Loreto – Iquitos
The Magic Jungle
Loreto – Iquitos Geographical Situation
The Region of Loreto is situated in the North and North-east of the national territory, on the border with Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil. It has a surface of 368,851.95 km², which makes it the largest region or department which represents about 29% of the country’s surface.
Its territory is mainly of the Amazonian Basin. It is relatively flat and possesses two altitudinal levels: Omagua and rupa rupa.
- First week of January. Anniversary of Iquitos. Week-long festivities to celebrate the founding of the city.
- Third week of February. Carnivals.
- June 24. Fiesta de San Juan. The local people go to the Nanay and Amazonas river banks, taking with them the traditional juanes, cooked on the eve. In front of the waters, they merrily drink and dance.
- First two weeks of August. A farm, livestock and crafts fair takes place in the small town of Santa Clara de Nanay, located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from the city of Iquitos.
- September 7. Señora de la Natividad. Date in which the Tamshiyacu people, in the province of Maynas, honor their patron.
- December 8. Fiesta de la Purísima, celebrated in the district of Punchana, located 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Iquitos
Typical dishes and beverages
The typical dishes in Loreto are very similar to those of other places in the Amazon region. It is not unusual to discover that they consider motelo or turtle meat soup, or juanes (rice tamales with chicken or fish) as typical Loretan dishes. However, what is strange to see is that vendors in the local markets offer fried or steamed monkey or lizard meat that is delicious, according to the local people.
Other typical dishes include, cecina (dried and smoked pork), tacacho (coal cooked bananas, pork, and chopped onions), chonta salad, palometa (fish soup), carachama (fish) and paiche (a large fish). Among desserts there is a refreshing aguaje ice cream.
To drink, they serve masato (a beer made of cassava) or natural fruit juices such as aguaje, maracuyá (passion fruit), and cocona (Solanum sessiliflorum).