Iquitos is a city submerged in the Peruvian Amazon Region. Iquitos is the capital of Loreto, the largest department of Peru. It is located 3,646 km from the Atlantic Ocean and 1,859 km from Lima. Seemingly far away, this city and its surroundings constitute one of the most important tourist attractions in the area.
The Jesuits founded Iquitos in 1757 under the name of San Pablo de los Napeanos. It was the first port on the Amazon River. As in the case of many other towns founded in the region during the 18th century, Iquitos was the point from which evangelists began preaching their religion to the native people of the area.
Protagonist of the era of the rubber tree boom, the city of Iquitos and its river port achieved international notoriety in the beginning of the 20th century, thus enabling the establishment of numerous foreign companies and the presence of european immigrants. The opulence of those days is still noticeable in some of the city’s buildings.
Surrounded by the best preserved forests due to its geographic isolation, the Iquitos Region shows features inherent to the Amazon eco-system and native groups as the Boras or the Yaguas which, in contact with civilization, live mainly on the banks of the rivers.
The region of Iquitos presents a warm and humid climate during most of the year, with abundant rainfall between November and April. The average temperature is 26°C, but can rise to 36°C, with a notable variation of strong thermal heat during the day and cool nights.
In the heart of the city of Iquitos stand out the principal Church erected next to the Main Square and an Obelisk which is a monument erected in honor to the heroes of the war with Chile in 1879. Other important monuments are the Ex- Palace Hotel, an art nouveau style building with three floors, which was considered the best and the most luxurious of the Peruvian Amazonia. Its construction cost around 40 thousand gold pounds and was the main hotel at the time of the rubber tree boom. Also it is possible to visit the wonderful Casa de Fierro, a structure designed by Gustave Eiffel that was bought in Paris in 1889 to be brought to Iquitos, where it was reassembled.
Located in front of the impressive Amazonas River, its construction began at the time of the rubber boom, towards the end of the XIX century. It constitutes a natural viewpoint to the river, its landscape and the nature that surrounds it.
It displays a sample of the different ethnic groups from the Amazonian river basin. It also exhibits photographs of Iquitos at the beginning of XX century.
Market and Port of Belen
The market constitutes the most important supply center, because it is there where the main nutritional products of the region are commercialized. The port of Belem, located to borders of the Itaya River, is known also as the loretana Venice, since it becomes a floating district when the water level rises. Almost all houses are built with the typical materials of the region and lay on foundations that keep them floating.
The Amazonas, immense and legendary, is the river with the largest volume of flow in the world. There are contradictions in regards of its length, which it is approximately 6,762 kilometers to its opening into the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon River is navigable by ships of all drafts; it has a winding and very deep bed reaching in some points up to 240 meters deep.
National Reserve of Pacaya Samiria
Located in the area of confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers, it is the greatest reserve of the country, with 2.080.000 hectares, and the fourth of South America. It was established in 1982 to preserve the abundant and varied wild fauna. The countless lakes, swamps and aguíjales serve as a refuge for hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. Emphasize the charapas turtles, the paiche (the largest freshwater fish of the world), the manatí, the pink and black bufeo (river dolphins), the giant otters and the black caymans, are all species in danger of extinction.