Where to Stay in Iquitos
A Basic Guide To Hotels In Iquitos, Peru
otels in Iquitos are relatively expensive as are most things in the Peruvian Amazon due to its isolated location. However, a basic understanding of how rates are set can help travelers get the best hotel deal available. This hotel guide will help you get off on the right foot by allowing you to find the type of accommodations you are seeking without you wasting your precious vacation time, trying to find a good place to stay.
The first thing to realize is that taxi drivers get commissions from most hotels. That is why when you arrive at the Iquitos Airport you will be bombarded with hoards of taxi drivers trying to take you to a hotel. They will offer very low prices (2 to 3 dollars) for the taxi, but will make a handsome commission when they stick you in the “hotel of their choice.” Therefore, the secret to finding a good place to stay in Iquitos is to take control and ignore any attempt by the taxi driver to bring you to a hotel that he recommends. Instead, make reservations beforehand and strongly insist that the taxista (taxi driver) takes you to your desired hotel. If you make reservations ahead of time, your hotel might offer a free airport pick up service, thus saving you the problem of dealing with taxi drivers obsessed with commissions.
The second thing to realize in order to get a good room at a fair price is that almost always hotel rates in Iquitos are negotiable. Do haggle for the best price or you will be shortchanging yourself. A trick to get rock-bottom prices is to negotiate the price without breakfast being included. Often, this will get you a significant discount if breakfast is normally included in the price and you prefer alternative venues to eat. A word of caution: do not let the taxista (taxi driver) follow you into the hotel after you arrive. His doing so will only inflate the price of your room as he will surely demand (behind your back) his commission from the hotel that you will wind up paying for in the form of higher room rates.
A third thing to keep in mind when looking for a hotel room in Iquitos is that there is no sales taxes on rooms as there are in other cities such as Lima and Cusco; the 18% VAT normally added to your bill is not charged in Iquitos. Therefore, rooms can be gotten reasonably in Iquitos, partly due to this lack of sales tax. Please remember that there are no tourist taxes on hotel rooms in Iquitos, so do not let them charge you any taxes.
One last thing to keep in mind is that street-facing rooms are often much noisier due to the mototaxis speeding past your window. Generally it is best to ask for rooms in the back, away from the street. One problem that you do not have to worry about in Iquitos, that is of paramount importance in cold places like Cusco, is hot water. A hot shower is probably the last thing you will want in the hot humid Amazonian climate of Iquitos and you will probably much prefer a cool refreshing shower.
That said, there is a nice selection of hotels in Iquitos for everyone’s budget, ranging from the 5-star luxury hotels to the very basic hostel. However, for every decent clean hotel, there is a dirty, flea-bag dive, so please choose carefully. Again, it is best to make reservations beforehand to avoid the problems inherent in using taxi drivers and their consequential quest for commissions.
The following list of places to stay in Iquitos ranges (more or less) from the most expensive to most economical. The prices quoted in US dollars below are the published hotel rates for a one night stay. Those staying for multiple nights should be able to negotiate a better rate. Discounts of up to 25% are common, so please do not be embarrassed to ask for a discount.
El Dorado Plaza Hotel
Address: Napo 258, on the Plaza de Armas (Main Square)
Telephone: (+51) (65) 222-555
Rates: Range from $70 for their single room to $280 for the Presidential Suite
Comment: Rooms at the El Dorado Plaza Hotel are the most elegant (and most expensive) accommodations in Iquitos. All rooms are air-conditioned with private bathrooms and have cable TV, mini-refrigerators, and telephones. Enjoy meals in their elegant Mitos Restaurant, where you can select from either regional or international cuisines. Cool off in the swimming pool or relax in the Jacuzzi. Rates include breakfast and transportation from the airport to the hotel.
Victoria Regia Hotel & Suites
Address: Ricardo Palma 252
Telephone: (+51) (65) 231-983
Rates: Range from $40 for their single to $80 for the Deluxe Suite. In addition, there is a 10% “service charge.”
