We arrived in Tarapoto!, known as “City of Palms”. We immediately fell in love with the city. Everything is so green, with many plants and palm trees everywhere. The heat was strong, but with a cold “cocona” drink, you can survive the intense heat.
The first day in Tarapoto we explored the city center. We took a motorcycle taxi ( a popular way of transportation in the area) that charged us S /. 2 (Nuevos soles) to “Plaza Mayor”. In the square center, there’s a hut that sells typical drinks of the Peruvian jungle. A very kind lady invites you to taste any drink that you want. These drinks are known to have an aphrodisiac effect, also many of them can help you with digestion. The most popular drinks are Siete Raices (Seven roots), Uvashado, Rompe Calzón – RC (panties breaker), Para Para, Levántate Lázaro – LL (Arise Lazarus), among others.
What to eat in Tarapoto
The food of the jungle is amazing, but if you’re not used to fried things that are a little bit grassy, then it could be heavy for you. Because of the amount of fat, it’s difficult for many people to digest the food. That’s why many restaurants invite you a digestive drink for free. We tried everything and “Tacacho con Cecina” was an important part of our lunches during the trip. From my mother’s side, I have family that comes from the Peruvian Amazon, so I’m used to eating this food. When in Peru, ask for Comida de la selva (in spanish)
If you ever visit the Jungle of Peru, please! try this food. It would be the best, delicious food you would ever try in your life. I’m really serious, it’s worth to try :).
The next day, we took a tour to “Ahuashiyacu” waterfalls. There are many ways to visit the touristic sites in Tarapoto. For example, we booked a tour with a travel agency situated in Plaza Mayor. There are many travel agencies near the city center, but you can also go on your own and rent a motorbike or a taxi. The tour cost S /. 25 (Nuevos soles) per person, round trip.
Another day, we hired a taxi that took us to the famous Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon). The journey takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Halfway through the trip, you get to the Huallaga river and then you cross to the other site by boat. The driver told us that one time, a truck miscalculated how to get on the boat, so unfortunately, it fell into the river and killed it’s passengers. As a precaution, we decided to get off the car and walk up to the boat.
At Laguna Azul, you can do different activities. We chose to go by boat to one of the hotels around the lagoon and try the kayak. I will never forget this day, it was a quiet day and we could relax lying in a hammock while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the jungle. Not only mosquitoes bit me but also a spider bit me on my leg. Tip: Bring repellent.
We will never forget Tarapoto, it was a relaxing trip, where we enjoyed the nature and the food of the Peruvian selva.
Tips for your trip to Tarapoto:
1. Food: Typical dishes: Tachacho con Cecina o Mixto (Tachacho con cecina y chorizo), Juane and Chaufa loretano.
2. Drinks: Refresco de Camu camu, cremoladas, Tragos (CPM, 7 al hilo, SVSS y Besame mucho)
2. Restaurants: Doña Zully, Café Plaza y Café d’ Mundo.
3. Clubs: Anaconda and Bar Musmuqui.
4. Tours: Catarata de Ahuashiyacu (S/. 30), Laguna Azul (S/. 85), Ciudad de Lamas (S/. 45). price per person, return, and some tours also included lunch and other activities.
Fiorella is the author of Chica On The Road. She is a Peruvian girl, who loves to travel. She lived in Bolivia, Italy, Australia, United States, Canada, Germany, and Southeast Asia. She created this travel blog to inspire others to travel more and share travel tips. She is now learning Italian and still traveling.