10 Nov 2010
Source: i-to-i Travel
While exploring the Amazon rainforest on their gap year in Peru, travellers should perhaps take time to visit the city of Iquitos.
The metropolis has been voted one of Lonely Planet's top ten cities for 2011.
According to the magazine, Iquitos, which is the capital of the Loreto region of Peru, comes as something of a "shock to the system" after visiting the tiny villages dotted along the rainforest-fringed rivers.
"Pulsating with life, the city's latest boom is tourism," the publication stated.
"Visitors may flock to reconnoitre the rainforest but taking time to imbibe Iquitos itself is imperative too."
Lonely Planet said clubs in Iquitos "bounce" to the salsa and rock music until the early hours of the morning, while the days bring "market mayhem" and "riverboat bustle" to the city centre.
However, the metropolis also has a strong cultural side, with galleries showcasing works by Peruvian artists and museums telling the fascinating story of the Amazon.