Boat ride on the Amazon River ÂŠ Kim Schandorff 2015
Loreto A practical guide for visitors
Amazon forest in the northeast of Peru, bordering Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil
Iquitos (104 meters)
Elevation Min.: 70 meters (Amelia) Max.: 220 meters (Balsapuerto) Climate Temperature Max.:
Dec - Mar
Apr - Jun
Jul - Sept
Oct - Nov
Flood season (november - june) Dry season (july - october)
Arriving By land Nauta-Iquitos: 115 km /
1 hr. 40 min Tarapoto-Iquitos: 50 min Pucallpa-Iquitos: 50 min Lima-Iquitos:
By river Pucallpa-Iquitos (the port ofLa Hoyada)along the Ucayali River: Yurimaguas-Iquitos along the Huallaga River and the Marañón River:
4 - 5 days
2.5 - 3 days
Loreto Departmental capital Provincial capital District capital Tourist attraction International border Provincial border Main road Asphalted road Unmade road Airport
Natural Protected Area Main river Lake or lagoon
Pink river dolphin ÂŠ Heinz Plenge Pardo
Approved by RD N° 0277/RE from September 28, 2016. The boundaries indicated do not prejudice international limits.
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Pucacuro National Reserve
Pucacuro National Reserve
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National Re Pacaya Samiria Lagunas National Reserve
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Santa Clotilde San Antonio del Estrecho
San Antonio del Estrecho
Yaguas Yaguas Reserved Area Reserved Area
MAYNAS Francisco de Orellana Mazán Mazán
IQUITOS Punchana TOS del Alto Nanay San Juan
Caballococha Caballococha Lake Cushillococha San Pablo
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The Ex Hotel Palace in the city of Iquitos © Juan Gabaldón / PROMPERÚ Iquitos is one of the most vibrant Amazon cities (its beginnings date back to 1785). On a walk through its lively streets, its architecture is eye catching.
By motor ship (people and cargo) from Iquitos to the cities of: DESTINATION
Nauta (Loreto Province)
2 hr. bus / 12 hr. motor ship
Requena (Requena Province)
Caballococha (Mariscal Ramón Castilla Province)
Yurimaguas (Alto Amazonas Province)
2,5 - 3 days
Contamana (Contamana Province)
Typical food © Yayo López / PROMPERÚ
(the minimum recommended stay)
City center: main church, museums and mansions.
City tour: Amazon River, Amazon tourist lookout, Pedrito fish farm, Pilpintuwasi bu erfly farm and Bora Community of San Andrés.
Amazonian Rescue Center and Quistococha tourist complex.
Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve.
Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, lodges and cruises along the Amazon River and its tributaries.
Yurimaguas market © Fernando López / PROMPERÚ Every day an important variety of exotic fruits, peppers and fish arrives to the markets of Loreto.
Calendar 5 Jan
Anniversary of the foundation of the Iquitos river port
Saint John the Baptist Festival
International Raft Race
What to eat? In addition to the popular juane (steamed rice with chicken in a bijao leaves), tacacho con cecina (a banana dough with cured pork), the gastronomy of Loreto provides other servings that are fed from its abundant nature, such as chonta salad (made from the stem of the palm) and ceviche de dorado (a freshwater fish) and patarashca (fish wrapped in bijao leaves). Exotic local fruits are used to prepare cool drinks such as aguajina (based on aguaje) and chapo (ripe plantain) There are also masato (cooked and fermented cassava) and shibe (made with water and fariĂąa, fermented and roasted cassava). The best known liquors are siete raĂces (seven roots) and huarapo (fermented cane juice).
What to buy? Throughout the region, artisans work with products they extract from nature. They produce blankets and bags woven with plant fibers such as chambira, woodcarvings, black clay ceramics decorated with Kukama Kukamiria iconography and paintings on llanchama (the bark of a tree). These products can be purchased in Iquitos at the San Juan de Miraflores or the Anaconda handicraft markets. A visit to the Yaguas, Huitotos, Boras and Ocainas communities is also an opportunity to purchase handicrafts on which the craftsman depict their worldview. It is important to remember that trading in wild flora or fauna species is prohibited by law.
