Boat trip to Iquitos - All you need to know
Updated: Aug 31
Iquitos is the best known city in the Peruvian Amazon. You can only get there by air or river. If you have time and want to have a nice experience in the jungle, we recommend you take the boat that leaves from Yurimaguas, the closest point to get to Iquitos by river. You can also take the boat if you want to go to the towns that are on the way.
There are two types of boats:
Fast boat: there are two schedules for this boat. The first leaves very early (approximately 5am) and another at night (approximately 8pm). It takes approximately 18 hours to get to Iquitos. It is not a very comfortable transport, so we recommend you take the slow boat if you have flexibility of time.
Price: S/100.00 - S/150.00
Slow boat: you can find information on the internet about the schedule times, but the truth is that there is no fixed schedule and you have to go straight to the port to ask about departure information of the day.
There is no special day or departure time, usually it leaves after 1pm but they could also leave at 5 or 6pm. If you are lucky you could find one that leaves on the same day or you could also have to stay in Yurimaguas for more than a day. You need to be flexible. If you want, you can hang your hammock on the boat and wait there. If you choose this option you have to be careful with your stuff. It takes 3 days to get to Iquitos.
*Notice: During dry season (approx. July – September) the river is very low and the boat leaves early in the morning (between 5-8am)
Price: S/120.00 - S/180.00 Includes meals (non vegetarians)
What you need: a food container, spoon, water (it is recommended to buy an 8-liter gallon) and a hammock. It is also advisable to bring a book, cards or something that distracts you since you will spend a lot of time on the boat.
How to go to Yurimaguas: There are colectivos (cars) and mini vans. You can find them at Alfonso Ugarte Street or at Turismo Selva, which is on the same street. The trip takes 3 hours.
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 take walks. The entire tour 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 town called Lagunas from which you can access Pacaya Samiria. It can be visited with a guided tour. The shortest tour is 3 days and costs approximately S / 150.00 per day with food, accommodation and guidance included. If you have time, stay at least 5 days to better enjoy nature and the peace that there is in this wonderful place.
We recommend you make sure that the tour agency is trustworthy and accredited to provide the service. The tour that we know and can recommend is Huayruro Tours, part of our staff visited the reserve with them and the experience was extraordinary.
There is also the option to access the reserve from Nauta. Again, make sure that the service is reliable and at the right price.