The Amazon River, originating in Peru, is a world of mystery, grandeur and romance. Its towering forest and rushing waters harbor such an incomparable diversity of life that scientists are still working to classify it all:
• 2,000 species of fish, more than those in the Atlantic Ocean.
• 4,000 species of birds, including 120 hummingbirds.
• 60 species of reptiles such as the caiman and anaconda, the world´s largest non-poisonous snake.
• Mammals like the marmoset, anteater, tapir, capybara and pink dolphin.
At its widest point in Brazil, the mighty Amazon River is 40 miles across. Oceangoing vessels can sail the 2,300 miles from the Atlantic Ocean upriver to Iquitos, Peru`s major port on the Upper Amazon.
The Amazon River is arguably the largest river in the world rivaled only by the mighty Nile in Africa. The Amazon River’s headwaters in South America originate in Peru with the Upper Amazon area in Peru consisting of a series of major river systems that flow North and South into the Marañón and Ucayali (major Amazon River tributaries) and the Amazon River.
At its widest point the Amazon River is 11 km/7 miles wide during the low water season, but during the high water season, when the Amazon floods the surrounding plains, the Amazon River can be up to 45km/28 miles in breadth.
The capital of Loreto, is the main port city on the Amazon River and the largest city in the Peruvian jungle.
Different indigenous people groups like the Cocama, Huitoto, and Bora first inhabited the area. Then came the Jesuit missionaries who founded the city. At the end of the nineteenth century was when Iquitos experienced its greatest economic glory due to the rubber industry. The economic bonanza meant that luxurious buildings like the art noveau Palace Hotel and the Iron House, designed by the famous French architect Gustave Eiffel, were constructed there.
In contrast to these buildings, you find the homes in the Belen neighborhood that are constructed on top of rafts and pylons to protect them from the flooding of the river. One of the best attractions in Loreto is navigating on the rivers and lakes and enjoying the beautiful beaches.
The weather in Iquitos is hot and rainy all year long.
The average annual maximum temperature is 31ºC (88ºF) and the minimum is 21ºC (70ºF).
The dry season (July – November) and the flood season (December – July) feature particular differences in the plant and animal life as well as in the climate.
Loreto’s cuisine is very rich in fiber and is known for its health benefits; as well as its exquisite taste.
Tasty types of fish such as: paiche, dorado, doncella, sabalo, tucunare,acarahuazu, gamitana y carachama are an absolute delight as well as chonta salad or palmito, pijuayo and boiled plantain, patarashca, sarapatera, the makambo , grilled churo(river snail), juane, inchicapi, tacacho with cecina, and having as an appetizer ”siete raices “ sour.
Keep your baggage to a comfortable minimum. Without fail, bring a valid passport. Pack light, drip-dry cotton or safari clothing, including one long-sleeved shirt and sweater. Hiking shoes or sneakers, (jungle trails are frequently muddy), plastic raincoat or poncho. Include insect repellent, toilet articles, sunglasses, sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat, binoculars and small flashlight or head lamp for reading, flip flops, extra socks.
And finally, don't forget a camera to capture the memories of your Amazon Adventure. For those who want to stay in touch with home, we have "Free WiFi Internet access" for your laptop in the public areas of the three main lodges (Ceiba Tops, Explorama Lodge and ExplorNapo Lodge).
In Ceiba Tops there is unlimited electricity in 220 V throughout the Lodge and one outlet in each room for 110 V current. In the other lodges there is limited 220V current available for charging batteries during certain hours of the day. Most current electronics (e.g. laptops, cameras, cell phones, IPOD) can be safely charged using 220 current, but please check your owners manual first.
Each guest may take 15Kg or 33lbs of luggage with them on the boats to the lodges. If your luggage weighs more than this amount, plan on storing the extra in Iquitos in the Explorama office in our secure storage area until your return.