Iquitos is in the Amazonas region of Peru. This is not to be confused with the Department Amazonas where Chachapoyas is located. Iquitos is the capital of the vast Department of Loreto, which covers most of the northern Amazon region of Peru.
For travelers, Iquitos offers a vast selection of activities not found elsewhere in Peru, such as Amazon boat rides and great wildlife viewing. One way to see Peru is to visit the 3 areas - Costal, Andes, and Amazon -- and Iquitos is the best way to see the Amazon.
Iquitos is hot and humid (90 percent), year round. The population is very diverse: there were many periods of big wealth in Iquitos (mainly two with rubber and oil) that brought people from around the world and made it the most important fluvial port in the Peruvian Amazon. The city still has a lot of houses which were built during that age. 'Iquiteños' (or 'Iquitinos') are usually very friendly and like to party.
As a city not accessible by road, motocycles and motocarros dominate unlike anywhere else. Imagine if an American style biker-gang had taken over a city. This makes the city a bit more manic and loud. Other results include remarkably fluid (if chaotic) traffic, a preponderance of motocycle ads and repair shops, and a sub-industry of people who agree to guard your motorcycle while you shop (even placing cardboard on the seat to keep it cooler during the day).
Travelers should be aware that Iquitos is located in the region of Loreto, one of the poorest regions in Peru. Though there are remnants of houses from glory days past, it is easy to observe the poverty and struggles of many Iquiteños in every day life. Unfortunately, the government's solution has been to give the people economic incentives to use the rainforest for income without ecological supervision or constraint. The region has long suffered a deeply entrenched illegal logging and wood laundering system which supplies raw material for several international corporations, including the most popular international manufacturer of compressed wood furniture.
Visitors to Iquitos should choose their activities, shopping and jungle trips carefully to avoid contributing to further destruction of this fragile region. Popular activities include handling and taking photos with jungle animals, visiting establishments that display animals in enclosures, buying souvenirs made from animal parts, and sampling exotic jungle meats. All of these activities encourage and perpetuate the local practice of illegally capturing and hunting animals to meet tourist demand. Once home, travelers can continue to help this region by avoiding compressed wood products sourced from Peru and demanding that manufacturers provide indisputable proof of the ecological soundness of their products.
Geographic and Climatic Data for Iquitos Peru
This data for Iquitos Peru is from the NASA Langley Atmospheric Science Data Research Center.
Latitude: Minus 3.75 degrees south of the equator.
The elevation above sea level is approximately 106 meters or 351 feet.
The Coordinated Universal Time of Peru is UTC-5, the same as Florida and New York, Eastern Standard Time. Remember that Peru doesn't observe daylight savings time, so Iquitos will be the same time as Central Standard Time for about half of the year.
The time difference between the longest day and the shortest day is only 18 minutes.
The temperature measured by ° F averaged from 22 years of data per month:
The average rainfall at the Iquitos Port is 103 inches per year. March and April have slightly more rain on a 10 year average, and July and August have slightly less than average, but contrary to popular belief there is very little difference in month to month precipitation in Iquitos. The water level of the river fluctuates by as much as 40 feet per year, triggered by rainfall and snow melt on the east slopes of the Andes.
iperu, tourist information and assistance, 161 Napo street-4th office (the last office) - Plaza de Armas/Main Square, ☎ (+51 65) 236144 / 260251 and the 24/7 line: (+51 1) 5748000 (email@example.com), . M-Sa from 9AM to 6PM and Sunday from 9AM to 1PM (iperú works on holidays). Service free of charge. edit
The Peruvian government features a free service to travelers that gives information on different attractions and assistance. Listings are broad but not comprehensive, as businesses have to pay to be listed. In case the service rendered does not comply with the one agreed by you, you may write to iperu email to plan your travel and ask them for the record of the tourism companies that you consider.
Iquitos is widely considered the largest continental city unreachable by road. That leaves planes and boats as the primary means of entrance and egress for both people and supplies.
Do not expect to see a city with all the trappings of the western world. This city is very basic as it has no road connection with the rest of the world. Vehicles are old and most vehicles on the meager roads are "motor taxis" or three wheeler motorbikes which can carry three at a pinch. The people are friendly once you get past the taxi drivers at the airport
There are numerous flights to Iquitos from the capital Lima. LAN  flies 4 to 5 times per day; Peruvian Airlines  flies twice daily and offers flights without penalties and other facilities. Star Peru may offer slightly lower prices but does a stopover at Tarapoto or Pucallpa on the way to re-fuel and drop off/pick up passengers. Be aware that the stopover in Tarapoto often causes delays up to several hours. Avianca has also started service to Iquitos. Flights are from $55 USD to $200 USD, depending the season and promotions.
Copa Airlines  has recently begun offering direct flights into Iquitos Airport from Panama International Airport allowing travelers to skip Lima Airport altogether. As of this post, they offer two flights in and out of Iquitos each week on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
It is suggested to check prices in all the airlines in advance to get cheap tickets. Prices on the domestic airlines are often cheaper when buying from within Peru.
When arriving at the airport, consider stopping at the official iPeru, Tourist Information and Assistance Office of the Peruvian Tourist Board (PromPerú) before exiting the terminal. You can get a free map and brochure (without ads!), a list of tour providers, recommendations about what to see and do and safety recommendations. They may help you in case of problems and complaints in all over Peru. Please note their listings are broad but not comprehensive, as businesses have to pay to be listed.
