This has been a major drawback to travelling in Peru. If you want to go to Cuzco but also want to see the Amazon River, you would have to backtrack through Lima and catch an extra flight to Iquitos. This was all designed to drive more tourism to the Puerto Maldonado/Madre de Dios area where they claim to be on the Amazon River. This is a fallacy , yes Puerto Maldonado is in the Amazon Rainforest but very far from the Amazon River.
This would cause frugal tourists to choose the cheaper option of driving to Puerto Maldonado from Cuzco instead of backtracking to Lima , in the end saving over 500 $ but not reaching the Amazon River itself. Puerto Maldonado is great for wildlife watching but it is not the Amazon River!
Miraculously, a new airport in Cuzco has permitted bigger airplanes to be of service, opening up the possibility to fly directly to Iquitos or Cuzco without backtracking to LIMA! Horray! Iquitos can finally board the gravy train of multi million dollar marketing of the Cuzco/MachuPicchu.
Do not go looking for the flight though before July, Click Here for the Spanish article from a local newspaper describing the service. the flights will start mid year 2018.
Aside from the political turmoil Peru is going through, this is the best news for tourism in Iquitos since…… well since EVER!!!!
It has only been 30 years since electricity has made it to almost every household in the city so this is a true frontier, developing before our very eyes, one of the last wild places on earth. We need to show the Iquitos and Loreto community that tourism is a viable source of income for the region.
Otherwise, we are stuck with the same ole, resource extraction based corruption model of development which might I add is unsustainable and detrimental worldwide.
Thanks for reading, and by the way: If you are travelling to Peru, please refrain from purchasing souvenirs made with wild animal products