Iquitos – Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
From Iquitos the most popular tourist attraction is the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve located 110 miles (180 km’s) south-west of Iquitos, and is the largest protected National Reserve in Peru. Here there is the opportunity to see some of the best wildlife the Amazon has to offer including: Caimans, river otters, pink dolphins, giant river turtles, and many hundreds of native birds.
The quickest route to the reserve is first by road to the small town of Nauta, and then down river by boat to the reserve. A permit is required to enter the reserve, which can either be obtained from INRENA the Peruvian National Parks Authority, or more easily from your tour operator.
Within the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve there are several good jungle lodges available, offering many different set tours to meet your requirements. (See our Amazon Lodge Guide for more information). Due to the distance and time to get to the reserve and to get the most out of your trip, we recommend that you plan a tour of 3 days minimum, but 5 days or more is preferential.
Another great way to visit the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve is aboard a cruise. Read our guide to Amazon River Cruises for more information.