Side Trip to Iquitos When You Study Spanish in Peru
If you are enrolled in a Spanish language school in Lima, you may be tempted to just remain in the city and focus on your studies. However, if you don’t explore the city’s surrounding areas, you will miss out on so much of what Peru has to offer.
This country offers a once in a lifetime experience to see amazing sites and experience Peruvian culture. After all, Peru is considered to be South America’s best country for tourism. One experience that is an absolute must is a trip to Iquitos. This is actually the world’s largest city that is not reachable by a road, as there are currently about 370,000 people living in this region. Cars tend to be too expensive to import to this part of Peru so instead, you will see mostly auto rickshaw taxis.
So how would you get from Lima to Iquitos? Actually, the journey is rather easy. The best thing to do is to take a plane from Peru. This short journey takes about 90 minutes and costs only about $150 roundtrip. You can easily take a weekend trip where you leave for Iquitos Friday night and return to the city Sunday night.
Over the weekend, you can have a wide variety of interesting and unforgettable experiences. For example, on a Saturday you could take a day trip to the jungle. If you take a boat down the Amazon, you will see how small families subsist in remote villages.
Most houses are actually on stilts. You can also visit monkey island, which is a shelter for young monkeys whole mothers have been killed by locals for food. Other experiences to be had in Iquitos include eating in a jungle lodge and trekking through the jungle. (Of course, don’t forget to bring mosquito repellant.)
On Saturday night, you will want to head to Central Plaza. In this area, you can watch artists create and sell paintings. By the river, there are plenty of fantastic restaurants and bars. Don’t miss the exotic foods on the menu. You will see alligator, turtle and even guinea pig!
On the second day of your trip, be sure to check out Belen market. This is a floating city, which is known as the “Venice of Peru.” When the water rises, everyone’s house floats. In fact, you can see hundreds of floating homes in the wet season.
In the market, you can find everything under the sun, including exotic fruits, herbs, and different unusual meats.
When you study Spanish in Peru, you will undoubtedly meet a new group of friends. One word of advice is to travel to Iquitos with a group so that you can split the costs. For example, some of the best tours come with a private guide and a boat captain.
Tours will range in price from $25 to $50. Accommodations in this area are extremely reasonable, but your stay will be more fun if you share it with new friends. A double room will cost you about $40. You can stay in a tourist hotel or a lodge by the river.
There is no doubt that attending a Spanish immersion school in Lima will give you access to some of the most astounding sites in the world.
Of course, you will want to visit the most well-known tourist attractions like Machu Picchu; however, visiting regions like Iquitos will give you a glimpse into another culture. When you return home, these kinds of unique experiences are the ones that you will be most excited to share with your friends and family.