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How To Get To Iquitos, Peru


No place on earth compares to the Peruvian Amazon; it is one of the largest untouched stretches of rainforest in South America and offers you the chance to experience an Amazon river cruise like no other. Peruvian Amazon Cruises operate out of Iquitos, or the nearby port town of Nauta, depending on itinerary and water levels.

Part of what makes this region so unique is its isolation from the rest of the world: in order to get to Iquitos, you will have to fly or boat in, as amazingly there are no roads to the outside world from Iquitos. Here we take a look at all the possible ways travelers can get to Iquitos

Aerial view of Iquitos

Iquitos from above

Flying To Iquitos

Most visitors to Iquitos will choose to fly into its Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport (IQT). To get to the Peruvian Amazon, you cannot fly direct internationally to Iquitos airport. Instead, you must first take an international flight to Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) and from there you can then take a 2-hour domestic flight to Iquitos.

Transfers from Iquitos airport to the city are approximately 20 minutes, or if your Amazon cruise departs from the nearby port of Nauta (most do in fact) then the drive is 1.5 hours. For cruise-goers, the transfer vehicle is an air-conditioned van. For those arriving independently, a novel option is taking one of the waiting mototaxis (like the Asian rickshaw) for a breezy and bumpy ride into the city – just remember to hold onto your bags!

Star Peru, Viva Air Peru and LATAM (recommended) are the most reputable airlines flying domestically within Peru into Iquitos. Flights are available year-round from Lima, Pucallpa and Tarapoto, and seasonally (three times a week from July through to November) there are 2½ hour flights from Cusco with LATAM. Direct flights to Iquitos are also available from Cochabamba in Bolivia and Colombia offers irregularly scheduled flights to Iquitos from Leticia or Yurimaguas.

Passenger boat on the river

Boat arriving

Arriving by boat to Iquitos

Some people will decide to begin their Amazon River travel early and take a boat from various points of embarkation to Iquitos. Craft are available from Caballococha, Yurimaguas, Contamana, and Requena. Depending on the distance from Iquitos, you can expect to spend from 19 hours to 7 days on a boat to get there!

There are several type of river craft that are available for the journey to Iquitos, from the smaller peque-peque (a canoe with a motor) and pecaman (a middle-sized, motorized boat that is roofed to protect travelers from the sun), to the larger transport boats that run regular routes along the Amazon and its tributaries, carrying both people and goods. The motonave is a larger tourist-focused transportation boat that can carry up to 250 passengers.

Traveling to the Peruvian Amazon is now not only easy, but comfortable. The number of airlines that will provide either direct or connected flights to Iquitos means that you need only to book your flight, pack your bags, and be on your way to your Peru Amazon adventure in Iquitos, Peru and the surrounding Amazon rainforest. Contact us for more information about how to get to Iquitos and the Peruvian Amazon.


While Rainforest Cruises aim to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information herein or found by following any link on this site. Rainforest Cruises cannot and will not accept responsibility for any omissions or inaccuracies, or for any consequences arising therefrom, including any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the display or use of this information.

This entry was posted May 29, 2015
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