that Eds got going.He picked a great historical boat. I was on it 20 years ago.So on this trip we will have a/c and beds, well worth the extra cost.I can hardly wait to get back down there.

69 Mike Collis June 23, 2009 at 10:28 am

I suppose all of you knew about the trouble we had here in the Amazon region.
The indiginous people were protesting about the concessions allowed to foriegn oil and mining companies on their ancestural homelands.
The protests turned violent and more than 20 people, both police and protesters were killed. There was a peaceful march and strike here in the city of Iquitos and the protesters had lots of support.
I am pleased to say that the government has now conceded and all concessions are on hold untill an agreement was reached, which it as.

We were concerned that the protests might mean cancelling this year’s Great River Amazon Raft Race but I am pleaased to report that everything is OK and
if you are coming please contact me as soon as possible on;

Looking forward to seing you in September.

70 Anna Wren June 28, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Hi! I’m going to be coming to the race in September and I’d love to be able to take part, but unfortunately it’s proving harder than I imagined to get a team together…. Some people have no sense of adventure!

Anyway, I love to be able to be more than just a spectator, so if anyone needs a team member or knows of anyone else that wants to create a team with me, please give me a shout!!


71 Anna Wren June 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Oops, my email address is – please get in touch if you want to create a team with me!

72 Mike Collis July 9, 2009 at 11:31 am
73 Mike Collis July 9, 2009 at 11:37 am

Hello Rafters,
Teams are now starting to sign up and like every year I will post the team list on this blog every Friday evening, so check it out.

I have recieved an e mail from Ryan Ten Kley who is 31 years old and lives with his girlfriend in Lima,Peru. Ryan is trying to put together a team so if anyone is looking to join a team please contact Ryan on ;

Please keep checking this blog for the latest info.

74 Des Laughton July 9, 2009 at 11:41 am

Hi Everyone,
Just to let you know we’ll be there in September. We’re just a bunch of old farts trying to make an impression but we are really looking forward to it.

See you all in September.

Des Laughton,
Ribble Ramblers,

75 Mike Collis July 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Teams Update as of 10th July

Raft No.1. Kindred Spirits. USA and Belgium.
Raft No.2. The Titans. London, England
Raft No.3 La Noche Restaurant Mujeres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.4 La Noche Restaurant Hombres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.5 Los Increibles Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.6 Los Invincables Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.7 Los Otorongos . Peru and USA
Raft No.8 Amazon Golf Course. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.9. Ribble Ramblers, Preston,England
Raft No.10 The Fool R Dee lV, Hereford,England

76 Ed Hudson July 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Hello again Brave Rafters & Travelling Friends,
Further to our Official Quote see above dated 30 May (with earlier comment 23May)welcoming customers to join with us on The SUPPORT BOAT. We now have a QUOTE for a 3 NIGHTS DOWN THE MAIN AMAZON RIVER TRIP After the RAFT RACE.
This will be on the Boat MV CIELITO LINDO FOR UP TO 14 Passengers. Itinerary – Expedition plan as follows;
IQUITOS – PEVAS 3 NIGHTS TRIP DAY 1 is Depart Iquitos The Day after Raft Race Completion Monday 28th Sept;
DAY 1 28/9/09;
2.Plenty of free time to view & begin to understand the River Amazon & Communities & Natural History.
5.STOP SUCH AS,VISIT TO LOCAL DISTILLERY,Can sample/buy the products Rum,7 Roots etc.
6. DINNER about 7.30pm Bar will be open after dinner as long as customers present.


Arrival will be in plenty time for midday or pm flights to Lima. If you wish to stay on in Iquitos we will be happy to suggest activities & help with yr continued enjoyment of this special environment.

