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Iquitos Travel Guide

Iquitos History

Iquitos was established as a Jesuit mission in the 1750 and in 1864 it started to grow when the Loreto Region was created and Iquitos became its capital.

Iquitos was known for its rubber industry through the first decade of the 20th century, and there are still great mansions from the 1800, including the Iron House (Spanish: Casa de Fierro), designed by Gustave Eiffel.

The boom came to an end when rubber seeds were smuggled out of the country and planted elsewhere. The 1982 movie Fitzcarraldo, about the life of rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, was filmed around Iquitos

The city of Iquitos began in 1739 when Jesuit Jose Bahamonde established settlements at Santa Barbara de Nanay and Santa Maria de Iquitos on the Rio Mazan.

It was a particularly daunting task, as the missionaries here faced the task of converting the fierce Iquito Indians, renowned as marksmen with their long poison-dart blowpipes.

There are only one or two families of the Iquito tribe left, living way on the upper Rio Nanay, and these days the region is better known for the Yaguar, Bora and Witoto tribes, whose handicraft can be seen virtually everywhere you turn in the modern city.


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