3 Days in Iquitos: Suggested Itineraries

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Peru’s famed “Gateway to the Amazon” was once just a humble Jesuit outpost in the jungle, until the Industrial Age. With that revolution—particularly after the widespread adoption of the automobile—international demand for rubber exploded. Harvested from the Amazon wilderness and sold here in Iquitos for a fraction of its worth on the global market, the sticky sap gave rise to impossibly wealthy rubber barons who indulged in extravagant architectural marvels, still scattered throughout Iquitos like gemstones.

Today, Iquitos is once again thriving thanks to tourism and oil, but remains quite isolated, as the largest city in the world that can’t be reached by road. Hot, humid and replete with the rainforest's intense biodiversity, it is entirely different from Peru’s windswept deserts and Andean highlands. Dress accordingly and give yourself time to acclimate to the heat. Expect rain throughout the year, particularly February through May, when rising waters make for more interesting riverboat excursions, but difficult hiking.

Day 1: Explore the City

Get started early with a canoe tour of Belen, Iquitos’ famous floating barrio. The early morning hours are when this neighborhood is at its freshest and its famous market is at its busiest. After popping into the amazing maze of stalls selling herbs, tinctures, unusual fruits and even weirder fish, enjoy lunch at one of several floating seafood restaurants. 

Back in the city proper, you’ll find dozens of impressive buildings, the finest around the Plaza de Armas and long the Itaya River. The colorfully Gothic Iglesia Matriz and gleaming Casa de Hierro are among the most famous, but there are many more. If Museums are your game, check out the Museo Etnografico, with exhibits about local indigenous culture, or the Natural Science Museum, with information about local flora and fauna. Otherwise, just stroll the Tarapaca River Walk for soothing views, souvenir shopping at the Mercado San Juan, and perhaps an adult beverage in the breeze.

Day 2: The Birth of a River

Book a trip to the beginning of the Amazon, at the confluence of Maranon and Ucayali Rivers, about 183km (114mi) southwest of Iquitos. This is also the gateway to Peru’s largest, most biodiverse protected area, Reserva Nacional Pacaya Samiria. The vast and perpetually flooded rainforest is home to all manner of wildlife, including the region’s famed pink dolphins and more than 500 species of bird. You could make a day of it or arrange to stay overnight in one of several jungle lodges.

Day 3: Enjoy All the Amazon Has to Offer

This is the largest, most biodiverse rainforest in the world, but chances are that the wildlife wasn’t quite as easy to spot as implied. No problem! Head out to amazing Quistacocha Zoological park, a sprawling 425-hectare (1050-acre) park just 6.5km (4mi) from Iquitos, where you’ll find tapirs, big cats, capybaras, manatees, monkeys, anteaters and all sorts of exotic birds in ample displays amidst the rainforest. There’s even a lake with a petite beach, and kayaks. Other excellent wildlife displays include Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm and Animal Orphanage, Isla de los Monos (Monkey Island) and Fundo Pedrito Caiman Sanctuary.

Or, if you’ve been out on the river for far too long and find yourself aching for some civilization, head to the Amazon Golf Course, an nine-hole oasis where “it's not so much birdies and eagles; more like boas in the rough, caimans sunning in the sand traps, and piranhas lurking in the water holes.” It claims to be the only course in the world where golfers are issued a machete to carry in their golf bag.
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3-Day Iquitos Amazon Jungle Adventure at Heliconia Lodge

Explore the enchanting scenery and diverse wildlife of the Amazon jungle on an exhilarating 3-day excursion from Iquitos. Cruise along the tranquil Amazon River on a rustic canoe; see vibrant birds and raucous monkeys frolic in the treetops; and visit a traditional sugarcane distillery to learn of ancient agricultural methods. Absorb the scenic spectacle of the landscape while enjoying all-inclusive meals, round-trip airport transportation and comfortable overnight accommodation on this adventurous tour.
  • Duration: 3 days
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$262.00 USD
$460.00 USD  $198.00 USD savings
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  • Duration: 3 days
From
$262.00 USD
$460.00 USD  $198.00 USD savings

3-Day Amazon Jungle Tour at Sinchicuy Lodge

Awaken your senses to the spectacular sights and sounds of the jungle on this exhilarating excursion from Iquitos. Enjoy a smooth and stress-free transfer from Iquitos International Airport, then venture deep into the dense rainforest to the rustic Sinchicuy Lodge. Enjoy the comfort and tranquility of the lodge, where meals are served and peaceful nights spent. Immerse yourself in the atmospheric Yanamono Reserve on exciting hikes; emerge early to appreciate the fluttering fascination of exotic birds; and interact with the indigenous locals of a small, riverside community to gain insight into ancient cultures.
  • Duration: 3 days
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$250.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 days
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$250.00 USD

3-Day Iquitos Jungle Adventure at Muyuna Lodge

Explore the Peruvian Amazon on a multi-day, action-filled adventure. Enjoy round-trip transport from Iquitos to the Muyana Lodge, where you'll have your own private Amazon bungalow and all-inclusive meals. Spend your days embarking on jungle hikes, canoeing along the lake, bird watching and seeking out local wildlife like sloths, toucans, and monkeys. It's the ideal trip for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors.
  • Duration: 3 days
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$417.50 USD
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  • Duration: 3 days
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3-Day Iquitos Amazon Jungle Adventure at Ceiba Tops Luxury Lodge

Discover the beauty of the Amazon on a 3-day luxury jungle adventure from Iquitos. Traverse the forest by foot and by boat to learn about the native flora and fauna. Learn about the indigenous Yagua culture that lives in this famous jungle. Stay in the luxurious Ceiba Tops Amazon Lodge during your tour with all meals and transportation included in the cost.
  • Duration: 3 days
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$653.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 days
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