In spite of the heat of the zone, in this department specifically in Iquitos the tourist activity is intense to border of the Amazon River. Two worlds live simultaneously in this place: exotic of the jungle and the modern city with total streets of commerce.
IQUITOS BASIC FACTS
Area or Surface: 368,852 km².
Main Resources: rice, yucca, wood, fruit trees, rubber and cattle zebu.
Population: 775,000 inhabitants. Its capital Iquitos has 261.648 inhabitants.
Number of Provinces and Districts: 6 provinces and 47 districts.
Date of Department Foundation: February 17, 1866.
Ethnic Groups: Shipibos, Piros, Campas, Yaguas, Cashivos, Orejones and Jíbaros.
Typical Foods: Juanes of rice with hen, inchic hapi (mazamorra de maní).
Fauna: Lizards, orongos, snakes (yacumama), sajinos, deers, ronsocos, monkeys (maquisapa, machín, pichicos), anteaters, turtles (motelo, matamata, charapa), parrots, fish (paiche and zúngaro).
Flora: Victorias Regias, flowers, aguaje, palms.
Trees such as: mahogany, screw, shiringa, cetico.
Weather: The average temperature is 28° C (82° F). The rainy season is from December to March.
The territory that includes the present Department of Loreto comprised the Virreynato of Peru and it was explored by missionaries who had their seats in diverse points of the Peruvian ground. Also, the discovery, navigation and exploration of the Amazon River were made by the expedition of Gonzalo Pizarro, who left from the city of Cusco. During the Colonial Period, The capital of this vast territory was the old city of Moyobamba, present capital of the Department of San Martín.
In the last decades of the century, Iquitos the capital was elevated like the more important fluvial port of boarding raw materials of export. Currently, the finding of petroleum reserves gives Loreto new hopes of a better future.
It is the most extensive department of Peru; it is among the least populated. Its immense land is covered with rough vegetation. Its relief is little rough and predominate the waved surfaces slightly, excepting those of little elevation that are observed in their western sector, in the limits of the High Forest thus like in the south department, in bordering zones of the provinces of Requena and Ucayali with Brazil. There are located and it is called Hills of Contamana.
The main rivers that furrow the department are: The Amazon of very winding bed with numerous curves that they are ample meanders of great radius and which they evolve constantly, the volume of its waters is very important and its wide one between shores is of 4 km; the Yavarí, that serves from limit to Peru with Brazil throughout all its route, it is a river of very winding course; the Putumayo that serves as limit with Colombia; the Ucayali and the Marañón penetrates Loreto after crossing Pongo of Manseriche.
In spite of the heat of the zone, in this department Iquitos the tourist activity is specifically intense to borders of the Amazon River. Two worlds live simultaneously in this place: exotic of the jungle and the one of the modern city with total streets of commerce. Its environs the Nanay River can be visited, the Morococha, and the Lagoon of Quistococha, in where they are crian alevinos of paiche.
In Iquitos is located the National Reserve of Pacaya- Samiria, that is characterized to have a great variety of species animals and vegetation.
ATTRACTIONS IN IQUITOS PERU
IN THE AMAZON
The Eco-tourist excursions in the Amazon combine the adventure to know the forest with the experience to make contact with the native of the jungle, who just lives in harmony with the nature, as their ancestors did. The lodges located to the north (in the direction of Pebas or the town Francisco de Orellana, among others) and the south of Iquitos (course to Nauta and the National Reserve Pacaya-Samiria) are characterized by their rustic comfort and to offer the visitor the possibility of spending the night in the heart of the Amazon jungle.
Places of special interest are the breeding ground of orquídeas in the borders of the Sinchicuy river, in which, usually are monkeys, parrots and toucans; the "kingdom of the giant trees", to 60 kilometers to the north of Iquitos; or the Laguna Negra (Black lagoon) in the Natural Reserve of the Yarapa river, where in native company of the Yaguas, a day of artisan fishing can be made.
THE NATIONAL RESERVE OF PACAYA SAMIRIA: It is another one of the wonderful corners of the Amazon jungle. Its fauna is abundant with 130 different species of mammals, 330 bird species, 150 different reptiles and amphibians and 250 species of fish. By its extension, the greatest reserve of Peru is the Pacaya-Samiria, second of the Amazon hole and fourth of South America. Its climate is warm and humid and its vegetation is one of richest in species of the tropical forest.
IN IQUITOS CITY
THE MUNICIPAL MUSEUM AND LIBRARY AMAZONICA: In these history places will be able to be known the Amazonía. The Museum count with different varied sample of the selvática fauna and pieces of crafts of the different native cultures.
THE LIBRARY: one of most important in Latin America with regard to the Amazonía, counts on hemeroteca, pinacoteca and 132 sculptures that show the indumentarias of the selváticas tribes.
THE BELEN DISTRICT: It is known like “Peruvian Venice” because the houses stand on wooden poles above the waters of the Amazon River, rises on the volume of the Amazon River. Modest district, crossed by canoes and of a particular selvático look, constitutes an unforgettable stamp for the visitor.
TOURIST COMPLEX OF QUISTOCOCHA: Located Natural Tourist Park to 13 kilometers of Iquitos, around the Quistococha lagoon (Christ of the Lagoon). In the complex a zoological exists with near thousand native animals of the zone. The lagoon has 56 hectares and counts on an artificial beach, cabins and restaurants.