o navigate the Amazon
and penetrate the entangled greenness of the jungle is an adventure beyond imagining. During the journey over the waters of the world's largest and longest river, fascinating places are discovered and contact is made with the areas native communities, inheritors of the wisdom of their ancestors.
would not be complete without having walked under the scorching rays of the sun or having heard the singsong chatter of the people of Iquitos
, the leading city of the Peruvian Amazon.
Places not to be missed when travelling to the Peruvian rainforest are the Amazon,
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co-tourism excursions through the Amazon
combine the adventure of getting to know the jungle and the experience of contact with the natives of the region, who, just like their forebears, live in harmony with nature.
The lodges to the north, in the direction of Pebas or the community of Francisco de Orellana and to the south of Iquitos,
in the direction of Nauta and the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, are distinguished by their rustic comforts and the chance they provide the visitor to spend a night in the heart of the Amazon
There are a variety of tourist circuits navigating the Amazon,
consisting of canoe excursions, a truly thrilling experience although quite frightening at night, walks along trails covered by copious vegetation where one can listen to the "symphony" of the animals of the jungle; or resting in a native hammock and fishing in paradisiacal lagoons.
Particularly attractive places are the orchid nurseries on the margin of the Sinchicuy river, where monkeys, parrots and toucans can usually be seen; the "kingdom of the giant trees", 60 kms. north of Iquitos;
and the Laguna Negra (Black Lagoon) in the Yarapa River Natural Reserve where, in the company of Yagua natives, a day of artisan fishing can be enjoyed.
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
is one of the more marvelous corners of the Amazon
jungle to be discovered. Its fauna is abundant with 130 different species of mammals, 330 bird species, 150 different reptiles and amphibians and 250 species of fish.
Pacaya Samiria, is Peru's largest nature reserve in area, the second largest in the Amazon
Basin and the fourth in size in all South America. Its climate is hot and humid and its vegetation is one of the most abundant in species in the entire Amazon
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The House of Iron (Casa de Fierro):
At the corner of Putumayo and Tarapacá streets, the House of Iron is one of the first "pre-fabricated" houses to be brought to Peru. Designed by Gustav Eiffel, who built the famous tower in Paris, it reached Iquitos in 1895 after its purchase by Baca Diez, a rubber tycoon.
The former Palace Hotel:
This building of Moorish design was built between 1908 and 1912. An example of the extravagance and splendor introduced into the Amazon during the rubber "boom".
The Municipal Museum and Library of the Amazon:
One can become acquainted with the history of the Amazon here. The Museum has an assorted display of Amazon fauna as well as crafts from the different jungle tribes. The Library is one of the most important on the Amazon in Latin America, with a newspaper collection, a paintings collection and 132 sculptures, displaying the costumes of the different jungle tribes.
The Malecon Grau:
At the border of the city, the Malecon (promenade) is the perfect place to view the Amazon River. The houses along the esplanade are decorated with tiles brought over from Europe during the rubber boom.
The Belen Quarter (Barrio de Belen):
Also known as the "Peruvian Venice" because the houses stand on wooden poles above the waters of the Amazon River. This poor area which can only be visited by canoe, is unique to the jungle, and provides and experience which the visitor will find difficult to forget.
Quistococha Tourist Compound:
This is a Natural Tourist Park 13 kms. from Iquitos at the edge of the Lake Quistococha (Christ of the Lake). It has a zoo with around one thousand native animals of the region. The lake spreads over 56 hectares; and has an artificial beach, bungalows and restaurants.