Conquering the Amazon: The Thrilling Drive on the BR-319 Mud Road of Brazil

BR-319 is a challenging Brazilian highway running from Manaus to Porto Velho in the Região Norte do Brazil. The road, impassable during rainy days because of the mud, crosses the States of Amazonas and Rondônia.


Where does Road BR-319 start and finish?

The road is 857km (532 miles) long and runs from Manaus (the capital of the state of Amazonas, situated at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers and the most populous city of Amazonas) to Porto Velho (the capital of the Brazilian state of Rondônia, in the upper Amazon River basin).

When was Road BR-319 built?

The road was built by Brazil's military regime in the 1970s with the intent to open up the Amazon rainforest for economic purposes and crosses the cities of Humaitá, Lábrea, Manicoré, Careiro, Manaquiri, Autazes, and Careiro da Várzea. Opened in 1973, by 1988 the road was impassible, and in 2008 work began to repair the highway.

Is Road BR-319 drivable?

This road is usually passable all year round, but during rainy months can be impassable due to mud. The road features sections of asphalt, gravel, and sand, with crater-sized potholes, broken pavement, and no guardrails. Groups of scientists ask for the cancellation of the reconstruction of the highway. The main argument is that the road would bring more deforestation to one of the preserved regions of the Amazon. However, as it was one of the first roads through the Amazon, know-how was minimal, and the road was built on swampland. This, together with annual floods that washed away dozens of bridges, contributed to the road falling into disuse. Nowadays, all trucks go by boat, and only the adventurous attempt it, camping rough along the way.
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