Iquitos is the capital of Loreto Region and Maynas Province. It is generally considered the most populous city in the world that cannot be reached by road.
Located on the Amazon River. It is situated 125 km (78 mi) downstream of the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón rivers, the two main headwaters of the Amazon River. Iquitos has long been a major port in the Amazon Basin. It is surrounded by three rivers: the Nanay, the Itaya, and the Amazon.
One of Iquitos’ main attractions is the Hanging Bridges found in areas surrounding some of the lodges.
The climate is hot and humid, with an average relative humidity of 85%. The wet season lasts from around November to May, with the river reaching its highest point in May. Amazon river is at its lowest in October.
The city can be reached only by airplane or boat, with the exception of a road to Nauta, a small town roughly 100 km (62 mi) south. Most travel within the city itself is via bus, motorcycle, or auto rickshaw (mototaxi, motocarro or motokar). Transportation to nearby towns often requires a river trip via llevo-llevo, a small public motorised boat.
Iquitos was established as a Jesuit mission in the 1750s, and in 1864 it started to grow when the Loreto Region was created and Iquitos became its capital. It is currently the seat of a Roman Catholic Apostolic Vicariate.
Was known for its rubber industry through the rubber boom of the first decade of the 20th century. There are still great mansions from the 1800s, including the Iron House (Spanish: Casa de Fierro), designed by Gustave Eiffel.
It is advisable to spend some days in one of the different lodges, built in the style of the area. There you may visit indigenous tribes, take walks in the jungle and appreciate the varied flora and fauna.
TOURIST PLACES IN IQUITOS
Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve
The AIlpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve, encompasses 57,600 hectares of land approximately 23 km south of Iquitos.
The rainforest near Iquitos is famous for their habitat heterogeneity. A combination of historical and geological events. Each of these distinct formations supports a unique community of plants and animals, the result being that Allpahuayo Mishana contains one of the highest biodiversities known in the Amazon basin.
Many of these species are white-sand specialists and are therefore exceedingly rare, due to the scarcity of white-sand forests in Peru. AIlpahuayo-Mishana is also the only place where the habitat of two species of primates has been officially protected in Peru (Callicebus torquatus and Pithecia aequatorialis).
Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
It’s one of the widest protected areas in Peru, with an extension of more than 7.700 square miles characterized by a high biodiversity level as well as a human population that exploits natural resources and protect.
The reserve is delimited by two big rivers, Marañon in the North and Ucayaly in the South, just a little before their junction that originates Amazon River.
The Reserve is constituted by three hydrographical basins: the first is the Samiria one, the second is the Pacaya one and the third is the Yanayacu Pucate one; activities of Association “Rumbo al Dorado” take place in this last one. In this reserve we found a biological diversity of tropical bird species, mammals, species of freshwater fish, reptiles and more than 1000 varieties of plants, as well as species in danger of extinction like the giant otter, the black lizard, the manatee and the pink dolphin of the Amazon.
The whole region is characterized by a tropical climate and a precipitation level that reaches 3.000 mm (120 inches) a year; territory is covered with a thick vegetation and a complex network of rivers, channels and lagoons.
This Reserve is the largest protected flooded forest of the world and one of the richest places in biological wealth on the planet.
The Amazon River
The Amazon River is the world’s largest river in volume. It has a total flow greater than the ten largest rivers that flow into the ocean.
The Amazon, which has the largest drainage basin in the world, accounts for approximately one fifth of the world’s total river flow. Because of its vast dimensions, it is sometimes called The River Sea. At no point is the Amazon crossed by bridges. This is only partly because of its huge dimensions in fact, for most of its length the Amazon is not so wide that a modern bridge could not span it but more because, for most of its length, the river flows through tropical rainforest, where there are few roads and even fewer cities.
Is the Amazon the biggest river in the world?
While the Amazon is clearly the largest river in the world by most measures; the current consensus within the geographic community holds that the Amazon is the second longest river, just slightly shorter than the Nile. However, some scientists, particularly from Brazil and Peru, dispute this.
The Amazon basin, the largest drainage basin in the world, covers some 40 percent of South America, an area of approximately 6,915,000 square kilometers (2,670,000 sq mi). It gathers its waters from 5 degrees north latitude to 20 degrees south latitude. Its most remote sources are found on the inter-Andean plateau, just a short distance from the Pacific Ocean.
The quantity of water released by the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean is enormous: up to 300,000 m³ per second in the rainy season.
The Amazon is responsible for a fifth of the total volume of fresh water entering the oceans worldwide. Offshore of the mouth of the Amazon, potable water can be drawn from the ocean while still out of sight of the coastline, and the salinity of the ocean is notably lower five hundred kilometers out to sea.
The Upper Amazon has a series of major river systems in Peru and Ecuador, some of which flow into the Marañón and others directly into the Amazon proper. Among others, these include the following rivers: Morona, Pastaza, Nucuray, Urituyacu, Chambira, Tigre, Nanay, Napo, Huallaga, and Ucayali. The headstreams of the Marañón, which for many years had been seen as the origin of the Amazon flow from high above central Peru’s Lake Lauricocha, from the glaciers in what is known as the Nevado de Yarupa. Rushing through waterfalls and gorges in an area of the high jungle called the pongos, the Marañón River flows about 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) from west-central to northeast Peru before it combines with the Ucayali River, just below the provincial town of Nauta, to form the Amazon River.
The waters from Nevado Mismi flow into the Quebradas Carhuasanta and Apacheta, which flow into the Río Apurímac which is a tributary of the Ucayali which later joins the Marañón to form the Amazon proper. (While this is the point at which most geographers place the beginning of the Amazon proper.
After the confluence of Río Apurímac and Ucayali, the river leaves Andean terrain and is instead surrounded by flood plain. From this point to the Marañón, some 1,600 km (990 mi), the forested banks are just out of water, and are inundated long before the river attains its maximum flood-line. The low river banks are interrupted by only a few hills, and the river enters the enormous Amazon Rainforest.
The river systems and flood plains in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela whose waters drain into the Solimões and its tributaries are called the «Upper Amazon». Amazon River runs mostly through Brazil and Peru. The countries it branches off into consist of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia.