About Pre-Travel thru Iquitos

Do I need vaccinations?
It is recommended (though not required) by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that you seek information on vaccinations and other preparations before your trip.  Visit their website or look for a local Passport Health Center.

Do I need a VISA?
No VISA is required for stays under six months. There are more options after that; contact us for more information.

Where should I change money?
US dollars are not accepted anywhere in Iquitos or the village (though some restaurants in Iquitos do accept credit cards). It is recommended to change money at the airport either in Lima or Iquitos when you first arrive. Do not change money from street vendors; banks are okay. The exchange rate fluctuates, but is usually somewhere around 3 Soles = 1 US Dollar. There are also ATMs that allow you to pull out either US dollars or Peruvian soles. For Bank of America customers, the ScotiaBank ATM near La Casona hotel does not charge a fee since they are partner banks.

Will you pick me up at the airport?
If you allow us to book you through our favorite hotel (La Casona) their staff will pick you up at the airport (make sure you give us your flight information to pass along!) Once you have changed your money if needed, we will take either a car or mototaxi to La Casona Hostal in the Plaza de Armas.


What is the area like near the hostel?
The Plaza de Armas is the "downtown" plaza in Iquitos. It is not a big city, and it is nice to have everything in one place. La Casona is located right off the main square, next to Huasai restaurant. There is a 24-hour internet cafe (El Cyber), an international call center next door to the hotel, ATMs, and the boardwalk on the Amazon is full of fun and restaurants. The famous "gringo bar" Yellow Rose of Texas is also 24-hours, a restaurant and hangout place mainly consisting of travelers from around the world.

Outside of the Plaza, there is a zoo/beach/fish-grill called Quistococha (about 10 soles by mototaxi), a butterfly farm, the Artisan Market of San Juan, and several day trips and tours offered by Dawn on the Amazon.

Is it safe to walk around by myself?
Iquitos is a relatively safe city, even at night, with the main crime being petty ones, such as pickpocketing. It is recommended to bring only the cash needed, and leave the passports and other important things locked in the hotel.  Flashy jewelry is not necessary. Obviously take normal city precautions, but overall the Plaza de Armas is fine to be out in. Belen Market is better with more than one person, as it has a higher theft rate (it is not in the Plaza).

Which airline should I book tickets with?
The only airlines that fly to Iquitos are Lan, Star Peru, Peruvian Airlines and Aerocondor. There is NOT a feasible boat from Lima to Iquitos.