Upon exiting the airport, there will be several mototaxis and a few cars waiting to win your fare to town. Average rate for mototaxi into the center of town is s/. 10 and for a car is s/. 20. Note that many mototaxi drivers may try to bring you somewhere other than where you requested to go because they earn commission. Communicate with your lodging before you arrive to get an idea of how long the ride should take or to arrange a private airport pick-up.
The trip from Francisco de Orellana (Coca), Ecuador to Iquitos takes over 8 days. The first five days are around the Yasuni National Park in the lagoon of Jatuncocha (Ecuador). It then leaves on an adventure from Nuevo Rocafuerte heading towards Iquitos. This expedition goes 1,140 km along the Napo River and the Amazon River. The Napo River is one of the most important tributaries of the mighty Amazon River. The source of the Napo comes from small streams flowing from the Cotopaxi and Antisana volcanoes. Normally, there is only 1 cargo ship every 10 days.
Yurimaguas has daily cargo ship trips to Iquitos that take 2-2.5 days to arrive (except Sundays or on holidays). Getting to Yurimaguas is non trivial, because its airport no longer has flights. Yurimaguas is 3 hour by bus from Tarapoto.
To get Yurimaguas, first you have to get Tarapoto, a large city that has daily flights from Lima on Star Peru (the airline). You can get Tarapoto by bus from Lima (about 20 hours) or Chiclayo in northern Peru (about 18 hours). From Loja, Ecuador, you can take a bus to Pedro Ruiz, a town in Peru, where you can get Chachapoyas or Tarapoto. Tarapoto and Moyobamba are known as "The Orchids Valley".
It takes around 4 days to get to Iquitos from Lima. It takes around 4 days to get to Yurimaguas from Quito, Ecuador.
It just so happens that if you continue down the Amazon from Iquitos, the point at which the river leaves Peru is at both the Brazilian and Colombian borders.
Tabatinga (Brazil) or Leticia (Colombia) has Monday to Saturday cargo ship trips to Iquitos, that take about 3 days. Therefore, you can choose the speedboats from Tuesday to Sunday, the trip takes 9 - 10 hours (USD 65.00).
The most common way to move around town is by motocarro, a motorcycle with a small, rickshaw-like passenger cabin in the back. Taxis are available too, but the heat and availability of the moto-taxis makes it advisable to take a motocarro. Sometimes the 2 soles ride is worth the cost just for the breeze. Most places you will want to go within the city cost about 2 soles, but places further away (for example, from the airport to Plaza de Armas) usually costs about 3 soles or more. The drivers often make their money by kickbacks from the hotels they take you to.
It's hard to understate how available and prevalent the motocarros are in the city. Near the city center, it's common for 2 or 3 empty motocarros to pass you on the street in any given minute. The driver will make eye contact with you, hoping that you are interested in a ride. Not all motocarros are identical in the quality of their ride; older ones will tend to transfer the vibration of the motorcycle to the passenger cabin, while newer and better maintained ones won't. When taking a motocarro, it can be comfortable on longer rides to hail a newer-looking one.
If you're economically minded, it can be fun to learn about the economics of motocarros. As of May 2010, it is typical for the drivers to rent their taxis for S/.10.00 Soles/hour or S/.25 - 30 Soles/day.
Many motocarristas (those who drive the motocarros) make excellent city guides. Motocarristas are extremely friendly and outgoing, in fact, they are too outgoing and even aggressive in their pursuit to gain a passenger. So tourists can enjoy some peace in Iquitos, do not take a ride from a taxi driver who asks you for a ride when you are sitting and eating.
When you exit the airport you will be approached very aggressively by the taxi drivers (this is a more acceptable place for taxi driver aggression.) The drive from the airport to the city center is quite a distance, relative to the size of the Iquitos area. Current price is 10 soles, although it may be possible to negotiate if you have the energy. Anyone offering a lower price will likely try to take you to a hotel or hostel that pays them; if you already have a hotel in mind, stay firm and they will take you there.
The riverfront is just one block from the Plaza de Armas. In the low water season it will retreat and thus not be terribly visible. The waterfront walk also seems to be the place where local high schoolers go to canoodle, so if you stroll it be prepared to see lots of this. There is a somewhat big crafts market right below the walk, called Anaconda Center.
The Plaza de Armas is a mix of mostly modern and rubber boom styles. Cities like Iquitos turned into one long party during that age, where no expense was spared, nor eccentricity nor luxury lacking. As part of the legacy of this rubber boom age of abundance, Iquitos still bears traces of the extravagant taste of the rubber barons: mosaic tiles in Italian-style palaces, the bustling riverside walkway or the Iron House, a famous residence designed by Gustave Eiffel that was built from metal sheets. It was carried by hundreds of men through the jungle. There are a few street performers, a fountain, some statues, and one Catholic church. It is quite busy on a Saturday evening.
Today, in the city of Iquitos, the modest local homes -not without a certain kitsch charm- exist alongside French mansions, today largely used as public offices. When rubber seeds were smuggled out of the country, the rubber industry moved to Malaysia, signifying the end of the rubber barons. The memory of this past filled with abundance, however, lives on in the eccentric buildings which testify to an exuberant and wild era.
Casa de Fierro (The Iron House), On the corner of Próspero and Putumayo (Main Square). edit It houses crafts shops and a restaurant.
Ex Hotel Palace (Former Hotel Palace), On the corner of Putumayo and Tarapacá (One block from Plaza de Armas). edit overlooking the Itaya River.
