The city of Iquitos is a charming and bustling jungle town with a population approaching 400,000.
It is located in Northeastern Peru on the banks of the mighty Amazon River and is only accessible by either river or air.
Iquitos is usually utilized as a hub by travelers heading to and returning from jungle excursions; therefore, the city has numerous attractions for tourists interested in spending a day or two exploring this engaging city.
In the late nineteenth century, Iquitos became a rich and prosperous town due to the great rubber boom.
During this time, the rich rubber barons extravagantly decorated their mansions with lovely ceramic tiles called azulejos imported from Portugal. Some of the azulejo-adorned buildings still remain today situated in isolated spots around Iquitos.
Along the waterfront is an attractive and well-maintained boardwalk that offers a splendid panoramic view of the Amazon River. It features some fine restaurants and bars, along with an active and entertaining nightlife.
The boardwalk also includes an interesting regional museum called Museo Amazonico that exhibits life-sized statues of various indigenous Amazonia tribes. [Amazon Rainforests]
Finally, one block in from the boardwalk is the famous Casa de Hierro (Iron House), designed by Gustav Eiffel for the 1898 Paris exhibition. This structure was bought by a wealthy rubber baron and was shipped and re-assembled in Iquitos piece by piece.
Although one might not usually deem an isolated jungle city as an ideal vacation destination, Iquitos is a gem waiting to be picked up, polished and shown to the world.
Not only do you have many things to do and experience within the city, but you have the vast Amazon jungle to explore as well.