Iquitos: The Capital of the Peruvian Amazon
Iquitos is located along the banks of the Amazon River, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Iquitos has a tropical climate with abundant rainfall and warm temperatures all year long. The name of the city originated from the indigenous “Iquito” tribe, which in the Záparo dialect literally means “[the] people”.
In the year of 1864, European Jesuit priests settled in the Loreto Region and made Iquitos the capital. In the twentieth century Iquitos became well known for its rubber industry attracting people from around the world. Nowadays Iquitos is the hub of the Amazon Region where different cultures live side by side.
Iquitos offers several natural attractions. The Nauta Viewpoint from where you can admire the merging of the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers that later flow into the Amazon River.
Navigating the Amazon River
To discover the magical sounds and the breathtaking views of the jungle, there is nothing better than an Amazon River Cruise. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the great Natural Reserves around the city and the Amazon region. The most important are the Allpahuayo Mishana Natural Reserve created to protect medicinal plants and bird species in danger of extinction.
The Pacaya Samiria Natural Reserve is the largest in Peru. In this region 208 communities, about 40,000 people live in the protected area and 50,000 in the buffer zone.Its waters are home to 250 species of fish, the Paiche is the world’s largest fresh water fish – 3 meters in length and weighing 200 kilos. The reserve is home to 800 species of trees that host 330 species of birds, 13 kinds of monkeys, jaguars, tapirs, capybaras and sloths.
In the Amazon region you will discover the different cultures of the indigenous communities with their ancient traditions and customs. Around Iquitos you should visit the Boras, Yaguas, Huitoto, Cocamas and Shipibos.
You will also learn more about the Peruvian Amazon in the Quistococha Zoo, a tourist area with a natural forest and an artificial white sandy beach by the same name. You can also taste the typical food of the Amazon region in the local restaurants and in the city. The typical dishes are made with unique exotic ingredients: new flavours worth trying.
The Pilpintuwasi Butterfly farm is the only one in Peru, where more than 40 species of the most colorful (and least dangerous) Amazon insects can be seen.
Iquitos is definitely the Capital of the Peruvian Amazon, where you will also enjoy magic and witchcraft watching the ancient rituals for love, money and luck in the Belen neighborhood – another memorable moment of your visit to this wonderful region.