Mercado Artesanal de San Juan (San Juan handicraft market), Km. 4.5 Av. Abelardo Quiñones. M-Su from 8AM to 6PM. edit
Amazonian Manatee (sea cow) Orphanage (Run by the ACOBIA NGO, supported by the IIAP-Institute for Investigation of the Peruvian Amazon and the Dallas World Aquarium), Km 4.5 of Iquitos Nauta highway, (firstname.lastname@example.org). M-Su from 9AM to 12:30, and from 2PM to 4PM. Service free of charge. edit this projects aims to rescue orphaned manatees, whose mothers have been killed by locals for food. They also have educational programs for local communities and schools about the importance of the preservation of this species. The employees are very enthusiastic about the animals. Currently (Dec. 2009) they have 4 almost grown up animals in a pond and 4 babies in a smaller swimming pool. Probably the only place in the world where you can bottle feed manatee babies. The entry is free, but a donation is expected. Take a mototaxi from downtown for about 15 soles to get there. They also accept volunteers to educate local school kids.
Complejo Turístico de Quistococha, Km 6.5 of Iquitos Nauta highway (Around 12 km from Main Square). M-Su from 8AM to 5PM. Adult: S/.3.00 Nuevos Soles. Child: S/.1.00 Nuevo Sol. edit
Centro de Investigaciones Allpahuayo del IIAP (CIA-IIAP), Km 26.8 Iquitos Nauta highway (Located inside the Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve), ☎ (+51 65) 26-7733 / 26-5515 / 26-5516 (email@example.com). All around the week. From 16.00 Nuevos Soles. edit
Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Among rivers Marañón, Ucayali and Amazonas, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Everyday. 3 days by S/. 60.00 Nuevos Soles; 7 days by S/.120.00 Nuevos Soles. edit The most extensive national protected area in all over Peru, and the most extensive in all over the floodable Amazon rainforest in South America.
Fundo Pedrito ((alligator farm)), Barrio Florido village, river Amazonas (45 minutes by boat from the Bellavista Nanay port, Iquitos). M-Su from 8AM to 4PM. S/.5.00 Nuevos Soles. edit It houses around 10 spectacled alligators, paiches (the biggest freshwater fish in the Amazon basin and one of the longest fish in the world) and the Victoria amazonica (the biggest lily-pad in the world). The admission fee includes fish to feed alligators and paiches.
Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm & Amazon Animal Orphanage, Padre Cocha Village (10 minutes walking from the village), ☎ (+51 65) 965-932999 (email@example.com), . Tu-Su from 9AM to 4PM. Adult: S/.20.00 Nuevos Soles; Student: S/.10.00 Nuevos Soles; Child: S/.3.00 Nuevos Soles. edit At Pilpintuwasi you can see the complete life cycle and learn about the impressing development of butterflies. At the Amazon Animal Orphange you can see the rescued endangered animals that were illtreated, such as anteaters, monkeys, tapirs or Pedro Bello, the Jaguar. Pilpintuwasi is on the Nanay River Front near the village of Padre Cocha. It's about 20min by boat from Bellavista-Nanay. There are boats all day long. During the dry season you have to walk about 15min from the village. Volunteers are also regularly needed for help!
La Isla de los Monos (The Monkey Island), Timicurillo island, river Amazonas. (Around 45 minutes away from Bellavista Nanay port, Iquitos.), ☎ (+51 65) 23-3801 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . M-Su from 8AM to 4PM. S/.10.00 Nuevos Soles. edit Here they have a variety of different monkey species (some endangered), as well as a sloth, some coatis, a pair of toucans and macaws, all of which are free to roam and go into the jungle, but are domesticated and hang around for the food. They happily play, climbing on visitors (and try to take things from you such as glasses, wallets). You can go as part of a tour, Dawn on the Amazon offer tours for US$65 including lunch or a visit is included in the itineraries of several lodge stays, e.g. Cumaceba. To go there by yourself, simply catch a moto-taxi to Bellavista-Nanay, walk 100 m through the market to the water and organise to hire a boat from the boat owner's association. A return trip that can include a trip to Fundo Pedrito on the way should cost S/. 100 in total (per boat, not per person).
The river Amazonas and the Amazon rainforest, Next to Iquitos city. edit
The Morey and Cohen houses still stand on the Prospero street, which is the main street. Worth photographing.
La Plaza 28 de Julio, the biggest square in Peru, there are very good 'Chifa' (Peruvian Chinese) restaurants around the square.
One of the major attractions of Iquitos and the AmazonRain Forest is the native tribes.
Visitors beware: There are several so-called 'serpentarios' in and around Iquitos, most notably two called 'Las Boas'. Even though these places claim to be 'animal rescue centers', they are illegal operations, where animals are exploited for monetary gain. Tourists are charged inflated entry rates of up to 40 soles per person, to see some animals that are often malnourished and sick, and kept under horrible conditions. As these places pay handsome kick-backs to boat owners who bring them tourists, it occurs regularly that tourists who hire a boat to take them to Pilpintuwasi, Monkey Island, or the Caiman Farm, are actually dropped off at one of the serpentarios. Don't be fooled, ripped off and cheated out of a visit to one of the better places; and don't support crime against nature with your money. Make sure you avoid the serpentarios.
The main reason to visit Iquitos is that it serves as a launch point for trips into the Amazon. Single day or multi-day trips can be booked for around S/.130 Nuevos Soles per person per day (USD45). You are taken out on a boat and can view wildlife such as monkeys, alligators, giant lily-pads, baby caimans (sort of like mini-alligators), anacondas, boas, tarantulas, and more.
