I know that there was a harbor as far as in Porto Feliz (state of São Paulo) on Tietê river. But I wonder whether it was only for the downstream transport, or also the upstream.

I have searched on Google and Wikipedia (EN, ES, PT) to learn about colonization of Brazil, bandeirantes, Argentina etc. But there are still many questions I haven't found an answer for.

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    Please edit details of your research into the question. Dec 29 '19 at 21:11
  • You should state better your question. Are you concerned with traveling from where to where? But in Brazil internal rivers with impassable falls generally it was not 'sailing' with large boats. It was canoeing, and moving the canoes on land up to the top/bottom of the fall. Thus some rivers were not as suitable to long distance high volume commerce as e.g. the Mississippi. From Porto Feliz you could navigate north to Parana River. Tiête River southwards was only navigable locally (other falls in various cities). And Parana River was blocked south by Iguaçu Falls, no easy way to Rio da Plata.
    – Luiz
    Dec 30 '19 at 14:03
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    Follow in Google Maps the Tiete River between São Paulo and Porto Feliz. You will see hydroelectric power dams where there were falls at Pirapora do Bom Jesus, Salto, and Santana do Parnaíba. You can also see various shallow parts with white foam and visible stones. And up to a century ago the river smelled good!
    – Luiz
    Dec 30 '19 at 14:15

Colonizers heading for the gold mines at Cuiabá in the early 18th century used the Panará River. They also used the Tietê River for part of their journey, but not between Sao Paolo and Porto Feliz.

Those seeking their fortunes in Cuiabá made an epic trek of at least five months that pitted them against deprivation, hunger, rapids, whirlpools, and difficult portages. They began by traveling overland from São Paulo to the port of Araritaguaba (Porto Feliz) on the Tietê River, which they descended in canoes to the Panará. This river carried the flotillas southwest before they began a difficult northwest ascent into the interior along the Pardo River and its headwaters.

Source: David Louis Mead, 'CAIAPÓ DO SUL, AN ETHNOHISTORY (1610–1920)' (2010 dissertation)

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Porto Feliz is not marked on the map but is about halfway between Barra Bonita and Sao Paulo. Source: Wikipedia

Earlier, in 1628, the

Spanish governor of Paraguay, Dom Luís Céspedes Xeria, descended the Tietê River on his way to Paraguay

Source: Mead

With the Tietê in particular having a large number of falls and rapids, boats often had to be carried for stretches. Missionaries also used the rivers, sailing both up and down both the Panará and the Tietê. For example, in 1810 Father Manoel Ferraz de Sampaio Botelho descended the Panará "in search of converts". However, some the locals were not interested and Father Sampaio Botelho barely escaped with his life. Then,

On the Paraná River, some of the crewmembers abandoned Father Sampaio and, commandeering one of the river craft, headed back to Porto Feliz. The missionary followed them, turning back and ascending the Paraná.

Source: Mead

Also in 1810 (September),

Father Oliveira Bueno, his brother, Capitão Miguel, and a retinue of men began a 21-day journey down the Tietê to the Paraná in three canoes. Where the two rivers flowed together, they constructed a base camp on an island in the Tietê River...and began attempting to contact the Caiapó by dispatching canoes up and down the Paraná River.

Source: Mead

Later, the Langsdorff Expedition (1826-27), also took the Tiete - Parana river route. In 1838, however, an outbreak of typhoid devastated the region, killing

most of the guides and boatmen capable of making the trip to Cuiabá; this effectively ended the convoys of canoes traveling to and from Cuiabá

Source: Mead

Thus the river trade "collapsed' and a patchwork of roads was used instead.

Much earlier (1526-27), from the Río de la Plata end, Sebastian Cabot and Diego García de Moguer had ascended the Parana up to where it was joined by the Paraguay river.


If your question is about the navigation of Paraná river upstream from its end in Rio de La Plata. Then the answer is no.
In the Paraná river, where nowadays is the Itaipu Dam, were located the Guaíra Falls. Hence, it was not posible to navigate upstream the river beyond that point. But, that does not prevent inner navigation of the rivers inside Brazil.

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