Iquitos Travel Guide

Getting Around

The most common way to move around town is by motocarro, a motorcycle with a small, rickshaw-like passenger cabin in the back. Taxis are available too, but the heat and availability of the moto-taxis makes it advisable to take a motocarro. Sometimes the 1.5/2 soles ride is worth the cost just for the breeze. Most places you will want to go within the city cost about 1.5 soles, but places further away (for example, from the airport to Plaza de Armas) usually costs about 3 soles or more. The drivers often make their money by kickbacks from the hotels they take you to.

It's hard to understate how available and prevalent the motocarros are in the city. Near the city center, it's common for 2 or 3 empty motocarros to pass you on the street in any given minute. The driver will make eye contact with you, hoping that you are interested in a ride. Not all motocarros are identical in the quality of their ride; older ones will tend to transfer the vibration of the motorcycle to the passenger cabin, while newer and better maintained ones won't. When taking a motocarro, it can be comfortable on longer rides to hail a newer-looking one.

If you're economically minded, it can be fun to learn about the economics of motocarros. As of May 2010, it is typical for the drivers to rent their taxis for S/.10.00 Soles/hour or S/.25 - 30 Soles/day.

Many motocarristas (those who drive the motocarros) make excellent city guides. Motocarristas are extremely friendly and outgoing, in fact, they are too outgoing and even aggressive in their pursuit to gain a passenger. So tourists can enjoy some peace in Iquitos, do not take a ride from a taxi driver who asks you for a ride when you are sitting and eating.

When you exit the airport you will be approached very aggressively by the taxi drivers (this is a more acceptable place for taxi driver aggression.) The drive from the airport to the city center is quite a distance, relative to the size of the Iquitos area, and prices are fixed at 8 soles, although it may be possible to negotiate as low as 6 soles. Anyone offering a lower price will likely try to take you to a hotel or hostel that pays them; if you already have a hotel in mind, stay firm and they will take you there.


source: Wikivoyage

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