Your taxi driver or hotel concierge will be more than happy to contact a tour guide for you, as they get a kickback for the referral. However by using this kickback referral system, you will be guaranteed the highest possible price and lowest possible service. Besides, take note that in Iquitos there are not an official tour guide associations so never pay attention to street guides or freelancer guides; at the best, they are expensive, and at the worst, corrupt and dangerous. It would be best to visit or contact directly a bunch of regular (licensed) tour companies' offices and compare their prices and guides. Usually, their offices are located around the Main Square. Remember, a nice-looking travel agency's office it may be a sign of quality. An unsightly office or an aggressive vendor or guide could not be good or, at worst, scammers. Guides and staff could be friendly but they are sellers expecting your money. Always be aware.
Iperu, the government tourist information office, offers free nationwide service for travelers, but beware that their listings are not comprehensive as businesses have to pay to be listed. They may assist you in case you have problems or need to do procedures anywhere over Peru. The Iperu address is 161 Napo street (right off from the Main Square) and they open including on holidays, or contact them by phone (+51 65) 23-6144 or their 24 hours line (+51 1) 574-8000 or they email email@example.com. In iquitos, they work from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm and Sunday from 9am to 1pm. They have an office in the Arrival Lounge of the Iquitos' Airport.
It is possible to visit most of the attractions by yourself, except the rainforest and the reserves.
In the case of the indigenous tribes and for visit jungle areas or the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is suggested to hire ONLY a licensed company in their offices, never in the streets. Remember that the closest indigenous tribes live according to modern life customs and only perform a show for tourists, as the Bora tribe in the river Momón (in many cases their show are most expensive than their real value).
Day 1: Pilpintuwasi butterfly farm (early in the morning, except Mondays), Fundo Pedrito and the Amazonas river (afternoon). Budget: Around S/.45 - 55.00 Nuevos Soles, includes transportation in mototaxi, boat and admission fees. You may save around S/.10.00 with a Student Card in the Butterfly Farm.
Day 2: Belén market (optional), the Manatee orphanage, Quistococha and the San Juan handicraft market. Budget: Around S/.50 - 60.00 Nuevos Soles, includes transportation in Mototaxi and admission fees. You may save around S/.10.00 Nuevos Soles if you take a micro (the typical wooden buses of Iquitos) instead of a mototaxi to get the Sea Cow orphanage or Quistococha complex.
Day 3: Monkey Island and the river Amazonas. Budget: S/.65.00 Nuevos Soles, includes transportation in Mototaxi and admission fees. You may save S/.15.00 with a Student Card in the Manatee orphanage and save around S/.10.00 more if you take a micro (the typical wooden buses of Iquitos) instead of a mototaxi.
Day 4 and onwards: Taking a jungle tour. If you have 3 days or more, visit the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, the biggest government-protected natural area in South America's floodable Amazonia and one of the best places to see animals in the wild. If you don't have enough time or money, you may visit the non-government protected jungle. A referential or average budget for a tour in a non-government protected jungle area in a cheap and registered travel agency is around S/.120.00 - 150.00 Nuevos Soles/person/day (around USD40-50), in an Ecolodge is around S/.180 - 300.00 Nuevos Soles/person/day (USD60-100). Prices for the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve are slighty highter tha a regular jungle, these are from S/.200.00 - 300.00 Nuevos Soles/person day (USD65-100). See more information below.
There are many lodges and resorts which are carefully controlled. The facilities are adequate, with some being very well appointed. You can book in the city or pay for a full package in Lima or through a travel agent. If you buy in Iquitos, is suggested contact only companies registered in iPerú, Tourist Information and Assistance (by PromPerú, the Peruvian Tourism Board). Contact the company offices directly (in their offices, by phone or email) and avoid intermediaries, especially taxi and mototaxi drivers, freelance guides and all the insistent people (remember, they are not your friends, actually they are touts working for the most informal companies).
Be aware of "guides" who solicit on the street. They offer their work for a very cheap fee but they do not have any guarantee. They are not official guides in Iquitos. They will show you an ID of the company they "work" for to gain your confidence. Most of them are scammers
A common scam is to show you on Tripadvisor that they have many excellent references. Actually they show you the Tripadvisor profile of an official and recognised company that is different. Think about checking if the name is exactly the same !
