Over eager for tourist dollars are a small number of “rabid guides”. These type of guides will say most anything to get your business. They will blatantly lie, they will approach you on the street, may put their hands on your body, pretend to be your friend, make up stories they think you want to hear (like I’m studying English can I practice with you) and they will invite themselves to sit down with you while you are eating.
In my personal experience, the guides who do this are NOT to be trusted. Speaking with the former commissioner of tourism for the Iquitos area, I was told that he prosecuted over 350 of these types of guides during his tenure in that position. These guides often will inflate prices and then book the cheapest tour they can find – rife with problems including missing transportation or bad gear/equipment.
The Yellow Rose of Texas. Travelers interested in receiving local knowledgeable advice, should talk the owner of this eclectic establishment, Gerald Mayeaux. His bar and restaurant is located at Putumayo #180, located next to the Plaza del Armas. Just look for the cute waitresses dressed in Texas Longhorns shirts and other cheer leading attire. Their iconic dish is the paiche, one of the largest freshwater fish in the world and native to the Amazon.
Gerald is often hanging around the restaurant and loves to chat with travelers. He is also an invaluable resource for connecting visitors with guided trips – and will discuss the pros and cons of any trip he recommends. Remarkably the restaurant is still open 24/7 (the only restaurant in Iquitos with these hours). Gerald’s direct email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional contact information:
Gerald and Pamela Mayeaux
Telephone (51-65) 23-1353
Most of the jungle tours incorporate walks during both the day and night, piranha or other Amazonian fishing excursions, viewing jungle animals, “natives” performing – the cost of all transportation, lodging and food. Most of the nearby jungle lodges accessed by speedboat, are within 1-3 hours from Iquitos.