IQUITOS - Portal to the Amazon by Cliff Tulpa, Author

Page 26

The people make Iquitos a special place. The friendly people are the biggest attraction of Iquitos. They welcome tourists and foreigners with a smile and greeting. They are very open and friendly people. The streets are safe and clean. Violent crime is rare. However, like any city, there are plenty of street hustlers, cons and beggars. Street markets hold pickpockets and petty thieves, so take extra care about your money, camera and possessions when visiting the many open air street markets of Iquitos.

There are also many “bricheras” (hookers and con-artists) with elaborate con-games waiting for the opportunity to trap an extranjero to get his money, or to pay their way or buy things for them. So take extra care when an overly friendly local wants to show you the city, or has a special deal you need to know about, or would really love it if you were to buy some clothes, shoes or whatever, or invites the family to have dinner and drinks with you and has you pay, or says is very hungry and asks you to buy dinner, then doesn't eat it, and takes it home for family.

30 top Every night, Iquitos is filled with people cooking over “carbon” (charcoal). The alluring scent of the “asado” bar-b-que in the air drifts through the streets and draws you in. Here on the streets with the many “asado” vendors you can get some of the best tasting food in Iquitos!

30 bottom There are no shopping malls in Iquitos. Small family owned shops are the normal stores in Iquitos. Here a family-owned hardware store in a Punchana neighborhood also sells parts, oil and grease to service the multitude of motorcycles and the three wheeled motocarros.