Amazon Muyuna Lodge, 140 km or 84 miles, office: Putumayo 163, Ground, Iquitos, PERU (One block Putumayo street from Plaza de Armas/Main Square), ☎ office: (+51) 065 242858 / 065 965721164 (English - Spanish) (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Located 140 km upriver from Iquitos inside the reserve Tanmshiyacu Tahuayo in the Yanayacu river, through the Amazonas River. This intimate lodge is surrounded by 10 well conserved natural lagoons, in a remote area less colonized than jungle downriver. Actually Muyuna use solar panels in order to provide enough electricity to use led lights, recharge batteries and to use some appliances (No tv, internet, radios, mobile phone). Muyuna offers activities by boat, kayak, trekking in which you can find a variety of birds, monkeys, mammals, medicinal plants, pink and gray dolphins, piranhas, sloth among other species in their own habitat. The bungalows are stilted thatched and protect with mosquito screen all around, with a private bathroom and a balconing with hammocks. Muyuna offer a great amazon experience different than other Lodges downriver. edit
Amazon Explorer, 257 Loreto street, corner with Fitzcarrald street (three blocks -around 300 meters or 0.18 miles- from Plaza de Armas/Main Square), ☎ (+51) 965-828888 (Spanish) and (+51) 989-897784 (English; Dutch & French) (email@example.com), . 24-hours by phone. Amazon Explorer is a licensed company operating since 2004 that organizes expeditions to the Amazon rainforest, to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (a RAMSAR site and the largest government protected area over the South American floodable Amazon basin, with twice the area of the Yellowstone National Park in the USA); to remote indigenous tribes as the Matses (known also as Mayorunas), the Shuar people (known also as Jibaros), the Urarinas and so on, all these tribes keep their traditional customs and heritage (expeditions to remote indigenous tribes requires as minimum 12 days, because that it is advisable to contact at least two weeks in advance); expeditions for scientific research or students; expeditions to unexplored areas in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest; and jungle survival training courses. Also, Amazon Explorer offers day trips and boat tours to the nearby tourist attractions in Iquitos (Peruvian Amazon): Quistococha, the Manatee Orphanage, the San Juan's Handicraft fair, the nearby Yagua native tribe, the Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm, the Allpahuayo Mishana Nat. Reserve, the Monkey Island, Pedrito (a farm of alligators, victoria regia & paiches), and the rivers Amazon and Nanay.From EUR59 (US$80) / person / day. edit
Amazonia Expeditions Tahuayo Lodge, (On the Tahuayo River, 70 miles southeast from Iquitos.), ☎ (1) 800 262 9699 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Doing business since 1981. The lodge resides in the most biologically diverse region yet described in the Amazon. It is located by the reserve "Area de Conservacion Regional Communal de Tamishiyacu- Tahuayo" (ACRCTT) which covers over 1.1 Million acres of rich tropical rainforest. In 2003, Chicago Fields Museums Rapid Biology Inventory #11 found more species of mammals and trees in the reserve than any other documented natural area in the entire world. The bird list exceeds 600 species. With a main lodge and a research lodge, it has the longest canopy zip line in the Amazon. All parties are given a skilled private guide who will customize the itinerary to meet the special interest and needs of the clients.edit
Curassow Amazon Lodge, 100 km or 65 miles, ☎ (+5165) 635253 / (+51) 942139785 (email@example.com), . Curassow Amazon Lodge is located 100 km (70 miles) upriver from Iquitos, Peru and about 1 ½ hours by speedboat via the city of Nauta. This lodge is located in primary rainforest within a government-protected area which is exceedingly rich in species of both plants and animals. This ease the observation of birds, monkeys, sloths, pink and grey dolphins, piranhas, tarantulas, frogs, caimans or alligators, scorpions, rodents, the giant water lily (the biggest aquatic plant in the world), medicinal plants, swim in lagoons and rivers where dolphins live, camping, hiking, canoeing, visit local villages, eat exotic foods, navigate along the Amazon River, etc. Curassow Amazon Lodge is located between the buffer zone of The Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve which covers an area of 2'080,000 hectares (more than 5'000,000 acres) and the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Communal Reserve-ACRCTT (322,500 hectares or 796,914 acres).edit
Jangala Retreat Center, (on the banks of the Amazon), . Features five secluded bungalows and a picturesque yoga pavilion set on the banks of the Amazon River. Offers yoga techniques, massage therapies, reflexology, spa treatments, and activities that release tension from the body, mind and spirit.edit
Maniti Camp Expeditions, Jr. Huallaga 240, Floor 2 (one block west of the Plaza de Armas), ☎ (+51) 1-707-0441 (Spanish/English) (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 24-hours by phone. Maniti Camp Expeditions is a fully licensed and registered tour operator and Ecolodge located on the banks of the Amazon River, about 1.5 hours downriver from the city of Iqiutos city. We organize custom all inclusive jungle expeditions, amazon riverboat cruises, trips to Pacaya Samiria Reserve, indigenous tribe encounters (Matses, Yaguas, Boras, Huitotos, Ocianas), shamanic retreats with ayahuasca and more. All excursions are led by local, professional, certified, multi-lingual guides with many years of experience in the Amazon Rainforest. As a leader in sustainable adventure travel in and around Iquitos, Maniti Camp Expeditions works with local communities, businesses and individuals to develop sustainable ecotourism opportunities that help the local economy while minimizing negative environmental and cultural impacts. Maniti Expeditions is an internationally recognized Iquitos Jungle Lodge & Iquitos Tour Operator that specializes in custom tailored Guided Jungle Excursions. Itineraries from 1 to 10+ days, depending on each and every traveler’s particular interests and time available.edit
Mirror of the Amazons (email@example.com), http://impressiveiquitos.blogspot.com/, ☎ +51 965-323-416. Rosendo is an experienced and reliable guide who can be counted upon for competitive rates and interesting tours. He knows a lot about the nature reserves, native medicinal plants and animals, and has many contacts all around Iquitos.edit
San Pedro Lodge, (Inside the Amazon rainforest. About 1 hour from the city.), ☎ (+51) 955 628 164 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Rustic jungle lodge located next to a quiet river, in which you can swim or take the canoe out for exploring or fishing. San Pedro Lodge is the perfect place to get away and disconnect. The San Pedro Lodge offers cheap day trips with a personal guide in and around Iquitos. They also offers jungle expeditions to the Yarapa river. Price from 38 USD per person.(-3.754394,-73.339362)edit
Tapiche Reserve (Reviewed on Tripadvisor, group or private, customized itinerary upon request. Welcome all bird watchers, fishermen, mammalwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts!), Booking Office inside Green Track Hostel, Calle Ricardo Palma 516, Iquitos, ☎ (+51) 65 600-805 (+51) 950 664 049 (email@example.com), . The only lodge in Iquitos with a strict no catching/no caging policy. Every photo a tourist takes with a sloth, snake or other jungle animal encourages locals to go out and catch more, killing the mothers to capture the babies. The remote location of the lodge (GPS coordinates Lat -5.63913, Lon -73.985023) allows for observation of rare and endangered animals (e.g. Amazonian manatee, giant otter, red uakari monkey) flourishing undisturbed in the wild. For birdwatchers there are active nests of harpy and crested eagles and a massive heronry with agami and boat-billed herons, among many others. This 1540 hectare private property encompasses various ecosystems and has no competing tour operators. Visits directly fund local salaries and maintenance and protection of the property. By employing locals, the Reserve has helped several former hunters and loggers climb out of debt and improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.edit
If you want to party, there are dance clubs all over the city. All Iquiteños love to party in their own way. That's non-stop partying all year round!. Beer and other cold beverages are cheaper than in Lima (subsidized by the government). Often times clubs will not let men in if they are wearing sandals or unbuttoned shirts.
