Iquitos on the map of Peru

Iquitos has over 400,000 inhabitants, the largest city in the tropical rainforest of the South American Andean Peru State and the capital of Loreto Region and the province of Maynas. The city is cut off by road from the outside world and is only accessible by plane or by boat on the Amazon. It is located 125 km downstream of the confluence of the two main headwaters of the Amazon, Río Ucayali and Río Marañón.

In the San Juan Bautista area is the international Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta airport.


The city was founded in 1750 as a mission of the Jesuits. Originally it was a bastion of defense against Indians who refused to be converted. The small village with 1500 inhabitants survived until the outbreak of the rubber boom, which began 1870-1880. In the next 30 years, the city became the center of rubber production and trafficking. The Indians were treated like slaves, while the rubber barons were getting richer. The boom ended just as quickly as it had begun, when it became a British to smuggle seeds of the rubber plant from Brazil. Then the plantations are planted in Malaysia in which the rubber was much cheaper and easier to harvest. For decades, senior Iquitos survival. The attempts to stimulate the economy on the cultivation of tobacco and bananas, failed, as well as the ideas, the barbasco ( a toxic brew that the Indians used to fish ) to use as an insecticide or exotic animals to zoos around the world for sale.

In the early 1960s, the situation changed. The discovery of oil and its promotion as well as the timber industry could become the modern city of Iquitos. For several years, tourism also developed into an important economic factor. The restored buildings from the boom time with their Art Nouveau facades are to be visited and beyond Iquitos is now for tourists the starting point for long jungle treks. The entire area of Iquitos is commercialized, and " real" jungle is not more to do in the vicinity of almost 100 kilometers. The National Nature Reserve Pacaya Samiria is currently for Eco - tourism in the region is an important source of income.


The city of Iquitos is divided into four districts:

  • Iquitos
  • San Juan Bautista
  • Punchana
  • Belén


Since Iquitos lies near the equator, there exists a tropical rainy climate, with temperatures from 20 ° C to 36 ° C. The average temperature is 28 ° C with very high humidity.


Road links solely by an island-like area enclosed by the jungle area. So the about 100 km south to Nauta or the north along the Rio Napo located Mazán is accessed via a road.

Iquitos in film and literature

1981 turned Werner Herzog film Fitzcarraldo 's here with Klaus Kinski in the lead role, captures the typical jungle atmosphere well. A special highlight was Duke with the use of local non-actor Huerequeque.

The 2010 with the Nobel Prize-winning literature Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa put the city of Iquitos and the province of Loreto with his novels La casa verde ( German Title: The green house ) and Pantaleon y las Visitadoras ( German title: The Captain and his wife battalion ) a timeless monument.


On 19 February 2007, the Slovenian Martin Strel arrived in the city as part of its Amazon Durchschwimmung. The ultra-long- distance swimmers began his Durchschwimmung on 1 February 2007 in the Peruvian Atalaya and finished it on April 7, 2007 at Belém, Brazil. The total distance traveled is 5268 km.


On the Plaza de Armas is the imposing church of Iquitos. The Catholic church is at the same time also the tallest building in the city. On the eastern corner of the Plaza de Armas is the Casa de Hierro, the iron house, built only of metal building, the French architect Gustave Eiffel designed.

The district Belén (German: Bethlehem ) is partly built on stilts along the Amazon river. Here live the impoverished indigenous people of the city.

Culinary Special

The cuisine of Iquitos is influenced by the particular location of the city on the Amazon or the Amazon Basin, and therefore offers besides the usual Peruvian dishes and a wide variety of tropical fruits, some special foods: fish, paiche ( Arapaima ) or the Piranha ( piranha ) are in many variations. Plantains and yuca ( cassava ) are offered as a side dish, but also as a Tacachos called In between court. You also get - usually barbecued - alligators, suri grubs ( larvae of a species of weevil ) from the skewer and various insects, preferably ants. A favorite of locals are turtles and turtle eggs.

Grilled Piranha.

Schildkrötenfuß as a main dish.


The situation of the indigenous people, descendants of the indigenous tribes in the Amazon, is precarious by soil exploration, deforestation and tourism. Also smuggling and border conflicts with Ecuador restrict the habitat of the Indians with an ever. The CETA, a center for the cultivation of indigenous languages ​​and culture among the Jesuit priest Joaquin Garcia Sanchez is the primordial inhabitants voice and help.

Images from Iquitos

Fruits on the market

Airport of Iquitos

Overlooking the river