We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Review of Belen

Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Full-Day Iquitos City Tour
Ranked #9 of 48 things to do in Iquitos
Attraction details
North Carolina
Level Contributor
78 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Really, this is not worth a visit unless you are into the bizzare. It's crowded, smelly, and many of the items are animal flesh and much of it will dishearten you if you are vegetarian or in the least concerned about animal conservation. Nearly everything and anything that moves from the Amazon river(s) or surrounding countryside can be bought for eating here.

Do NOT go alone. As a westerner you will stand out like a flashing neon sign. Even though I had a local with me I still had an old man trying to touch me on my back, kinda creepy. Keep any belongings in your pocket or in front of you at all times. Keep your eyes open and your wits about you. The closer you get to the water, generally, the more run down it becomes.

Really, if you are looking for more tourista type things stay in the main plaza area and by from the Shipobo market/stalls next to Dawn of the Amazon. There is also the Anaconda market on the backside of the Dawn of the Amazon down the white stairs and to the right. These areas are much better, cleaner, and generally safer than Belen.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Vegetarian222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

530 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
132 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Doesn't float much in the dry season”
Reviewed August 14, 2013

So we went looking for the market and it didn't seem to be floating... So we moved closer to the river... We found someone offering boat tours and after some discussion agreed ENS20 for an hour tour for two round the floating market.

After following our guide down increasingly depressing streets he announced that in the wet season the streets are flooded by the river up to about 2m high some parts of he year (jan-may - we were there in August)

Still, we had a boat ride which was surprisingly enjoyable and our guide spoke fairly good English. He has lived in Belen all his life. Interesting to see how the people live and amazing that they do not al have cholera.

As our guide assured us - the food and water are okay for the people of Belen as they are used to it, but not for Gringos!

Worth a look to marvel at it all

Visited August 2013
Thank whizzyuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“strange place but is a must see”
Reviewed July 30, 2013

this is a strange marcket but it is a must see , the only thing check you wallet. Also the medicine alley is fun too.

Visited July 2013
Thank urator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“I lost my appetite.”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

I had never ever been more grossed out in my life. At first all I saw was fresh fruit, and then I discovered warm chickens with flies all over them. We even saw monkey, turtle, turtle's eggs, and sloth. I was disgusted. :(

Visited June 2013
1 Thank FassettFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
56 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Compelling and challenging”
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Belen market and the surrounding district are one of the more colourful and challenging tours in Iquitos. The market is by turns exotic, astonishing and distressing - and so is the slum that surrounds it. Be prepared for some nasty bushmeat - monkey, turtle, etc - in spite of the official ban. In the lower parts of the market and beyond I recommend waterproof hiking boots as you may find yourself walking through some pretty unhygienic stuff.

Go with your eyes and mind open and don't take valuables. Hire a good local guide if you want to go beyond the tourist part of the market and into the slum.

Visited August 2012
Thank Phil M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Belen also viewed

Iquitos, Loreto Region
Iquitos, Loreto Region

Been to Belen? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing