What You Need To Know

Iquitos, also known as Iquitos City, is the capital city of Peru’s Maynas Province and Loreto Region. The largest metropolis in the Peruvian Amazon, east of the Andes, it is the sixth most populous city of Peru. It is known as the “capital of the Peruvian Amazon.” The city is located in the Great Plains of the Amazon Basin, fed by the Amazon, Nanay and Itaya rivers. Overall, it constitutes the Iquitos metropolitan area, a conurbation of 471,993 inhabitants consisting of four districts: Iquitos, Punchana, Belén, and San Juan Bautista. It is the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road – it is accessible only by river and air. The area was long inhabited by indigenous peoples. The founding date of the European city is uncertain. Spanish historical documents state that it was set up around 1757 as a Spanish Jesuit reduction by the banks of the Nanay River. The Jesuits gathered local Napeano (Yameo) and Iquito natives to live here, and they named it San Pablo de Napeanos. In the late 19th century, the city became the center of export of rubber production from the Amazon Basin and was the headquarters of the Peruvian Amazon Company. The rubber boom attracted thousands of European traders and workers, some of whom amassed wealth with the high-volume production, processing and trade in rubber. The city’s economy was highly dependent on PAC, controlled in the nation by Peruvian businessman Julio César Arana. Iquitos, also known as Iquitos City, is the capital city of Peru’s Maynas Province and Loreto Region. The largest metropolis in the Peruvian Amazon, east of the Andes, it is the sixth most populous city of Peru. It is known as the “capital of the Peruvian Amazon.” The city is located in the Great Plains of the Amazon Basin, fed by the Amazon, Nanay and Itaya rivers. Overall, it constitutes the Iquitos metropolitan area, a conurbation of 471,993 inhabitants consisting of four districts: Iquitos, Punchana, Belén, and San Juan Bautista. It is the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road – it is accessible only by river and air. The area was long inhabited by indigenous peoples. The founding date of the European city is uncertain. Spanish historical documents state that it was set up around 1757 as a Spanish Jesuit reduction by the banks of the Nanay River. The Jesuits gathered local Napeano (Yameo) and Iquito natives to live here, and they named it San Pablo de Napeanos. In the late 19th century, the city became the center of export of rubber production from the Amazon Basin and was the headquarters of the Peruvian Amazon Company. The rubber boom attracted thousands of European traders and workers, some of whom amassed wealth with the high-volume production, processing and trade in rubber. The city’s economy was highly dependent on PAC, controlled in the nation by Peruvian businessman Julio César Arana.

 

Population: 453, 253 Population.city
Area: 368,9 km²

Currency

Government

Headquarters of Provincial Municipality of Maynas which is the main political entity that administers the city.
Iquitos is a provincial municipality with a system of government headed by a Provincial Council, composed of the Mayor and fifteen aldermen. The Provincial Municipality of Maynas (MPM) is the main body that has jurisdiction in the Maynas Province and Iquitos District, and authorities are elected by popular vote. The municipal government is responsible to plan development and territorial order within its jurisdiction, promote strategic coordinate on district order. It is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, urban planning, regulation of all types of transportation, municipal tax collection, maintenance of public roads (asphalt, cleaning, etc..) and gardens, promoting culture and preservation of architecture and public places, among others. The Municipal Manager is responsible “to direct, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the technical, financial and administrative of the Municipality”. The MPM has support bodies formed by the General Secretariat, the Office of Institutional Image, Administrative Management, Revenue Management and the General Office of Information. The line agencies are bureaucratic managers with a distinct role and have the function of carrying out the institution’s mission, which includes the Territorial Conditioning, Sanitation and Environmental Health, Works and Infrastructure, Traffic and Public Transport, Social Development, Economic Development and Municipal Services. The MPM organizes the Municipal Ombudsman Service of Child and Adolescent. The Mayor is Adela Jimenez, an architect, chosen by the National Jury of Elections to fill temporarily to Charles Zevallos who was suspended for health reasons. Jimenez is the first woman to hold the office of mayor provincial and Iquitos. The political geography of Iquitos is comprised four districts or communes, each with a district municipality. Except Iquitos District does not have a district municipality as such, the Provincial Municipality of Maynas also functions as his council district. The other districts are with a respective one: District Municipality of Punchna, the District Municipality of San Juan Bautista and the District Municipality of Belén. Each municipality has interference in his own district, and each has a policy of urban planning that is created according to the state of his district.

 

Human rights

The human rights of Iquitos are based on the Constitution of Peru that provides a fair treatment with respect to race, nationality, religious beliefs or social status. The document states that there should be no discrimination on “grounds of origin, race, sex, language, religion, opinion, economic or other purposes”, and must be present the full practice of economic, social and cultural rights. The Municipal Ombudsman for Children and Adolescents (Demuna), directed by Sinthya Felicita Flores Carmona, is a special ministry that provides protection to children’s rights. Indigenous rights is another important approach in native communities living in the metropolitan region. The city’s human rights have met with strong and complex social conflicts that violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Also, movements are made of any kind seeking recognition and protection of their rights.

 

Natural hazards

The main natural hazard is flooding. In 2012, major flooding occurred in Iquitos who alerted the population and affected coastal areas and several towns in the metropolitan area, which has a floodable, rainy geography. The floods of 2012 were regarded as the most historic natural disaster to Iquitos to date. Wet weather in Loreto took showers and drizzle, causing damage and flooding in the Loreto Region since November 2011. The rainy weather continued until early 2012, and increased the level of water in the Amazon river—wide stream that feeds most of the tributaries in Loreto — up to 117 metres (384 feet). Since February and March, several villages are affected (19,209 and 18,400 families affected), 26 000 hectares of farmland are flooded and the water level reached coastal streets of Iquitos. On 24 April 2012, the spate faded, and initiated the first stage of ebb. Other natural hazards are heat waves where temperatures can reach over 37 °C (99 °F) with a heat index of 45 °C (113 °F) which is caused by the low humidity on clear days. Cold waves are also curious in Iquitos: cold air from the tip of the continent driven by the dynamics of the atmosphere, comes to town and causes a drop in temperature, moderate rainfall and thunderstorms. The trade winds also come to cause gales reaching 60 km/h (37 mph). In October 2012, Iquitos experienced high temperatures and heavy thunderstorms. Earthquakes in the city are very rare and very deep. Iquitos is located in Region 3 of Systematic Regionalization Map of Peru, which means that the city has a low coefficient seismic value, although the 2011 Peru earthquake, which occurred southeast of Contamana, was felt in the city as a small and unexpected jolt.

 

Language

Spanish is the official and most widely spoken language in Peru, while Quechua is the most popular indigenous language in the country.

 

Tourism

From top to bottom: Lower area of Belen District, Iquitos, and signature Amazonian horizon surrounding the city.
Tourism is one of the most vital industries in Iquitos, which has a growing reputation as a honeypot due to its location on the banks of the Amazon River, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Through the years, Iquitos receives a considerable amount of foreigners; the tourist index grew by international flights offered by the city’s airport. Tourism in the city formed into European-style architecture, cuisine, drinks, art, culture, worldview, Spanish accent and historical references of Loreto. Iquitos has adequate infrastructure to accommodate tourists from all levels. It has a 5-star hotel, many of 3-, 2-, and 1-star rating. The major tourist attractions include Barrio de Belén, Plaza de Armas, Casa de Fierro, Ex Hotel Palace, Iglesia Matriz de Iquitos, Allpahuayo Mishana; Embarcadero Bellavista-Nanay, ethnic communities located around the city, Quistococha Resort and Zoo; Mercado Artesanal of San Juan. iperú is the leading tourist guide service that is offered to tourists at the airport and the city center of the city. The city is also home to unique tourist companies as Amazonia Expeditions, Maniti Camp Expeditions, Otorongo Expeditions, Amazon Golf Course, and Project Amazonas (dedicated to research and conservation). Special experiences outside the key tourist areas of the city include the Camiri —a floating hotel—, the Isla de los Monos, the Pilpintuwasi butterfly zoo, Iquitos-Sunkaruqucha Corrientillos-King Kong-Nina Rumi circuit, and adjoining districts such as Mazán, Indiana and Bellavista In 2010, Iquitos received about 150 thousand tourists. The following year, in 2011, the index fell to 46,000 tourist foreigners, which expects 10% rise rapidly in 2013 with international flights opened in July 2012 and the Amazon River as a natural wonder.
Spiritual tourism
Ayahuasca is known as a major cultural landmark, and mystic tourism has increased in Iquitos in recent years. The drink, made from the vine Banisteriopsis caapi, is investigated by the Western people with a medicinal purpose and study, and was named the nation’s cultural heritage. Dangers, however, still exist when coming into contact with the drug. Shamans are not regulated and none have proof of credentials. Whilst deaths in Iquitos are rare they have been reported, including Frenchman Fabrice Champion and American Kyle Nolan. Iquitos is home to the annual Amazonian Shamanism Conference. Here, like-minded individuals meet in Iquitos yearly to discuss Ayahuasca.

