1. Belen Market
The strangest assortment of things you will ever see. A world you’ve never known before. The Belen Market is the biggest and most chaotic market in the city. It is set partly on land and partly on the river. Most houses in Belen are standing on the river, in structures elevated from the water. Canoes roam around to sell merchandise going from house to house. Merchants sell a mix of lotions, potions, exotic juices, medicine, herbs, lingerie, fruits, vegetables, animals, plants… the list goes on! You will also find all sorts of people to observe and interact with. Belen is a perfect opportunity to carve your memory with jaw-dropping sights. You are guaranteed to see and taste things you would never find at your typical local market. While some might be too shocking to share on social media, the vivid color mosaic of fruits and vegetables make a perfect Instagram shot. Another great shot are the colorful stands of aphrodisiac potions and powders used for Shamanic ceremonies. Less popular on social media albeit crazy are the stands of meats and animal produce that would make a vegan faint. You can also taste new exotic fruits from the jungle to shock, confuse or please your taste buds! A typical Amazonian “superfruit” is the Camu Camu, known for its antioxidant and healing properties, as well as its exquisite taste. Prepare to bargain in Spanish, bring small bills and charge your phone for pictures. Dare to venture in the craziness of the Amazonian market. It is one of the most exciting and memorable experiences you will have.
2. The Itaya River
Iquitos is a city with breathtaking natural sceneries. The land is enclosed by three rivers: the Amazon, Itaya and Nanay rivers. In fact, Iquitos is the biggest city only reachable by air or water, and not by land. All three rivers offer an extraordinary setting of the sunset, with rich colors and calm waters. The landscape is often punctuated by random houses and canoes floating in the waters. The Itaya River particularly is a hidden gem in the South American continent, with some amazing spots for a picture. You can contemplate the Itaya river scenery while taking a walk on the riverwalk. You can also take a river boat tour for cheap prices. Another option is taking a boat (free of charge) to one of the best restaurants in Iquitos, located right in the middle of the river. Al Frio y Al Fuego is a must-try culinary experience. Not only does it offer a great variety of high-quality fusion Amazonian food, but it also gives you a great view of the river sceneries and sunsets. Another perk of this restaurant is its private swimming pool where visitors can sunbathe or take a dip. You heard right, an open-air swimming pool in the middle of the restaurant, in the middle of the river! Even better, the restaurant offers a varied assortment of Amazonian cocktails to enjoy with the view. Since this is a popular destination for visitors, you also might end up making some new friends.
3. The Amazon Jungle
The Amazon jungle is renowned for being one of the seven wonders of the world. It is also commonly referred to as the “lungs of the world,” being the biggest and best conserved natural reserve. The Amazon is a key element in Iquitos’ identity and culture. It has blessed the city with a rich biodiversity. You will find numerous eco-friendly tours to the Amazon reserve, a perfect opportunity for exploring the wonders of the jungle with a local guide. The options are diverse, ranging from the most relaxing to the most exciting jungle activities. To relax, you can take a boat trip down the Amazon river where you will witness beautiful vast landscapes. On a more active note, an option is taking a walking tour into the jungle where you will have the chance to experience nature first-hand. Getting closely in touch with wild plants and animals of the Amazon is an adrenaline rush of suspense and excitement. It is a unique opportunity for snapping beautiful close-ups of wild animals in their natural elements. You will also find man-made hidden gems like the rainbow bridge along the river. There are multiple eco-friendly lodges and treehouses inside the jungle. Another wonderful experience is to spend the night in one of these jungle accommodations, such as tree houses of eco-lodges. The opportunities for amazing pictures are endless in the Amazon. The leafy green background, the dirt, the flora and fauna all make a great setting for immortalizing memories with friends.