Getting Around, Iquitos Travel, Transport and Car Rental
(Iquitos, Loreto, Peru)
There is no actual road access into Peru's northerly rainforest city of Iquitos, meaning the transport options here are quite limited and so many of those choosing to travel into Iquitos choose to fly here, from the Jorge Chávez International Airport
in Lima's suburb city of Callao
You can also travel to Iquitos by using boat transport, and although this may be considerably slower, is it very scenic and relaxing. When you have arrived, nearby towns are easy to reach, using either bus transport or on board a motorised boat known as a 'llevo llevo'. Around Iquitos itself, 'motocarros' / 'mototaxis' are on hand (auto rickshaws) and many drivers of these will be happy to provide you with a guided tour as you travel to your destination, pointing out sights along the way.
Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport (IQT) / Arriving by Air
Address: Calle las Flores, Avenida Abelardo Quinones Km. 6 - Maynas, Iquitos, Peru
Tel: +51 65 228 444
The city of Iquitos is close to the Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport
, which is located just 7 km / 4 miles from downtown and easy to travel to by taxi, being extremely inexpensive. Both LAN Airlines and Star Peru currently serve the airport, flying to Peruvian cities such as Lima
and Tarapoto, whilst charter planes are also available for hire at an hourly rate and will happily transport passengers virtually anywhere within Peru's Amazon northerly region. However, flocks of vultures regularly gather around the runway throughout the day, and so flights usually either leave very early in the morning, or at the end of the day.
Renting a car anywhere in Peru
is a brave thing to do. The roads are notorious hazardous and tricky to find your way around.
Therefore, a very convenient alternative to car rental is to simple hire a taxi for the day or weekend, and you will have your very own driver at a surprisingly affordable price.
Buses and Coaches
Bus transport in Iquitos is particularly suitable for those who wish to travel fairly long distances for as little expense as possible. Backpackers therefore favour the various buses on offer in this part of the Amazon, with most tending to depart from the Plaza 28 de Julio and connecting areas such as Belen. Due to consistent warm temperatures, buses have no window glass and are very informal in their nature, stopping at your request and charging you either in advance, or once you reach your chosen destination.
A large group of taxis usually await passengers flying into Francisco Secada Vignetta Airport and you will therefore have a good choice, being able to select the cheapest, although do be sure that you have clearly agreed a price before you start your journey. Motocarros / mototaxis provide an even cheaper way to travel into the city and these three-wheeler vehicles are rather like the 'tuk tuks' of Thailand
, carrying no more than two passengers. Within central Iquitos, taxis are very much outnumbered by the squadrons of motocarros.
Boats and Ferries
The Amazon River has connected Iquitos for many years and is today frequented by arriving and departing boats, with the ports of Contamana and Requena being very nearby. Several very organised ports line the riverbanks, such as the Puerto Masusa on the Avenida La Marina. Boats transporting passengers upriver to Pucallpa (at least four days) and Yurimaguas (at least three days) are especially popular. In theory, you could actually travel along the Amazon River, from Iquitos right up to the Atlantic Ocean if you so wished, although the majority of boats just connect the main tourist towns along the way. You will be required to change your boat if you are sailing into either Brazil
or Colombia. Speedboats are available if you find the large 'La Chata' ferries a little to slow for your liking.