The Amazon has enthralled travelers for decades, with its very name evoking a sense of mystery and adventure. This jungle covers a huge portion of the overall landmass of Peru, but the city of Iquitos perfectly captures its secretive atmosphere which can be explored on a luxury Iquitos tour. Mixing thrilling experiences in one of the wildest places on earth with a level of comfort and sophistication, the Kuoda team can design a luxury Iquitos tour that will go down as one of your most memorable vacations.
– Why You Should Plan An Iquitos Luxury Tour
Iquitos is an excellent base from which to set off on luxury tours as the port of Nauta can be found just south of the city. While on a luxury Iquitos tour travelers will observe a striking range of flora and fauna unique to the Peruvian Amazon, stay at jungle inns (high-end or typical) and visit local communities.
Though many unknowingly assume that a trip to the South American jungle is synonymous with ‘roughing it,’ there are numerous ways to experience this important pocket of the world without forgoing modern comforts and luxurious amenities.
– Where Is Iquitos Located?
Iquitos is found deep in the Amazon, with no road access available in or out. This northern city is surprisingly large considering its remote location. In fact, with nearly 500,000 inhabitants, it’s the largest city in the world accessible only by air or river.
Although Iquitos’ exact origins are unclear, it’s believed that the city’s first settlers were likely Jesuit missionaries. The city prospered beginning in the late 19th century due to the growing international demand for its rubber resources. This rubber boom attracted European immigration and rapid economic development, transforming this small town into an important industrial center.
Today, the city’s grand Spanish-, Portuguese- and Italian- influenced houses speak to its wealthy past. Iquitos owes its beautiful architecture and much of its unique identity to the legacy of the rubber boom.
– Best Time to Visit
The Peruvian Amazon has two seasons: the high-water season (December – July) and the low-water season (July – November). The best time to visit the Peruvian Amazon depends much on what activities you are planning to do. The high-water season sees Amazonian rivers rise by 25 feet due to heavy rainfall. It is ideal for exploring the tributaries by kayak and spotting wildlife.
The low-water season continues to see rainfall, though far less. This stretch of months is best for trekking through the jungle and fishing for piranhas (as fish will be concentrated).
On average, the temperature in Iquitos hovers between 70 – 90 °F (21 – 32 °C) year round and is very humid.
– Things To Do
1. Seize The Day And Take A City Tour
Around 90 of the city’s buildings are designated architectural heritage sites. Gorgeous European-style mansions can be found on nearly every street corner, making the city an enchanting place to explore. The Casa de Fierro (Iron House) is perhaps the most impressive building in town and was constructed by Eiffel Tower architect Gustave Eiffel. Lunch at the on-site restaurant and continue your day of exploration.
If you think the local outdoor market, Belen, will be like every other foodie stop in Peru, you are in for a curious and slightly startling surprise. The floating market is stocked with crocodile heads, gemstones, snake eggs, medicinal plants and more. Just be sure to go with your guide during the day.
Upon arrival to Iquitos, it is impossible not to notice the hoards of mototaxis (Peru’s version of tuk tuks) that buzz through the streets. Mototaxis are a cheap, fast and extremely local mode of transportation. Hop on one of these three-wheel taxis and go for a spin!
The streets of modern Iquitos are alive with color and noise. The city is known as a party center, with a reputation for exciting nightlife, but travelers are just as enthralled with the daytime options for sightseeing. It’s a chaotic, bewildering, and an unforgettable place to visit.
2. Venture To The Most Remote Areas Of The Amazon
It may be difficult to drag yourself away from the charms of Iquitos, but the jungle around the city is what draws most visitors to this part of the country. This section of the Amazon is one of the best for wildlife spotting, adventure activities, and general exploring.
Similar to its popular Amazon counterpart Puerto Maldonado, located in Peru’s southern Amazon, Iquitos is home to numerous boutique lodges as well as Amazon luxury cruise tours. In the south, however, the rivers that run through the Amazon rainforest are actually smaller waterways that flow into the Amazon itself. Iquitos, on the other hand, offers opportunities to cruise right on the true Amazon River.
A visit to Iquitos also provides the chance to venture much deeper into the Amazon. Private tours can last over eight days, taking you far away from civilization and offering even better wildlife-viewing possibilities.
3. Glide Into The Jungle On A Luxury Amazon Cruise
Float into the depths of the Amazon Rainforest aboard a luxury Amazon cruise. Spacious private suites, gourmet meals, and daily excursions will entrance you during your time aboard Delfin Amazon Cruises. With just 14 cabins, this luxury travel experience is ideal for couples or families with older children.
Spend a few days and nights aboard this Relais & Chateaux vessel, staffed by locals who provide incredible service and attention. Daily excursions are offered, such as birdwatching by canoe and jungle treks to meet with traditional artisans.
For travelers looking to combine a Machu Picchu adventure with a unique amazon experience, you can look forward to accommodation aboard a luxury Amazon cruise. Large windows in your private suite and panoramic views from the sundeck will make you feel immersed in the natural setting without sacrificing comfort.
– Where To Stay
For those looking to keep their feet on solid ground, there are luxury stays along the riverbanks. All-inclusive tree house lodges deliver a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. Wake up to the sounds of birds and monkeys welcoming the start of a new day in the so-called Lungs of the Planet.
Families will want to consider spending a few nights at Ceiba Tops Lodge, located just 25 miles up the river from the city of Iquitos. Air conditioning, a swimming pool with a water slide, a hammock house, and more await. There is also a full-day excursion to the canopy walkway!
The Tahuayo Lodge & Amazon Research Center is home to a 1,000-acre monkey research grid and countless species of birds and local wildlife. Canoe nearby lakes, go on wildlife walks with the family and dare to zipline through the lush jungle flora during your stay.
As mentioned above, a luxury Amazon cruise organized by Kuoda offers incredible accommodation. The hotels on land are ideal for a few nights after the cruise.
– Plan Your Luxury Tour To Iquitos
With its rich cultural traditions, diverse wildlife, and stunning natural scenery, Iquitos is one of the best places in Peru to experience the magic of the Amazon. The team at Kuoda Travel specializes in planning personalized tours of Peru. Check out some of our sample itineraries, or contact us to learn more about a personalized private tour of Iquitos and its Amazon River.