LUXURY TRAVEL TO IQUITOS & AMAZON CRUISES

  • CRUISE THE AMAZON IN LUXURY IN PERU'S NORTH
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Destination Iquitos

Gateway to the Amazon jungle and home to an array of attractions as colorful as the city's history and its people, Iquitos is an amazing city — and not just because its only accessible by boat or by plane.
Once you arrive, take a riverboat to your prefered jungle lodge or continue on to Nauta to begin your Amazon river cruise. Checkout our destination guide below for essential info, travel tips, and top attractions on an Iquitos jungle tour. A grand jewel in the heart of the Peruvian jungle.
There’s always plenty to do and see in the jungle city of Iquitos. Explore the charming floating market at Belen. Sail to Isla de los Monos to have fun with crazy monkeys.
Outside of the city, Iquitos provides access to top-notch jungle lodges located up and down river. It’s also the point of departure for many cruise ships headed for the Amazon headwaters.

RECOMMENDED ITINERARIES IN Iquitos

Amazon luxury cruise on the river

Amazon Luxury Cruise And Inca Machu Picchu

10 Days / 9 Night

Amazon Luxury Cruise And Inca Machu Picchu

  • Cities Visited : Lima City, Iquitos, Cusco City, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu
  • Style : Religious, Cultural and Archaeological.
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Attractions

Plaza de Armas

activity in Iquitos is centered around the city’s Plaza de Armas. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a nice walk, grab a bite to eat or buy a souvenir. A stone statue memorializing the soldiers that fought in the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) is the centerpiece of the plaza. Matriz Church, also known as Iquitos Cathedral, on the western corner features neo-Gothic architecture and a tall bell tower.

Tarapaca Malecon

Is a scenic point overlooking the Itaya River just a couple blocks from the city’s main plaza. From the riverfront pathway filled with lush gardens and historic monuments, you enjoy in spectacular views of the surrounding Amazon surrounded by rich green foliage and charming houses of the city’s Belen neighborhood built on stilts over the water. Locals as well as travelers are attracted to the vibrant energy of this area of Iquitos, complete with cafes, restaurants, bars, and charming mansions built at the height of the rubber boom. Location: One block east of Plaza de Armas; Malecon extends 5 blocks along the riverfront.

House of Iron

Casa de Fierro, was constructed at the turn of the century during the rubber boom. Covered in full by silver-hued metal sheets, its structure boasts a second story balcony, several exterior columns, and a unique red roof. This building is one of the best preserved samples of architecture in Peru and a famous historic site in Iquitos.

Iquitos Museums

Amazonian Indigenous Cultures Museum displays the history and culture of indigenous people from all over the Amazonian Basin. Contained in a small two story building, the museum showcases ancient ceremonial relics, clothing and classic hunting tools. The Amazonico Museum displays old pottery, faded paintings, and ceremonial relics from many local tribes who have no written history. There are also large bronze statues depicting indigenous Amazonian people. The museum is housed in the former town hall built in 1863.

Amazon River

The Amazon River, or Rio Amazonas, is famous for being the second longest river in the world. The river and its branches wind through lush tropical jungle in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia. Starting from the city of Iquitos, travelers can take a luxurious cruise on the mighty Amazon River, which flows through northern Peru, or rest at a jungle lodge along its shores. Water activities include wildlife watching from a canoe, swimming with the pink river dolphins, paddle boarding, and piranha fishing.

Amazon Cruise

Amazon cruise packages comes with definite perks, including luxury facilities and endless rainforest and river views from your private cabin. Ask your travel Agent for more information about cruising the Amazon in style!

Wildlife Diversity

Life in the Amazon rainforest takes many forms under, within, and above its lush green canopy. It is home to the big-eyed monkeys swinging amid trees, colorful bird species, stealthy river creatures and other ecological enigmas. In the northern Amazon tributaries, pink river dolphins are but one of the unique animals that can be seen in the national parks around Iquitos. Keep your eyes open and camera in hand because seeing these rainforest residents in their natural habitat may well be the highlight of your jungle adventure. Jungle lodges surrounding Iquitos are the perfect location for convenient access to remote jungle reserves. The Amazon is a prime stop for luxury or romantic ventures.

What to do?

Explore the streets of Iquitos

The city revolves around the Plaza de Armas, surrounded by streets full of moto-taxis. The Iron House, located on the corner of the plaza, and the numerous elegant mansions lining the city’s riverfront Malecon are signs of the wealth brought to Iquitos during the rubber boom times. On the Iquitos city tour you will come across some of the city’s most stunning architecture relics: Casa Morey, Casa Vela, and San Agustin Seminary. Visit the city’s museums for a dose of Amazonian culture. While exploring the city, take a break in the shade at a local cafe to soak in the positive energy of this busting jungle city at a slower pace.

