Iquitos - worth a few days?

Old Feb 24th, 2016, 06:06 AM
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Iquitos - worth a few days?

I am trying to get a handle on our next trip and looking at ways to get to/from Peru and Colombia. one way, probably on the way to Colombia, will definitely be via Ecuador. I was originally planning to fly back to Lima from Bogota.

However, having done a little research, I am now thinking of going via the Amazon via Leticia, Colombia, from where it is possible to get a fast boat to Iquitos. I am just wondering whether Iquitos is worth the effort? My understanding is that Amazon tours from there tend to be high end and expensive so we would probably do that from Leticia. My main interest is in the city itself. Any thoughts or opinions as to whether it is worth the effort of getting there?
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 06:37 AM
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Probably pretty low on my list of places to revisit, although the Belen market was interesting for the viewing of produce and endangered Amazon wildlife on offer for consumption (illegal, much if it).

I wonder if it will be redundant to some of your SE Asia travels?

You should go with a guide to the market, we got some pretty hard stares and one guy held up a handful of stolen cameras!

There are some lodges not far out if Iquitos that you could do for a night or two, if you want I can look for contact info. I think one of the guides I knew is on Facebook.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 03:01 PM
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See if this link to Picasa still works

https://picasaweb.google.com/1053023...eat=directlink
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 11:36 PM
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Thanks mlgb that's really helpful. Belen looks like my sort of place but a long way to go for a market! Incidentally, I think I must have looked at your photos before. The "Rice drink with attitude" was very familiar!

I think I will take another look at what Leticia has to offer in terms of Amazon outings etc. and then decide whether we want to go there. If so, we would probably just get the boat to Iquitos for a couple of days and then either fly to Lima or work our way up to Chachapoyas (possibly a little too hardcore?)
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 07:06 AM
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I wonder how long that upstream journey takes?
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 07:17 AM
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No idea, but I suspect quite a while if I have to paddling the canoe!
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 11:48 AM
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LOLs..you will want to ask around for the FAST boat. I met a NGO worker on one trip with stories of how long it normally takes.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 11:53 AM
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Will you post some kind of a rough itinerary eventually?

It may be possible that I go back to SA during your visit if you are starting before mid-June and dragging into September. The summer airfares (mid-June to August) are not my cup of tea.

I have a 3 week visit (cruise and birdwatch) coming up with a crazy last minute fare from Santiago to BA. A few days before in Valparaiso and the end at BA but I will be back at the end of March.
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Old Feb 26th, 2016, 10:26 AM
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I will post a rough itinerary at some point. We arrive in Lima on 4 May and will spend a few days there before moving on to Huaraz for a week and from there north into Ecuador by late May. Will probably spend 3-4 weeks in Ecuador and cross into Columbia fro Otavalo in mid June.
We hope to spend around two months in Columbia doing a rough circuit of the country with maybe a side trip to Providencia to do some diving.

We need to be back in Lima for mid August to meet some friends who are joining us for the remainder of the trip through southern Peru, Bolivia and into Argentina via Salta, Iguazu and then leaving from BA in mid September. (Having said that there is a small possibility that rather than NW Argentina we could go through SPdeA and and then Mendoza.)

If you do go back to,SA at any of those points, it would be great to meet up!

PS I loved Valparaiso!
PPS looking forward to your impressions of BA especially restaurant experiences..
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Old Feb 26th, 2016, 11:16 AM
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Sounds like another great adventure for you. To talk to many locals, although opinions vary some, Ecuador is on a slow downward spiral. The current prez is trying to move away from the $ to digital currency. Having problems repaying World Bank and in hock to Chinese. Tough times here.
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Old Feb 26th, 2016, 05:44 PM
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Two months in Colombia sounds fantastic, crellston. I look forward to hearing your plan for the northward path out of Peru. If there has been a lot of rain this year the roads may still be bad through the northern part of Peru into Ecuador.

Am hoping for some good seafood in Valpo. I checked out the recent reviews on your B&B in Valpo, but there were some comments that the owners have two young children now.

This may not be a satisfying eating trip as I've hooked up with another birdwatcher and I expect lots of cheese and ham sandwiches (and cruise ship food).

But hopefully some nice seafood and wine in Valpo and I will probably be living off of ice cream in Argentina.
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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Iquitos itself wouldn't be on my top to-do list, but as it's the starting point for one of my favorite places in the world, I have a certain fondness for it.

If you do decide to visit the Amazon out of Iquitos, Explorama has some pretty good deals for weekends and such. My favorite of their lodges is Explornapo; Ceiba Tops is the one where most people go, but it's more Amazon-lite and resortish. There's nothing like being out on the Sucusari at night, or slipping through those backwaters at dawn.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 07:11 PM
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For me Iquitos was the best jungle experience but you need to stay at a lodge well outside of Iquitos. We stayed with Maniti Expeditions (www.manitiexpeditions.com) in Iquitos and they were wonderful. Saw lots of wildlife, beautiful eco-lodge, well priced. In Leticia we only stayed one night as its not as well prepared for tourism as Iquitos. Highly worth the effort to go to Iquitos.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 11:12 PM
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Thanks Amy and pezzi for your input, very helpful. I remain undecided and think I will wait to see how much we love Colombia. The consensus seems to be that the city itself is probably not worth the effort of getting there and, as we don't intend on taking any Amazon trips from there, I need to decide whether the journey itself from Bogota - Lima via Leticia/ Iquitos is worth the effort.

Mlgb - if the owners in Valpo now have a couple of kids, I too would think again. Breakfast were communal in the kitchen, which was nice, but I do need my peace and quiet first thing!!
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Old Mar 8th, 2016, 11:44 AM
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Crellston--I would not have gone to Iquitos if I had not been going to stay in the Amazon, and am even more of that opinion having been there. It's a long flight for not much to see.
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Old Mar 9th, 2016, 12:30 AM
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Thanks dwd. You have put the final nail in the coffin of Iquitos for me my mistake to take LP at its words:

"whether it’s sampling rainforest cuisine, checking out the buzzing nightlife or exploring one of Peru’s most fascinating markets in the floating shantytown of Belén, this thriving city will entice you to stay awhile"

Back to the planning...
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