 

Transport

Abelardo Quiñonez Avenue located in south of Iquitos. It is a larger preferential roadways.
Iquitos has a personality very different from the rest of Peru and even different from other South-American Amazonian cities. The streets of Iquitos are dominated by more than 25,000 auto rickshaws or motokars, known in the rest of Peru under the name of mototaxi, and for foreigners as auto rickshaw or tuk-tuk, providing taxi service. The buses are large vehicles made of wood with direct routes. Iquitos is widely regarded as the largest inland city that is inaccessible by road. The air and river transport are the main means for entry or exit of people and goods to the city, since the cost of living in this city and people of the region is generally higher than the Peruvian standard. It is considered that Iquitos is the second most expensive city in Peru after Cusco. A proposed road link to Sarameriza, to be completed by 2021, would connect Iquitos to the country’s road network. The city has renewed Crnl. FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport where domestic and international flights operate. In the domestic terminal there are routes from Lima and other Peruvian provinces. While in the international terminal there are flights from/to Panama City on wednesdays and saturdays with Copa Airlines also connecting from/to USA, Mexico, Canada, Central America & Caribbean, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil. There are between 8 to 9 daily flights to Iquitos from Lima, some make intermediate stops in Pucallpa and Tarapoto. Air routes are served by four companies: LAN Perú, Peruvian Airlines, Star Perú and Copa Airlines. The direct flight between Lima and Iquitos takes 1 hour and 45 minutes. Copa Airlines provides international flights to the city with Panama and the Americas from the 14 July 2012. Since June 2011, the Central Government of Peru provided two de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter for operations across the region. Iquitos can be reached from any foreign port or waterway in the Peruvian Amazon.

 

Weather

Under the Köppen climate classification, Iquitos experience an equatorial climate (Af). There is constant rainfall throughout the year, without a distinct dry season, but a wetter summer. Temperatures range from 21 to 33 °C (70 to 91 °F). The annual average temperature is 26.7 °C (80.1 °F). The average rainfall in Iquitos is 2,616.2 millimetres (103.0 in) per year. Because the seasons are not sensitive in the equatorial zone, Iquitos has only two seasons. The rainy summer arrives in November and ends in May. March and April have the heaviest rains and humidity, with precipitations of about 300 and 280 millimetres (12 and 11 in), respectively. In May, the Amazon River, one of the rivers surrounding the city, reaches its highest levels. It falls about 9 or 12 metres (30 or 39 ft) at its lowest point in October, and then steadily rises again cyclically according to rainfall. Winter offers a very different climate. Although July and August are the driest months, they have some periods of downpours. Sunny days and good weather are common, with high temperatures reaching 30 °C (86 °F) and an average of 32 °C (90 °F). Rainfall is more abundant here than in Ayacucho, Cusco, or Lima. Iquitos also has microclimates: rain or drizzle may be present in some areas of the districts, while other parts of the city are slightly cloudy or clear. The temperature may vary. The urban climate is slightly warmer than the natural climate, and would be reflected by the thermal sensation. It suffers from a phenomenon called urban heat island, when the city’s heat has difficulty dissipating during the night hours due to absorption by buildings and pavement.

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