Renting a motorcycle and driving around the city and out towards the airport is a cheap and an exhilarating way to experience Iquitos and the surrounding area. Only do so if (1) you are an experienced motorcycle driver, and (2) you can handle the manic traffic. A nice drive is to Nauta about 90 km away from Iquitos (pass the airport) on a nice calm road trough the jungle. The police have been known to target foreign-looking drivers, since they can often pay larger bribes. One way the police make extra money is to stand by the side of the road and flag over most everyone who drives by. The ones who do pull over will often pay a small fee for the privilege (perhaps to help the police "fix the crack in their windshield.") If you can tell that no one will come after you if don't pull over, consider pretending not to see them and continuing to drive on.
Taxi Norma, ☎ (+51) 965964819 (Español) / (+51) 950576255 (English) (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mo-Su from 7AM to 9:30PM (including on holidays). Mrs. Norma Arzubialdes offers safe and reliable taxi/cab service. Her car holds 4 people comfortably (it can hold 5 people in a pinch). She offers transfer from the Iquitos' airport to your hotel or downtown and vice versa, city tours, and short land tours to Quistococha Tourist Complex, the Manatees Rescue Centre, and Handicraft Market of San Juan. Pilpintuwasi Butterfly farm and Fundo Pedrito alligator farm are available upon request. It's advisable to contact her in advance (1 or 2 days or more in advance). She only speaks Spanish.Transfer between Iquitos' airport to downtown S/. 20 Soles (around US$7), S/. 25 Soles per hour (around US$8 to 10). edit
Visión Motos, Nauta 309 (tel. 065/234-759). Rates for 1 and 3 hours are 10 and 20 soles respectively.
The floating market, known as Belén, is on the embankment in Iquitos.
Over 150 native communities from upriver come down here to sell their produce in the Market. Belen is the hub of every village within miles, chaotic, flavorful, practical and superstitious, thriving on and above a strip of land that is seasonally flooded. For a series of photo-essays on Belen, check out The Belen Street Market, Pasaje Paquito (if you want to buy exotic drinks this is THE place), and Floating in Belen.
If you want to buy crafts, you can go to the San Juan crafts market.
Be careful as there are many thieves and pickpockets in this market. Take extreme caution, don't carry valuables in ANY outwardly accessible pockets, and dress down so you are not an obvious target. The area is often patrolled by police, but be aware that many are corrupt. Police may even offer to "escort" you through more dangerous and illegal sections of the market where rare and endangered species are traded. The police are the ones who should be shutting those sections down, but many have discovered how to profit from them instead--if they don't ask you for a tip or charge a fee for their services, they receive a kickback from the illegal animal vendors. To stay safe and prevent further crimes against nature, do not accept these kinds of deals with the police or any other guide.
Travellers shopping for souvenirs in local markets and shops should be aware that many items are manufactured from endangered species, and that buying such items subsidizes the continuing destruction of ecological communities in local habitats. Necklaces made from jaguar and black caiman teeth are often offered for sale, as are bracelets and other ornaments made from spotted cat skins. Other items recently seen in riverside tourist shops include the heads and feet of harpy eagles, the claws of giant anteaters, and jaguar skulls. All items like these are are illegal to own, to export from Peru, and to import into Australia, the USA and the European Union. Shop ethically (and stay out of trouble)!
If you are new to Iquitos and the Amazon, you are in for a real treat. The food in Iquitos is excellent. It is an exotic blend of Peruvian, Brazilian, and Colombian food with influences from the Andes and the Pacific Coast. Try the 'juane' and the 'tacacho'. If you want something cold (most likely you will need it because of the heat) there are excellent 'heladerias' (ice cream shops) like Shambo (the main Shambo is in Grau avenue, close to 28 de Julio Square, and the second in the corner of Huallaga St. and Morona St.), Giornata in Plaza de Armas, and La Favorita in Prospero St. The other place to eat clean traditional food is in "La Mishquina", is in Prospero with Brasil 501.
(unknown) veggie restaurant. Nice little veggie restaurant. For S/.10 you get a fruit refresco, bread, salad, soup, main dish with rice and salad, and a diced fruit for postre. On the corner at the crossroads of Arica and Morona (at approx 323 Arica).edit
The Huasai. - easy to find, half a block northwest of the Plaza de Armas, at Fitzcarrald # 131. One of the best values in Iquitos for lunch. $2.50 includes a pitcher of tropical fruit juice. It is very popular with local business people.edit
Kikiriki. - easy to find at Napo # 159, one block north of the Plaza de Armas, away from the river. Good for chicken and anticucho, good value for around $2. Opens at 6:00PM.edit
Dawn on the Amazon. - easy to find at the end of the boulevard on the corner of Nauta is the place to go to eat and meet. The food is excellent, it is right on the end of the boulevard with a beautiful view and it is the center to find out where to go in Iquitos. All the expats congregate each evening full of suggestions and great conversation. Dawn on the Amazon should be your first stop in Iquitos. Live music and lively conversation. Open at 7AM and closes at 10PM.edit
Do not eat endangered species. Some locals do so as tradition, but many "guides" (pseudo-guides) and restaurants will offer you to taste caiman, majás, turtles, deer and other "carne de monte" (wild meat). Remember breeding farms for these species do not exist, so these animals come from natural environments.
