Iquitos is located in the north eastern Peruvian Amazon Rainforest 160 km east from the start of the Amazon River. Iquitos is located at 03°44’S latitude and 073°15’W longitude, which is about 460 km north east of the Peruvian cloud forest town of Tarapoto. One of the most popular things to do in Iquitos is to explore the Amazon Rainforest. Led by professional guides, you can explore Amazonia from some of the top rated Iquitos Amazon lodges.
Iquitos is in the tropical zone between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer about 4 degrees south of the equator. This means Iquitos has a tropical climate giving rise to the incredible diversity of life found in the rainforest surrounding Iquitos.
Iquitos is in the Peru Time Zone, which is – 5 hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC = GMT).
Iquitos is located at an elevation of about 106 meters (351 feet) above sea level. Sharing this approximate altitude are the cities of Tirane in Albania, Lima in Peru, and Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.
The Iquitos Amazon River tributaries that surround the city are the Rio Itaya in the east and south (visible from the boulevard) and the Rio Nanay in the north travelling along the west of Iquitos.
Flight from Lima to Iquitos
Famous as the largest city in the world unreachable by road, Iquitos is approximately 2 hours flight from Lima, the Peruvian capital. The preferred airline in Peru is LAN as this is the most reliable for time.
Where is Iquitos on the Amazon River?
Iquitos is a port city of the Amazon River and is the world’s most inland deep river port. Iquitos is about 550 km from Coca, Ecuador, which translates to about 7 days plus by slow boat. Coca is a rainforest town north west of Iquitos that provides tourists access to the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest of Yasuni National Park & Cuyabeno National Park. Along with other protected areas in Peru like the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve and Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, these sections of the Amazon have the highest diversity of life in the entire rainforest identified by researchers. World records for bio-diversity were set in or around these protected areas.
Read more about these Amazon Tours in Peru here.
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On the east side of the city, Iquitos is 370 km from Leticia, Colombia, which translates to about 2 to 3 days by slow boat. Leticia is another jungle town giving access to the Colombian Amazon Rainforest. Leticia is much smaller than Iquitos at a South American area known as the tres fronteras or three frontiers, the border towns of Peru, Colombia, and Brazil. Back in the main days of drug smuggling, this was a pretty rough spot in South America. Thankfully, this has been cleared up and Leticia is now making a name as a tourist hot spot for Colombians and international travelers alike. However, the forest around Leticia was the place of the last recorded aggressive interaction between indigenous tribes and farmers.
A popular question involves the voyage between Iquitos and Manaus in Brazil, a city about 1470 km east of Iquitos. Manaus is the main Brazilian gateway to the Amazon Rainforest and is now an industrial hub for Brazil. This is by far the largest urban area in the Amazon Rainforest. When walking the streets of Manaus, you will be completely unaware you are in the Amazon. Manaus is practically indistinguishable from any other world city.
Iquitos Location Relative to Other World Cities
Iquitos is at roughly the same latitude (horizontally around the Earth) as the city of Bandundu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Shinyanga in Tanzania, Mombasa in Kenya, Bengkulu in Singapore, Martapura in South Borneo, and Irian Jaya Tengah on the Papua side of the Island of New Guinea.
Iquitos is at about the same longitude (vertically around the Earth) as Villavicencio in Colombia, Jean-Rabel in Haiti, Montpellar in Vermont USA, and Montreal in Canada.