how to get to iquitos

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If you travel to Peru and want to live a completely different experience to what you have known, we recommend you to travel to the Peruvian Amazon. Specifically, the city of Iquitos and its surroundings. One of the best ways to visit it is through a 3-day tour of Iquitos. If you are already planning to visit it, there is a very important detail that you will have noticed and that you cannot overlook: Iquitos is a city without any kind of land connection. And no, we are not talking about an island! Or yes, it is an “island” surrounded by rivers and Amazon jungle. If you want to know more about how to get to Iquitos, here is everything you need to know.

Where is Iquitos

As we mentioned before, the beautiful city of Iquitos is located in Peru. It is the capital of the province of Maynas within the Department of Loreto. Iquitos is a relatively high city, located at an altitude of approximately 104 meters above sea level. Although it is located within a plain that is bordered by the Amazon River, the Itaya River and the Nanay. We leave you an article where you can learn more about the culture of Iquitos.

As you can imagine, the geographical location of this city and the fact that it is surrounded by several mighty rivers, make a land connection with any other city impossible. One of the main attractions of the city of Iquitos is that it is the entrance to the Amazon River itself, considered one of the largest and most impressive bodies of water in the world.

How to get to Iquitos from other cities

Since Iquitos is a large city that lacks land connections to any other city in Peru, the only way to get there is by plane or by navigating its rivers. If on your trip to Peru you are also going to visit some of the other tourist highlights such as Machu Picchu, it is best to travel by plane. Especially if you have just enough time in Peru. However, if you have time to spare, an adventurous spirit and prefer an extreme nature experience, we recommend that you try to reach Iquitos by boat.

Whichever tour option you choose, we definitely recommend a visit to this Amazonian city and always take out travel insurance.

By air

By air is the most extended option and the most recommended for those tourists who have little time to visit Iquitos. From several destinations in Peru you can fly to the International Airport Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta, which is located only 7 kilometers from the center of the city of Iquitos.

One of the most common flights is the Lima-Iquitos flight, which takes approximately one hour and a half. Once you arrive at the airport you can take a cab or mototaxi that will take you in a matter of minutes to the city to begin your visit.

iquitos airport

By river

For those tourists who prefer adventure, or simply have a little more time to appreciate the scenery, you can get to Iquitos by river. If you want to travel by boat, you can first get to Pucallpa. Then, you can navigate the Ucayali River by boat or “motonaves”, vessels that can accommodate up to 250 people. Their duration is between 4 and 7 days. Another alternative with regular cruises is to leave from Yurimaguas, in this case taking between 3 and 6 days.

Whatever the route, you will most likely arrive at the port of Masusa. It is important to keep in mind that many of these ships do not have established schedules due to changing weather conditions. This makes it difficult to plan your arrival exactly in advance, we recommend you to go with a little margin.

Getting to Iquitos by river can be a great adventure. However, the truth is that it is much easier to get there by plane. In addition, with tours like the ones you will find in Howlanders, you will be picked up at the airport. In this way, you will be able to begin your adventure in Iquitos with specialized guides. Keep in mind that without a guide you will not be able to visit the jungle safely.

If you were thinking of getting to Iquitos by road, now you know that you can’t and that the best way to get there is by plane. Do you already know when you will live the adventure?


Lily is happy with a backpack on her back. Every year she travels through one country in Latin America and has repeated several times, especially Peru where she says she feels at home (although she says the same about Argentina, Chile and Bolivia).

She loves ceviche, hiking and Sunday picnics with her friends, although whenever you ask her, she's always planning her next destination.

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