This 3nt trip (covering total 180miles of the Big River)with expert local friends/guides is planned to be
EDUCATIONAL, RELAXING, A FUN EXPERIENCE with PLENTY TO EAT & DRINK & PACKED WITH ACTIVITIES that are ALL INCLUDED in the very competitive PRICE we have negotiated which is; US$435(or equiv) per person sharing twin cabin. Total Pax will be 14.
Price for Single Supplement (ie 1person taking all the cabin plse request-will depend if space)
Picture of Cielito Lindo coming soon on this Blog.
Any queries either to blog or to

77 Ed Hudson July 15, 2009 at 9:06 am

Queries on ANY ASPECT of this travel can be made to BLOG for my attention,ed hudson,or direct to me at
Ed Hudson

78 Mike Collis July 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm

The Starting Line-Up as 17th July

Raft No.1. Kindred Spirits. USA and Belgium.
Raft No.2. The Titans. London, England
Raft No.3 La Noche Restaurant Mujeres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.4 La Noche Restaurant Hombres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.5 Los Increibles Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.6 Los Invincables Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.7 Los Otorongos . Peru and USA
Raft No.8 Amazon Golf Course. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.9. Ribble Ramblers, Preston,England
Raft No.10 The Fool R Dee lV, Hereford,England
Raft No.11. Los Cushures, Iquitos,Peru

79 Ed Hudson July 24, 2009 at 8:35 am

You may see above,15 July ref to 5 Night Optional Tour start day after the Raft Race finishes to Lima,Cusco,Machu Picchu,Cus,Lim,also 6 nt Tour which is the 5nt with optional extra nt Lima. This is a highly recommended Tour to the spectacular main travellers attraction of both Peru & South America. Detail Itinerary with Prices of this Tour,too lengthy to put on this blog can be obtained by E Mailing me at Also you can enter discussion with me as needed on this Tour or other post raft race travel in Peru. Looking 4ward to hearing from U.

80 Mike Collis July 24, 2009 at 6:41 pm

The Starting Line-Up as 24th July

Raft No.1. Kindred Spirits. USA and Belgium.
Raft No.2. The Titans. London, England
Raft No.3 La Noche Restaurant Mujeres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.4 La Noche Restaurant Hombres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.5 Los Increibles Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.6 Los Invincables Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.7 Los Otorongos . Peru and USA
Raft No.8 Amazon Golf Course. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.9. Ribble Ramblers, Preston,England
Raft No.10 The Fool R Dee lV, Hereford,England
Raft No.11. Los Cushures, Iquitos,Peru

81 Cristina Alegria July 26, 2009 at 11:02 am

Hello Amigos,

We have now completed the english version of this year’s raft race rules.

See you in September.


1. Each team will be conformed:
– Category Woman
– Category Men
– Category Mixed: can be 2 women and 2 men or 3 men and 1 woman or viceversa.
2. The subtitutes will be aloud in the following cases:
– If one of the participants from a single sex team cannot continue , they must be replace by a menber of the same sex. It is not permited to switch into the mixed category (The team will be eliminated).
– In case of sickness and/or accidents.
– In a unanticipated case that you cannot stay.

3. The boats (rafts) will be build for each team with a minimum of 8 logs, not less than 5 mts. each, also you will be judge on the following:
– Creativity and originality (you can paint the boat just with regular painting, it is not allowed to use pitch).
– The organization will provide to each team with ropes,
crossbeam, pins and other.
– You are only allowed to taper the end of the logs.
4. The participants can bring their own paddle, otherwise you should get in contact with the organization at the following email address: to let us know that you will need a paddle. The organization will provide with one for each member of the team.
5. It is not allowed to use sails, engine or other methods of propulsión to move your raft.
6. The participants can bring their own lifejackets. It is mandatory to wear them, during the entire competition.
– If you do not have a lifejacket you should inform us by writing to: The organization will provide with one for each member of the team.
– Any team that does not wear a lifejacket will be eliminated from the competion.
7. Any team that interfiers with or impedes the progress of another team will desqualified.
8. It is prohibited to drink alcoholic beverages or use drugs during the competition. Failure to follow this rule will result in innmediate disqualification.
9. Each team will be asigned a number (sign) and must place i ton the edge of the raft, it should be mantain during the competion otherwise you will be disqualified.
10. Maximum number of teams allowed will be 80 teams.
– Fifthy Internacional teams
– Thirthy Local teams.
11. Date line for Registrations is August 24th


