We were met by a hot and humid wall when we got of the small airplane in Iquitos. Iquitos is the biggest city not accesible by land in the world, hence the only mean of transportation to get there is either airplane or boat. Iquitos is also the biggest city in the Peruvian amazon and is the main start and end point for trips into the Amazonas.
Amazonas for me have always seemed to be so far away, an abstract and very exiting place only embodied through books and movies. And Iquitos indeed holds a bit of this adventours ambient. It is not a nice city but it is a city of great expectations, mototaxis, people heading into the jungle wearing khakis as well as those searching for more alternative experiences.
We stayed in total four days in Iquitos. Two days before our stay at a lodge in the Amazonas and two daysafter our return from the jungle to wash and repack before our next destination. Again the hostel was not anything to cheer from but that seem to be the general case in Iquitos. We spent our days doing arrangement for our days at the lodge, exploring the streets and visiting the Belen market- famous for offering everything from alive exotic animals, natural medicine and hallucinogens to tortoise and alligator meat. Unfortunately I did not bring my camera- the receptionist at our hostel suggested that we only brought the money we intended to spend- nothing more and I have the feeling that it was a good advice. Compared to other markets I have visited around the world the Belen market was inte a total different category. It would be a lie to say that it was a pleasant experience, but clearly a must see while in Iquitos.