Monday, March 9, 2015

traveling to iquitos, peru with kids: lodging

Iquitos

{This is the first in a short series of posts I'm doing on traveling to Iquitos with kids. Here are my posts on what to do, Monkey Island, and Belén.}

Last month we traveled to Iquitos, Peru (for the second time) and were reminded just how much we love that place. No other family vacation has compared to it. There is something about being in the rainforest, taking naps in hammocks, spending the day on a boat, that just feels like this is how life is supposed to be lived. 

Iquitos
Iquitos

Since a few people have asked for more information about our trip I thought I would do a few posts on traveling to Iquitos with kids. There's a lot I could say about the subject, so I'm going to focus on lodging for this post. We stayed at San Pedro Lodge and I highly recommend it. There are other lodges in Iquitos and the surrounding areas that we looked at for our original trip, but San Pedro offered us the best price and they are a small lodge and not touristy like the other places. We loved it so much that there was no question where we would stay for our trip last month. 

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The lodge is on the Nanay River (a tributary of the Amazon River), about a 45 minute boat ride from Iquitos. It is very rustic and simple. There is only electricity in the area that you eat. There is no hot water, air conditioning, or even fans, but there are bathrooms attached to the rooms. Honestly, it's about as rustic as I can go, but I'm able to embrace it because IT'S THE AMAZON RAINFOREST! You're supposed to live simply. Swimming in the river provides hours of entertainment for the kids. We also loved to just hang out in the hammocks, reading or taking naps. We played board and card games and soccer. 

Iquitos
Iquitos

One of the perks of San Pedro Lodge is that they will take care of everything- pick up from airport, transportation, all meals, clean drinking water, and all tours. You don't have to worry about a thing (and if you don't speak Spanish, I would highly recommend going all inclusive!). You can check out the tours that they offer here. (I will share my recommendations on what to see and not see in the next post.)

Iquitos
Iquitos

So, my main recommendation on lodging in Iquitos is to actually leave the city and stay in a lodge in the rainforest. You aren't traveling all the way there to stay in a city hotel or bed and breakfast. And it's actually much cheaper to stay in a simple lodge. There were some days that we took the boat back to do things in Iquitos, but the boat ride in itself was part of the adventure. I wouldn't trade our time on the boat for anything. And the kids loved the freedom of the lodge and its property, versus being cooped up in a hotel.

Iquitos
Iquitos

A few recommendations of what to take if you stay in a lodge:
-Bug spray
-Flashlights and head lamps
-Bathing suits 
-Cards and board games
-Books
-Snacks (Clif bars and other granola type bars)
-A few trash bags to throw all of your wet and dirty clothes in for the trip home

Iquitos
Iquitos

I would also recommend going during rainy season (November-May) because I would imagine it to be a totally different experience with most of the rivers dried up. So much of what you want to do centers around the rivers, including my favorite experience, Belén, a floating village. We went in February both times and the weather was perfect.

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