It is advisable to steer clear from street vendors and the market places for your daily meals. Even though the food may look delicious (and it really is!) it is wise to stick to eating at professionally run restaurants. Eating in the street or at the market probably won't make you sick, but when it does, your vacation is ruined.
Try tropical fruit juices, like Cocona. Pineapple in the Amazon region is quite different to the one found in the rest of Peru, and makes really good juices. Aguaje and ungurahui are also a good choice: you can try everything in the entrance of the Upper Belen central market. You can try also native alcoholic drinks (some of them reputedly aphrodisiac). Pasaje Paquito is the best place to buy them.
Options range from backpacker hostels to more upscale hotels, but do not expect the same standards of luxury from Iquitos as elsewhere in the world or even in Peru. Reasonable private rooms can be found for as little as 25 USD per night, sometimes including air conditioning and a private bathroom. If you are staying in Iquitos and are not enjoying yourself, consider splurging for a room with A/C, as it can make the difference between a good trip and a great one.
Be advised that many accommodations in Iquitos are not officially registered with the city and operate illegally. They avoid paying taxes this way and usually take less care in maintaining health and safety standards. Ask to see the business' registration and license if you find yourself in a less than satisfactory situation.
Given the louder-than-average noise of traffic, ask for a room away from the street or choose a place further away from the main plaza.
Emperador Terraza Hotel, 191 Fitzcarrald Street, corner with Nauta St. (60 meters or 0.03 miles (192 ft) far from the Plaza de Armas/Main Square), ☎ (+51 65) 232590 / 234797 (email@example.com), . checkin: 14hr; checkout: 13hr. Located right off the Main Square in Iquitos, this small and elegant hotel is situated close to the city’s famous historic buildings, banks, ATMs, malls, tourist services, restaurants, and convenient located 2 blocks away from the riverwalk (Malecón). Emperador Terraza features a classical and contemporary design, with 12 comfortable rooms with modern amenities including flat screen TV, air conditioner or electric fan, telephone, fitted closet, safe box, private bathrooms with shower, hot water and 110/220 volt outlet. Minibars are also available for a small extra charge. Additionally, the hotel features 24-hour reception desk, breakfast/bar room, room service, wireless Internet area, Internet PC (wi-fi), luggage storage and specialized tourist information. Their staff is polite, helpful, reliable and are excellent in providing advice, also some of them speak English. They accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners credit/debit cards. Book in advance is strongly advisable, especially between April and October. Rates include Continental breakfast.From S/. 70 to 140 Soles. (-3.7478787,-73.2441384)edit
La Casona Hotel, Jirón Fitzcarrald 147 (right off the Plaza de Armas), ☎ (+51 65) 23-4394) (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A 2-star hotel. An overpriced hotel. With a mildewy smell (not airy). It's sometimes clean, secure, spacious, and only costs about S/.40 Nuevos Soles (USD 15.00). Most rooms have a fan, but the A/C room cost about S/.90 Nuevos Soles (USD 30.00). They have hot water, a kitchen, a rest area (courtyard), books, free Wi-Fi Internet and Internet desktop PCs, cable TV, and a helpful and reliable staff for you. A well known place to stay in Iquitos. It is advisable to book in advance by email, specially from May to October (Peruvian high tourist season).from USD 15.00 - 30.00. edit
La Río Grande Hostal, Jirón Fitzcarrald 152 (right off the Plaza de Armas, opossite La Casona Hotel), ☎ (+51 65) 22-3283 (email@example.com), . It's airy, clean, and secure. Most rooms have a fan and A/C. They have a helpful and realible staff. A great and cheap place to stay. Rooms close to the street may be noisy.from USD 13.00 - 20.00. edit
Las Golondrinas. Backpacker's place with a swimming pool and small dorm.Dorm bed : S/.15. edit
El Dorado, Plaza de Armas. In the Plaza de Armas but it is not cheap; it will set you back US$100 as of November 2009. It is a level apart from the rest but if you can afford it it is worth the money. Pool area is great and food is also very good.
