You cannot reach Iquitos by land. Hidden in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, this rubber-boom city will not give you leave to enter unless you have conquered the river or the clouds first. It is a world apart from Paris and yet they have something rather unexpected in common: Gustave Eiffel. Not a tower this time around, but a Casa de Fierro gifted to the jungle by the famous French architect.
Despite its isolation, Iquitos is the fifth largest city in Peru and a very cosmopolitan one at that, brimming with culture and even luxury in the midst of untamed wilderness. It is a quirk of history ready to befuddle the visitor. That it is possible for it to even exist – a jungle city – seems like a contradiction in terms.
Yet not far from its dazzling lights, quite another life unfolds on the shores of the Amazon…
The indigenous people of the Amazon Basin keep alive the traditions of their semi-nomadic tribes. Like their ancestors, they subsist on hunting, fishing, gathering, and agriculture. Unlike their ancestors, they add tourism as a source of income.
This picture was taken in a village some four hours by boat from Iquitos. Two women dancing, in juxtaposition.