Iquitos is probably the largest city in the world that
is unreachable by road. The dense jungle and web of waterways make building
a road to Iquitos impractical. Most people and products arrive and leave
via the airport or the river, as we did.
The Amazon river is deep and wide enough for ocean going
vessels to make it all the way to Iquitos, which is remarkable considering
that this city is nearly two thousand miles from the Atlantic Ocean! On
our journey, we traveled down only a fraction of the Amazon, from Iquitos
three hundred miles through the Peruvian Amazon to the Colombian/Brazilian
frontier, and back.
Our boat was appropriately named the "Rio Amazonas,"
a 100-year-old river boat originally built in Scotland. A comfortable, yet
noisy way to see the Amazon, this diesel-powered vessel served as home for
the week-long trip. The boat stopped at small villages along the way and
occasionally docked at uninhabited spots for nature excursions in a smaller