A few hours in Tarapoto, Peru

Tarapoto Travel Blog

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The main square in Tarapoto, Peru.

Hello all,

Fresh from my 18-1/4 hour bus trip from Piura, I had tuk-tuk driver drop me off at the LAN Airlines office.  It didn't open for another couple of hours, so I started to look for a hotel.  I found one down near the square that had A/C and free breakfast.  I got a few hours of sleep before heading to the office.  There was a wait of about 45 minutes in the office, and when I got to the counter my conversation was hampered by my limited spanish.

I'm starting to feel pretty good about my language skills again.  I took about a week to recover from my Quito difficulties, and to be honest for you I'm probably not any more understandable.  But this was a pretty complicated conversation.

Another view from the main square in Tarapoto.
  Here is the memory refresher for everybody.  I booked my flight on the LAN Peru web site, and they have different pricing for Peruvians and Americans.  So the challenge is to do things entirely in spanish online.  Well, I messed it up.  I booked my ticket for February 28, instead of January 28.  The joy of my $44 fare was short lived to say the least.

I got across that I needed to change the ticket to today, and that I knew that there would be a fee.  The fee wasn't a surprise, but the ticket cost a bit more as well.  My mistake ended up costing me $55 in the end.  Mental note to be more careful in the future.  Today's flight also happened to be 90 minutes earlier than the previously reserved one, so now I had to go.

A church on the main square of Tarapoto.

I ran back to the hotel and quickly packed up.  I checked out, and took a quick photo tour of the main square.  Tarapoto is a nice little frontier town, and the road doesn't really go any further into the Peruvian Amazon.  It is pretty clean, and has an attractive square.  The town is populated by a thousand of the little motorized tuk-tuks you find in Southeast Asia.  This device, also known as a moto or moto-taxi, is a rickshaw welded onto a motorcycle where the back wheel used to be.  They are cheap taxi transport, and kick up a refreshing breeze on a hot day.

The best thing about Tarapoto is that they prohibit these little buzzing things from being within a one block distance of the center of the city.  A very nice relief from the go-go nature of the rest of the town.

Tarapoto's nice little airport.
  The tuk-tuk into town cost about 80 cents with a tip, and I was at the airport just as check-in opened for my flight.

The flight was nice, and the views of the jungle were great.  I actually slept on the short flight, a real testament to how tired I was.  The plane & I arrived in Iquitos before it got dark, and at a normal time of day.  The is the first time in several days that has happened, and there's less pressure to get into a hotel quickly.  I talked to some of the hawkers at the airport, and settled on one that had everything I wanted.  The representative got us a tuk-tuk, and we were off to the races.

The main hotel he represented didn't have any wi-fi access, so he chose another.

Amazon view out the window of the plane.
  I ended up getting the executive suite at a place that rents long-term apartments.  I bargained hard, and still ended up splurging a bit.  But the place is spectacular, and has a full kitchen.  And to tell the truth, it's still one quarter the price you'd pay anywhere in the states.  I kicked on the A/C, and took a nap.  When I woke up at about 9pm I was ready to check out the town.  I walked in the direction of the Plaza de Armas.  At least I guessed the direction.  I could see the main church out my apartment window, and that gave me a good idea.

Iquitos at night was still very oppresive.  I checked out the Plaza, and the Malecon along the Amazon, and things seemed to be really hopping.  I was looking for some food, and the main problem I had was that I couldn't imagine eating in the uncomfortable heat and humidity.  I've never really felt that way before, and I admit it's kind of wierd.  I did grab some pork-fried rice at a chifa to take back to the apartment, and some waters and a huge bottle of peruvian cola.

The A/C felt great, and the food was tasty.  I crashed into the nice bed, thinking of tomorrows city explorations.

Later, Phil

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The main square in Tarapoto, Peru.
The main square in Tarapoto, Peru.
Another view from the main square …
Another view from the main square…
A church on the main square of Tar…
A church on the main square of Ta…
Tarapotos nice little airport.
Tarapoto's nice little airport.
Amazon view out the window of the …
Amazon view out the window of the…
another view out the Amazon out of…
another view out the Amazon out o…
A small plane graveyard at the Iqu…
A small plane graveyard at the Iq…
Closer shot of one of the old plan…
Closer shot of one of the old pla…
photo by: yadilitta