About Iquitos and Amazon River
Iquitos and Amazon River are an ideal place for lovers of the eco-tourism, and for the ones who want to feel an intimate contact with the virgin nature of the Amazon rainforests. From the city you will be able to go to jungle lodges, and for the most adventurous and fearless you can arrive to protected natural areas, full and plethoric with exuberant flora and fauna, with many undiscovered places, and many alive species unknown by science.
Iquitos city is the capital of the department of Loreto, located in the heart of the Peruvian rainforest, less than 4° south of Equator, and next to the left river bank of the Amazon River. Iquitos is the world's largest city that cannot reached by road.
Iquitos was a village inhabited by the wild tribe called the "Iquitos" from whom the name was taken in the moment of its foundation in 1864. During the Spanish Colony and the gold fever caused by the legends of "El Dorado" (The Golden) and the "País de la Canela" (Country of the Cinnamon), Iquitos never had historical figuration. In 1883 began in this city the era and peak of the rubber, the exploitation of their latex and trade made that some reached immense fortunes, it brought the prosperity of the city and the construction of mansions of rubber barons began, some with tiles brought from Portugal.
In those days, Iquitos had better communications, with Europe, through the Amazon River, better than with the city of Lima. Part of the characteristic of this time was the acquisition of a house built by Gustave Eiffel in Paris and today located in the Main Square of Iquitos, the Iron House. The end of the era of the rubber arrived in 1912.
From then on, Iquitos has always been the main fluvial mean and principal Amazon port of Peru; its economic activity has been centered in the commercialization of its natural resources and lately the exploration and production of petroleum.
The people of Iquitos in its great majority are natural descendants of regional aborigines tribes and of the miscegenation. The people's temper is very noble and cheerful, lover of the amusement. Iquitos is also famed by the quantity of men that arrived to the city and lost their bachelorhood, because of the affection that women in this region give to the visitors. The population has many myths and legends, some occult; there is a great diffusion of the folkloric medicine and the faith to be cured with those medicines based on the great quantity of medicinal plants that exist.
Iquitos City Overview
Northern Amazon basin, 347 feet above sea level (106 m.a.s.l)
Distances to Iquitos:
Tropical humid, maximum temperature 99.9°F (37.7°C), Temp. Minimum temperature 58.6°F (14.8 °C) Season of rains from November to March.
Iquitos City : The highlights of the city are the historic buildings as the majestic Iron House and the Belen Village. Its main square and Tarapacá seawall concentrate the social life and amusement centers. Some a small museums, commercial area in the Próspero Street, craft markets of the native tribes, as well as enjoy an excellent cuisine and typical drinks and beverages and fast-moving nightlife. The typical public transportation in the city is the "mototaxi" or "motocar", it is a motorized tricycle used for passenger transportation with a very economic rate. There are also taxies in conventional cars that generally don't have air-conditioning. In the city you can rent a motorcycle or an automobile.
Amazon River: The longest and mightiest river by volume on the planet, the only one where you can actually see the curve of the Earth, as if you were on the ocean itself. One can sail to the confluence of its two great tributaries: the Marañón and the Ucayali, also the exact location for the entryway to the Pacaya – Samiria National Reserve, land of lakes and pink dolphins, a paradise for nature lovers. The Amazon river and its thousands of tributaries rivers are the way to know the dense rainforest where you can enjoy a cruise and sail in the river, is an ideal place for sport fishing.
Pacaya Samiria National Reserve : -The Mirrored Jungle- With 2 million hectares, it is the biggest National Reserve of Peru, also it is the largest protected flooded forest of the world and one of the richest places in biological wealth on the planet. Between its biological diversity we find 449 of tropical bird species, 102 of mammals, 256 known species of freshwater fish, 69 of reptiles and more than 1000 varieties of plants, as well as species in danger of extinction like the giant otter, the black lizard, the manatee and the pink dolphin of the Amazon. The place's beauty, as well as its biological wealth makes the reserve a particularly important destination for scientific investigators, nature lovers and bird watchers.
Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve: This reserve contains an enormous and peculiar biological wealth and numerous endemic plant and animal and restricted distribution species stand out, many of them still without scientific classification. Up to now, there have been more than 1780 plant species, 522 butterfly species, 155 species of fish, 83 species of amphibians, 120 reptile species, 476 bird species, and 145 species of mammals registered; the most important ones among them are the equatorial sakis (Pithecia aequatorialis) and the black titi monkey (Callicebus lucifer). New plant and animal species are continually being discovered.
Exploring the Jungle: Excursions to the jungle, stay in a jungle lodge for wildlife encounter, a cruise on a riverboat, or camping and walking trips, all from Iquitos city. The Amazon basin is the natural reserve of more extensive and more variety life of the Earth. Abundant botanical and zoological species, in amazing landscapes.
Native Communities: In the immense territories of the department of Loreto, exist populations of native and aboriginal communities that can be visited in their towns. The great majority of these groups has been civilized by Catholic missions and they maintain ingrained many of their ancestral habits, such as their art, language, dances, feeding, etc. For those visitors interested in getting acquainted and interacting with other cultures, visiting the Amazonian communities becomes the main motive for their trip. Within this same search, the possibility to get closer to the artistic work of artisans represents a crucial factor during their stay in Iquitos area.
Around Iquitos : You will be able to visit the tourist complex of Quistococha and its mini-Zoo for a first encounter with the regional fauna and flora, the rescue center of manatees, the picturesque neighborhood of Santo Tomás and Zungarococha lagoon, San Juan Artisans Market, Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm and the native towns of Boras and Yaguas and another places.
For all those are always dreaming of escaping from their routine to distant adventures, all of those living in mass consumer societies dream of escaping and discovering adventure in exotic lands, Iquitos is an ideal place. If you want to have a close encounter with paradisiacal place in the pristine jungle of the Amazonian, without any other noise than the one the birds, monkeys or insects make, Iquitos is a great opportunity and an excellent selection.