Shipping Bike from Manaus?
Hello HU--first post here. I'm planning a trip from the USA to Ushaia, set to leave around May 10, 2013. While I've got a good general itinerary, the endgame is still vague. I am going to be taking a ferry from Belem to Manaus and am thinking of ending my journey there and flying home.
Does anyone have any experience shipping a bike to the US from Manaus? What shipper did you use and how expensive was it?
IMHO once you have gotten all the way to Manaus I would just ride the easy roads all the way to Bogota Colombia and ship back to Miami, in the grand scheme of things it's not than many miles more after a trip to TDF and besides the gas is nearly free in VZ. Perfectly good roads North to Venezuela and easy riding to Colombia. Every thing I've read and heard about shipping out of Brazil was a PITA, Bogota to Miami is as cheap as any getting a bike back to the States from SA.
I'm sure it is possible but to me it would make more sense shipping the bike from Belem at the mouth of the Amazon river than Manuas way up the river, you'll be on a boat and it wouldn't make sense to pay to ship the bike with you and turn around and ship it back out to Belem again. Unless you are shipping by air and then again I hear there are more flights going South out of Manaus than North.
Just amounts to money and I have yet to read or hear about a person who shipped their bike from Manaus to the States.
Welcome to the boardbier
John, it's an honor to get a reply from you. I appreciate the depth of your experience and willingness to share.
You're right that it would be cheaper and probably more sensible to ship the bike home from Belem than from Manaus. My thinking (or lack thereof) on this was informed by various riders I've read and talked to who counseled me not to get separated from my bike when shipping it. This is probably something easier to do in theory than in practice. I suppose I could ship from Belem and not get on the Amazon ferry til I saw the plane take off or the ship sail with my own eyes. Do you have any experience or info on shipping from Belem, either by air or sea?
I'll consider your suggestion on running north from Manaus into Venezuela and turning left into Colombia. I'm trying to get home by Christmas 2013, which is why I was looking at the Manaus/Belem options.
The important part of what John says is that shipping from Brazil is a bitch. Although probably none of us knows firsthand (since no one ever ships from Belem or Manaus), it's a safe bet these would be as bad as Sao Paulo or Rio, about which riders have been complaining since time immemorial.
So: no one is saying it would be easy to ship from Belem; it's just that Belem might be less torturous than Manaus. In any case, you'll probably have to decide whether you'd rather spend a week or two trying to organize this in Brazil, or spend your time riding on good roads through Venezuela and Colombia, both of which are great fun. There are people in Colombia with a lot of experience arranging shipping.
Caveat: I've got no direct experience on the shipping end in Brazil. I've just listened to too many complaints over the years, while watching people do it with relative ease in B.A. or from various places in Colombia. You'd be welcome to prove me wrong, and would contribute greatly to the collective understanding if you did try to ship from northern Brazil, then posted your experience here.
Hope that's helpful.
I think your best bet is to plan to ride out to Colombia, I would think you could get to Bogota in under a week from Manaus riding really hard but it would be a shame to hustle through VZ and Colombia if you have not ridden through before. The roads make it easily doable but what a waste to have to ride so much so fast, maybe plan to leave a little earlier lol!
Goodluck with whatever you plan for your trip.
Brazil exit by air is a PITA
We shipped out of Brazil in March of 2008 when Colombia and Venezuela were having some kind of p*****g contest on the border.
We had been on a boat from Porto Velho to Manaus for three days and had been out of the loop for a while and didn't want to get stuck in VZ.
We went to the airport and tried to do it ourselves, but had to follow the rules and use a freight agency.
Manaus is some sort of "duty free zone" and they take things very serious.
The whole process took about three days, we had to acquire crates, crate and remove lots of parts, and pay to truck the bikes to the airport.
The agent was a wonderful guy that took us out on the Amazon on his personal boat to a hidden restaurant up a tributary and showed us the town,but even he seemed kind of inexperienced at the moto shipping thing.
He had to make a special last minute trip to let the air out of our tires to stay within the rules.
Total cost was about $2,000 per bike if I'm not mistaken, plus the three days.
If you go to Miami, there are no cheap hotels close to the airport, so plan it so you don't have to wait for Monday to get your bike out.
If you're looking for a boat experience the Porto Velho / Manaus is down stream and a little quicker than Belem / Manaus.
If I knew then what I know now........I would have taken my chances to get to Colombia.
Markharf: this is why I posted to the board--to get the benefit of other people's experience. You may have answered a question that was bothering me, namely, why there are almost no reports of people shipping bikes out of Brazil. This sounds like a good time to heed the collective wisdom.
John: you convinced me. I ordered a map of Venezuela today. And yes, I'll take my time.
Runoft: your first-person report is terrific, the most valuable response yet. I won't be hitting Porto Velho this trip; can't do everything and as John points out, I wouldn't want to rush through a great trip.
Thank you all. See you on the road....
I may be in the wrong spot here, but have been forced to change my bike to a 2 wheel drive camperavan. Long story short, but now need to do Porto Velho to Manaus. Seems the boat´s expensive (even more for a car) just how bad is the road (obviously the most recent traveller has the best info), ie. obviously the rainy season (right now) is impossible. But we will be there around beginning March. Is it possible (with a lot of patience)?
Would be sooooo much easier if I could keep my bike:frown:
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