Explore the Belen neighborhood of Iquitos

A tour to the neighborhood of Belen market and its residential area offer visitors a truly authentic cultural experience. Morning visits to the Belen market are the better because it’s not as crowded. Your guide will show you exotic fruits and veggies used in jungle cuisine and likely lead you to Shaman’s Alley, where medicinal and spiritual Amazon remedies are sold. Next, rent a boat or canoe and explore the canals of the Belen neighborhood where houses rest on stilts over the Itaya River or on top of wooded rafts.

Experience the jungle local culture

You can Travel by boat from Iquitos to the Bora and Yaguas communities for a unique cultural experience. A local guide from the community will tell you about the traditional way of life and the history. During your visit, the local men, women, and children share aspects of their culture and traditions, including language, dancing, and artistic expression, with guests. Intricate jewelry, weavings, and pieces of art are all made by local artisans and available as souvenirs.

Spend the night in the jungle

The greatest way to experience the natural beauty of the Amazon rainforest and encounter wildlife is at a remote jungle lodge only accessible by river boat from Iquitos. Don’t worry! You won’t have to sacrifice comfort to have a real jungle adventure! The jungle lodges recommended by our team have running water, cushioned beds, and serve tasty meals. During the day, explore the nearby national parks with a number of guided wildlife, canopy, walking, cultural, and river tours.

Animal encounters in and around Iquitos

Sure, staying at a remote jungle lodge offers some epic opportunities observe wildlife in their natural habitats. But the following animal devoted spots in and around Iquitos are awesome too:

  • Amazonian Manatee Rescue Center: Manatees swim though the murky waterways of the Amazon in small packs. Unfortunately, habitat destruction and poaching have put these gentle river creatures on the endangered species list. The Manatee Rescue Center takes in injured and orphaned baby manatees and nurses them back to health before releasing them back into the wild. Visitors can feed the cute baby manatees while learning about on-going efforts to protect them in the Amazon. (Located about a 30-minute drive from Iquitos Plaza de Armas along main Nauta highway).
  • Monkey Island (La Isla de los Monos): Monkey Island is a cage-free sanctuary for abandoned monkeys. Visitors can watch, play with, and take photos of several monkey species that rule the island roam about freely.
  • Quistococha Zoo: This national park includes a zoo, the sandy Tunchi beach, and dining facilities. The zoo is home to a wide range of jungle, mammals, reptiles and birds, and offers a one-stop opportunity to see them all in one day and one place. It’s extremely rare to see jungle cats, such as a jaguar, puma, and ocelot in the wild, but each can be seen on a visit Zoo in Iquitos. (Located about a 30-minutes southeast of Iquitos along the main Nauta highway)

Travel tips

Health Concerns

  • Vaccines: For travel to tropical jungle regions, the US Travel Advisory recommends taking malaria medication and the yellow fever vaccine. Consult your doctor before your trip to the Amazon to discuss the best options for you.
  • Mosquitos: Protect yourself from getting bit by mosquitoes by wearing loose fitting long clothing. Apply insect repellant to exposed areas of the body. At night, use a mosquito net hanging over your bed to help you get a sound sleep and prevent annoying ear buzzing.
  • Drinking Water: Bottled water and purified drinking water are provided to lodge guests. A reusable water bottle is always nice to have in the jungle.

Getting there and away

There are no roads to Iquitos. Traveling to Iquitos by car or bus is not possible.

  • By Air: Flights to Iquitos touch down at the Coronel FAP. The airport is located on just outside of the city, about 6 miles southwest of the Plaza de Armas. LAN, Star Perú, and Peruvian Airlines offer flights every day to Iquitos. By plane, from Lima to Iquitos takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  • By Boat: The Amazon River and its waterways hookup the city of Iquitos to jungle lodges and other small port towns.

Best time to go

  • The Amazon has a warm, tropical climate with very high humidity. Rainfall occurs all throughout the year.
  • Seasons in northern Peru’s Amazon jungle are divided between months with and low water and high water. Water level of the river fluctuates as much as 40 feet, resulting from the rain and snow melt runoff flowing from the slopes of the Andes Mountains.
  • High Water Season: December to May, regular temperature average: 86°F
  • Pros: Higher Amazonian waterways allow boats to go deeper into remote parts of the jungle. During this time, you will see more birds and mammal species living in the canopies.
  • Cons: Rainfall is usually more intense (December through March), there are allot more mosquitos, there aren’t as many hiking trails to use.
  • Low Water Season: June to November.
  • Daily Temperature Average: 98°F, slightly hotter than the high water months.
  • Pros: More trails to explore the jungle, less mosquitos, higher chance to see migratory birds, best season for fishing.
  • Cons: Remote lakes and small creeks (only accessible by boat) not possible to visit.

How to pack for Rainforest

  • Head lamp
  • Insect repellant
  • Sun protection
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Local currency in small bills for purchases and tips