The organization will provide each participant the following:
1. Ground transportation Iquitos – Nauta
2. Food twice a day
3. Life jackets will be given to participants who do not have.
4. We will provide with a packet of water (12 unit) to each team, every day during the competion.
5. We will privide with fruit of the season to each team, every day during the competition.
6. Tents and mattresses will be privided to all participating teams by the organization.
7. Be provided to each team captain the following:
a. Trunk of raft Word (Are allowed to hire people to
assist in building your raft, if you need it
b. 30 meters of rope.
c. A package of nails 10 inches (12 nails).
d. A sign with the team number.
e. Four (4) 40 cms. x 40 cms. of wood to be used as seats.
f. A orange flan to each team.
g. Tickets for food.
h. crossbeam for the trunk to built the raft

8. For the delivery of raft wood will have a raffle among the captains of each team in order to bring order to the delivery of the same.
9. The organization will be responsable for the care of the bagaje or the participants who require it.
10. The organization will privide emergency as necessary.
11. The organización will give certificates of participation to each participant and a trophy to the winning teams.
12. The organization will give each participant a t-shirt.


The registrations of the teams will be conducted on the facilities of the Regional foreign trade, Tourism and Handicrafts. Condamine No. 173, or to the following email address: and shall make appropriate payment for the right to participate which includes food, materials or services provided during the contest, also must fill out the registration form of the team.

Payments: foreign teams : $ 600.00 (dollar)
Local teams : s/. 600.00 (Nuevos soles)
Regional teams: s/. 200.00 (Nuevos soles)

The deposits are made on the Bank of Credit of Peru

Account number in dollar: 390-16227611-1-98

82 Gringa Linda July 30, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Cristina – what a great job of translation! Well done! Can’t wait to see everyone in August – ready to go for the thrid time – will see you then. Dile a mi amigo Carlos – hola – por favor! Mike – get ready – Gringa Linda is coming back to town! jaja! It will be a great adventure again!

83 Mike Collis August 2, 2009 at 11:15 am

The Starting Line-Up as 31st July

Raft No.1. Kindred Spirits. USA and Belgium.
Raft No.2. The Titans. London, England
Raft No.3 La Noche Restaurant Mujeres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.4 La Noche Restaurant Hombres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.5 Los Increibles Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.6 Los Invincables Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.7 Los Otorongos . Peru and USA
Raft No.8 Amazon Golf Course. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.9. Ribble Ramblers, Preston,England
Raft No.10 The Fool R Dee lV, Hereford,England
Raft No.11. Los Cushures, Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.12. Arco Iris Mujeres, Peru/Holland.

84 Mike Collis August 9, 2009 at 10:47 am

The Starting Line-Up as 7th August

Raft No.1. Kindred Spirits. USA and Belgium.
Raft No.2. The Titans. London, England
Raft No.3 La Noche Restaurant Mujeres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.4 La Noche Restaurant Hombres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.5 Los Increibles Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.6 Los Invincables Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.7 Los Otorongos . Peru and USA
Raft No.8 Amazon Golf Course. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.9. Ribble Ramblers, Preston,England
Raft No.10 The Fool R Dee lV, Hereford,England
Raft No.11. Los Cushures, Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.12. Arco Iris Mujeres, Peru/Holland.

85 Mike Collis August 13, 2009 at 11:38 am

Latest News .

The Regional Government realising the current worldwide economic crisis have reduced the Entry Fee to only $400US and put back the final entry date to 8th September.

Remember the $400 Entry fee includes everything for a team of 4 which ncludes, transport,food,bottled water,accomodation (camping),raft building materials, lifejackets and paddles. This is a great deal for 4 days of adventure in the amazon.

