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Iquitos has such ancient history as, for example, Lima or Arequipa. The ancient Indian civilizations didn’t develop here, and the only inhabitants of the local jungle were and are the tribes of Yaguas and Boras, whose development has stopped on the primitive communal system. Before the colonization of Peru these places were wild and unexplored. Their first visitors were Spanish hidalgos of the XVI century. However, the purpose of their visit was not a desire to master the land. According to ancient legends, there were the great treasure of El Dorado here, and a lot of people dreamt to find it.

Later Jesuit monks appeared here. They sought to bring the Catholicism to the local Indians. In 1757 they founded the city, which served as a Catholic mission. After their appearance the port was built here, and it was the first port in the Amazon. Iquitos raised and developed rapidly in XIX century, when enterprises of petroleum and rubber industries were open here. The population of the city as soon as possible split in the richest tycoons who own productions and poor people working for them. By the way, this division exists here so far.

You may start a sightseeing tour of Iquitos on the main square, where the world famous Iron House built in 1887 is located. It once belonged to a local rubber millionaire Anselmo de Aguila, who ordered its engineering to Eiffel. The houses of other rich men of rubber era are striking for its luxury too. Not sparing of money for their mansions, they decorated them with marble imported from Italy and "azulejos" − tiles from Portugal. The city Tarapaca embankment is very picturesque too, it also belongs to the period of the rubber boom. Here you can enjoy the magnificent views of the Amazon and the local port that has preserved the biblical name of Bethlehem from the time of the missionaries.

The most famous cultural attractions of Iquitos are the Museum “Amazonica” and Art Gallery of the local artist Cesar Calvo de Araujo, who depicts mainly native nature and his compatriots. The district of Belem is also worth to visit. It is unique because in the rainy season, when the area is filled with water, each of the houses of the settlement is drifting on a separate raft. This district is a classical Indian village. It even has its own market, where, along with local vegetables, fruits and fish from the Amazon the most exotic goods are sold. For example, you can buy a piranha teeth or dried frog − in general entire range of the shaman of the tribe. At the same time real drugs are sold in the market. These are the herbal tinctures and potions that help in the treatment of many diseases.


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