Welcome to the Peruvian Amazon -- Iquitos is the main point of arrival and departure for those travelers visiting the Peruvian side of the so-called lungs of the Earth, the Amazon jungle!
The most peculiar aspect about the city of Iquitos is the fact that it is not connected to the rest of the country by road -- it is impossible to reach by car! So the alternatives would be to fly in from Lima (capital of Peru) or, in a more rustic approach, do a boat trip up the river. This last option, for the more adventurous, might take up to several days!
Although most tourists will spend their time deep into the jungle close-by and not in the city per se, there are quite a lot of activities to keep you entertained not far from downtown. The most popular is perhaps the Belem market, where Amazonian citizens come down to sell exotic products and food. Be ready for snake oils, roasted worms, and delicacies of the sort! If you'd like to mingle with nature and wildlife without going too far from the city, there are also several wildlife reserves and animal rescue centres where you can meet endemic species and even interact with some of them.
When it comes to accommodation, rather than Iquitos hostels, the area is famous for its bamboo huts by the river. You can find huts built on stilts above the water, ready to resist the water rising during the monsoons, or floating buildings too! Although huts on stilts are commonly accessed by bridges connecting from the mainland, you'd have to use small taxi boats to reach the floating accommodations. Iquitos could be the starting point for the Amazonian experience of a lifetime!
Hi, I'm zararock,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Iquitos hostels. Welcome.