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Iquitos: Capital of Peruvian Amazon

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Iquitos: Capital of Peruvian Amazon

The city of Iquitos, is the capital city of the Province of Maynas and the Department of Loreto. It is the largest metropolis in the Peruvian Amazon, and is the seventh most populous city in Peru; In addition, it is known as the "capital of the Peruvian Amazon." It is established in the Great Plain and surrounded by the Amazon, Nanay and Itaya rivers and the Moronacocha Lake. Altogether, it is constituted in Iquitos Amazon, a population of 471,993 inhabitants conformed by four districts: Iquitos, Punchana, Belén and San Juan Bautista.

 

Iquitos is considered the largest city in the world that has no land connection, which is why you can only reach it by air and river. It is the main Peruvian port on the Amazon River and one of the main ones along the river to its mouth in the Atlantic. For the traveler, Iquitos offers several activities. Many of its tourist attractions can be visited independently, without the need to hire an organized service, from navigating the Amazon River, the longest and largest in the world, as well as exploring one of the most biodiverse and best preserved jungles on the planet, to visit native and indigenous communities.

 

As the main city of Loreto and starting point of visits to the Amazon, Iquitos has formal tourist services of all levels and prices, but there are also travel agencies and informal guides that organize expeditions to the jungle without taking into account the quality of the traveler's experience It is important to elude people and taxi drivers who offer tourist services in places such as airports, Main Squares, streets and places frequented by tourists. Before your arrival or during your stay in Iquitos, contact the tourist information office of the Peruvian State (PromPerú), called iPerú to obtain maps and information that will help you plan your time at the destination, as well as data from formal companies. Then hire tourist services only from formal companies directly in their offices.

 

Where is Iquitos Peru?

Iquitos is located between the Amazon, Itaya and Nanay rivers. It is the capital of the department of Loreto, the largest in Peru. The plain where the city is located is in the Amazon plain, known in Peru as low jungle or Omagua region, whose horizontal relief, below 800 m.a.s.l. (2624.67 feet), is covered by dense vegetation, with areas that are flooded by rivers in the rainy season. The rivers are wide and describe several curves as well as meanders. The climate in the low jungle is warm and high humidity, with abundant rainfall throughout the year.

 

Iquitos Amazon Weather:

The city of Iquitos experiences constant rainfall throughout the year so there is no well-defined dry season, and it has temperatures ranging from 21 °C to 33 °C.The average annual temperature is 26.7 ° C and the average rainfall is 2616.2 mm per year. Because the seasons of the year are not sensitive in the equatorial zone, it has only two stations.

 

Iquitos has a rainy winter, which arrives in November and ends in May, with March and April tending to include the wettest climate. The precipitations reach around 300 mm and 280 mm, respectively. In May, the Amazon River, one of the surrounding rivers of the city, reaches its highest levels, and constantly drops about 9 meters or 12 meters to its lowest point in October, and then increases steadily cyclically.

 

Lima to Iquitos:

Now discover the ways to reach to this paradise in the Peruvian Amazon:

Direct trip by Plane Lima to Iquitos:

It is the most recommended way. To fly from Lima to Iquitos, there are daily departures from the Jorge Chavez International Airport (Airport Code: LIM), located in Callao. To get to Iquitos, you have to arrive at Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport (IQT Airport Code), with comfortable facilities, located 7 km from the center of the city of Iquitos. The flights "Lima to Iquitos" last an approximate of just over an hour and a half. Taxis and motor taxis take you to the city from the airport.

 

Travel by boat to Iquitos Peru:

Due to the degree of isolation of the city and the geographical difficulty of the Peruvian Amazon, the City of Iquitos does not have roads that allow land transportation. In addition to the airway, there is an alternative to get to Iquitos by river, for which from Lima you must reach the cities of Pucallpa or Yurimaguas, and from there navigate the rivers to Iquitos.

  • The first alternative is to travel from Lima to Pucallpa. Once in the city of Pucallpa, the navigation from Pucallpa to Iquitos can take from 4 to 7 days by the Ucayali river, with stops in Requena and Contamana, which you will carry out in "motonave", a boat with capacity for 250 people.
  • The second alternative is to travel from Lima to Yurimaguas. Once in the city of Yurimaguas, the navigation from Yurimaguas to Iquitos can take from 3 to 6 days, which you will carry out in "motonave", a boat with capacity for 250 people.

Iquitos Amazon Tour:


Iquitos Amazon day Tour:

Except the Amazon rainforest and the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, many of the tourist sites of Iquitos and surroundings can be visited without much difficulty in a single day and independently using the local means of transport: motorcycle taxis, collectives and collective boats . Some of the places are included in the itineraries of the tourist companies, who facilitate the excursion and offer bilingual guides.


Organized trips Iquitos Peru:


From Iquitos you can explore the Amazon jungle aboard tourist cruises, with hostels and travel agencies. The rates of the tourism companies are usually all-inclusive (transportation from the city to the jungle, entrance fees, guided, lodging, activities, food and equipment). Keep in mind that there are a large number of companies and guides that organize trips to the jungle and nearby sites of interest, but only a few are formal and not all of them worry about the traveler's experience or the quality of the service.
Never hire tourist services in the airport parking lot (that is, outside the Arrivals Hall) or on the streets. In the places located in the vicinity of Iquitos, representative specimens of the local fauna, as well as the Amazonian landscape, can be observed in captivity. These areas are quite populated, so it is very difficult to observe animals in natural habitat. Healthier ecosystems with the possibility of observing free fauna in their own habitat are at least 80 km south of Iquitos, far from the Amazon riverbed and the towns, or in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.

Recommendations for your trip to Iquitos Peru:

  • The weather in Iquitos is tropical and rainy, so you must wear your hood for rain
  • Take into account that the weather is hot, so you should have water on hand to hydrate.
  • Wear light clothing as you walk regularly, repellent for mosquitoes, and sunglasses.
  • Wear footwear for walks in the jungle.
  • Never try to enter the jungle without the company of an experienced guide and all the necessary logistics.
  • Within the city, the most used transport is the motorcycle taxi. It is advisable to take the motorcycles taxis, because they are the cheapest, allow to see the landscape, and are cool for the heat that you feel. It is not advisable to travel on linear motorcycles, because although they are cheaper, they do not wear a helmet and suffer more accidents. We do not recommend the use of cars or taxis, because they are more expensive than motorcycle taxis, and because of the heat it is unbearable to travel inside them but if you want more comfort, you can take a taxi.
  • To enter protected natural areas, it is essential to have an authorization issued by the national office or the regional units of SERNANP (National Service of Protected Areas). This is facilitated by hiring an organized tour, as the tour operator will process this authorization prior to your arrival, saving you time.
  • In general, the tourist infrastructure in Iquitos is scarce or nonexistent in the natural protected areas, so it is necessary to hire the services of a company with experience in the region.

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