Luxury holidays in Iquitos

No roads lead to Iquitos. We’re not joking: this buzzing city may be ‘the capital of the Peruvian Amazon’, but with thick jungle looming on all sides, it’s so remote that it can only be reached by plane or boat. In fact, Iquitos is the world’s largest inland city with no road connections, which is one of the things that gives it such a unique character. With little need for larger vehicles, it’s the tuk-tuk that rules the streets, zooming between the rural-looking outskirts and the city centre, where you’ll find bustling, fish-laden markets and wide boulevards lined with tiled European-style mansions – a legacy of the rubber boom at the turn of the 20th century. Down by the river, you’ll see people living in a much more traditional way, either on the water itself or in stilted huts that rise over the river like tall spiders. There’s plenty opportunity to get to grips with the city’s diverse culture, vibrant nightlife and traditional Amazonian cuisine, but for many, it’s also the launching point for journeys deeper into the jungle. The wilderness beckons from just beyond the city’s borders…

When to go

Deep in the Peruvian Amazon, Iquitos tends to be hot and humid year round, with less clearly defined wet and dry seasons than other parts of the country. The drier season is usually from April to October, and the driest month usually August or September… but this is the rainforest, so you should still expect to get wet. From October to April, the wetter season brings more downpours, but it's also when the forest flowers, adding to its beauty and drawing animals out of hiding as they feast on ripe fruit.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Most visitors fly into Iquitos International Airport, which can be reached direct from Lima. The airport is seven kilometres from the city centre.
  • Automobiles

    Nope. The city’s separated from main roads by thick forest, so you’ll have to fly or take a boat to get there.