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What to see? Maynas Province The Iquitos Main Church Main Square The church’s construction took 13 years and was completed in 1924. It’s design has an evident Neo-Gothic influence. The wood-carved pulpit is a feature of its single nave. In 1925 a Swiss-made clock was added to its tower and continues telling time.
Mansions The rubber boom in the late 19th and early 20th century the drove development of the country’s economy and of Iquitos in particular. A sign of this is the architecture of the city’s mansions, where the rubber barons established their homes and businesses. Decorated with tiles and modern designs, these buildings are a testimony to that period. • The Iron Mansion Main Square, at the intersection of Jirón Putumayo and Jirón Próspero. • Exhotel Palace (Casa Malecón Palace) At the intersection of Jirón Putumayo and Malecon Tarapacá. • Fitzcarrald Mansion At the intersection of Jirón Raimondi and Jirón Napo. • Luis E. Morey Mansion At the intersection of Jirón Raimondi and Jirón Loreto. • Cohen Mansion At the intersection of Jirón Próspero and Jirón Morona. • Ríos Padilla Mansion (The Irapay Cultural Center) At the intersection of Jirón Próspero and Jirón Ricardo Palma.
Malecón Tarapacá One block from the Main Square, on the banks of the Itaya River. Built during the rubber boom in memory of the Ba le of Tarapacá, this esplanade is now restored. The small squares, bars and restaurants located along its length are perfect places to sit and enjoy the view.
The Museum of Amazonian Indigenous Cultures Malecón Tarapacá 332. Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 am - 7:00 pm. Ticket entry. Through information and testimonies, the museum disseminates the importance to the area’s development of the most representative indigenous groups. It also exhibits Pre-Columbian pieces found in the region.
The Iquitos Museum Jirón Yavarí, cuadra 12, to the northeast of Iquitos. Opening hours: Mon 7:00 am 3:00 pm, Tue-Fri 7:00 am - 8:00 pm, Sat 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sun 9:00 pm - 3:00 pm The museum displays photos and documents from the city’s foundation, and events relevant to its history. Bronze statues represent native indigenous peoples of the Amazon and it houses restored murals of the renowned painter César Calvo de Araujo.
Bellavista Nanay Wharf Right bank of the Nanay River, 3 km north of the city of Iquitos (12 minutes by mototaxi). This is the starting point for adventures to find communities or beautiful locations along the Nanay River, such as the confluence of its waters with those of the Amazon River.
Santa Clara Village On the right bank of the Nanay River, 12 km to the southeast of the city of Iquitos (30 min. by car). Between July and November the flow of the river falls and forms beautiful white sandy beaches in front of this community. Camping is allowed in the area.
Santo Tomás Village 16 km to the southeast of the city of Iquitos (45 min. by mototaxi). This Kukama Kukamiria indigenous group community is located on the banks of the canal that connects the Nanay River with Lake Mapacocha. Its members are engaged in traditional activities such as fishing and the creation of handicrafts in black clay and balsa wood. The lake is an excellent place to water ski or to take a boat ride.
The Amazonian Rescue Center On the Iquitos-Nauta Highway 4 km to the southwest of the city of Iquitos (25 min. by mototaxi). Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Ticket entry. The center is responsible for rescuing and releasing endangered species of Amazon wildlife. During a tour the visitor can see the animals that have been rescued and are in the process of rehabilitation.
Lake Zungarococha On the right bank of the Nanay River, to the southwest of the city of Iquitos and 12 km from the airport (30 min. by mototaxi). Its tranquil waters are perfect for cooling off or for taking canoe rides amidst beautiful landscapes. Nearby is the Corrientillo Lagoon, in whose surroundings traditional dishes may be sampled.
The Quistococha Tourist Complex On the Iquitos-Nauta Highway, 6.5 km to the southwest of the city of Iquitos (30 min. by mototaxi). Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. Ticket entry. On the banks of the Quistococha Lagoon, this complex has a beach where people come to cool off from the characteristic heat of Iquitos and to enjoy boating. It also has 369 hectares of natural forest, where one can take hikes to view the area’s flora and fauna.
The Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve The entry is 26.8 km and 28 km to the southwest of the city of Iquitos along the road to Nauta (45 minutes by car). From the village of Nina Rumi it is 2 or 3 hr. by boat on the Nanay River. Ticket entry. The reserve protects the largest number of white sand forests in the Amazon, as well as floodplain forests. Its rich biodiversity includes 1780 species of plants, 522 species of bu erflies, 155 fish species, 83 amphibian species, 120 reptiles species and 145 species of mammal, including bald-headed uakari and the black howler, endemic species of primates. It is also paradise for birdwatching enthusiasts since in addition to the 476 species already registered, new ones continue to be discovered, such as the cotinga and the manakin. The José Álvarez Alonso biological station provides paths for walks.
Hoatzín or shansho © Heinz Plenge Pardo
Padre Cocha On the left bank of the Nanay River, to the northeast of the city of Iquitos (20 min. from Bellavista Nanay by motorboat). The Kukama Kukamiria ethnic group is settled here. They are known for their work in clay. There is access from this village to the Bora and the Yagua communities and to the Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm.
The Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm and Rescue Center A 15 minute walk from the village of Padre Cocha, to the northeast of the city of Iquitos. Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. Ticket entry. The name in Quechua means ‘house of the butterflies’ because it hosts more than 20 varieties of exotic bu erflies. The ideal time for a tour to appreciate the wide variety of butterflies in flight is between 9 am and 11 am. In addition to viewing the butterfly in its natural state, visitors can learn more about its reproductive process and life cycle. As it is also a wildlife rescue center, jaguars, manatees and parrots can be seen as well, among other species.
The Bora Community of San AndrĂŠs On the banks of the MomĂłn River, to the northeast of the city of Iquitos (20 min. by motorboat from Bellavista Nanay). Ticket entry This community originally inhabited the upper areas of the Putumayo on the border with Colombia, but migrated to its current location attracted by the rubber boom. A visit allows one to discover the traditions of its people, who view the world through their mythology. Dances and handicrafts are the principal examples of their customs.
The Amazon Tourist Lookout On the left bank of the Amazon River, to the northwest of the city of Iquitos (20 min. by motorboat from Bellavista Nanay). Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Ticket entry. This point is found in the community of Independencia on the top of a hill which offers a fine view of the Amazon River, the city of Iquitos and the intense green of the Amazon. Community members offer guided hikes that lead to a lupuna, one of the largest trees of the forest, and to a small waterfall.
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Loreto Province Nauta On the left bank of the Marañón River, 100 km to the south of the city of Iquitos (1 hr. 30 min. by car). Founded in 1830, this is one of the oldest villages in the Amazon.
Pacaya Samiria National Reserve 183 km to the southwest of the city of Iquitos (Iquitos-Nauta by car - 1 hr. 30 min. and Nauta to the Community 20 de Enero - 1 hr. by motorboat). Ticket entry. It is necessary to engage the services of a tourist operator to undertake this visit. The reserve is not only one of the largest in the country but also in South America. Abundant rain feeds its diverse flora, with 1025 species of wild and cultivated plants. It is habitat for 527 species of birds, 102 species of mammals, 69 reptile species, 58 amphibian species and 269 fish species, many of them endangered. More than 42,000 people live along the banks of the Marañón and Ucayali rivers, as well as another 50,000 in the buffer zone.
The Amazon River The river discovered by Francisco de Orellana travels 7062 km from the Apacheta Gorge in Arequipa, to the Atlantic. It is world renowned for being the mightiest river, for its amazing biodiversity and for being one of the seven natural wonders. The Amazon River Tourist Corridor and the variety of its flora and fauna can be discovered through leading cruise expeditions that reach as far as the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Another unparalleled experience is staying at one of the ecotourism lodges that are found in the midst of the Amazon forest. Excursions leave from these to admire the flora, to watch birds and visit communities.