Comment: The Victoria Regia is considerably less expensive than the El Dorado Plaza, but also correspondingly less elegant and lacks a spectacular outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi area like the El Dorado. All rooms are air-conditioned with cable TV, telephone, mini-frig, and private bathroom. Rates include a buffet breakfast, a welcome drink and transportation from the airport to the hotel.
Address: Arica 427
Telephone: (+51) (65) 232-519
Rates: Range from $25 for singles to $50 for their suites.
Comment: The Hotel Anaconda is located on a very busy street. If you are a light sleeper, you might want to ask for a room in the rear section of the hotel rather than one facing the street. All rooms have air conditioning with cable TV and private baths. Rates include continental breakfast and transportation to and from the airport.
Hotel Sol de Oriente
Address: Av. Quiñones Km 2.5
Telephone: (+51) (65) 260-317
Rates: Range from $25 to $40
Comment: The Hotel Sol de Oriente is a very nice hotel but is situated several kilometers from the center of Iquitos. The hotel property is much larger than those located in the city center and boasts a picturesque swimming pool area. All rooms are air-conditioned with cable TV and include private baths. If you want to get away from the noise and hustle of the city center, this is a good place to hide out. Rates include a continental breakfast and transportation from the airport to the hotel.
Address: Nauta 285
Telephone: (+51) (65) 242-673
Rates: Range from $25 to $40
Comment: The Hotel Marañon is relatively elegant, considering its price and is conveniently located in the center of Iquitos. It even has a swimming pool which most hotels with moderate rates lack. The rooms are a little small, but are modern and comfortable. All rooms have air-conditioning, cable TV and private baths. Rates include a continental or American breakfast and transportation to and from the airport.
Doral Inn Hotel
Address: Raymondi 220
Telephone: (+51) (65) 243-386
Rates: Range from $20 to $50
Comment: The Doral Inn Hotel is located just a block away from the Iquitos Malecon (Referred to the “Boulevard” by locals.). It lacks a swimming pool, but makes up for it with its spectacular views from its upper floors. Be sure to check out the rooftop lounge area where you can enjoy impressive views of Iquitos and the surrounding area. All rooms have modern conveniences such as air-conditioning, cable TV, and private baths. Quoted rates include a continental breakfast and complementary transportation to and from the airport.
Address: Prospero 494
Telephone: (+51) (65) 231-123
Rates: Range from $16 to $35
Comment: The Hotel Europa, true to its name, is very popular with Europeans and is conveniently located in the main shopping district of Iquitos on Prospero Street. It lacks luxuries such as swimming pool, but still has air-conditioning, cable TV, and private baths. In addition, The Hotel Europa includes a continental breakfast and complementary transportation from the airport to the hotel.
Address: Prospero 318
Telephone: (+51) (65) 231-531
Rates: Range from $10 to $25
Comment: The Hotel Peru is located just down the block from the Hotel Europa but is considerably less expensive and lacks air-conditioning. It does, however, have clean basic rooms with private baths. As one would expect, the Hotel Peru does not offer a complementary breakfast or transportation from the airport to the hotel. For those on a budget, the Hotel Peru deserves serious consideration.
Hospedaje La Pascana
Address: Pevas 133
Telephone: (+51) (65) 231-418
Rates: Range from $10 to $25
Comment: The Hospedaje La Pascana is an excellent value for budget-minded travelers in Iquitos. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful, and they can assist in planning jungle trips and give reliable recommendations for restaurants and attractions. The rooms are basic but clean, but have no hot water or air conditioning. The courtyard is very tranquil and beautifully landscaped, offering a quiet sanctuary in noisy Iquitos. As you would expect for this price, no breakfast is included nor do they offer an airport shuttle service. The location of the Hospedaje La Pascana is excellent, being on a quiet street only a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas and the “Boulevard.”
|© Copyright 2007 Dan James Pantone, Iquitos Hotels, all rights reserved.|