places visit iquitos

10 things to see and do in Iquitos

As Peru’s premier jungle destination and the gateway to the vast Amazon rainforest, there are plenty of exciting activities to keep an adventurous traveler busy in Iquitos.

Iquitos, capital of the department of Loreto, is a Regional Metropolis of the Northern Macrosystem, with a population of more than 377,609 inhabitants and an intercensal growth rate of 0.3%. The city is composed of 4 districts. As of 2018, the city occupies a total area of 3,263 hectares and adds 41.60 hectares per year (ha/year) of new land to the urban area.

It is located in the north and in the Peruvian jungle at 105 m.a.s.l., in the Tropical Rainforest biome, and is crossed by the Amazon River.

While you visit this place you may want to upload photos to Facebook, Instagram or VK. You also will need to keep in touch with your relatives uploading photos. That’s why you may need to use one of our mobile phone plans for tourists to avoid high roaming costs. In order to make a nice trip here in PeruSIM, we made these top 10 things to see and do in the city of Iquitos.

visit iquitos

Take a boat to the Monkey Island

Iquitos has its own real-life monkey island and it’s just as exciting as it sounds. As you’d expect, the place is absolutely teeming with monkeys, with nine different species roaming freely around the 200-hectare plot. Entrance is by donation only, although daring locals expect an additional treat, so be sure to bring bananas from Iquitos.

Lunch in an iron house

Built in the late 19th century, this historically significant iron residence is a living testament to the wealth accumulated during the region’s rubber boom. Said to be the first prefabricated house in the Americas, the building was designed in Europe (some believe Gustav Eiffel), shipped to Peru and carried through the jungle by hand, piece by piece. Upstairs has a decent restaurant.

See some colorful butterflies

Butterfly enthusiasts rejoice, Iquitos has one of the best butterfly farms on the continent. Countless colorful species call this haven home, further enhanced by an informative guide who passionately explains their life cycles and breeding habits. Other exotic animals such as jaguars, manatees, caimans and monkeys are also on display.

Belen Cruise

Just south of Iquitos is the region’s most notable settlement, a floating village seemingly untouched by the passage of time. Boat tours take travelers through the town, passing family homes and public buildings such as schools and restaurants.

Many choose to visit the Belen market, particularly Pasaje Paquito, where all kinds of traditional Amazonian medicines are sold to cure anything from baldness to a broken heart.

Make friends with a manatee

Those more interested in aquatic wildlife should head straight to the Amazon Manatee Rescue Center to get up close and personal with these graceful, endangered species. Visitors are encouraged to bottle-feed the youngest manatees that remain in the reserve until they are two years old and ready to be released into the wild.

Meet some indigenous locals

Ethnotourists will enjoy the opportunity to visit the indigenous settlement of Yaguas, a short boat ride from town. The traditionally dressed villagers treat tourists to a vibrant song and dance routine and offer a crash course on the finer points of dart hunting.

Consider buying some locally made handicrafts, the perfect souvenir of the Amazon whose benefits go directly to the community.

Embark on a luxury river cruise.

Travelers with a little money to spend should opt for a river cruise , which is by far the most sophisticated way to enjoy the sights of the mighty Amazon River. Relax in comfort with unparalleled onboard amenities, leaving only that luxury to explore smaller rivers and tributaries in a canoe.

Strolling along the boulevard

Due to Iquitos’ notoriously hot days, the city’s main boulevard doesn’t really fill up until 7 pm or so. With views of the mighty Amazon below, this vibrant street is the perfect place for a sunset drink combined with a spot of people-watching.

Stay at a lodge in the jungle

what to do iquitos 1

The best way to truly experience the Amazon is to get away from the city and dive deep into this thriving ecosystem. There are an overwhelming number of eco-lodges scattered throughout the region, so choosing just one can be a challenge. We recommend a three-day package with Sinchicuy Lodge which is excellent value for money.

Now you can take advantage of your time in Iquitos with this guide. Visiting the peruvian rainforest is one of the most incredible experiences.

Finally, we know that you have to keep communication with your relatives and friends, that you need to be able to orient yourself in new cities, that you might need help with translation and that you might need to search for restaurants or hotels. That’s why with PeruSIM you can buy a SIM card including the data plan of your need without having to worry about high roaming costs.

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