IquitosLatin AmericaPeru

10 tips for visiting Iquitos (Peruvian Amazon)

Iquitos is for us the most authentic place of the Peruvian jungle. You can live the nature in its maximum expression, visit local communities, see species of the forest, fish piranhas… In short, these activities do the jungle an extraordinary place. If you are preparing a trip to Iquitos we recommend that you keep in mind the following tips:

    1. You can only arrive by plane or by boat from Yurimaguas. Unless you have many days, and you want to live the experience of traveling by boat (first fly to Tarapoto and from there by bus to Yurimaguas), it is recommended to go by plane (almost 2 hours). If this visit is part of a larger trip, we recommend that you configure your trip with the application on our page.
    2. Recommended visit dates. Iquitos is located in the heart of the jungle. This implies that the seasons of the year do not coincide with the Peruvian coast. There are actually 2 seasons: the rainy season and dry season (less rain). Therefore, it is recommended to visit Iquitos in the dry season, from April to October.
    3. If you want to live the jungle we recommend you to stay in one of the many lodges near Iquitos, on the other side of the rivers Marañón and Amazonas. There are many types, offering different services tailored to each pocket. However, we recommend you check the comments on each of them because some are not very formal.
    4. These lodges include round trip ticket from the city of Iquitos. Usually, trips are made early in the morning to take advantage of the day. If you arrive in Iquitos in the evening, the agency may not want to transport you to the lodge at night for safety (reduced visibility crossing the Amazon). Therefore, we recommend traveling to Iquitos as soon as possible from Lima, to arrive about 9:00 am, or sleep in the city the day before to begin the tour.
    5. The tours offered by the lodge/agencies are usually very similar and include the following activities:
        • Visit local communities.
        • Fishing for piranhas.
        • Visit an animal recovery center.
        • Walking or canoeing into the jungle.
        • Sighting of pink dolphins (bufeos).
        • Visit shaman.
    6. All tours include visits to local communities. There is difference in the payment for nationals and foreigners (greater amount and generally in dollars). Keep this in mind when looking at prices on the different tours advertised on the internet.
    7. There are shamans that offer sessions of ayahuasca (potent hallucinogen made with plants of the jungle). For our part we do not recommend it, as there are precedents of sexual abuse and intoxication (even death) in this type of sessions.
    8. Clothes and insect repellent. We recommend light cotton clothes, preferably light colors as they do not attract mosquitoes, light shirts, long sleeves for sun protection and mosquito bites and fast drying shorts. With respect to the repellent, we recommend that you buy it in Iquitos. It is prepared for the conditions of the area. In addition, it is recommended to buy it with sun cream to avoid burns. There are different pharmacy chains open all days (minimum until 22:00 hours).
    9. The issue of vaccines is controversial. In case of a few days, in a suitable lodge / hotel and using a lot of repellent, the risk of contracting a disease is low. However, it is advisable to go to a medical center in advance or visit the health ministry’s website to see the recommended vaccines (usually against yellow fever). You can also go in advance, 10 days before the trip, to one of the free vaccination centers in Lima.
    10. There is a rescue center near the city of Iquitos, rehabilitation, and release of specimens of aquatic mammals and wildlife. The main attraction is the visit to the manatees of the center. The schedule is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (except Monday, which is from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.). Keep this in mind when planning your trip.

We hope you liked it and, above all, that it is useful to you. If you want to know more, we show you our experience on this trip. Also, if you want to know the rest of Peru, use our configurator to plan your trip throughout the country.

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