- Edward Stafford
- Peru (Nevado Mismi, Peru to mouth in Brazil)
The first person to walk the length of the Amazon River was Ed Stafford (UK) and he completed the trip in 2 years, 4 months and 8 days (860 days), finishing on 9 August 2010.
Ed started on 2nd April 2008 and walked 24 of the 28 months with Cho, his guide and friend, from Peru to Brazil.
The course of the river that he walked was 4,345 miles. If you add the 145 miles that he walked from Pacific Ocean to find the source then that totals 4,490 miles coast to coast.
Its the first time anyone has crossed the continent at its widest part truly human-powered too as, unlike the kayak expeditions, they didn't use the river's flow to advance them. Every time he crossed any river he walked back to perpendicular to where he crossed from so that he couldn't be accused of using the river to make any progress.
His Walking the Amazon was not an eco-warrior campaign against deforestation or an activist project for indigenous peoples’ rights. It was a world-first expedition, first and foremost, and it was designed to draw attention to the complexities of the Amazon rainforest. Ed is an expedition leader and writer by profession - he reported what he saw and what he was affected by it. He is personally passionate about stopping deforestation but is of the opinion that to get people to listen, we need to enthuse and inspire them that the Amazon is worth worrying about, rather than forcing arguments down the throats of those that don’t care. So the focus was on creating an adventure so exciting that it can suck people into the Amazon so that they can see it, touch it, smell it and know it. Essentially the more people that care about the Amazon the better.