Hostal Alfert, (close to the market of Belen). O.K. Rooms with private bathroom, TV, and a great view over Belen. The location is a bit off the center (but withing walking distance) and just at the beginning of the dirty market streets of Belen.S./25. edit
La Casa de Samantha, Jr. Nauta 787 (about 5 blocks from the main plaza), ☎ 761021. Clean rooms with shared bathroom in a friendly family setting and shared kitchen.S./20. edit
Nativa Apartments (Thee Blocks from Main Square Plaza De Armas and Boulevar (Rio Amazonas)), Calle Nanay # 144 (firstname.lastname@example.org), ☎ +51-65-600270, . Accommodations in these apartments include a kitchenette with dining room, private bath, air conditioning, Wi-Fi Internet and cable TV. Ask about seasonal and long term discounts.95.00 Soles. (,Short and long Term)edit
Warmiboa Travellers House, http://www.warmiboa.com, ☎ (+51 65) 234864. Shared bathroom, Wi-Fi, fans and kitchen available. A few blocks from downtown.edit
Green Track Hostel (email@example.com), Calle Ricardo Palma 516 (between Belem market and Plaza de Armas), ☎ +51 065 600805, +51 950 664 049, . Breezy hostel with choice of dorms or private rooms, fan or a/c, large storage lockers for dorms, free wifi throughout the building, third floor terrace overlooking Iquitos. Free breakfast with 4 types of fresh jungle fruits, bread, egg, coffee and tea. Walking distance to the main plaza but far enough away to diminish street noise. Honest tourist information, fairly priced day tours with trusted local guides. Exclusive gateway to the Tapiche Reserve, primary rainforest for deep jungle immersion adventure. Special deals at hostel for visitors to the reserve.US$9-US$32. edit
Jungle lodges are following:
La Casa de Samantha, Jr. Nauta 787 (about 5 blocks from the main plaza), ☎ 761021. Dirty sheets, shared bathroom, kitchen, and plenty of drug use. A hippie flop house where you can smoke pot because the owner bribes the police to look the other way.S./20. edit
San Pedro Lodge, San Pedro, Rio Nanay, Iquitos (less than an hour from the airport, via Rumococha, by motokarro and boat), ☎ (+51) 955 628 164 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . You will find this jungle lodge at less than two hours from the Plaza de Armas. Close to the city, easy to reach, yet in the middle of the rain forest, next to the river village San Pedro. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Jungle hikes, village visit, fishing and swimming. Day trips, tours and jungle expeditions are also available.from USD 38 USD. edit
Tangarana Vivential Ecolodge (Tangarana), Santo Tomas (Iquitos), ☎ 065 786858, . checkin: open; checkout: open. Vivential Eco Lodge is 16Km from Iquitos City, in a quiet place near the Reserve Allpahuayo Mishana.$ 30. edit
Hobo Hideout, Putumayo 437 (2 blocks up from Plaza D'Armas), ☎ +51 516 523 4099. Prices vary for every room but reasonable. (In October 27, 2012) Price for a double room (with no windows) is 30 soles (bargaining is possible if you will stay more than 2 nights). Has limited kitchen facilities (no meals in the fridge, liquids are ok, you can use the tools) and vantilation in the rooms and air-condition in the hostel. Clean and simple. Has NO internet. There's a noisy front garden and small but silent open space in the back. Is run by a grumpy guy from Alaska and a local nice lady. Good budget choice.edit
Chuya Chuya, Calle Teniente Pinglo #160 (8 blocks from the Plaza de Armas), ☎ (0051 65) 500149. 3 single person rooms, with shower, local TV, and fan. Possibly the cheapest single man room in Iquitos. 30 Soles. edit
La Casa Fitzcarraldo, +51-65-601138 (Avenida La Marina 2153). Historic hotel where the epic movie Fitzcarraldo was shot. Includes the room where Mick Jagger used to stay in.edit
jeannie botos, mexico street padre coche/rio mamone (motor taxi from city to nanay get boat to padre coche or san amdre), ☎ 51 995372630, . checkin: open; checkout: open. $8 - $15. (day,)edit
The main danger in the jungle surrounding Iquitos is the same as any tropical zone: Malaria. There is very little malaria in the city, but it is common outside the city in the jungle. Natural ways to prevent it (or to cure it) would be to use herbal medicines that are abundant in the Belen market, shaman market section. If you are into synthetic drugs, get anti-malaria pills from a doctor before your visit. Malarone (if that's what you've been prescribed) should be taken two days before arrival and 7 days after leaving. Bug repellent can be purchased in pharmacies anywhere in Peru and should be applied liberally whenever going out, and especially if taking an Amazon tour.
A next stop places are by the west: Yurimaguas, Tarapoto (offers one of the widest variety of orchids and butterflies in the world), Chachapoyas (pre-incan ruins and mummies, the tallest waterfall in Peru and the third in the world, sarcophagi and more), Chiclayo (pre-incan ruins, pyramids and museums) and Trujillo (offers pre-incan ruins as the second largest adobe city in the world, join with beautiful beaches as Huanchaco and Chicama, where is located the longest left wave in the world. Ideal places to surf). It is a beautiful route, you will go through the Amazon jungle, the Andes and the Pacific coast plenty with beautiful landscapes and activities. The route from Iquitos to Chiclayo owns 60% of bird species in Peru (more than 1200 species). Peru is the second richest country in birds, with only 20 species fewer than Colombia.
From Chiclayo or Trujillo you may take route to the beautiful beaches on the north Peru (Mancora, Pocitas and others located in Piura and Tumbes) or visit the mangrove swamp in Tumbes before to get Ecuador or take route to the south and visit Huaraz (the Cordillera Blanca is here, it is one of the best places in the world to perform a trekking), Lima (offers the best food in South America, trips to the islands to see sea wolfs and penguins, museums and pre-incan ruins as Caral, the oldest civilization in the Americas), Ica (the Nazca Lines and Paracas Reserve are here) and the places located in the south of Peru: Arequipa, Ayacucho, Puno (the Titicaca lake) and Cusco.
Other options is travel upstream the Amazon river to the south to get Pucallpa (it takes from 4 to 5 days). From Pucallpa there is a highway to Lima and the Andes. If you want to get Cusco avoiding Lima, you may chose the route Pucallpa-Tingo Maria-Huanuco-Huancayo-Ayacucho-Abancay-Cusco.
If you travel downstream the Amazon river to the East to get Colombia and Brazil. In this route you may stop in Pevas (there is a remarkable Art Gallery here), San Pablo (this is the place where the famous "Che" Guevara stayed as a volunteer) and Caballococha (a town sorrounded by beautiful lagoons plenty of pink and grey river dolphins).
Finally, you may travel upstream the Napo river to get Ecuador by the north of Iquitos, but there are two or three boats by month and takes around 7 days to get the border.