The Río Ucayali meanders a great deal, making travel time longer than expected for the distance as the crow flies. Distance here is measured in bends, eg the next town is 3 curves away. In the dry season there are many sandbanks; larger boats may travel only by day and tie-up along the shore at night, making the trip much longer. The exposed banks are covered in bright green rice fields (arroz de verano), which attract many birds including Jabiru storks (tuyuyo). Some of the more important towns along the way are Contamana with a floating dock, a large town with a frontier feel ($ Hospedaje Venus, T065-551460, with TV, cheaper with shared bath; several others in town), Orellana ($ Hospedaje Alejandro, T065-830014, with bath, fan; and a couple of other places), Bretaña on the Canal de Puinahua , and Requena, a couple of hours south of the confluence with the Amazon, from where speedboats (rápidos) go to Iquitos.
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