Exploring the Amazon Rainforest from Iquitos

Exploring the Amazon rainforest

The northern Amazon rainforest in Peru is a paradise of biodiversity, the Amazon basin, Pacaya Samiria, Allpahuayo Mishana and another protected natural areas in Loreto are richest areas with lush flora and fauna.

The Peruvian Amazon is an area rich in wildlife and traditional cultures, largest rainforest and greatest rivers.

The northern Amazon rainforest is for fans of wildlife and bird watchers, nature lovers, scientific tourism and those wishing to visit native communities as Yaguas or Boras. The visit to this area does not require yellow fever vaccine.

River cruises or stay in an Amazon Lodges are the two most recommended ways to exploring the jungle. In both cases, the tour operators will be waiting for you at the airport from your arrival to Iquitos city, and after your visit, they return you directly to the airport, or to Iquitos.

To start an adventure in the northern jungle you must first reach Iquitos only 1h 50 minutes flight from Lima.
(See: How to arrive to Iquitos).

Iquitos and Northern Amazon of Peru

Exploring the Amazon Rainforest in Amazon River Cruises

"Cruise down the Amazon River and lose yourself amidst palm trees and exotic fruits as you marvel at the biodiversity of the surrounding forest."

Sailing on the Amazon River is an incomparable experience and the tour operators in Iquitos offers you organized programs from 4 days to 8 days to the border with Brazil and Colombia and to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve for amazing wildlife.

You will experience "timeless" travel on the worlds' largest river and observe the diverse flora and fauna of the rainforest. You will see local people and their villages as well as wildlife such as pink and gray dolphins, blue and yellow macaws, herons, martin kingfishers, sloths, caimans, monkeys and more.

During the voyage, visits are made to some villages and native communities, and they are carried out hikes by the jungle, night expeditions and sport fishing sessions. Many expedition cruises offer excursions on skiffs to remote reaches of the Amazon rainforest. The offer of cruises is varied, from economic to luxurious riverboats.

Check Amazon River Cruises Tours.

Exploring the Amazon Rainforest from Jungle Lodges

To have the best experience, you should stay at least 4 days and stay in one of the many Amazon Jungle Lodges renowned for their high quality service. These facilities operate on some hidden river,and have elaborated an excellent plan of activities in the rainforest, services of river transportation, expeditions for wildlife encounter, lodging and meals, and completing the formalities for entry to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve if is included in the tour program.

The Amazon Jungle Lodges have bungalows and cottages that have all the comforts, rooms with air conditioning, swimming pools, and others of more restricted services. Some lodges include visits to Yagua or Bora native communities, and offer alternative experiences as canopy walkway, sport fishing, ayahuasca rituals, and specialized tours as medicinal plants, safari photography, or bird-watching with many endemic birds of this area.

ExplorNapo Lodge has a canopy that offers a unique experience to explore the forest from above with a biodiversity that can only be appreciated from a suspension bridge between the tops of trees.

From these points you will be able to carry out hikes to the interior of the Amazon rainforest. Take rides in canoes by small rivers and water-channels. You also can be in territories that have changed, a little or nothing, in the last 10,000 years and enjoy the magnificence of the jungle, knowing and sharing the same space with thousands of animal and botanical species.

For fishing enthusiasts there are three Amazonian species considered trophies in the world of fishing, the chambira or payara, the tucunare (peacock bass), and the dorado.

Jungle Tours in Iquitos

Bird-watching in Iquitos and Northern Amazon

The protected natural areas, near to Iquitos city are the best places for bird-watching, Pacaya Samiria with 449 of tropical bird species and Allpahuayo Mishana with 475 species of birds, have been discovered in these areas.

Northern Route
With a total of more than 1,200 listed species, the Northern Route is home to some of the most sought-after endemic Peruvian birds, such as the Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) and the White-winged Guan (Penelope albipenni). The main route runs from west to east, from the cities of Trujillo or Chiclayo, and is ideal for observing the species that live in the dry forests of the Tumbes region. The transition in this sector of the country is influenced by the altitude of the Andes in this zone and by the tropical climate that dominates the northern region.

The north also includes the areas of Tumbes and the River Marañón as well as the mega-region of Iquitos, which is rich in varieties of endemic species.

The mountain pass at Abra Patricia together with the Lechucita Bigotona Biological Station has become one of the best known bird watching spots, with excellent forests near the route and a good system of pathways through the protected area.

This is where the rediscovered species Long-whiskered owlet (Xenoglaux lowerii) is found, and it is also the site of the Huembo interpretation center for the observation of hummingbirds, where the highlight is the Marvelous Spatuletail. The remote territories of the ethnic Awajun people, located along the banks of the River Marañón, Cenepa, Santiago and its surroundings, are home to species such as the endemic White-masked Antbird (Pithys castaneus) and the regionally endemic Orange-throated Tanager (Wetmoretraupis sterrhopteron).


Birdwatching Tours in Iquitos


Vaccination is not required to enter to Peru. If you have planned to carry out a long trip to the deep Amazon area it is advisable to be vaccinated against the yellow fever. Depending on the time that you estimate to be interned in the jungle, if this time will be long consult with your doctor the possibility to be vaccinated against the hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus and an anti malaria treatment.

Amazon River Cruises

  • Amazon Rainforest

    Amazon Rainforest

    © J. Mazzotti

  • Canopy in ExplorNapo Lodge

    Canopy in ExplorNapo Lodge

    © J. Mazzotti

  • Exploring the jungle

    Exploring the rainforest

    © J. Mazzotti

  • Black caiman

    Black caiman (Melanosuchus Niger)

    © PromPeru

  • Giant River Otter

    Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)

    © PromPeru

  • Exploring the jungle

    Yaguas Natives

    © J. Mazzotti