The Floating City of Iquitos Peru
Tuesday, January 31
Iquitos, known as the “capital of the Peruvian Amazon” is the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road; you either fly in or arrive by boat. But this doesn’t keep the city from road noise – it still has the hustle and bustle of buses, motorcycles and the auto rickshaw.
For many, Iquitos is the gateway into the Amazon, which is the very reason why we fell upon this city.
On our first day there, we had a teenager approach us asking if he could show us around so he could practice his english. Naturally we were a bit skeptic, but we agreed. Much to our surprise, he genuinely wanted to speak english and be our tour guide. He spent the day showing us around Iquitos – places we most likely would not have seen otherwise.
He took us to local attractions, such as the Belen Market. I wished I had taken photos of this place. But even if I had, the photos could not possibly depict the stench that lingered blocks prior to reaching the market. Imagine raw meat laying on tables for the day…that kind of smell! We got there during nap time, leaving many locals laying on these same tables for their afternoon nap. You can only imagine how quickly I was ready to leave. It’s difficult being polite and not dry heave as you walk through the market! Nonetheless, it was still an experience I would not have had otherwise.
The Floating City of Shantytown
With a little wooden canoe, we explored the floating-shantytown located in the neighborhood of Belen. At that time, we had no idea that it wasn’t the safest place for a tourist to be seen. (Sometimes ignorance is bliss…sometimes!) But I’m so glad we went, as it was very intriguing!
It was really cool seeing this church within this floating community.
These giant water lily pads are the biggest lily pads I have ever seen.
Just a couple of kids that enjoyed playing in their backyard!
Upon seeing this pink dolphin statue we thought it was strange that it was pink. Later we found out that pink dolphins are a common wildlife found in the Amazon .
Iquitos historic building.
St. John the Baptist Cathedral also referred to as the Iquitos Cathedral.
When I think back to our time in Iquitos, I think of that kid that showed us around. We would not have had the same experience or explored it the way we did, had it not been for him.
The best part of travel is the people you meet along the way. You just have to open your eyes and your heart to those around you, and you will be amazed at the opportunities you find yourself in. There may be times you will find yourself duped, but more often than not, it’s going to be an awesome experience!
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