The mighty Amazon River and its enormous, thickly forested basin are the heart of South America, the lungs of the world and the guardian of one fifth of the Earth’s fresh water. This river is the reason for Iquitos’ very existence and though it flows past the northern tip of the city, a bit beyond the river walk, the Rio Itaya, its influence is felt by everyone.
While its origins are much contested—any of the big river’s innumerable tributaries has a legitimate claim to the title—the “Birthplace of the Amazon” can be said to lie at the confluence of the Ucayali and Maranon Rivers, accessible from the Port of Nauta, 90km (56mi) from Iquitos on the newish paved highway. It is the quintessential daytrip, allowing travelers to ascend a 30m (100ft) observation tower that offers the region’s iconic photo op. There are several ways to experience the Amazon and its unparalleled biodiversity, all of them beginning with a boat trip.
This Peruvian Amazon establishment is a haven for orphaned and injured manatees. Established in 2007 and run by the Institute for the Investigation of the Peruvian Amazon (IIAP) in partnership with the Dallas Aquarium, the Manatee Rescue Center educates visitors and allows for interaction with these endangered animals.
Visitors can see rescued adult and baby manatees in natural pools and witness their rehabilitation. It is also possible to volunteer with the center and even bottle feed a baby manatee. The staff members take great care to teach about the importance of preserving the species and the present dangers to their habitat, as many local manatees are poached and babies captured to be sold as sold as pets, often with a high mortality rate. Tours are conducted in both English and Spanish.
Peru’s largest and most important protected area is the massive Reserva Nacional Pacaya Samiria, a vast 2.08 million hectare (8,030 square miles; roughly the size of New Jersey or El Salvador) swath of pristine rainforest threaded with endless waterways. The two most important, forming the borders of the roughly triangular reserve, are Maranon and Ucayali Rivers.
Where Pacaya Samiria narrows to a point, at their celebrated confluence, the official birthplace of the mighty Amazon. Climb the viewing tower for the iconic photo. Visitors to the reserve must come with a guided tour. The Pacaya Samiria begins about 183km (114mi) south of Iquitos, a trip that can be done entirely on the water, or more quickly (if less scenically) by driving along the 90km (56mi) Iquitos–Nauta Highway, to the Port of Nauta. Scores of different tours are on offer, following the Maranon, Ucayali, and other assorted waterways through the thick vegetation and canyons.
Bezienswaardigheden in de omgeving van Iquitos
- Bezienswaardigheden in Peruaans Amazonegebied
- Bezienswaardigheden in Chachapoyas
- Bezienswaardigheden in Nueva Loja
- Bezienswaardigheden in Quito
- Bezienswaardigheden in Mindo
- Bezienswaardigheden in Huaraz
- Bezienswaardigheden in Chiclayo
- Bezienswaardigheden in Cali
- Bezienswaardigheden in Bogota
- Bezienswaardigheden in Armenia
- Bezienswaardigheden in Noordkust van Peru
- Bezienswaardigheden in Andes
- Bezienswaardigheden in Zuidkust van Peru
- Bezienswaardigheden in Braziliaans Amazonegebied