Iquitos, Peru is the largest city in the world that is not accessible by road. The only way into Iquitos is by air or boat. For the adventurous, you can take a two day boat ride from Urimayguas, a few hours from Tarapoto. If comming from Columbia you can also take a boat from Leticia, which is on the borders of Columbia, Brazil and Peru. Most will want to travel to Iquitos by air.
Lima is the primary entry point for air travel into Peru. Tickets from your country can easily be arranged through any travel agent, or bought online. We recommend Mobissimo a travel search engine that allows comparing air fare prices across Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and others.
If you enter Peru via Lima you will almost certainly need to pick up your luggage and go through customs before checking into your next flight within Peru. A number of our clients have been told that their bags will go to Iquitos with no need to pick them up in Lima. When they get to Iquitos they learn their bags are stuck in customs in Lima. Please go to baggage claim when flying into Lima.
Though you can arrange flights from Lima to Iquitos via Mobissimo and other services, they tend to be a bit expensive for that part of the journey. You may consider dealing directly with one of the Peruvian airlines to save a bit of money. One disadvantage of doing this is you will need to pick up your bags in Lima, then check into the airline for your flight to Iquitos. Most of the airlines at the Lima airport have attendants that speak English, but this is not guaranteed. You may be able to save around $100 by dealing directly with the Peruvian airlines companies
|LATAM is the premier airline in Peru. They are generally the most expensive, but are dependable and offer good service.|
|Star Peru has a reputation for being late. They frequently depart an hour or more later than the scheduled departure time, but are also usually $50 - $100 cheaper than LAN. Their flights between Lima and Iquitos also have a stop in Tarapoto and the trip takes about 1 hour longer than other airlines.|
|Peruvian Airlines is the newest of the three national air carriers, and is earning a reputation for timely, quality service at a reasonable price.|
Iquitos offers a wide variety of hostels and hotels, from a backpacker flop house for $4 per night, to the 5 star El Dorado Plaza for $250 a night. Below is a list of some nice hostels and hotels within a few blocks of the Plaza de Armas, the main square in Iquitos and center of the tourist district.
|Hotel La Casona||★★||La Casona is the place we recommend to most of our guests. It is quiet, reasonably priced and has WIFI. Rooms start from $25, and air conditioned rooms are available.|
|Hospedaje La Pascana||★★||La Pascana is quiet, reasonably priced, has a nice garden, and has internet access, but no WIFI. Rooms start from $20.|
|Palau Amazonas Hotel||★★★||The Palau is a newer 3 star hotel, simple but quite nice. It has air conditioners and WIFI in every room, and includes a nice breadfast. The rooms have very comfortable beds and 32" flat screen TVs. Rooms start from $50|
|Epoca||★★★||Hotel Epoca gets rave reviews from our clients and the staff there speaks English. Great breakfast and prices start around $50. It is 4 blocks away from the Plaza de Armas and just around the corner from Hotel Samiria.|
|Victoria Regia||★★★||The Victoria Regia is a nice 3 star hotel with all the modern comforts, including a swimming pool and exercise room.. The staff is very professional and friendly. Rooms start from $80.|
|Samiria Jungle||★★★||The Hotel Samiria Jungle is one of the newest and nicest hotels in Iquitos. All rooms are air conditioned, with nice flat screen TVs, a refrigerator and the fastest Wi-Fi you will find in Iquitos. They have a beautiful swimming pool with a sunken swim-up bar(no alcohol please!) and modern, well appointed bathrooms with plenty of hot water. Prices are around 240 soles. Their service will pick you up at the airport and bring you to the hotel.|
|Hotel El Dorado Plaza||★★★★★||As the only 5 star hotel in Iquitos, The El Dorado Plaza is the most luxurious place to stay. While not quite up to 5 star standards found in western cities, it is a very nice hotel. Rooms start from $200.|