Known as the capital of the Peruvian Amazon Iquitos offers a wide variety of activities, here you can enjoy piranha fishing, watching and swimming with dolphins, jungle hiking, canoe tours, bird watching and visiting Native communities. This place is worth a visit. Cozy people, delicious food, and unforgettable landscapes…
Important info about Iquitos:
Iquitos cannot be reached by land, only by air or waterway. The plane from Lima takes about two hours. The boat depends on the starting point, but the company can take you from average 3 to 5 days. you can choose from barges with a cabin to commercial boats. In Iquitos, it will be easy to find agencies that organize expeditions to the jungle. Prices are expensive, so it is recommended to compare different options. Places to sleep can go from authentic bungalows with air conditioning, television, telephone, and wifi, to huts. There are expeditions in which every day you “build” a shelter to spend the night. All accommodations and guides must have at least one dose of antidote for poisonous stings. The most important thing apart from the antidote is water. Locals carry it from the city, because in the jungle, except rare exceptions, there is no drinking water. Here you sweat a lot because of the weather so the need to drink water can be more than double the usual.
Some useful equipment: Binoculars, a good zoom, camera protector for the rain and flashlight with a yellow light to prevent mosquitoes.
Some must do expeditions in Iquitos
Nacional Reserve Allpahuayo–Mishana
Departing from the port of Bellavista Nanay, 2 or 3 hours. This reserve of 58,000 hectares protects the highest concentration of white sand or “varillales” forests known in the Peruvian Amazon, where many unique species of plants and animals live. It also protects a sample of the forests flooded by the black waters of the Nanay, unique in the Peruvian Amazon. This reserve contains an enormous and peculiar biological wealth, and they emphasize numerous species of plants and animals endemic and of restricted distribution, many of them still without scientific description. More than 1 780 species of plants, 522 species of butterflies, 155 species of fish, 83 species of amphibians, 120 species of reptiles, 476 species of birds and 145 species of mammals have been recorded so far.
The Amazonian fauna:
One of the must-do expeditions in the jungle is to observe the rich native fauna … Well, the monkeys, some of them, you know, you put a banana and do whatever it takes to get it. But usually, you have to fine-tune your eyesight, because this is no easy task, here you have to rummage through the dense vegetation. However, you will see many little animals, such as the tapir, huacamayos, toucans, monkeys of a thousand different types, snakes, caimans, iguanas, piranhas, pink dolphins … This apart from a million and a half insects and arachnids, of all types, colors, shapes, and sizes.
Night expeditions in Iquitos:
In search of the undesirables: The night out is another of the jungle activities. There are two types: Terrestrial and fluvial. Both have as objective to go in search of those “bichos” (insects) that nobody would like to find by surprise. In terrestrials, you’ll be looking for tarantulas, scorpions, and snakes, basically, although some feline can give us a surprise. In the fluvial ones, what you are looking for are crocodiles. They are actually caimans (much smaller). The fact is that you can see the caymans red eyes when illuminating them with lanterns.
Native community San Miguel:
In the expedition to the Peruvian Amazonas, you can visit several communities of natives who survive in the middle of the jungle. The community of San Miguel, despite being the farthest from “civilization” is one of the most advanced, because they have electric light, limited in quantity, quality, and schedules, but they have it, in other communities they do not even have this. This is an exclusive experience if you are lucky you’ll be able to attend dances and coronations of the “Queen of Spring” with her ladies and children.
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