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Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm & Amazon Animal Orphanage

You can’t miss this butterfly farm and rehabilitation animal center. One of not many centers around Iquitos that really care about wild animals. This is not a zoo or any fake rescue center where you can touch and take pictures with animals. A lot of animals are living outside of cages and those who are in a cage are actually people.
They receive animals confiscated from markets, airports, and homes, which often arrive with injuries. In the orphanage, there are various monkey species, jaguar, ocelots, parrots, and in the butterfly farm, they even breed the butterflies. 


How to get there: 
From the main square of Iquitos, take a tuk-tuk to BellaVista-Nanay. Take a small “shuttle” boat behind the Nanay market and ask about Padre Cocha or directly to Mariposario Pilpintuwasi. Be careful not to confuse it with other Mariposario de Padre Cocha which is right next to it. 

How much you will pay: 30 soles
When to go there: Tuesday to Sunday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How long it will take: approx. 1 hour

Kukama community

This community is right next to the entrance of Mariposario Pilpintuwasi, so if you go there, it’s definitely worth it to stop in this community as well. The community used to be an untouched jungle tribe, but with the arrival of colonists, their culture has changed, and now you can see a Spanish influence, for example on their clothes. But the people in the community are very nice, there are many kids, women will show you traditional dances and you can even dance with them. You’ll most likely pay a small entrance fee.


How long it will take: up to 1 hour

Amazon Rescue Centre

If you have seen the show Down to Earth on Netflix with Zac Efron, this is one of the places they visited. The center is well-known for its focus on manatee rescue and its work comprises four primary functions which are: rescue, rehabilitation, release, and raising awareness. A really important part is to raise awareness among the locals so they can learn how to respect nature. Their actions have benefited over 80 thousand people in the urban areas and Amazonian Communities.

You will always have a person who will guide you through the center and explain the rescue, rehabilitation, and release process of manatees. You will see some other animal species and at the end of the tour, you can go to the forest to learn more about their education program and see some fish as well. 


How much you will pay: 15 soles
When to go there: Tuesday to Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
How long it will take: up to 2 hours

Yagua tribe

This friendly tribe lives in northern Peru and Colombia with approximately 6 000 population. The Yagua still use blow darts to hunt for their meals in the jungle. You can visit them from Iquitos by boat on Rio Momón. But don’t have high expectations you won’t see their authentic village. They build a typical house especially just for tourists to show them some traditional dances, let them try the blow darts, and buy their souvenirs. However, you will see them in typical palm fiber skirts with faces painted the color of the seeds of a plant called achiote. They won’t hesitate to paint your face too. 


How much you will pay: 10 soles
When to go there: anytime during a day
How long it will take: 30 minutes

Bora tribe

This animist tribe lives in Peru, Colombia, and Brazil and the total population is around 2 000. They have really good knowledge about plant life. As well as other tribes around Iquitos the Bora tribe was also strongly hit by a rubber boom and many members of the tribe had to work hard for the colonists. 

You will visit their large rounded hut very similar to Yaguas’s house built for tourist visitors. The Bora’s house is a bit bigger, it’s in the middle of the village surrounded by some smaller huts. Around 10 members of the tribe welcomed us with a sound from a big drum at the entrance of the hut. We saw the traditional dance and could buy many souvenirs, mostly jewelry, masks, and bowls. The whole experience was really touristy and that’s because some families live just from tourism. 


How much you will pay: around 10 soles
How long it will take: 30 minutes

Giant tree or El Árbol De La Lupuna

If you head a bit farther from Iquitos on the Amazon river you will reach The Independence community. After you pass houses beautifully painted with traditional ornaments, it’s just about 10 minutes of walking to the forest to reach the spot with this giant tree. The Lupuna tree is around 500 years old and around 70 meters tall. The local community has been trying to preserve it so visitors can see one of the biggest trees in the jungle. 



Amazon viewpoint

Just a few minutes walking uphill is an observation tower from where you’ll have a spectacular view of the Amazon River and surrounding forest. Up there you can chill on hammocks and take a little rest while watching amazing Amazon scenery. 


Yes, even here is an entrance fee: 5 soles

See the different colors of the Amazon river and Nanay river

When you will be passing from the Nanay River to the Amazon River you will see the color difference between these two rivers. Rio Nanay is darker, almost black on some parts, and the Amazon river is brighter and dirtier because of its strong currents. 


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