Navigating to Iquitos, Peru: Air and River Routes

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Flying Directly to the Heart of the Amazon

The quickest and most convenient route to Iquitos is by air. The city’s airport, Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport (IQT), welcomes a number of airlines providing daily flights from Peru’s capital, Lima. Notable carriers include LATAM Airlines, Star PerĂș, and Peruvian Airlines. For those already in Peru but outside Lima, direct flights are available from cities like Pucallpa and Tarapoto, albeit less frequently.

Upon landing, travelers can easily find transportation into the city center. Mototaxis, a local form of transport, offer rides from the airport for approximately S/8 (about USD 2.20 as of 2023). It’s advisable to agree on the fare before starting the journey to avoid any misunderstandings.
Waterways: The Adventurous Route
Embarking on a Riverine Adventure

For those with more time and a desire for adventure, river travel presents an opportunity to immerse oneself in the Peruvian landscape. Iquitos is served by several domestic and international ports, with options ranging from leisurely cargo ships to faster, pricier speedboats.
From Pucallpa: A Gateway to the Amazon

Pucallpa, the second-largest city in the Peruvian Amazon, is a hub for boats heading to Iquitos. Accessible by air or an 18-hour-plus bus ride from Lima, Pucallpa also serves as a base for ecotourism. The river journey from Pucallpa to Iquitos spans approximately 560 miles (900 km) along the UcayalĂ­ River. Traditional cargo ships can take 4 to 6 days, making stops at riverside communities, while speedboats shorten the trip to 2 or 3 days.
From Yurimaguas: Through the Northern Waterways

Yurimaguas lies north of Pucallpa and is reachable by a 3-hour bus ride from Tarapoto, which has its own airport. Cargo ships depart daily for Iquitos via the Huallaga River, taking about 2 to 3 days. This route offers views of the Lagunas and the biodiverse Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.