A visit to Peru's Amazon is not all about adventure and adrenaline. There is nothing more pleasurable than enjoying the heat of the jungle, while relaxing in a pool. And luckily for visitors to Iquitos, there are a number of ways to do this, both in the city and the surrounding rain forest.
Iquitos City Hotels:
1. Doubletree by Hilton: located on the city's Plaza de Armas, opposite the Cathedral, this upscale business hotel has a number of amenities, including an outdoor pool and bar area, along with a spa and gym.
2. Casa Morey: this is a Rubber Boom-era mansion that has been lovingly restored to combine much of its original atmosphere with more modern features, such as WiFi, A/C ... and a small pool in a handsome patio.
3. Casa Bendayan: this is a recent 'boutique' addition to the litany of Iquitos hotels, located 10 blocks from the main square, and boasting a small central pool, next to a barbecue area. Ideal for an afternoon of eating and lounging.
Amazon Jungle Lodges:
4. Heliconia Lodge: just over an hour downstream from Iquitos by speedboat, in the Yanamono (black monkey) jungle, this lodge has a large tropical garden with a refreshing pool at its centre. Here you can cool off, and watch the fauna - such as squirrel monkeys and kingfishers - that inhabits the surrounding rainforest.
5. Ceiba Tops: a little further down the Amazon River from Heliconia Lodge, this is probably the most comfortable jungle lodge in northern Peru. Bungalows are large and air-conditioned, and the swimming pool boasts a water slide, which will keep kids (and adults!) entertained for the time between excursions.
6. Samiria Ecolodge: this eco-lodge is located upstream from Iquitos, on the banks of the Marañon River that forms the northern boundary of the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, and is accessed from the town of Nauta.
Like Ceiba Tops, bungalows are spacious and air-conditioned and the large swimming pool is a centrepiece.
Perhaps the ultimate in Amazon water-borne indulgence is to sit in a plunge pool, sipping a cocktail, while your cruise boat sails calmly along the Amazon River, or a tributary. For practical reasons, these are smaller than those on terra firma, but they are equally refreshing.
On the Delfin I, the two lower deck cabins have their own private plunge pools on the terrace. You can even opt to have your meals served to you here!
Finally, don't forget that by being in Iquitos, you are pretty much surrounded by the world's largest outdoor pool, the Amazon River ... and there are lots of entry points for swimming! So to take advantage of all this enticing water, get in touch with Peru North.