The main tourist attractions
SOUTH WEST OF IQUITOS
San Juan Artisans Market
Kilometer marker 4.5 of Avenida Abelardo Quiñónez. This market produces and sells a large diversity of regional handicrafts like knitted plant fiber articles, wood carvings, diverse ceramic pieces with typical motifs, "llanchama" tree bark paintings, typical clothing, leather goods, typical drinks, and many others. There is a room for Amazonian culture exhibitions and a wooden amphitheater for artistic presentations. The San Juan village is famous by its feast on June 24th.
12 Km (7 miles) from the Iquitos Airport control booth (30 minutes by car). It is located on the left bank of the Nanay River and is perfect for swimming or taking canoe rides through the beautiful countryside. Close to the lake is a small pond, Corrientillo, where you can eat traditional food.
12 Km (7 miles) from the Iquitos Airport control booth (30 minutes by car). Turn off 100 meters (28 feet) before Quistococha. The El Huayo Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located there. It is managed by the Puerto Almendra Center for Forestry Research and Training. The center maintains parcels of representative tree species of the Nanay River basin. You can walk the ecological paths, hike, and visit the local farms.
12 Km (7 miles) south of Iquitos on the banks of the Nanay River (30 minutes by car). Turn off 500 meters / 1640 feet before the airport. During the dry season (July – December) when the Nanay River water level decreases, beautiful, white sandy beaches are formed in front of Santa Clara and other areas, perfect for swimming, tanning, or even camping. It is one of the most attractive spots in the area around Iquitos.
Located at 15 Km. (9.3 miles) south of Iquitos, past the airport, (30 minutes by car). Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.. Tourist and amusement center located near Lake Quistococha. It has a regional flora forest of 369 hectares; small zoo of regional fauna and "paiches" (fish variety) hatcheries, also an artificial beach where visitors can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy the white sand and lovely landscape. You can row a boat on the lake and hike in the nearby areas. Regional museum of ceramic pieces and dissected animals. Quistococha Photo Gallery.
Small town located at 16 Km. (9.9 miles) south of Iquitos, past the airport, in the bank of Mapacocha lagoon, which is communicated with the Nanay river. Picturesque town whose people live from the fishing, the elaboration and commercialization of pottery and crafts. During the weekends they carry out big popular parties in the "tahuampas" (regional ball centers).
An excellent spot to water ski and to take boat or canoe rides. Nearby, there is a motocross track. The area is inhabited by a Cocama Cocamilla indigenous farming community whose main economic activities are fishing and ceramic making. Santo Tomás Photo Gallery.
115 Km (71 miles) from Iquitos (by river). It is located on the left bank of the Marañón River, seven miles from the confluence with the Ucayali River where the Amazon River is born. Founded in 1830, it is one of the oldest population centers in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest. Due to its strategic location as a linking point between the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers (to see the two rivers unite is an extraordinary sight), it has gained importance, and has become the main trade and communication center. There are basic tourist services in Nauta. Normally is the entryway to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
NORTH EAST OF IQUITOS
Bellavista Nanay Pier
North of Iquitos (10 minutes by motorcycle taxi) on the left bank of the Nanay River. From here, boats depart towards different destinations like the Boras indigenous community of San Andres and the Padre Cocha and Manacamiri farming communities, where tourist activities related to the traditions of the villages are available. You can rent a boat to ride on the Nanay River and to visit the nearby communities. Popular local market.
20 minutes from the village of Bellavista by motorboat on the left bank of the Nanay River. The Cocama Cocamilla people live here, a community of artisans mainly dedicated to making ceramics. From there, you can visit the Boras tribe and go to the Pilpintuwasi butterfly farm.
Boras of San Andrés
From the Bellavista Nanay port by chartered boat on the Nanay and Momón Rivers (20 minutes), on the banks of the Momón River. The inhabitants are originally from the area of the upper Putumayo at the border of Colombia, and attracted by rubber fever, they migrated to the place where they live today. They still maintain their customs and cultural traditions, and their festivals and ceremonies are associated with their myths and legends. They paint their bodies for their dances, the usual pattern among men and women being a stylized snake. The "Fiesta del Pijuayo" and the "Danza de la Viga" are the most important festivals, when people wear masks to represent mythical beings and to dramatize mythological episodes about the origin of the world, humans, and the Bora culture. You can purchase local handicrafts in the area. Bora Tribe - Ethno Photo Gallery (3)
Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm
15 minute walk from Padre Cocha. Visiting hours: Tue. – Sun. 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Last guided visit at 4:00 P.M. Pilpintuwasi is a Quechua word for "house of the butterflies". It houses more than forty varieties of exotic butterflies in a beautiful habitat surrounded by waterfalls and tropical flowers. Visiting the center allows you to witness butterfly reproduction, an interesting process, medicinal and ornamental plants, and different birds, monkey species, a tapir, an anteater and a jaguar.