The Main Square
Heart of the city, congregates many people during the evening, chattering spot. In the center of the square is located a monument in remembrance of the death warriors of the "Guerra del Pacífico" (Pacific War). In the surrounding areas you will find the City Hall, the Cathedral, social clubs and commercial establishments.
This Neo-gothic church was built between 1911 and 1924. The building has just one nave and features a carved wood pulpit on the right hand side. The Swiss clock, installed in 1925, is an interesting detail.
"Malecón Tarapacá" (or Boulevard riverwall)
Located a block next to the Main Square. It is a place of beautiful attractiveness with a magnificent view of a branch from the Itaya River, Amazon River and Padre Isla, a bank of sand of almost 20 Km. (12.4 miles) length making difficult to observe the total width of the Amazonas River. It was built during the pinnacle of rubber fever and was named in memory of the fallen heroes in the war against Chile. After the evening many people meet at the restaurants and centers of amusement of the Riviera. There are many important historical monuments, houses, and cafes placed along its length. The wall has been remodeled, and now features wide sidewalks, small plazas with gardens, handicraft market, and one rotunda, a monument to the biodiversity, myths, and legends of the Amazonian region.
Historic Buildings (Azulejos)
Iquitos harbors, between the jungle's lushness and the Amazon's mysterious murmur, a series of architectural gems that surprise the traveler for the beauty of their forms and for the peculiarity of their style; these are the traces left over from the rubber barons, powerful land owners that made the jungle of Peru a true commercial paradise at the end of the nineteenth century. As part of the inheritance from the epoch, some singularly designed vestiges still remain: palaces richly decorated with azulejos imported from Portugal and Arabic bricks (the Rocha, Morey, and Cohen houses), Art Nouveau buildings (former Palace Hotel), or the celebrated residence designed by Gustave Eiffel, constructed with metal girders transported by hundred of men through the jungle.
"La Casa de Hierro" (The Iron House)
Built by the French engineer Gustave Eiffel for the Exhibition of Paris in 1889 and bought by millionaire called Anselmo del Aguila, the one who brought it in pieces to Iquitos, including bolts and nuts, and assembled it on its actual location, north west of the Main Square. It was made in Paris in 1860 and imported piece by piece into Iquitos around 1890, during the opulent rubber-boom days.
"Comandancia Regional del Ejército" (Regional Command of the Army)
Its headquarter is located on one of the most beautiful houses built in the rubber apogee, its front is finely decorated with tiles. Its interiors cannot be visited. Located in the northwestern corner of the Main Square and the Malecón Tarapacá.
It is one of the main streets of the city, most of the businesses are located here, banks, airline offices, travel agencies, craft markets, cloth stores, etc.
Municipal Museum of Natural Science
Napo N° 224. Visiting hours: Mon. – Fri. 7:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M.; Sat. 8:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. It exhibits dissected animals native to the department and a collection of local handicrafts.
Museo Etnográfico- Malecón Tarapacá N° 386. Visiting hours: Mon. – Fri. 8:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. Sat. 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. It was built in 1863. What stands out the most in the museum are the large windows ending in semi-circular arches and protected by strong iron bars, the decoratively carved wooden interior walls, and the furniture designed in the fashion of the time. It preserves a collection of more than 80 life-sized fiberglass sculptures representing the main ethnic groups found in the Peruvian, Brazilian and Venezuelan Amazon Rainforest and a photographic retelling of the city history. It shares the premises with the Military Museum.
Amazonian Library (Biblioteca Amazónica)
Malecón Tarapacá N° 354. Visiting hours: Mon. 3:30 P.M. – 6:45 P.M.; Tue. – Fri. 8:30 A.M. – 12:15 P.M. and 3:30 P.M. – 6:45 P.M. Sat. 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. The library keeps specialized books, photographic archives, newspapers and magazines, movies, maps, prints, and paintings; it also displays objects of historical value and ancient editions of the Bible. Local topics are its area of specialty. The library was built in 1873 to be only one-story, but the second was built in 1903. The successive, large windows protected with iron grates stand out.
"Belén" (Venice of Loreto)
Located on the left bank of the Itaya River, southeast of Iquitos. Morning visits are recommended. It is poor people's neighborhood, in the southwest of Iquitos. Located at ten blocks from the Main Square. It is located next to the Itaya river and is characterized because great part of its houses are located on the bed of the river and they are adapted to the changes of height of the waters. This neighborhood in turn is the great market of the city, and every day at dawn arrive fishermen, hunters and farmers with their canoes loaded with products. In the market you will find medicinal herbs and beverages, exotic and a great variety of fruits. Their floating houses are on rafts fixed to big wooden piles. During the dry season, people use both floors, but during the flood season, only the second floor is used; since the entire lower zone of Belen remains under water, the population uses boats and canoes for transport, which is why it is considered the "Venice of Loreto". Belen has two districts: the upper zone where the Belen market and main warehouse are and the lower zone, an informal port and lively commercial center for jungle goods. Today, there are buildings of high quality materials. It is possible to take boat rides on the Amazon and Itaya Rivers. (Photos: Belen Neighborhood)
Feasts of Iquitos:
San Juan Feast: June 24th - In the jungle, Saint John the Baptist has taken on a major symbolic significance because of the importance of water as a vital element in the entire Amazon region. This is why June 24 (St. John's the Baptist's day) is the most important date on the festival calendar in the entire Peruvian jungle. The northeastern city of Iquitos hosts a variety of festivals and public events: fiestas with typical local bands where cooks dish up some of the regional cuisine, featuring tacacho (baked banana) and juanes (rice pastries), named after the patron saint, San Juan Bautista. This carnival atmosphere, redolent with the warmth of the
local hospitality, has given rise to the myth of a special sensuality to be found in Loreto. It is widely held that the best aphrodisiacs are concocted in Iquitos, potions blended from fruits and herbs steeped in sugarcane alcohol, with strange and suggestive names. The best-known is without a doubt the chuchuhuasi, fermented from a local root.