86 Mike Collis August 14, 2009 at 6:49 pm

1.The Starting Line-Up as 14th August

Raft No.1. Kindred Spirits. USA and Belgium.
Raft No.2. The Titans. London, England
Raft No.3 La Noche Restaurant Mujeres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.4 La Noche Restaurant Hombres. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.5 Los Increibles Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.6 Los Invincables Padre Cocha,Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.7 Los Otorongos . Peru and USA
Raft No.8 Amazon Golf Course. Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.9. Ribble Ramblers, Preston,England
Raft No.10 The Fool R Dee lV, Hereford,England
Raft No.11. Los Cushures, Iquitos,Peru
Raft No.12. Arco Iris Mujeres, Peru/Holland.
Raft No.14. Markham Team,Lima,Peru

87 Anna Wren August 15, 2009 at 4:46 am

Hola Amigos!!!

Just to let you know that I’ll definitely be there in September – I’m joining the Kindred Spirits Team from the UK.

Looking forward to meeting you all on the 22nd

88 CHUCK HALEY August 16, 2009 at 6:37 am

Hi Mike & Bill & Ed
just a note to let you know that I will see you guys for coffee on the 21st. of Sept
And I will have my backpack loaded with a load of 50 golf balls for the golf course I know you guys can always use them.
How is everything going? Has Ed gotten the support boat loaded let? I can,t wait to get back down to my 2nd. home.

89 robbie August 17, 2009 at 8:14 am

hi mike,re the raft race i arrive mon 21 sept iquitos,
myself and Ann-marie Irish team,gone to press we are looking for another two rafters,see how it goes anyhows as always look forward to meeting up with everyone.
amazonquest raft has green light to go !!
just set new world endurance record sailing 14 ft sail boat solo 2 days and nights non stop.i may have a challenge in two weeks time to the record and have a head to head with a younger sailor (young puppy) looks like ill be out to beat him and my 6 week old record,
wil need to keep energy for the raft race for sure,,,,
line up that cold beer im on my way,,,,rob

90 robbie August 17, 2009 at 8:15 am

beware of the mad Irish !!!

91 Damaris Lugo August 19, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Hello all,

I can’t wait to meet everyone.

I have a question about money. Is US Dollars widely accepted throughout Iquitos or should I make sure to exchange money before coming?


92 Mike Collis August 23, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Hello Damaris,
Its best to bring US$ with you , can change other currencies here, but expensive. Iquitos has lots of ATM machines.

See you very soon, on the Amazon.

93 Ed Hudson August 24, 2009 at 5:19 am

In Iquitos essential to have Peruvian Soles. Some places can use US Dollars cash but never rely on that & change will be soles of course. Recommend changing dollars,at least US$100 (better more) to Peru Soles as 1st priority in the arrivals hall at Lima Airport where you collect yr check in bag,& before exiting to the public area. There are 2 places there in the centre of the hall & they historically have had better rates than hotels or money changers. There are also Money Exchange kiosks in the public area of Lima Airport. The rate today is about 2.95 Soles = US$1.
In Iquitos its definitely best to get Soles using Bank ATMs,(the machines,not going to the Bank counter). There are about 15+ ATMS, they are easy to find. Money changers for cash US$ and Euros are on the street corners 1 to 2 blocks along the main street, Prospero, in Iquitos. Use of these money changers is not encouraged,if use keep yr money in yr hand until you have counted what given in yr own time,also best use a lady $$ changer. Note in Peru there is often a shortage of small change. So try to build up a stock of small notes & coins. Important to ask for at least half yr money in 10,20 soles notes on changing money,rest as 50 or 100 Soles notes & coins. Coins for 1,2 & 5soles are most useful. If you are buying something for say 7 soles,do not pay exact money use say 10 sol note & get 3 soles change or 20 soles & get 13 soles change etc. This may sound trivial now but newcomers soon find themselves without change & no one else has change = problem. Note US$1 notes can be useful to use as 3 soles when short of change –when people accept US$.
Its very important to not bring any Foreign Currency Notes with even the slightest tiniest rip or tear, or marks or disfigurement as people esp money changers will not accept these. Care if keeping notes in a zipped pouch as pulling money out of these past the zip is what tears them. Travellers cheques are a problem to change & need passport to do so & get worse rate.
Any queries welcome to ask

94 Mike Collis August 25, 2009 at 10:34 am


8.00p.m Tuesday,September 22. Rafters Reception Party in the amazon Cafe situated on the 2nd fñppr of the Casa de Fiero (The Iron Housde)Plaza de Armas.

