Altitude: 106 m/ 347 ft . above sea level
Climate: Tropical. Hot and Humid.
Temp. : Approx. 90/70 F - 36/21 C
Rains : December to March - Scattered year round.
Iquitos , on the banks of the headwaters of the Amazon River , is the most important city in the Peruvian Amazon jungle.
It is advisable to spend some days in one of the different lodges, built in the style of the area, that are found on the banks of tributaries in the jungle. There you may visit indigenous tribes, take walks in the jungle and appreciate the varied flora and fauna.
One of Iquitos ' main attractions is the Hanging Bridges found in areas surrounding some of the lodges. These are small walks constructed in the tops of the trees, about 100 feet high, from where you can see the flora and fauna close at hand.
Furthermore, cruise lines sailing various Peruvian jungle rivers as well as cities in Colombia and Brazil , anchor in Iquitos . These vessels have all comforts such as air-conditioned rooms, private baths, restaurant, open decks, etc.
The Floating City of Belén
The floating city of Belén (left), also known as the Venice of Perú , is an eye-opening study in urban mestizo resilience and survival amidst poor sanitation, poverty and under-employment.
(left) Many homes are built on balsa logs which float as the seasonal rise in river level inevitably comes. Others are elevated on stilts just above the normal annual high-water mark.
During the high water season from February to July, the lower streets are filled with canoes, the "bicycles" of Belén.
It is unsafe to enter this area without a trusted guide. Hustlers, pickpockets and pack snatchers are common and tourists are a prime target.
A visit to Parque Quistococha outside Iquitos provides one with an introduction to native Amazonian wildlife and an opportunity for a refreshing swim in the lovely oxbow lake.
The park is steadily improving under new management and offers a pleasant recreational and educational experience for both local and touring visitors.
Recreational features include picnic facilities, lakeside boardwalks, a clean white sand beach, swimming, and boating.
The generally well-kept animal collection includes an impressive variety of Amazonian mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes displayed amidst a natural jungle botanical garden
Here a young tapir, known as 'sachavaca' or 'forest cow'
by jungle residents, explores his spacious and natural captive habitat Capybara, known in the Peruvian Amazon as 'ronsoco'
are the largest living rodents, reaching a weight of 140 lbs