After much reading on websites and travel guides, research blogs and forums, and a thousand turns between anticipation and doubts, you have made the decision! You will go on a trip to Iquitos. We do not doubt that your backpack will be full of illusions and overflowing with desire to discover the incredible Peruvian Amazon, a unique place in the world; however, you should not forget to take many other things that you will need for an excursion in Iquitos. But do not worry, that’s what we are here for! Here you have the 10 essentials when traveling to Iquitos: things that you must have in your luggage on a trip to the Amazon.
The mosquito repellent can never be left behind during a trip to Iquitos. You must not forget that you are going to the Amazon rainforest. A lot of humidity and abundant vegetation is the ideal habitat for mosquitoes, whose bites besides being annoying could become very painful.
So the repellent should be one of your best friends in the Amazon and it is recommended that you carry it with you and apply it constantly. In addition to mosquitoes, you will also avoid being bitten by other insects.
2. Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
The sun is a source of health and we all like to have a healthy tan, but you can’t forget that in the areas close to the tropics the sun hits harder. You will be in the middle of nature, very exposed to the sun and a bad sunburn could ruin the rest of your trip. We recommend a sunscreen no less than factor 50.
For the same reason it is advisable to wear a cap or hat and sunglasses, to protect the most sensitive areas from ultraviolet rays.
3.Raincoat or poncho
A raincoat or poncho is essential if you travel during the rainy season, but at the same time, do not imagine that it will be raining all the time. The rain in Iquitos is intense but short-lived, and afterwards the sun always comes out. Even if you do not travel during the rainy season, the weather in the jungle of Iquitos is still unpredictable and could change at any time. So in the event that it rains, you will avoid spending hours of travel while soaked and possibly developing a cold that spoil the rest of your trip.
4. Cotton garments and long sleeves
Although when it is hot you might tend to think that you will be fresher and more comfortable with a short-sleeved shirt or shorts, on a trip to Iquitos it is best to bring cotton clothes that cover arms and legs to avoid the bites of mosquitoes and other insects, as well as possible scrapes with trees or plants. Cotton is the most comfortable and fresh fabric for hot and humid places. Select light colors which reflect sunlight, and avoid strident or flashy colors.
A tour to Iquitos in the Amazon is a very authentic experience, and even more so, spending a night in a lodge in the jungle amidst a local community. As such, you won’t have all the comforts of a big city but you will have many other exciting experiences like animal sightings during the night. For this reason and so you don’t miss any detail, we recommend that you always have a flashlight on hand.
6. Comfortable shoes and flip flops
A tour in Iquitos is a wonderful opportunity to enter the Amazon rainforest, which as you know, has nothing to do with walking through the city over asphalt. The terrain is irregular and humid, so when you arrive you will be provided with waterproof boots for walks through the jungle, but we recommend that you wear comfortable shoes for later and flip flops to be comfortable and cool after taking a shower.
7. Cash money
When making a trip to the Amazon you have to keep in mind that you will only find ATMs in Iquitos city, where you can get both soles and dollars.
The tour payment in Iquitos is in dollars; for this reason we recommend that you bring cash. If have not already brought dollars with you, we advise you to exchange for them in Lima or Cuzco, where you will find a better exchange rate than in Iquitos.
8. Photo camera
In addition to taking in with your own eyes each of the landscapes, animals and spectacular flora that you will find on the tour in Iquitos, I’m sure you will also want to immortalize it with your camera.
We recommend that you take a case for the camera (waterproof if possible) and a fully charged battery in the event that it is not possible to charge it during your stay in the Amazon rainforest. You will only have the opportunity to charge during the 3 or 4 hours that the generator produces electricity in the lodge.
The heat and humidity will make it necessary for you to stay hydrated; therefore, another of the essentials for travel to Iquitos is to take a bottle of water or a canteen with you to fill at the sources of drinking water available in the lodge. Do not forget that, in Iquitos, like the rest of the country, tap water is not potable.
Do not forget to take your swimsuit! In the middle of the Amazon jungle in front of the lodge you can enjoy the unique and refreshing experience of swimming in the river and having the incredible opportunity to listen and even see the spectacular dolphins.
Now simply cinch up your backpack and enjoy every minute of your adventure in the Jungle of Iquitos.