Main Narrative » Ynes Mexia

Three Thousand Miles up the Amazon

By Ynés E. J. Mexia, Leanna McMillin

Mar 21 2019

At the age of 61, Ynés Mexía embarked on the adventure of a lifetime, traversing South America east to west via the Amazon River. Her love for exploration is palpable in her descriptions of traveling the river by boat, becoming marooned for 3 months in the Sierra del Pongo, and eventually constructing a raft out of balsa wood and lianas to return to Iquitos. The New York Botanical Garden is fortunate to have many of her collections from this time. They are presented here with excerpts from her essay “Three Thousand Miles up the Amazon.”

"This vision of the unspoiled wilderness drew me irresistibly, and from this tale of how I went and what I found you shall judge what there is of fact and what of fiction in the old stories." - Ynes Mexia

Mexia, Y. (1933, February). Three Thousand Miles up the Amazon. Sierra Club Bulletin, 18(1), 88-96.