How much do you know about Iquitos? These are some of the most important customs and festivals of the largest Amazonian city in the country.
Iquitos is the largest and most populated Peruvian city in the Amazon. Tourists come from all over the planet to experience a life in a city surrounded by nature. That is why in recent years, the Capital of the Amazon -as it is known- has become the favorite tourist destination for people who enjoy natural landscapes, warmth and fun.
The typical dances, the varied Amazonian gastronomy and the Catholic devotion come together to form a unique culture, with singular traditions and a lot of enthusiasm. Learn some of its most important celebrations here.
FESTIVAL OF SAN JUAN
There is no doubt that this is the most important celebration in the city and in the entire Peruvian Amazon. The city honors Saint John the Baptist, patron saint of the department of Loreto, between June 21 and 27. It is said that the saint is especially revered as he baptized people in the Jordan River, and Iquitos is surrounded by three rivers: Amazonas, Itaya and Nanay. The celebration usually includes large parties in which the local cuisine is tasted, especially the traditional Juane, whose name was inspired by the saint.
IQUITOS AMAZON CARNIVAL
Between February and March, the city is filled with joy, parties, allegorical cars, dances, and all kinds of activities, in which all the residents participate. According to the tradition, this is the time when the jungle spirits come out to have fun and the town joins in the celebration. Typical dishes such as Dorado Ceviche, Inchicapi, Timbuche, Patarashca and Tacacho are preferred during this festival. The parades are also very striking, with typical clothing and regional music.
This is the Amazonian equivalent of the Andean yunza. During festivals such as the Carnival, the different neighborhoods of the city are organized to decorate the Humisha, a palm tree that is filled with gifts, ribbons, and balloons. At the end of the celebration, the neighbors dance around the tree and take turns cutting it down with an ax or machete. The person who knocks it down will be in charge of decorating it the next year.
The commemoration of this religious festival is very important in the city. It takes place in the month of May and involves all the neighbors. Throughout the month, a series of events are held that come along with a typical food of the region People usually congregate in the central square of the town and carry out processions and offerings.
Iquitos was founded on January 5, 1864. On that day, the ships of the Peruvian Navy arrived, sent by the then President Ramón Castilla, to find the fluvial port of the Amazon River. For this reason, the city authorities organize protocol activities, among which civic-military parades and official ceremonies stand out on every January 5.