loreto peru



125-m/377 ft above sea level.

The Department of Loreto is located in the northern part of the Peruvian Jungle. It borders to the north with Ecuador and Colombia, to the south with Ucayali, to the east with Brazil, and to the west with Amazonas and San Martin. Iquitos, the most northerly Department in the country, takes in 30% of the national territory, and comprises parts of the High and Low Jungle. The weather is warm and humid with an average temperature of 17ºC/63ºF to 20ºC/68ºF during the months of June and July, and a highest up to 36ºC/97ºF from the months of December through March. Even if the weather is hot during those months, this time of the year is conceived as winter. The average humidity is 84%, with strong rains all year round. Loreto has an extension of 348,177 km² and a population of over 650,000 people. The capital is Iquitos. Other important cities are Requena, Contamana and Nauta.

A Brief History

The first settlers in the region were grouped in small tribes that expanded in a very primitive way through the various oriental slopes of the Andes. Many of these tribes settled in the Puru, Turua and Yaravi rivers basins, receiving different names from those of their lineage. They were merely family clans, who adopted the name of their chief or ‘curaca’. During Colonial times, up to 800 of these groups was detected. It is hard to determine the number of natives in the region when the first explorers and missionaries arrived. On February 12, 1542 and after a search of several months, Spanish conqueror Francisco de Orellana discovered the Amazon River, an adventure that started in the Sierra. Even though the colonization had started several decades before, the city of Iquitos was founded in the year 1864. It is well located between the Nanay River and the left margin of the Amazon River, which makes it an obliged starting point when traveling to other regions. During these times, the Jesuits and Franciscans evangelized and founded different towns contributing by opening new routes and cutting down distances between tribes and villages.

Main Attractions in Loreto

Quistococha Park
This park has a zoo site with exotic animals and various species of serpents.

Nineteenth Century Mansions
Sumptuous and exquisite, they display the opulence of the rubber heyday. Most of these mansions are located in front of the river sidewalk.The most outstanding among them is the Casa de Hierro (Iron House), which was designed and constructed by Gustave Eiffel , brought from Europe in parts (bolts and nuts included), and assembled in the place where it currently stands.

Also known as The Venice of the Jungle, this quarter is located in the center of the city and built over the waters of the Amazon River. Transportation must be done in canoes or by swimming.

The Amazon region offers a great opportunity to enjoy this type of tourism. It is the biggest and most assorted natural reserve in the world. It houses no less than 5,000 species of plants already classified approximately 4,000 species of butterflies and 2,000 species of fish. Also available are cruises that offer navigating through the Amazon River for several days, jungle walks, visits to native settlements as well as night excursions and fishing.

Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Spreading over 2,080,000 hectares, the crown jewel of Peru’s northern Amazon region natural reserves, Pacaya-Samiria is also the nation’s largest. It was created in 1982 to conserve the region’s exuberant and diverse animal wildlife, including its huge variety of fish species that are the main source of protein for the local population.
It was created to preserve the distinctive fauna and flora of this enormous extension of Low Jungle territory. Access and guided visits can be done setting off lodges located at a four-hour distance by glider boat.