Development of River Navigation in Bolivia
By Rear Admiral Orlando Roca Castedo, Bolivian Navy, (Retired), former Chief of Naval Operations
River navigation in Bolivia goes back to primitive times; Manco Kapac and Mama Ocllo were mariners who sailed from Isla del Sol (Department of La Paz, Bolivia) to found the Inca civilization. There is also mention of the river navigation of Maita Kapac, the Inca who with a naval fleet of 1,000 craft navigated and explored the basins of Bolivia’s present Beni and Mamoré Rivers.
River navigation today is conducted over the hydrographic system of the Amazon and Plata basins which, with 15,000 kilometers of navigable rivers, link these basins with the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The rivers and the Bolivian navigation resulting therefrom are therefore the South American “strategic junction” from which the various Programs of Regional or Latin American Integration and Development radiate and converge.