Wednesday September 23,Free day to pick up last minute supplies and sight seeing.

7.30 a.m.Thursday September 24, Rafters leave by bus from the Plaza 28th Julio for the Start in Nauta.

8.30 a.m.Friday,September 25, race begins.

Sunday September 27 race ends in Iquitos, award ceremony,should be all over by 5.30p.m.

8.30 p.m. Sunday 27th September, Rafters Party in the Casa de Fiero.


95 Mike Collis August 26, 2009 at 10:27 am


The Regional Government will provide everything nesessary for the race including paddles and lifejackets.

However, the rules allow paddlers to use their own paddles and lifejackets if they want. So if you have lightwieght professional paddles or professional
lifejackets you can use them.

96 yolanthe van de Graaff August 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Hola everybody,
We are happy to be able to participate in this fantastic event for the third year in a row now. Our team (3 of us are living here in Iquitos) are racing to improve education for the children of Iquitos (having a lot of fun doing so). Last year we collected almost 13.000 Euro`s for our educational projects ( +… If there is a team that is willing to make a sponsor-race out of this great experience, helping us help the children, please contact me ( See you on the Amazone …… Saludos Yolanthe

97 Mike Collis August 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm

A few teams have asked questions about food and water during the race.

Each team will be provided with 12 bottles of purified water each day of the race.

Regarding food; Lunch and dinner will be provided in Nauta on the 24th (Thursday)raft building day.
On Friday and Saturday breakfast and dinner will be provided.
On Sunday (final day) breakfast will be provided.

All crews are advised to take some snacks onboard during race days.

98 Mike Collis August 28, 2009 at 10:51 am

Questions about teams bags etc.

The Regional Government will have a boat that will be carrying all of their equipment .It will also carry all of the participants belongings while they are on the river. There will be a security guard with it at all times so your belongings will be safe.

99 Mike Collis September 1, 2009 at 10:59 am


Paul Opp,Founder/Director of the People of Peru Project has offered us a boat to use as support. Paul will let us have his really nice vessal for the cost of fuel and oil only. The boat has 2 decks and a toilet.

We can comfortable accomodate 15 passengers who will sleep in hammocks (not provided) or like me sleep in a tent ashore. We will have a cooker on board for simple meals and a cooler with beer, water and soft drinks which will be for sale.

If you want to follow the race with us you meet up with the boat in Nauta on Thursday 24th and follow the race back to Iquitos arriving with the rafts at the Finish Line on Sunday 27th.

To join us, the cost per person is only $40 to cover the costs previously mentioned.
Remember this does not include food or drinks which will be on sale aboard at a reasonable price.

Contact ma ASAP ;

100 chuck haley September 1, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Hi Mike
On the support boat ,can you get it to leave on the 23th. so everyone can enjoy the reception in Narta plus the building of the rafts, which is a great part of the race? also on food will we have a cook to cook meals for the people that want meals , at an extra cost. If not what about getting (Juan Maldonado )as a cook , he is a great cook and i,m sure most of the people would be willing to pay a little extra to have meals cooked for them.If you can get the boat to leave on the we can see reception in Narta and be able to get meals on board. ,then sigh me on.

101 Gringa Linda September 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Hey Mike – yes, I plan to be a part of the race – just not sure at the moment of team……may sponsor a Peruvian team and raft on it OR get with team needing a person OR have team like last year – Los Charros (not sure)….. Herbart is in Austria – I believe he is coming back, just not sure. But, I plan to participate – will you need me to help this year in any way….

