This was a destination unlike any that I have ever visited. I flew in to Lima, which Is the capital of Peru, and from there a small hopper plane to Iquitos.
Iquitos is an interesting city as it is in the middle of the Amazon and there are no roads leading there. The only access is by boat or plane. Bicycles and motorcycles are the transport of choice apart from a few taxis which cater to tourists.
Iquitos was originally formed by rubber tycoons who harvested rubber from rubber trees during the rubber boom of 1879 to 1912.
Iquitos is a dirty city and it reflects its industrial past but it is well worth visiting for 1 or 2 days. Walking around and taking in the exoticness of the location is what it’s all about.
After a short stay in Iquitos it is recommended that you hop a boat and explore the Amazon river. The closer you are to Iquitos the more you can see the encroachment of civilization which takes the form of floating plastics.
Once you are several hours away from the city suddenly it feels like you are somewhere special. The plastics and small villages are replaced by tribes that live off the land.
Before you know it, you’ll spot some movement in the river. What you are seeing are pink river dolphins which are found throughout the Amazon including Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. These dolphins are smaller in stature than their ocean counterparts. They are also a bit difficult to take pictures of as they don’t stay on the surface for long once they spot humans.
The other magical creature which you will likely encounter if you get off the boat for a small hike is the Uakari monkeys. These beautiful monkeys love the flooded forest, you will often see them eating nuts. They are very distinctive looking as they are bald and a unique shade of red.
If you love birds than this is one of the best destinations in the world to view macaws. They are stunningly beautiful.
What’s amazing about the Amazon river is simply being on a boat and breathing in the pure air and experiencing how earth used to be before the introduction of humans. This is traveling in its pure essence. It’s not about museums, fancy shops, or attractions, it’s simply about experiencing the purity of a location.