Provincia de Ramón Castilla Pebas To the northeast of the city of Iquitos, on the banks of the Ampiyacu River, 500 meters from the mouth of the Amazon River (5 hr. by motorboat or 1 day by motor ship). One of the town’s main a ractions is the Casa del Arte (House of Art), a gallery which exhibits the works of the painter Francisco Grippa that portray the customs of the Amazon. The surroundings consist of dense Amazon forest, where nature lovers can hike to discover the flora and fauna. Taking a boat and traveling the Ampiyacu River is an easy way to meet native communities such as the Yaguas, the Boras, the Huitotos and the Ocainas.
Caballococha To the right side of the Amazon River, 311 km to the northeast of the city of Iquitos (2 days by motor ship or 8 hr. by motorboat). This is the provincial capital and is a very important communications center with the neighboring countries of Brazil and Colombia.
Lake Cushillococha 6 km to the south of Caballococha (20 min. by mototaxi or 1 hr. 30 min. on foot), 110 km from the borders with Colombia and Brazil (8 hr by launch or 2 hr by motorboat). The lake’s dark waters are inhabited by varied fauna, including the grey and pink river dolphin, the sábalo, the black prochilodus and the yulilla. For this reason, it is attractive for fishing enthusiasts. The Ticuna ethnic group has se led on its banks. The main activities of the community are agriculture, hunting, gathering and fishing, but they are also skilled with the chambira fiber, which they use to create hammocks and traditional bags known as "jicras".
Alto Amazonas Province Yurimaguas On the banks of the Huallaga River, 388 km to the southwest of the city of Iquitos (2.5 to 3 days by barge). This city is surrounded by beautiful Amazonian landscapes and owes its name to the tribes Yuri and Omagua. Between July and November the river level drops and attractive beaches with tourist services appear. From Yurimaguas, Tarapoto (in the San Martín region) can be reached by road.
Ucayali Province Contamana To the right side of the Amazon River, 431 km to the southwest of the city of Iquitos (3 days by barge). The name derives from the shipibo dialect and means “hill of palms”. It is one of the most important river ports in the Peruvian Amazon and therefore has a good range of tourist services.
The Jerusalén District Lookout 1 km to the south of the city of Contamana (5 min. by mototaxi or 15 min. on foot). This hill 30 meters in height is part of the Azul mountain range. Because of its location and height, it is a strategic place to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets, and the exuberance of the area’s flora.
Aguas Calientes 22 km to the northeast of the city of Contamana (30 min. by car). Ticket entry. Here there are about 20 sources of sulfurous and ferrous waters that reach temperatures of between 40 °C and 90 °C and have therapeutic properties. Nearby is clay lick visited each day by birds in search of the sulfur that seeps into the ground from the water. In the surroundings there is a forest with abundant vegetation.
Pacaya Samiria National Reserve ÂŠ Janine Costa / PROMPERĂš Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is located in the Peruvian Amazon, with 2'080,000 hectares. It has more than 1,000 wildlife species and 965 wild plants.
Iquitos City Center
The former Palace Hotel (Casa Malecón Palace)
Luis E. Morey Mansion
Museum of Amazonian Indigenous Cultures
Prefecture, Decentralized Directorate of Culture and the Amazon Library
Ríos Padilla Mansion (Centro Cultural Irapay)
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24 hours (+51-1) 574-8000 (+51) 944-492-314 firstname.lastname@example.org VisitPeru
The information in this brochure was updated in November 2019. In developing it, PROMPERU has used official information sources, including the Loreto Regional Directorate of Foreign Trade, Tourism and Handicrafts. Opening hours and telephones are subject to variation by each tourist attraction. Confirm times and phone numbers with IPERÚ.
A publication by the Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Board - PROMPERU Calle Uno Oeste n.° 50, piso 14, urb. Córpac, San Isidro, Lima - Perú Telephone: (+51-1) 616-7300 www.promperu.gob.pe © PROMPERÚ. All rights reserved. Hecho el Depósito Legal en la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú n.° xxxxxx Printing: Quad/Graphics Perú S.A. (Av. Los Frutales No. 344, Ate Vitarte-Lima) Lima, October 2019
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A practical guide for visitors.