Updated: Aug 22
Iquitos is the best known city in the Amazon of Peru. It can only be reached there by air or river. If you have time and want to have a nice experience in the jungle, we recommend taking the boat that departs from Yurimaguas, the nearest point to reach by river to Iquitos. You can also take the boat if you want to go to the villages that are on the way.
There are two types of boat:
Fast boat: one departs very early (approximately 5am) and another at night (approximately 8pm) It takes approximately 18 hours to reach Iquitos. It is not a very comfortable transport, so we recommend taking the boat slow if you have flexibility of time.
Price:S/100.00 - S/150.00
Slow boat: Although you can find information online about departure times, the truth is that they do not have set times and you must go directly to the port to ask the departure time of the day. So there is no special day or time of departure, they usually leave after noon, but they could also leave at 5 or 6pm. If you're lucky you can find one that comes out the same day or there might be a chance you'll have to wait more than a day at Yurimaguas. You have to be flexible. If you want you can also put your hammock, sleep there and wait for the boat to come out. If you choose this option you must take good care of your things. It takes 3 days to get to Iquitos on the slow boat.
Price: S/100.00 - S/150.00 Includes meals (non-vegetarian)
What you need: a container for food, spoon, water (it is recommended to buy a 8lts. drum) and a hammock. It is also advisable to bring some book, card game or something that distracts you as you will have a lot of time on the boat.
How to get to Yurimaguas: There are collectives by S/20.00 and vans by S/10.00. You can take it in Alfonso Ugarte street or in the company Turismo Selva which is also on that street. It takes at least 2 and a half hours to get from Tarapoto.
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is the second largest protected area in Peru. It has a humid, tropical and flooded forest. Therefore, the variety and quantity of animals that can be observed will depend on the time of year. Between the months of November to April the forest is flooded, so it is not possible to make walks. The whole route is done in a small boat. Between June and September, the rains decrease a little.
If you want to take a tour of the Reserve, near Yurimaguas there is a village called Lagunas from which you can access the Pacaya Samiria. You can visit with a guided tour. The shortest tour is 3 days and costs approximately S/150.00 per day with food, accommodation and guide included. We recommend that you ensure that the tour agency is trusted and accredited to provide the service. The tour we know and can recommend is Huayruro Tours, part of our staff visited the booking with them and the experience was extraordinary.
There is also the option to access the reservation from Nauta. In the same way, make sure the service is trusted and at the right price.