Iquitos was founded in 1757 as a Jesuit mission, through indigenous tribes actively resisted conversion. In the 1870s the great rubber boom boosted the population 16 fold and the next 30 years, Iquitos was at once the scene of ostentatious wealth and abject poverty. Rubber barons became fabulously rich, while rubber tappers mainly local tribes people and poor mestizos people of mixed indigenous and of Spanish decent suffered virtual enslavement sometimes death from disease or harsh treatment. Iquitos suffered subsequent economic decline, supporting itself with a combination of logging, agriculture (Brazil nuts, tobacco, bananas and a poisonous vine used by indigenous peoples to hunt fish and now exported for use in insecticides) and the export of wild animals to zoos. Then, in the 1960s, a second boom revitalized the area. This time the resource was oil, and its discovery made Iquitos a prosperous modern town. In recent years tourism has also played an important part in the area’s economy.
THINGS TO DO IN IQUITOS
The Island of the Monkeys
A cage-free rescue center 30km from Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon, dedicated to the protection and conservation of abandoned and orphaned monkeys. We rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild monkeys orphaned through the illegal animal trade. Visit us by yourself using local transport or get in touch with us to book one of our full day or overnight tours and see behind the scenes at our rescue center.
Amazon Rescue Center
The center does amazing work helping to educate the children in the local community as well as rescue mammals, birds, reptiles and especially manatees. Watch a very informative film and tour in English and Spanish. See manatees, monkeys, fish, ocelots, otters, macaws and other local animals that you may have missed on your trip.
Amazon River Luxury Cruise from Iquitos
Explore the mystery and beauty of the Amazon on a luxury river boat that offers the ultimate in style and comfort. Spend your day exploring the sublime natural wonders and fascinating culture of the Amazon, then take a break back onboard your ship as you relax and unwind aboard this floating palace of style and comfort. Each day of your journey offers a different opportunity for adventure. Some highlights include a journey to the Yarapa River, where you’ll have the chance to spot the Amazon’s one-of-a-kind pinkdolphins, and a visit to the native village of Puerto Prado to meet the Cocama Indian tribe. Throughout the trip you’re sure to spot some of the Amazon’s amazing diversity of wildlife, including exotic birds, monkeys, piranhas, and giant water lilies, among others.
After each day’s adventure, take a moment to sit back and relax and enjoy world-class food prepared with local ingredients along with wine and cocktails, and take in the sublime sunsets and panoramic views of the river from the ship’s huge picture-frame windows.
Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm
Totally worth the adventure of finding a moto taxi and private boat to take you out. The tours at the center are run by volunteers and they are very passionate about what they are doing. The butterflies are stunning and the stories of the animals which have been rescued and living there are interesting to learn about.The best part is the humans are behind the cage and the monkeys are free!
This is a good zoo in the heart of Iquitos in the Amazon jungle. You will see exotic animals and reptiles as well. Some of the animals are loose from their cage like the monkey’s and they will follow you so hold tight to your camera or you just might have a monkey taking photos of you. Also has a lovely walk and a smallbotanical garden: zoo includes jaguars, river dolphin, paiche fish, and many other animals.
The Tapiche Reserve is a private Amazon rain forest conservation property based out of Iquitos, Peru. We believe jungle animals belong in their natural habitat in the wild, not domesticated or manipulated for human entertainment or mass consumption. We’re dedicated to preserving primary forest and helping humans live in harmony with nature. Come stay at our jungle lodge, where researchers and nature enthusiasts marvel at the high density of wildlife on our property. The income we receive from visitors provides wages for locals whose alternatives are logging and poaching. You can be certain that you’re making a difference.
Museum of Indigenous Amazonian Cultures
The museum exhibits ethnographic artifacts from 30 different Amazon Indian cultures from the greater Amazon basin including groups from eastern Brazil, Guyana, Xingu, Mata Grosso, Colombia, the Peruvian lowlands and the foot hills of the Andes. The theme of the museum is how Amazon Indians live within nature and are helping to conserve the fragile rain forests. Exhibits are displayed in a period house on two floors and in line with international museum standards. The museum is located on the riverfront in the historic district of Iquitos
Plaza de Armas de Iquitos
Nice Plaza that has everything in close proximity to it. Would recommend the pizza and ice cream shop!
Museum of Historic Boats
The museum is in the historic steamboat “Ayapua” and exhibits Amazon navigation,
discovery of the Amazon, missionary outposts, old Iquitos, explorers of the Amazon, rubber industry, atrocities of the Putomayo, and making of the Fitzcarraldo film. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm, and includes a 30 minute excursion in a historic launch.
The Bora Village is about about 10 minutes into the jungle by boat from the Amazon River. When you arrive, you are greeted by a few off the tribe and escorted into a big tent. If you are in the Peruvian Amazon in Iquitos, a visit to the Bora Tribe is a unique experience. They treat you with a welcoming warmth and perform traditional dances with your participation. Be prepared for a trinkets sales pitch at the end.
Definitely, a nice spot to stroll around that close to the river. It’s cool to have such beautiful views that close to the center. There are as well nice restaurants for all budgets. It’s kind of touristic but it’s still nice. This walk invites to make interesting pictures especially around the wreck of a cargo ship. Relax and enjoy a beer in one of the restaurants nearby.
The climate in Iquitos is hot, oppressive, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 71°F to 89°F