Still in USA – was ready to buy ticket to return asap, but got snake bit and am down since this few day ago – second time in life snake bitten – wow – it’s awful and it must have been a Southern Redneck Hurtin’ snake. Funny thing is – my dog got bit at same time – in moonlighted just mowed yard! Pain!

Been reading the blog – just was not sure about team and did not post. Will have Andy at the Gringa’s House (my guest house for family and friends) and Rob with his team mate, as well. May have a little more room…

Can’t wait to get back to Iquitos and see my buddies AND the GRARR for 3rd time! See you soon on the Boulevard……. Hey to Bill, Elizabeth, Margarita, and all.
Luv yall, Gringa Linda

102 Amin Adili September 2, 2009 at 10:44 am

Dear Mike & all rafters….

I am AMIN ADILI from IRAN. We were supposed to paddle with you guys this year, but because we couldn’t get the visas on time we couldn’t meet the deadline. But surely by your help and Michel’s we would be on Amazon next year with the same aim and good cause we have which is world peace.

We have not met before but many of you helped us come there which I appreciate.

Despite all the diffrences like races, religions and nationality , we all have something in common and that is we are all intrested in nature, sport and happiness and I believe we would add to all these the sense we have toward peace and friendship…..

So I will ask all of you who decide to visit East and Iran, that you can count on me and consider the fact that a friend is waiting for you and can help you in anyways.

You would go to Peru and I will go to Sydney 2009 World Masters Games ( ) the feild of kayak Flat water in Australia, But my heart would be with you on Amazon….


Amin Adili

103 Mike Collis September 3, 2009 at 10:56 am

Hello Chuck,
Regarding the Support Boat.

The support boat leaves at 7.00a.m. on Thurdsday 24th and should be in Nauta by 3.00 p.m. missing the ceremony and the start of raft building. Any passenger wishing to go to Nauta on the Support Boat is welcome to do so.
I’m going by bus with the raft teams.
Elizabeth will have a gas cooker on board and will provide meals at a resonable price, she will also have beer and soft drinks in a cooler.

104 christina September 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Hey everyone,

Saludos de Lima! We’re a team of gringas and gringos from the US now living in Lima. We’re nine strong so will need to figure out how to spread out amongst three teams.

We are looking for places to stay on the 22nd, 23rd and 27th. Also, how much food should we bring with us?

Can’t wait to meet you all!

Christina and team

105 Mike Collis September 4, 2009 at 10:38 am

Hello Christina and teams.

Great to see you here.
There are lots of cheap hostals here in Iquitos and with your group you can get a discount too. Just let me know how much you want to pay per night (prices start at around $7US)
Why not contact Gringa Linda she has a lovely house here with rooms to rent.
(Linda will be the first person to have done the Amazon Raft Race 3 times).
Linda’s email is ;

You don’t need to bring any food, during the race your meals are provided and they were good last year. Food is quite cheap here if you know where to go and not go. When you get here I will help you.

106 Mike Collis September 4, 2009 at 10:43 am

Sore Bottoms !!

During the race its a good idea to sit on foam pads and wear cotton gardening gloves to avoid blisters.

I will get some foam mattresses and cut them up into suitable pads and I have some gloves left over from last year.

I need to recoup my costs so the price will be for 4 X 4″ thick foams pads and 4 pairs of cotton gloves with padded fingers and palms is $10 or 30 peruvian soles.
Please let me know if you want me to organise these.

107 CHUCK HALEY September 7, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Hi Mike
I guess I will do what you do and take bus to Narta the day before and use the boat on trip back.. So sign me up for the boat.
Do you still have the hammock I gave you and can I rent it for the boat,or if not, do you have anymore extra large hammocks for rent? Will we have enough beer and cold drinks for entire trip? As for food will we have a full breakfast and dinner? also can I bring some of my own food with me and have Elizabeth cookit for an additional price?
I will see you,Bill and Ed for breakfast on 21th. Time is getting short
See you

108 Mike Collis September 8, 2009 at 10:28 am

Ok Chuck yes to everything.

