Linked to the outside world by air and by river, Iquitos is the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road. It’s a prosperous, vibrant jungle metropolis teeming with the usual, inexplicably addictive Amazonian anomalies. Unadulterated jungle encroaches beyond town in full view of the air-conditioned, elegant bars and restaurants that flank the riverside; motorized tricycles whiz manically through the streets yet locals mill around the central plazas eating ice cream like there is all the time in the world. Mud huts mingle with magnificent tiled mansions; tiny dugout canoes ply the water alongside colossal cruise ships. You may well arrive in Iquitos for the greater adventure of a boat trip down the Amazon but whether it’s sampling rainforest cuisine, checking out the buzzing nightlife or exploring one of Peru’s most fascinating markets in the floating shantytown of Belén, this thriving city will entice you to stay awhile. Because everything must be ‘imported,’ costs are higher than in other cities.
Best places to stay in Iquitos
10 best things to climb
Over ice and iron girders, shinnying up temples and scaling rainforest trees – tackle the world’s most worthwhile ways to reach the top. In this excerpt from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Experiences we've gathered together ten things to go up, from the somewhat gentle to the downright difficult.
Iquitos destination guides
Lonely Planet's top 10 cities for 2011
Who doesn't love a city? Lonely Planet has scoured the globe for next year's hottest cities. Our top picks show that a city doesn't need to be a heaving metropolis to get on the list. Then again, sometimes it helps. One of our favourites is the world's largest city that cannot be reached by road.
3-Day Iquitos Amazon Jungle Adventure at Heliconia Lodge
Visit the spectacular Amazon Jungle on this 3-day adventure from Iquitos! Cruise along the Amazon River both during the day and at night and see native animals from the water, including monkeys and exotic birds. Hike through the jungle, visit a sugarcane distillery, and be amazed at the impressive jungle landscape.
3-Day Amazon Jungle Tour at Sinchicuy Lodge
Explore the magnificent Amazon on this 3-day adventure from Iquitos! This all-inclusive 3-day tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the amazing landscape and wildlife of the Amazon Rainforest. Visit a riverside community to see how locals live, and learn about their customs and culture.