I LOVE this City!

Iquitos Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 7 › view all entries

I will start with a little trivia for y’all (please pardon my southern English J):  Iquitos is the largest city in the world that is not accessible by road.  You can fly into the small airport, or take a boat up the Amazon river to get there.  We inquired about the boat option and were told it takes between 2 and 10 days, needless to say there wasn’t room in our 14 day trip for that kind of contingency.  Out flight from Lima to Iquitos was delayed about 7 hours; apparently our plane had someone been used to fly some other place.  When it came back there was a delay, because at dusk you can’t fly into Iquitos.

Boys who sell jewlrey on the streets. They followed us everywhere
  There are buzzards on the runway, and it’s two dangerous.


Finally we arrived at the tiny airport around 8 or 9.  Students from the Universidad Particular de Iquitos (UPI)were there to meet us. 


Immediately when we stepped outside we were tugged and pulled about a thousand different way by mototaxi drivers.  We were flung headlong into the Iquitos experience right away.   Luckily, our group had come up with a plan:  split up into twos and threes with various drivers, and meet up at the hostel.  The first time I rode in a mototaxi is an experience I’ll never forget.  Basically, it's a motorcycle with a bench seat over the back wheel.

Riding in these motor-taxis was one of the most fun experiences of Iquitos.
  On that first night our luggage was pulled from our hands and strapped (rather precariously) to the back of the most ramshackle-looking vehicle that I have every seen.  That, of course, gave us no choice but to follow the driver.  The fact that he looked about 4 years younger than the legal driving limit didn’t do much to put my mind at ease.  I can only describe that first ride with one word:  exhilarating.  It was a great first experience with the city that I came to love over the next two weeks.  Wind blowing in my face, about a million smells wafting past, and a 30-minute scrolling picture of the people and places of Iquitos.  Our driver must’ve been trying to avoid the traffic (at 9 pm?) because he took us on ALL back-roads.  About 5% of which were paved.  I could have curled up and disappeared in some of the pot holes.  But, after numerous stalls and detours we all arrived in one-piece at our hostel.


Hotel La Pascana was where we stayed.

This is a typical scene in Iquitos
  I highly recommend it.  Clean, very inexpensive and a nice breakfast is provided.  It’s also near the river walk, a very pretty town square, and several good bars and clubs. 


To sum it all up, I LOVED Iquitos.  The city has a very unique feel to it.  So isolated, yet so big at the same time.  There are about half a million people living there.  If you visit be sure to check out the Iron house (designed by Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel tower fame).  Iquitos is a jumping off point for many different jungle tours/Amazon expeditions.  You can also do the boat tour.  One of my favorite things to do:  pay ten soles for a mototaxi driver just to drive you around the city.  It’s a great way to get a feel for the atmosphere and absorb all the sights and smells of this truly unique place.

bkretzer says:
I had no idea! This blog is why I love TravBuddy!
Posted on: Feb 06, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Boys who sell jewlrey on the stree…
Boys who sell jewlrey on the stre…
Riding in these motor-taxis was on…
Riding in these motor-taxis was o…
This is a typical scene in Iquitos
This is a typical scene in Iquitos
City Square
City Square
The riverwalk.  Lots of restaurant…
The riverwalk. Lots of restauran…
City Square
City Square
The area of the Amazon outside of …
The area of the Amazon outside of…
photo by: Ileamel