The Port of Iquitos is a port on the Amazon River in northeastern Peru. Located about 3700 kilometers upstream from the Atlantic Ocean on the Amazon and 1030 kilometers northeast of the nation’s capital, Lima, the Port of Iquitos became important to the country in the late 19th Century with the rubber boom. The Port of Iquitos is the biggest city in Peru’s rainforest and the capital of the large Department of Loreto. Many think that the Port of Iquitos is the biggest city in the world that roads do not reach. In 2005, almost 154 thousand people lived in the Port of Iquitos.
Surrounded by three rivers (the Amazon, the Nanay, and the Itaya), the Port of Iquitos can be reached only by airplane or boat, although there is a road to the village of Nauta about 100 kilometers to the south. Hot and humid, the wet season runs from November to May, and the river reaches its lowest point in October.
The village of Iquitos was established in the mid-18th Century as a Jesuit mission. The Port of Iquitos was built on the site of the mission and a native village in 1864. Soon, it was the region’s main shipping port when the rubber boom came to the area in the early 20th Century. When rubber production declined after 1912, the port fell into decline.
The Port of Iquitos was stagnant until the mid-20th Century when Peru decided to develop the economy of its eastern territories. Many of the buildings in the Port of Iquitos remain from the late 19th Century.
The National University of the Peruvian Amazon (Spanish) was founded in the Port of Iquitos in 1961, and the Port of Iquitos is eastern Peru’s tourism, culture, and religious center. With the increased interest in oil sources, the Port of Iquitos has become an important center for oil exploration.
Today, the Port of Iquitos is an important port for shipping lumber from the Amazon rainforest. It is also home to industries producing rum, beer, and oil. The Port of Iquitos is an increasingly popular tourist destination as interest in the rainforests of the Amazon grows. Trips down river from the Port of Iquitos to Manaus, Brazil, and the Atlantic Ocean are gaining in popularity.
The well-respected Project Amazonas, a Peruvian conservation and research organization, is located in the Port of Iquitos, with three biological stations on Amazon tributaries.