Iquitos, often recognized as the heart of the Peruvian Amazon and warmly known as "La Isla Bonita," is more than a city; it is a vibrating point of vibrant energy and unparalleled biodiversity. This individual the city, the world's largest that cannot be easily reached by road, is surrounded by the Amazon Basin's mysterious and powerful rivers. When you step off the plane or boat into Iquitos, you find yourself at the intersection of both ancient traditions and contemporary local life, where the lush, untamed jungle fringes modern streets and marketplaces packed with cultural fusion.

Every corner in Iquitos invites you to explore, and every moment holds the promise of new adventures. Whether it's the allure of exotic wildlife, the charm of floating communities, or the rich tapestry of indigenous culture, Iquitos is a gateway to discovering the Amazon's natural and cultural treasures. Here are the top 20 things you must do in Iquitos to truly capture the essence of this Amazonian wonderland.

20 Things to do in Iquitos | Peruvian Sunrise

Discover the vibrant city of Iquitos through this carefully curated list of the top 20 activities, categorized to enrich your visit with diverse experiences from cultural explorations to thrilling adventures.

  • 3 Cultural and Historical Explorations you must visit in Iquitos
    • Casa de Fierro
    •  Belen Market
    • Indigenous Tribes
  • 5 Nature and Wildlife Experiences in Iquitos
    • Monkey Island
    • Pink Dolphins
    • Manatee Encounter
    • Butterfly Farm
    • Canopy Walkways
  • 4 Adventure and Relaxation Activities in Iquitos
    • Luxury Amazon Cruise. 
    • Stay at a jungle lodge. 
    • Ayahuasca Ceremony. 
    • Adventure Tours.
  • 3 Local Life and Cuisine you must try in Iquitos
    • Cruise around Belen. 
    • Sample the local cuisine.
    • Explore the Nightlife.
  • 5 Educational and Inspirational Visits
    • Environmental Education. 
    • Cultural Workshops. 
    • Visit Historic Sites. 
    • Community Engagement. 
    • Photo Tours

20 Things to do in Iquitos

1) Casa de Fierro (Iron House).

The Iron House, designed by the legendary Gustave Eiffel, is an excellent example of early prefabricated construction. This architectural gem was shipped from Europe in pieces and is now a cultural landmark in the Plaza de Armas. Its intricate metalwork and historical significance make it a must-see destination for architecture enthusiasts.

20 Things to do in Iquitos, casa de Fierro | Peruvian Sunrise

2) Belen Market.

Dive into the bustling Belen Market, Iquitos' commercial hub. This market is more than just a shopping destination; it's an immersive experience in which you can discover a wide range of local produce, exotic spices, and traditional remedies. It's a sensory overload of sights, sounds, and smells that represent the local lifestyle.

3) Visit Indigenous Tribes in Iquitos.

Interact with the Bora and Yagua tribes to learn about the diverse Amazonian indigenous cultures. These encounters give participants an in-depth knowledge of the tribes' ancestral traditions, crafts, and the challenges they face in the modern world.

20 Things to do in Iquitos, Tribes | Peruvian Sunrise

4) Monkey Island

This sanctuary is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating monkeys from the illegal pet trade. A visit here allows you to interact with these playful primates while also supporting conservation efforts. The island serves as a safe haven for various monkey species, allowing them to thrive.

20 Things to do in Iquitos, monkey island | Peruvian Sunrise

5) Swim with Pink Dolphins.

Swimming alongside the Amazon's legendary pink dolphins is an unforgettable experience. These unique creatures, known for their friendly nature, are a delight to encounter up close, providing a one-of-a-kind swimming experience that is both enchanting and respectful of wildlife.

Pink dolphin, 20 Things to do in Iquitos | Peruvian Sunrise

6) Manatee Encounter

At the Amazon Rescue Center, witness the gentle grace of South America's largest marine mammals—the manatees. This center focuses on the rehabilitation and release of manatees and offers educational tours that highlight the importance of conservation efforts in the Amazon.

