The riverfront along the Amazon is a long boulevard, Malecón Tarapacá, with a pedestrian walkway. It reaches all the way from the focal point of downtown, restaurants and bars near the Plaza de Armas, to the shabby but picturesque Belén district.
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Water-locked Iquitos can be reached only by airplane or boat. Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian rain forest, with a population of around 400,000. It is the capital of Loreto Region and Maynas Province. It is generally considered the most populous city in the world that cannot be reached by road.
The climate is hot and humid, with an average relative humidity of 85%. The wet season lasts from around November to May, with the river reaching its highest point in May. The river is at its lowest in October.
A boat tour of Belén is a common tourist attraction. Belén is an area of Iquitos that can be accessed by foot in the dry season but is only accessible via boat in the wet season.
Taxis are divided between "formal" taxis, painted and marked as such, and informal ones, that are just cars with a windshield sticker that says "Taxi". The last ones are better left to the locals, especially if you don't speak Spanish. Apart from the more upscale radio taxi (also the more expensive ones), the fare is not fixed or metered, but it is negotiated with the driver before getting into the vehicle.
It pays to compare your cruise line tours here.
One of the major attractions of Iquitos and the Amazon Rain Forest is the native tribes.
The main reason to visit Iquitos is that it serves as a launch point for trips into the Amazon. Single day or multi-day trips can be booked for around 150 soles per person per day. You are taken out on a boat and can view wildlife such as monkeys, alligators, giant lily-pads, baby caimans (sort of like mini-alligators), anacondas, boas, tarantulas, and more.
The floating market, known as Belén, is located on the embankment in Iquitos.
The currency of Peru is the nuevo sol. ATMs are available in big cities, up-market hotels and touristic areas.
In tourist centers like Cusco and Machu Picchu or in high class hotels, English is spoken. If you intend to visit other sites, especially in the countryside, you'll need Spanish.
Emergency numbers in Peru are 011 / 5114. In Lima ring 105.
Cafes which offer free WiFi for customers, called in Peru cabinas públicas, grow like mushrooms in Peru.
But most of companies are open from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. Shopping centers and stores are open from 10:00 am until 8:00 pm; however some companies now stay open 24 hours a day.
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