Navigable rivers of the Bolivian Amazon

The Madera River is the largest and greatest one of Bolivia. In this River join the important water flows such as the Mamoré and Inténez, Beni and Madre de Dios, Yata and Abuná. The basin of the Madera river that extents to the cities of Pando, La Paz, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, Santa Cruz, Beni and part of Oruro and Potosi; it has a total surface of 724 thousand square kilometers, which represent the 65.9 percent of the national territory’s surface.

In addition, 110 thousand square kilometers of the basin correspond to the headwaters of the Madre de Dios river in territory of the Republic of Perú. Only 7 percent of the flow of the Madera river before the confluence of the Abuná river has its origin in Brazilian territory. On the other hand, the Madera river constitutes the natural link via of all the navigable rivers of the Bolivian Amazon with the Amazon river and the Atlantic ocean.

Amazon Basin

The rivers of this basin are usually fast-flowing and meandering, reason why they form numerous lakes and lagoons, such as the Murillo lagoon and the Mentiroso lagoon of the Madre de Dios river. From a hydrological point of view, the Madera river, the main tributary of the Amazon river, is the great collector of the Bolivian rivers, for its flow as well as navigability or potential use. This river forms a natural border with Brazil of 95 km up to its confluence with the Abuná river where it enters Brazilian territory. The area that covers the more than 250 rivers that flow towards the Madera is of 714.415 km².

Tiene dos pequeñas cuencas (Abuná y Acre) y dos cuencas principales (Mamoré y Beni), la de los ríos que al confluir lo forman.

It has two small basins (Abuná and Acre) and two main basins (Mamoré and Beni), formed by the rivers that join together.

Sub-basin of the Acre river, one of the smallest of the country with only 3.722 km². The Acre river is born in Peruvian territory. It is an international river of continuous flow and from its tributary the Yaverija river near the town of Bolpebra (tripartite milestone among Bolivia, Peru and Brazil) along 180 km, it marks the border between Bolivia and Brazil, to receive the flow of the Bahia stream near the city of Cobija from where it enters towards the north in Brazilian territory to flow into the Púrus river and from it to the Amazon river.

Sub-basin of the Abuná river, with a surface of 25.870 km². The Abuná river has its headwaters in the confluence of the Chipamanuy river and Kharamanu river, in the province Nicolás Suárez in the city of Pando and after going 375 km across, it flows into the Madera river, near the town of Manoa. It receives as tributaries the Negro, Mamomanu, Kharamanu, Rapirrán and Chipamanu rivers. Sub-basin of the Mamoré river, a very extense basin, with around 241.600 km², which drains part of the cities of Beni, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Potosí and Chuquisaca.

Sub-basin of the Beni river, with a surface of 133.010 km², it covers part of the cities of Pando, Beni, La Paz and Cochabamba.

The most important lakes and lagoons are the Rogaguado lake of approximately 300 km²; the Rogagua lake, 154 km², and Huaytunas or Ginebra, the largest, with 330 km². There are many more lakes and lagoons, all of them of sweet water, among which stand out the lagoons: Huachi, San Jorge, Nuevo Mundo and Arani or Araré all of them over 60 km².