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“Very interesting” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Belen

Belen
Iquitos, Peru
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Ranked #18 of 34 things to do in Iquitos
Attraction details
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Very interesting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Oke, the place is crowded, sweaty, stinky and pickpockets are one loose... However it is one of the most amazing places where I have been... It is a real market where everything is sold, from black magic potions and bottled snakes to monkeys, parrots, crododile and turtle meat, rare fish, delishious fruits and many other things.

For me it was sightseeing. Some parts of the market stink terrible but are still worthwile to see.

Don't bring anything that you valuable (they stole even a very cheap sun hat right of my head).

Visited March 2012
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Panama, rep. de Panama
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Unique, visit the floating town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

The market places you must be careful, the floating town is to be known. All on boat. This place is for people that can move around without fear. I am used to be alone and have experience interacting with all type of men and women.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Interesting and a bit scary”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Belen market is really interesting. It has narrow aisles and some very exotic goods: something that is marketed as snake oil (!), turtle meat and eggs, tapir meat. We were there in the rainy season. The ride on a canoe around Belen is adventuresome: floating houses with televisions, dogs tied below so they won't fall into the waters, children playing in or near the water, soccer fields flooded so that only the tops of the goals were evident. The canoes, while beautiful when new, look well-used and rickety. There are no life-jackets or life preservers, but they seem very stable. Because the water was so high, we walked along a make-shift, plank side-walk 15-20 feet above the water to get back to the market after the ride. Not an experience for everyone.

Visited January 2013
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Cleveland, OH
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Not of this World”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Our native hostess took us into Belen market but seemed pretty concerned about it. I noted she did not bring her 10 year old daughter for the experience and also avoided going down into Belen for many streets. Not sure what she saw that she did not like but it gave us a chance to walk the market. You cannot not look like a gringo here in the tight streets and absolutely gigantic market. Probably eight city blocks? which lead down to the water area of Belen. A guide approached our host and convinced her into a $20 Soles ride on his boats through the neighborhood. It is so worth it! Turns out Lito Marin is his name and he speaks English learning it from tourists and the English programs there. But he has reviews from all sorts of nationalities including German, Korean, and Dutch. He was funny and we all felt extremely safe with him. He prefers to hang out in the spice market but I am offering his contact information. He will meet you at the boulevard which can be much nicer if you do not have a native to walk you through the markets that could be scary and ripe for problems. Lets say I would not want to do the market alone as a ultra white gringa and I definitely would not want to go at night to this location without a guide. although the place looks ramshackle he told us that the wood structures have be swapped out in under five years making this a bustling place. I loved watching the "convenient store" canoes go by. His email is litobelenguide24 at hotmail. He will hook you up for additional tours if interested. We almost went to the bar on stilts named Climax but our hostess was visibly upset..sigh, I guess it is for the best.

Visited January 2013
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Ohio
Top Contributor
404 reviews 404 reviews
197 attraction reviews
Reviews in 149 cities Reviews in 149 cities
370 helpful votes 370 helpful votes
“Interesting, but not really a tourist attraction”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

It's a working market, not a tourist attraction. A quick visit is fine. We walked down the steps into Belen a bit and a lady stopped us and told us it wasn't really safe to be down there.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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