See you soon.

109 Gringa Linda September 8, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Have contacted both Cristina and Carlos about competing as regional team, 3 Peruanos and me (another peruana) Just alerting you as well – with the snake bite, I have had problems with wound, but, should be ok very soon – plan to arrive Iqutios next week or next, but before the race. I have communicated that we want to be regional team named – ¡Vamos Ya!…. my contacts can bring the registration money asap – just – waiting to hear from Cristina and Carlos – but please done leave us out! ¡VAMOS YA !

110 Gringa Linda September 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Forgot to mention that I (Gringa Linda) will still have a couple rooms at my house which could be rented (private home and garden) AND I have some SPACE if anyone wants to camp out at a nominal rate before or after race. I have space in garden and under roof. Good way to break-in your tent! Later, yall!

111 kathy Britt September 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Hi all,

My team had 3 rafts last year. We are the Dragon Healers a dragon boat team from San Francisco, USA. . We did not know what to expect from this adventure, we were surprised. It was a life changing adventure. We all love it and felt that we grew as human beings from the bonding we did as raft mates. Mike and Ed did a fantastic job. The Healers have a special place in our hearts for Ed. We love you Ed !! Paddlers be open and enjoy your adventure, it is amazing !

112 Damaris Lugo September 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Hi Mike,

Team Kindred Spirits would like to take you up on the foam and gloves offer.

Also, please update our team’s nationalilities. Team Kindred Spirits now represents USA, Belgium, UK and Canada.

And lastly, Kris and I will be arriving in Peru on the 12th and doing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and then Lima so we will have little time to check emails. We’ll probably just check this site when we are in Lima so if you need any info from us post it on this site.

See you soon!

113 christina September 15, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the info! As for lodging, we’re hoping to spend about $10-$20 a person per day. Warm showers is probably our most desired feature. What places do you recommend and should we book ahead of time?


114 Mike Collis September 15, 2009 at 6:50 pm


Its a good idea to book ahead of time. My recommendation is the El Colibre in Nauta Stret. Very nice, clean, safe, family run and costs about $12 for a twin bedded room.
If you want to stay there I will get you the contact number.

To all rafters.

It is a requirement of the amazon River Authority that all vessals fly thier national flag. So please bring your flags with you. Size is not important and multinational teams should fly all their flags.

115 christina September 16, 2009 at 12:52 am

Hey Mike,

Yes we’re interested in El Colibre. Please send me their email or phone number. Is it close to the site/how would we get there?

Also, what if we don’t have a flag with us? can we make one when we get there?
Thank you,

116 Marianne van der Reest September 16, 2009 at 10:36 am

Hello everyone,
I, together with 2 Peruvian girls and another Dutch guy (I am Dutch myself, too) heard that there is a meeting thursday the 17th of september at 9 a.m. Where is this meeting exactly and what will be discussed? Is it different than the meeting next tuesday? Looking forward to the race and thanks for the reply!

117 Mike Collis September 16, 2009 at 6:42 pm

It might be too late to send El Colibre an email.
Best to phone.
The number is ; Iquitos 241737

118 Mike Collis September 16, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Sorry Christine,
Yes you can make a flag when you get here.
The El Colibre is right in the centre of things, you can walk to most places you will need to go to.

119 Gringa Linda September 18, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Finally I arrive on the 21st – this snakebite bit the dust and put me down almost 3 weeks – so arrriving just on the mark – but, we will participate – team name: ¡Vamos ya! See yall soon amigos….. Grnga Linda

120 Sandy September 22, 2009 at 10:26 am

Race day is approaching and I so wish I were going with. I raced last year, it was an experience I am so very proud to have.

All you 2009 racers, have a great time! Paddle hard in the slow water, and keep paddling on the fast. No matter what, keep paddling and you’ll make it to the finish.