7) Butterfly Farm

Visit a nearby butterfly farm, where conservation and education intersect. You can see hundreds of butterflies of various species and colors here, as well as learn about their life cycles and role in the Amazon ecosystem. The farm also has other wildlife, giving visitors a comprehensive view of the local biodiversity.

8) Canopy Walkways

Elevate your experience with a walk among the treetops on Iquitos' canopy walkways. At 35 meters high, these walkways offer unparalleled views of the rainforest and its wildlife, making it an ideal spot for bird watching and appreciating the vastness of the Amazon.

9) Luxury Amazon Cruise

For those looking for both comfort and adventure, consider taking a luxury cruise down the Amazon River. These cruises provide all-inclusive services such as guided jungle excursions, gourmet meals, and the opportunity to visit remote Amazon regions in style.

10) Stay at a jungle lodge.

Staying at a jungle lodge allows you to fully immerse yourself in the Amazon. These lodges offer a unique opportunity to live in the rainforest, with guided nature hikes, wildlife observation, and the soothing sounds of the jungle at night.

11) Ayahuasca Ceremony

Participate in an authentic Ayahuasca ceremony, a spiritual journey led by experienced shamans. This traditional practice uses a sacred brew to facilitate deep spiritual introspection and healing, offering insights into indigenous spirituality and personal enlightenment.

Is Ayahuasca a Medicine. 20 Things to do in Iquitos | Peruvian Sunrise

12) Adventure Tours.

Engage in a variety of adventure tours, such as piranha fishing, kayaking, and jungle survival training. These activities are intended to challenge and excite participants while also providing a hands-on opportunity to explore the Amazon's diverse environments.

13) Cruise around Belen. 

Explore Belen's floating neighborhood by boat. This one-of-a-kind area serves as a waterborne community, complete with stilt houses, markets, and schools. It provides insight into the adaptive lifestyles of the Amazon basin.

14) Sample the local cuisine.

No trip to Iquitos is complete without sampling its regional cuisine. Enjoy local specialties such as grilled paiche (giant river fish), juane (rice wrapped in leaves), and exotic fruit juices that reflect the Amazon's rich culinary heritage.

15. Explore the Nightlife.

After dark, Iquitos transforms into a lively nightlife. The city provides an abundance of entertainment options, from bustling night markets selling local crafts to dance clubs where you can salsa until dawn.

City life 20 Things to do in Iquitos | Peruvian Sunrise

16) Environmental Education. 

Learn about the Amazon's fragile ecosystem at local environmental education centers. These locations provide interactive displays and activities emphasizing the importance of conservation and sustainable use of rainforest resources.

17) Cultural Workshops.

Attend workshops in indigenous art, dance, or music. These sessions not only teach you about traditional Amazonian practices, but they also get you involved in the preservation of cultural heritage.

18) Visit Historic Sites.

Discover Iquitos' history by visiting its historical sites and museums. Learn about the rubber boom and its impact on the region, as well as artifacts from the Amazon's colonial past.

19) Community Engagement.

Participate in community service projects or educational initiatives that benefit the local communities. These activities provide a way to connect deeply with the people of Iquitos and positively impact their lives.

City life 20 Things to do in Iquitos | Peruvian Sunrise

20) Photo Tours

A photography tour allows you to capture the beauty of Iquitos and its surroundings. These tours, led by local experts, will ensure that you capture the best shots of the city's architecture, vibrant street life, and lush landscapes.

Iquitos, serves as a gateway to exploring the Amazon's untamed beauty. Each of these activities provides a unique perspective on Iquitos' rich cultural tapestry and diverse ecosystems, ensuring an enriching and unforgettable adventure. Whether you enjoy nature, culture, or adventure, Iquitos has something for everyone.

Before you go, make sure to contact local experts like us Peruvian Sunrise to ensure a smooth and memorable journey. We can help you plan your adventure to include these top activities and more, as well as provide insider information.

Are you ready to embark on your Amazon adventure? Iquitos is calling, answer it with an open heart and an adventurous spirit, and immerse yourself in the wonders of the Amazon.

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