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Iquitos

  • Peru’s largest Jungle City, located on the shores of the Amazon River
  • The largest jungle city in the world not reachable overland
  • Impressive daily market called “Mercado de Belen”
  • About two hours flying from Lima
  • Important trade point for all communities in the surrounding jungle area

Iquitos is Peru largest jungle city and located in the far north east corner of Peru. The city is located at the Amazon River, making this also its most important way of transportation. Iquitos is the biggest jungle city in the world that can only be reached by air or boat, there are no roads leading to Iquitos. Iquitos is the main trading zone for all people living in this part of Peru and knows a large semi floating market called the Mercado de Belen. On this market it is possible to get about any jungle product you can imagine. The market is definitely worth the visit and a true experience for the eye, the ear and nose. Located in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, at its most important river, the region also invites for jungle excursions.

There are several options; in Iquitos you can embark a luxurious Amazon Cruise ship to take you on a multiday adventure over the Amazon River. Another option would be to stay in some of the jungle lodges located at a couple of hours from Iquitos. Nevertheless if you may be looking to stay in lodges the Southern Peruvian Amazon Jungle such as Tambopata or Manu may be more adequate. As Iquitos is a larger city, it takes quite a while to get into the actual rainforest and with the large river you will have less chance on seeing wildlife from the boats. In the Southern Amazon Rainforest, the distances to get actually into a national park are smaller, the rivers are smaller and this all provides with better wildlife spotting opportunities. Nevertheless there are great jungle exploring possibilities around Iquitos but you will have to spare several days.

Iquitos is also a good point if you would like to cross overland into Brazil or Colombia. From Iquitos you can take a cargo boat for about 2 days taking you to Santa Rosa from where you can cross into Colombia and Brazil. Between Iquitos and Santa Rosa there are also speed boats available but this makes for a quick but crazy ride.
 

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