Heading to Iquitos and looking for new adventures? We have the perfect activity to ensure you’ll get plenty of likes. When you travel to Iquitos try wakeboarding on the Amazon River.
WakeBoard-Photo: Bruno Rougegorge
Harold, a man of many talents, is a huge fan of wakeboarding. He has opened a school in Iquitos so that anyone can enjoy the waves of Amazonian rivers. His company is called Aqua Amazon Extreme and it offers a combination of adrenalin and nature tourism.
As soon as travelers land in Iquitos, they feel that they have arrived in a different world where life is experienced at a different pace, with its heat, colorful buses with open windows, hundreds of motorcycle taxis, and friendly people with their singsong accents. The city boasts a number of attractions dated back to the time when the rubber boom made this tiny island in the Amazon basin the destination for a handful of men who achieved enormous wealth. On the promenade, known as the “Malecón”, the vestiges can still be seen of the old city’s fine houses and tile murals. One option many visitors select is to take a boat and stay at one of the lodges that bring their guests closer to nature, but that option does not offer an adrenalin rush.
Balsa Namata-Bruno Rougegorge
Now, with Aqua Amazon Extreme, visitors to Iquitos can try wakeboarding for beginners, slalom for those with experience, or stand-up paddle boarding for those who want to enjoy nature at a slower pace. Aqua Amazon Extreme has its own raft opposite Malecón Tarapacá, in Iquitos. It is called Namata, and it floats on the Itaya River, where the company’s activities continue during the winter months, when the rivers are at their highest levels (usually from December to May). Once river levels start to fall in the summer months (June to December) the same activities can be practiced at the Hunting and Fishing Nautical Club, in Puerto de Nanay. At Lake Vieja Cocha, “surfing” is allowed throughout the year on its tropical waters.
All you need to take along is swimwear, sun block and the enthusiasm to enjoy this experience fully. The company provides all the equipment, including lifejackets and the invaluable assistance of guides or instructors to help you learn the skills you’ll need. Paddle boarding is the easiest activity, but you’ll need to be prepared to paddle hard to move the long board through the water. Wakeboarding is similar to snowboarding, with boots fixed to the board. The board itself is tied with a rope to a boat with an outboard motor. The idea is for the boat to pull you through the water. As the boat gains speed, the board emerges from the water and you’ll find yourself “flying” across Amazonian waters. Obviously, you won’t get the knack right away, but with a little patience you’ll be able to start enjoying the experience as you manage to keep above the surface and play around a bit. I haven’t tried it yet personally, but a group of friends who were kind enough to send their photos have tried it, and they had a great time. I should also mention how much fun the way of life is in Iquitos. We’ll certainly be going back as soon as we can.
- Paddle board: Half day for S/100 Peruvian soles; full day S/180 soles.
- Wakeboard: 30 minutes for S/150 soles; 45 minutes for 200 soles; one hour for S/250 soles.