The Itaya River is a tributary of the mighty Amazon River in the northern Loreto Region in Peru, flowing parallel to the city of Iquitos and the floating town of Belén. Forming the eatern border of the city, the waterway offers the easiest access in and out and most of the city’s main attractions fall along its banks.
Home to the popular Tarapaca River Walk in Iquitos, the Itaya River leads to the famous floating neighborhood of Belén. Along the water you’ll find a smattering of hotels, restaurants, bars and distinctive old buildings such as the Museo Etnográfico and the Gobernacion Regional. One block inland, you’ll find Plaza de las Armas and the Gustave Eiffel-designed Case de Fierro landmark.
From here, it’s easy to hire water transportation—from motorized canoes to much bigger riverboats—to explore the Itaya and its urban embankments. Or, simply order a locally brewed Iquitena beer at one of the restaurants overlooking the Itaya’s expanse and enjoy the breeze.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Itaya River is an ideal spot for nature lovers and jungle explorers.
- Bring sun protection, mosquito repellent, appropriate clothing, and water for hydration.
- Before traveling to the Amazon Basin, check with your doctor about vaccinations you may need.
How to Get There
Itaya River is located in the northern Peruvian Amazon in the Loreto region and forms the eastern border of Iquitos, the gateway into the jungle. To reach Iquitos, you must fly into the city or go up river for a multi-day excursion. There are no roads leading into the city.
When to Get There
Itaya River is a year-round destination, with the most important variable being the rains. The rainy season goes from December to May, and during this time the rivers are at their highest, however, this is the best time to observe the incredible wildlife. The dry season runs from June to November, and has fewer rains and mosquitoes. Some of the smaller rivers may be more difficult to navigate, making it a more favorable time for trekking.
Gateway to the Northern Peruvian Amazon
Nearly the size of Germany, Iquitos is Peru's largest jungle city and since it’s surrounded by waterways, it feels like an island with a unique tropical ambiance, akin to a steamy Southeast Asian jungle town. Founded in 1754 by Jesuit missionaries, the city was taken over by money-hungry rubber barons who grandiose mansions along the river. And while oil and logging have taken over, the city survives on tourism.