Iquitos Shopping and Districts
(Iquitos, Loreto, Peru)
If you are shopping for the ultimate jungle souvenir of your Amazon holiday in northern Peru
, then Iquitos presents a number of options. Firstly there is a good selection of shops in the centre of Iquitos, around the Plaza de Armas, the initial block of the Napo, and the Malecon Tarapaca.
For local handicrafts at their very best, the Mercado de Artesania San Juan is the place to head. Located on the Avenida Quinones road leading to Iquitos Airport, this lively market is easy to reach by either bus or taxi, and offers plenty of gift shopping, with stall holders often being the actual craftspeople themselves. However, do bear in mind that many items made from animal skins may be illegal in your home country.
Where to Shop
For the ultimate shopping experience in Iquitos, there really is only one place to be - the street market in the 'floating' neighbourhood of Belen, where houses stand on stilts and elevated walkways link many areas.
Situated on the embankment, this market is famous in Peru and showcases the very best elements of this appealing Amazon city, and haggling over prices is welcomed.
More than 100 different local communities arrive up the Amazon River to trade their wares at Belen's street market. which is based on a section of land that seasonally floods. The chaos and bustling crowds create an unforgettable atmosphere, together with the fragrances, the sounds, and the endless bananas and rice.
When shopping at the Belen street market in Iquitos, also look out for the local delicacies, which include dried frogs, caimans (small alligators), turtles and guinea pigs. Another popular spot for shopping in Iquitos is the Pasaje Paquito, which is a small and narrow alleyway, overflowing with many medicinal oddities, huge piles of Peruvian herbs, and a selection of pickled snakes.