Friday, April 3, 2015

Iquitos, the gateway to the Amazon

Iquitos is a 500,000 inhabitants city located in the North Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Iquitos is surrounded by the Amazon River, Nanay River, Itaya River and the Moronacocha lake.

The city is famous by its Rubber Boom heritage. The Rubber Boom (1886-1914) was the era of wealth for the Peruvian and South American Amazon. It led to great wealth for a few, most of them newcomers from other provinces of Peru, but also foreigners from the United Kingdom, United States, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, etc. Also it led to slavery for indigenous tribes. The effects of the Rubber Boom were substantial. Mainly Iquitos in Peru and Manaus in Brazil grew from small settlements in 1886 to important cities by 1914. Other jungle villages in these countries also grew.

Nowadays, Iquitos has historical buildings in its downtown as the Iron House designed by famous architect Gustav Eiffel, the Former Palace Hotel, Pinasco House, Fernando Lores School, Main Church, among others.

Iquitos is also the most important city in the Peruvian Amazon. Most travelers arrive in Iquitos with the dream to discover the rainforest and its wildlife but basically there are two jungle areas to visit from Iquitos:

  • Surrounding jungle areas (Momón, Amazonas and Nanay Rivers). Most jungle lodges, tour operators and guides offer itineraries to these areas. Places along the rivers near Iquitos has natural landscapes, but because are very close to the main city there are no chance of seeing animals in the wild. That is the reason that programs to these areas include visits to zoos and snake farms to observe animals, also included visit to tourist native tribes as bora and yagua. Most of these places can be visited without an organized tour using available public transports. Required time: From a couple of hours to 2 days.

  • Virgin jungle or primary rainforest (places located more than 80 km or 50 mi south of Iquitos, especially within protected areas). Far from main cities, these places has healthy ecosystems. These places are very rich in biodiversity hence is possible to observe wildlife in their own habitat. Two awesome options are the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (RNPS) and the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Regional Conservation Area (ACRCTT). These reserves are not possible to visit on your own. It is required a formal tour company. Required time: Minimum of 3 days and 2 nights.

Tours in Iquitos are not as cheap as in the rest of Peru. Tours for the surrounding jungle areas are around USD 50, and for protected areas around USD 130, in both cases per person per day.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Great discounts on Amazon Rainforest trips

Because we are grateful to our readers, we got some discounts from 5 to 12% off for most of the expeditions organized by two formal and reputable tour operators based out in Iquitos, Amazon Rainforest, Peru. Both tour operators are focused on real wildlife-spotting.

Curassow Amazon Lodge

  • Curassow Amazon Lodge. Located in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Nature Reserve, around 3 hours by river from Iquitos, this is an area plenty of wildlife according researchers of the Chicago Field Museum from the USA. Curassow Amazon Lodge is suggested for those travellers wishing to discover the real Amazon jungle and Amazon river with comfortable standards as woodden private rooms (bungalows) with en-suite bathrooms, 24-hour running water, full board and English-speaking guides. No electricity is provided to keep the experience as natural as possible.
Amazon Explorer
  • Amazon Explorer. This is an operator for people looking for something more real, more extreme. They camp in the middle of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve or perform adventure expeditions to remote jungle areas or native lands belonging to the non-touristic indigenous tribes Matses and Shuar, as well as adventures to the off the beaten track. If you are a survivalist or like a challenge, they are the one.

If you require information to plan your trip to Iquitos, airlines, accommodations and get the discounts, contact us ( mayantuperu -AT- ). This promo is available during 2015 and 2016.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Amazon Rainforest in Google Street View

Google Street View is now in the Amazon Rainforest. As a result of a partnership with the Brazilian NGO Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), Google has taken pictures of around 500 km (more than 310 mi) of jungles, rivers and lagoons of the Amazon rainforest, from the forest floor to the upper canopy.

The first time that Google took pictures of the Amazon was in 2012. With this project everyone can visit this paradise from their computers.

An advantage for Google is that privacy won't be an issue in this project, but it is probable somebody will find unrecorded wildlife since distracted insects and birds are visible in the pictures.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pacaya-Samiria as the World's Best Place for Wildlife

Photo courtesy of Amazon Explorer.
The Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve located in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest (South America) is nominated as the World's Best Place for Wildlife by the travel portal of USA Today.

The portal seeks to get the 10 best places for wild life in the world, among 20 destinations selected for wildlife experts. These destinations has been selected by its diversity of flora and fauna; and experiences that visitors may have.

The Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (PSNR) is the largest government-protected area in the floodable Amazon rainforest (ecosystem named várzea) in South America with an area of 2'080,000 ha or 5'139,792 acres, an area slightly larger than Slovenia or a half part of Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands or Costa Rica. It is considered as a RAMSAR site since 28 August 1986. It is home to some of the largest wildlife populations in the Amazon: pink and gray river dolphins, howler monkeys, elusive sloths, flocks of brilliant macaws and bright butterflies. Lagoons covered in giant lily pads teem with fish and caiman. Read more about the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.

Pacaya Samiria compete with other destinations such as the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), The Pantanal (Brazil), Costa Rica, Madagascar (Africa), Antarctica, Alaska's Katmai National Park (USA), etc.

Voting for this denomination, will be open until 12:00 on February 9th, 2015: