Exploring Iquitos: 9 Must-Visit Destinations

Imagine a city unlike any other, the world's largest without access by road. Welcome to Iquitos, nestled in the Peruvian Amazon jungle, a remote destination reachable only by air or boat. Prepare yourself for an adventure filled with lush nature and the mysteries hidden within the jungle. Here, we unveil the top tourist spots in Iquitos that you simply can't miss.




Deep Jungle Exploration


At the forefront of Iquitos' tourist attractions lies the opportunity to delve into the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. Surrounded by various natural reserves, you can spend days encountering pink dolphins, monkeys, caimans, piranhas, and even bathing in the waters of the Amazon. But the real magic happens at night: sleeping under an infinitely starry sky, one of the clearest you'll ever witness, with the symphony of thousands of animals serenading you. It's truly a wonder!

To embark on this journey, you'll have to choose from options like the Pacaya Samiria and Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserves, closer to Iquitos, or the Gueppi-Sekime National Park, near the border with Colombia and Ecuador. Whichever destination you pick, the journey is exhilarating: you'll navigate the Amazon and its tributaries for at least two hours by boat until you reach your jungle lodging.

However, reaching these hidden destinations nestled in nature requires booking a multi-day excursion.



Monkey Island


One of the most delightful tourist spots in Iquitos is Monkey Island. When arranging your Amazon jungle excursion, ensure it includes a visit to this enchanting sanctuary.

Located on the banks of the Amazon River, Monkey Island is home to around 50 monkeys from over 10 different species. Here, rescued primates find refuge from danger or rehabilitation for various issues before returning to their natural habitat.

The excitement of this excursion lies in the monkeys freely roaming the island, approaching you with ease — they might even playfully hop on your back when you least expect it! Additionally, you'll encounter other creatures like the adorable sloth and colorful toucans.



Getting to Monkey Island: While it's common to visit Monkey Island as part of an organized tour within your jungle expedition, you can also venture there independently. Head to the Bellavista-Nanay Port, a 15-minute drive from downtown Iquitos. From there, board a boat that will take you to Monkey Island in approximately 30 minutes.


City Stroll in Iquitos



 Although the allure of the jungle may tempt you upon arrival, we recommend spending a few hours exploring the streets and attractions of Iquitos. The city's architecture is unique, boasting various buildings worth visiting, such as the Matriz Church, the Iron House, and the Pinasco House.

If you decide to spend a night in Iquitos, take a stroll along the boardwalk at sunset — the views are breathtaking, and the atmosphere is lively. And, of course, don't miss out on visiting its bars and nightclubs, where you can sample the region's famous aphrodisiac cocktails with names as captivating as "Panty Dropper" or "Rise, Dead Bird."



Belen District

The Belén District, situated in the east of Iquitos, showcases the city's authentic side. It's a humble area that draws tourists with its "floating houses" — structures built above the water serving as shops, residences, and even nightclubs. To explore them, hop on a boat and make stops at different points in the neighborhood.

A must-visit spot in the Belén District is its market, where you'll find everything from turtle and caiman meat to exotic beverages made with jungle fruits like camu camu and aguaje.

Getting to Belén District: You can reach Belén by walking from the city center or taking a mototaxi (you'll encounter many). They'll drop you off where you can board a boat to explore Belén. For safety reasons, it's advisable to go with a professional guide. info tours? click here



Museum of Amazonian Indigenous Cultures and Amazonian Library


Step into the vibrant world of Amazonian indigenous cultures at the Museum of Amazonian Indigenous Cultures in Iquitos. Delve into the intricacies of the diverse ethnicities inhabiting the Peruvian Amazon, Colombia, and Brazil. Explore their customs, admire their traditional attire, and analyze artifacts from their daily lives.

While there, don't miss the opportunity to visit the Amazonian Library of Iquitos. Regarded as the second most significant institution dedicated to Amazonian topics in Latin America, it houses over 27,000 books and 3,000 photographs chronicling the city's history and the Amazon at large.


Getting to the Museum of Amazonian Indigenous Cultures: Situated on the Tarapacá Boardwalk, one of Iquitos' main attractions, the museum is easily accessible by foot from any point in the city. Take advantage of the stroll along the boardwalk for a scenic promenade.



Amazon Rescue Center (CREA) 

For animal enthusiasts, a visit to the Amazon Rescue Center (CREA) is a must. This facility is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing endangered species of Amazonian fauna, including river turtles, manatees, and otters, threatened by human activities.

It's not just an encounter with Amazonian animals; it's an educational experience where you'll learn about conservation efforts and how to contribute to preserving their natural habitat.

Getting to the Amazon Rescue Center: Located on the road from Iquitos to Nauta, many jungle tours make a stop at this center. If you prefer to go independently, you can take a mototaxi or combi from the city center. The journey takes approximately half an hour.



Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm 


 Did you know that Peru holds the world record for butterfly species? At Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm in Iquitos, you can marvel at a variety of colorful butterflies, some of them enormous! While specializing in butterflies, Pilpintuwasi also serves as a rescue center for Amazonian animals, offering encounters with diverse wildlife amidst lush vegetation.

Getting to Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm: To reach the butterfly farm, take a mototaxi or combi to Bellavista-Nanay Port, where collective boats depart for Padrecocha Community. Depending on the season (dry or rainy), expect a 15-minute walk to the butterfly farm. info tours? click here



Quistococha Tourist Complex

Just 13 km south of the city lies one of Iquitos' most entertaining attractions, the Quistococha Tourist Complex. Here, you can indulge in various activities, from swimming at an artificial white sand beach to boating on a lagoon or exploring the local fauna at the zoo.

Getting to Quistococha Tourist Complex: Hop on a combi or taxi from the city center to reach Quistococha. Alternatively, join a tour to Laguna Quistococha for a hassle-free experience.


Indigenous Communities

Despite outside influences, Iquitos remains home to numerous indigenous communities preserving their traditions in art, dance, attire, language, and more. Immerse yourself in their culture through meaningful exchanges with tribes like the Yaguas, Boras, Ocainas, and Cocamas.

Visiting an Indigenous Community: Join our Full Day Amazonas tour, where you'll visit a Yagua tribe, partake in their customs, savor their cuisine, and engage in cultural activities. Prepare to be captivated by their way of life!

Experience the essence of Iquitos through these captivating destinations, where every encounter unveils a new layer of the Amazon's rich tapestry. info tours? click here


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