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What to know before visiting Iquitos, Peru

I ended up loving Iquitos

By sara burdickPublished 5 months ago 3 min read
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What to know before visiting Iquitos, Peru
Photo by Hans Luiggi on Unsplash

Red/Green lights or any form of a stop sign is a suggestion.

There are so many moto-taxis. I feel like I am in southeast Asia, and it is so loud that I have not heard myself think for at least a week. Even in the hostel and at night!

I am used to Latin America, and it’s being loud, but Iquitos is on another level.

The ceviche and food is so good and spicy, and I have tried every juice and fruit I can find. They eat everything, including turtle.

The other day there was some political drama, as I believe the president is corrupt, and he was arrested, that same day, I was at a market, and the police showed up, and we all ran. I ran because they ran.

Running in 100-degree heat was not fun; I sweated out every toxin I may or may not have in my body. So yes it is hot.

The people have been friendly to me, and the catcalling exists here. I have learned to ignore it, smile, and keep walking.

I have heard that it can be dangerous in some areas; however, I practice the same level of caution I would go in any big Latin American city; so far, I have had no issues, and I hope that luck continues.

The ATMs here give soles and dollars, because many retreat centers want to be paid in dollars.f

The Wi-Fi here is awful; I have it sometimes, and it works for an app, but loading a blog and writing has been a challenge.

It is not a place to come if you have to work online; luckily, I knew that and have planned accordingly.

While I was here, my goal was to find somewhere to go into the jungle and learn about medicine and how the locals live. I was unsure this goal would come true, and then I started talking and asking questions.

I found a shaman in the jungle who works at a retreat center. The owner will be leaving and needs some help with translation, caring for the guests, and teaching English to the children in the village.

I will pay for room and board, but for anything that goes to education and helping the locals, I will always support them. The center is the most affordable in the area because the local shaman also works as a doctor in the village of 8 families, and he kept them all healthy throughout the pandemic.

I am always nervous about my Spanish. I met him today, and he was so grateful that I am willing to go and help them and that I want to learn more about plant medicine, as it has always fascinated me, he told me to bring a pen and paper and he is my new teacher.

He is so sweet; I am so excited to get away from the city and learn about life in the jungle; he said we could even walk into the wilderness. He told me that not many come here are curious about what they do here, so I feel so special to be taken under his wing, and my Spanish will dramatically improve.

I will plan to spend a week, or two, or three; who knows, I do not have to make my way back up to Colombia until the middle of January, when I will be meeting a friend visiting Colombia for the first time, and then to collect my suitcases from my old home.

I am nervous and excited as I leave tomorrow by boat, as I am told that everyone knows them and will know where to drop me off.

So into the jungle, I went.

XOXO

S

volunteer travelsouth americasolo travelfemale travel
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About the Creator

sara burdick

I quit the rat race after working as a nurse for 16 years. I now write online and live abroad, currently Nomading, as I search for my forever home. Personal Stories, Travel and History

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