Iquitos is called Peru’s “Gateway to the Amazon,” a destination for visitors to this diverse nation who wish to experience the rainforest, as well as the Andes and Pacific Coast. While not as large, popular, or as accessible as Manaus, Brazil, the more famous Gateway to the Amazon, many travelers prefer Iquitos, basking in the faded glamour of its rubber-boom era architectural frills and more exotic, isolated feel. With no road access to the outside world, you’ll probably arrive here by plane. But the traditional route to Iquitos is by boat.
The city lies right on the Amazon (unlike Manaus) and is surrounded with pristine rainforest marbled by several different rivers, canos (natural canals) and protected areas to explore. There are dozens of options, from motorized canoes that can be rented at any of several docks, to all-inclusive, multiple-day tours that include overnights at jungle lodges.