121 Previous Rafters September 23, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Dear Amazon Rafters,

Congratulations on entering the Great Amazon Raft Race. By simply getting to Iquitos you have already accomplished more than the majority of people on the planet. With that in mind, I can assure you that the adventure is just beginning. Here are a few words of wisdom from a former racer to help you get the most out of your experience.

1) It’s about the people. No matter what else happens over the next several days, make friends with your fellow rafters, especially those from Peru and other countries you may not know well. Don’t worry if you don’t speak the same language — you’ll figure out how to communicate. In a few days the race will be over, but your friendships will last a lifetime.

2) Take care of yourself and your fellow rafters. The Amazon is a big place — no matter how well the race is organized, there will be times when you are on your own. Stay safe and make it to the finish. Don’t worry about alligators, piranhas, or tarantulas. They don’t bite. At least not often.

3) Despite your best efforts to the contrary, you just might win. Experience has shown me that patching together a team of random people minutes before the race and spending a good deal of time trying to keep your raft from falling apart can somehow lead to victory. Hint: The current is your friend!

Go forth and race, make friends, and have the adventure of a lifetime.

Dale Baskin
Amazon Rafting Club President, 2006-07

To the 2009 rafters of the Great River Amazon Raft Race;

I congratulate you for commiting yourselves to this race.I know the sacrifices you have already made.You have spent a lot of money and time training and stressed your relationships with family and friends to get to this meeting at the Amazon Pub in the Iron House in Iquitos,Peru.You are days away from going up river to Nauta to construct your rafts and paddle three days back to Iquitos.It will be no cakewalk.The Amazon is one powerful unforgiving body of water with banks that collapse in to it,hiding uprooted trees and shrubbery that create swirls and obstructions that will command your attention for five to seven hours a day.But you will be up to the task.I am sure of it.You will take home with you the “bragging rights.I did the Amazon on a balsawood raft!” I envy you all.God speed and good luck!

Tom Richards,from the team,Great White 2008,with Wayne Daughtry,Carlos and Kennedy

To 2009 Rafters

Wait! Wait! Turn back before it’s too late! No, just kidding. Be safe and have fun. Watch out for the river monsters.

Ross Britt, Dragon Boat Healers Raft 2009

Hi from Canada to all you new rafters on your exciting three day adventure. I hope all of you have a few extra days to explore Beautiful Iquitos and its surrounding area.
First of all it is a extreme adventure, and just to complete the race makes everybody a “winner”
As for advice treat the river with respect as anything can happen, trust me I know.
My 19 year old granddaughter was on a raft with two other woman and a guy . The second day they were on the river for 10 hours . She was quoted as saying ” That was the most excruciating painful 10 hours of my life, and if i survived that I can survive anything in the future. Rafters complete the race , When you get home you will have Bragging rights forever.

David Petroski, Captain Canada One 2008

To 2009 Rafters

The Amazon Raft Race was one of the most spontaneous things I’ve ever done, and certainly turned out to be a life-changing experience. Though we came in last place, I feel like I saw the Amazon as well as any body could and that the experience gave momentum to the rest of my time spent in Peru. While it will certainly be hard at times and a test of your patience, you will always be blessed to have been a part of this unique event. I will remember it for the rest of my life. God willing, I will have the fortune someday (and level of insanity) to participate again.

Trevor Merrion, Raft No.42 2008

122 Bryan Iversen September 23, 2009 at 5:56 pm

I participated in this race with 3 other folks I had only known for a very short period of time. In fact, our 4th and final team mate was added the night before the race so It’s safe to say we were strangers. At the end of race and still to this day, I call these fine young gentleman my brothers. This race will test you mentally and physically more so than ever before but will give you a magical feeling that will never disappear. Good Luck Rafters

Bryan Iversen – Wisconsin USA – International 3rd place team Raft Race 2006

123 White Water Rafting Scotland November 11, 2009 at 1:54 am

Among all sport best for me is water sport only. we nice thrilling sport.

124 Scott December 16, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Has a date or time been set for the 2010 raft race?

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