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Colourful Peru

18 January, 2023

How do you imagine the world’s largest city without road access? Iquitos, in the Peruvian Amazon jungle, is a hidden destination that you can only reach by plane or boat. It is a city that will catch you with its lush nature and with all the mysteries that the jungle hides. If you will go to Peru, get ready for an adventure-filled journey! Here is a list of 6 things to do in Iquitos.

1. Visit the Ayapua historic ship museum

This incredible museum is located on a ship, on the banks of the river Itaya. This is an epic restored rubber boom ship. It was built in Hamburg, Germany in 1906 by R. Holts. This was one of the many ships traveling to the rubber-tapped states to collect the valuable rubber balls that were then exported to Europe and North America.

After the rubber boom, the Ayapua has been restored in detail to its original Victorian splendor. The museum portrays the elegance and richness of the period. The Ayapua historic ship museum is 33 meters long and 5 meters wide, and has a reception area for exhibitions, 10 halls, each showcasing a Victorian style of the rubber era. Furthermore, each room has antiques as materials and furniture of the rubber life in Loreto.

2. Walk around the Plaza Mayor of Iquitos

plaza mayor of iquitos

You can feel the history in Iquitos: its streets and infrastructure tell interesting stories. The Plaza Mayor or Main square of Iquitos is the oldest and most important urban space in the province of Loreto. It was established in 1764.

It is relatively large, occupying an urban block. It is one of the most important tourist spots in Iquitos. It is also the official site of civic and official events. The square is composed of gardens, the Obelisk of the Heroes and an ornamental fountain.

You can also read: 6 Important tips for travelling to Peru

3. Enter Iquitos Cathedral

Another place to visit in Iquitos is its Cathedral. It is the main neo-Gothic cathedral of the city, it has an important historical value together with the Main square, which is located in the Historic center of Iquitos. It is under the property of the Catholic Church, and was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation of Peru in 1996.

Today it is the highest religious temple, being one of the best preserved heritage sites of Peru. The Cathedral of Iquitos also has a crypt. The watch it has was purchased in Switzerland in 1925. Since 2013, it has a system of lights to adorn the architecture.

4. Visit the Monkey island

monkey island

The Monkey island is a sanctuary for monkeys victims of illegal trafficking, most monkeys are rescued from different places and arrive sick. Specialists are responsible for their rehabilitation, then they are released on the island so they can live peacefully.

The island is located on the banks of the Amazon river, it has 450 hectares and houses about 40 monkeys of 13 different species and sloths. You can observe countless birds, and in the evening you can see them looking for their nests. It is a paradise composed of native flora and fauna, and medicinal plants. Sunrises and sunsets make this island unforgettable. 

5. Explore the tourist complex of Quistococha

It is an entertainment complex in the city of Iquitos. It is the only tourist park in the Loreto region, and is considered a National Tourist Park, within the National Tourist Reservation System of Peru. It has 369 hectares of Amazonian forest, and embraces the Quistococha lagoon.

The Quistococha lagoon has an approximate extension of 56 km2, and a depth of 8 meters. One of the attractions of the lagoon is its dark water, and its artificial beach, called Tunchi beach with white sand. It is surrounded by vegetation composed of aguaje palm trees. In addition to the lagoon and the artificial beach, it features a museum, a zoo and a natural nursery. 

You can also read: Manú National Park – Part I

6. Go to the Pilpintuwasi butterfly farm

Another of the wonderful tourist places of Iquitos is its butterfly farm, the only one in Peru. It is a remarkable container of 42 species of butterflies from the Amazon. It is magical because you can learn the complete process of metamorphosis.

Among the most striking species of butterflies they host are the blue morpho and the owl butterfly. They also have a lepidoptera collection and several mammals, such as a majestic jaguar, called Pedro Bello.

In addition to hosting a large number of species, the butterfly farm operates as a rescue center for certain Amazonian wildlife species. They protect animals that have been affected by poaching and the increasing traffic in Iquitos. Pilpintuwasi comes from quechua and means “house of butterflies”.

These were the top 6 things to do in Iquitos, Peru. It is definitely an amazing and interesting city located in the middle of the Amazon jungle. Enjoy one of the ecological capitals of the world and the capital of the Peruvian Amazon! Iquitos offers plenty of activities to enjoy in company or if you want to venture to the jungle by yourself.

Colourful Peru invites you to experience our country. We are committed to offer you the best options so you can live a Colourful journey. If you want to know more about our suggested journeys, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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