IPERU TOURIST INFO
The official Peruvian
government's Comisión de Promoción del Perú (PROMPERÚ) has an IPERU
office several blocks north of the main square (Plaza de Armas)
and at the airport. English, Spanish and French are spoken. Open
daily from 8 am - 1 pm and 4 pm - 8 pm,
Corner of Loreto and Raymondi
Phone (+51 65) 26-0251
For such a large city, Iquitos is surprisingly safe.
This is part of the Amazonian culture in that the people are basically
very honest and have much respect for human life. However, there are
a few dangerous areas that should be avoided, especially when alone or at
night. These dangerous areas include the lower part of Belen, the
Port of Mazusa, and San Juan near the fire station close to the
airport. Most crimes involve non-violent thefts such as from pick-pockets,
street money changers, or independent tour guides. It is recommended not to
leave cash in your hotel room or to venture out alone late
Peruvian National Police for Tourism:
Calle Sargento Lores 834
Tel. (065) 242081 - Cel. 9935932
In city center of Iquitos, there is an internet cafe (cabina) on
block, especially near the Plaza de Armas. Hourly rates are
usually around two soles per
hour. Internet cafes often offer other services as well, such as
telephones (locutorios), transferring your digital
camera images to CDs, and printing services.
Travel agencies offering airline flights, jungle lodge
accom-modations, and jungle excursions are especially common on the first
few blocks of Prospero Street. It is recommended that all services are clearly
spelled out in a contract issued by the travel agency. Moreover, be
sure to get a receipt for your payment
(a boleta or factura). Many independent tour guides do not
issue receipts and if something goes wrong with your tour, you will have
no legal recourse. Therefore, it is recommended that you deal
exclusively with licensed travel agencies.
In the city center, there are very few mosquitoes and
consequently malaria is not as prevalent as it is in areas outside of the
city. Therefore, it is not recommended to take antimalarials unless
you plan on spending overnight outside of the city. Some
contraceptive drugs for malaria, such as Lariam, are notorious for causing
side effects such as nightmares and headaches many weeks after taking the
drug. Preventative measures such as repellents, long-sleeved shirts
and mosquito nets are normally all that is required.
Some recommend getting yellow fever vaccinations
ten days before arriving in the jungle. In Brazil, authorities
will demand proof of vaccination before allowing entry.
If you need antimalarial
drugs, you can obtain them free of charge from the Ministry of Health at
the local hospitals.
The local tap water is not
safe for consumption. Therefore, it is suggested to only drink
boiled or bottled water.
medicines ranging from aphrodisiacs to ayahuasca can be purchased in the
Pasaje Paquito inside the Belén market.
If you do need medical
attention, the Clinica Adventista Ana Stahl on Avenida La Marina 285 is
highly recommended as it has modern medical facilities and some of the
best medical staff in Iquitos.
Iquitos is the only city in the region with banks and
no banking services are available between Iquitos, Peru and Leticia,
Colombia. Banks are normally open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday to
Friday and until noon on Saturdays. ATM (Automatic Teller Machines) are
available 24 hours around the Plaza de Armas, and on first few blocks of
It is recommended that you avoid exchanging money in
the street as the money changers (cambistas) are notorious for
cheating foreigners, especially on the corner of Prospero and Morona, a
block away from the police station. After dark, you are virtually
guaranteed of being short-changed. Incredibly, the police will do
nothing if you are cheated, obviously being bribed. It is better to
change money in your hotel, banks, and currency exchange offices
such as the Chinos on Prospero near Sargento Lores. Often the
highest rates of exchange can be found in the local casinos.
Iquitos cuisine in a wonderful mix of indigenous Amazonian and traditional
Peruvian dishes. If you like, you can experience exotic dishes such
as caiman (lagarto), paca (majas), and wild boar (huangana).
Local fish specialties include piranha (piraña),
paiche and gamitana. You can even encounter endangered species such
as monkeys and boas for sale in the Belen market. Although their
consumption is not recommended for obvious reasons.
In finer restaurants and hotels it is common to give tips to the staff for food and
services. Most Peruvians do not usually tip in normal restaurants.
However, a small tip can make a big difference in the lives of the staff
who are most commonly notoriously underpaid.
There are several handicraft markets in the Iquitos area. The first is located
just below the
"Boulevard" on the Amazon River malecon, near the Napo Street. The
located across the Plaza Roja in San Juan on the highway to the airport
and is called the Mercado Artesanal. In the rear to the left, you can observe
authentic Shipibo Indians creating their
indigenous works of art.
There is no American consulate in Iquitos.
However, a local barkeep has become infamous for presently himself as such.
Please beware of local gringo conmen presenting themselves as U.S.
consular staff members.
Official Foreign Consulates:
Calle Sargento Lores Nº 363,
Sr. Max Axel Druschke, Calle Casilla 475, telephone: 24-2056.
Dr. Manuel Antonio Baquero Soler, Calvo de Araujo 431, telephone: 23-6246.
Sr. Ing. Walter Boria Rubio, Putumayo 567,
Sr. Bach. Adm. Federico Marco Ventre Ferro, Putumayo 803, telephone: 23-3435.