On July 14, Copa Airlines initiated non-stop service to Iquitos, a gateway for travel to Peru’s Amazon. The flights will depart twice weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) from Panama and arrive to this Amazon oasis, which offers unrivaled access to the awe-inspiring diversity of flora and fauna in the Amazon Rainforest.
Two factors make this new service particularly significant. First, no paved roads reach Iquitos, which is accessible only by air or by boat. For the average traveler seeking a 4- to 10-day Amazon tour or cruise near Iquitos, flying is the best transport option and this new route eases access.
Second, the new route is the only international flight into Iquitos; all other flights connect through Lima or small cities in Peru such as Tarapoto and Pucallpa. Panama’s strategic location in the Western Hemisphere allows foreign travelers in locations such as Los Angeles, Miami, and New York to fly direct from Panama without having to make an additional stopover in Lima.
The new route is expected to serve 5,000 passengers daily and to increase the total number of tourists to Iquitos by 10%, this according to El Comercio, a Spanish-language newspaper in Peru. With increased access to the wonders of the Amazon comes greater responsibility to preserve the immense biodiversity that makes it such a unique travel destination. Indeed, as is the case with Manu National Park, Peruvian officials are moving forward to simultaneously showcase and conserve the incredible abundance of wildlife as well as the unique human history of the Amazon.
Once in Iquitos, travelers can use the town as a base to launch on full-day excursions into the jungle, or to go further downriver and stay at a Amazon lodge such as Ceiba Tops or Explorama, or to take a cruise into the deeper reaches of the river-rainforest ecosystem.
Whatever your trip style, the new new Panama–Iquitos route provides yet another option to plan your Amazon travel, and the expert travel advisors at Peru For Less are always available to help you decide what will work best for you.
Anabel has been exploring the length and width of South America since 2010. Ditching preconceptions, settling into the local pace, and embracing the unexpected are the tenets of her philosophy of travel – and life.