The city is circumscribed by three rivers: the Amazonas, the Itaya, and the Nanay encircle the Iquitos as snakes.It was founded on the second half of the 19th century, exact date unknown. But it was declared an official port by the Peruvian government in 1864.The name is derived from the native etno-linguistic community Tupí-Guaraní, the “Iquitos”, who were displaced to outer banks of the city during the rubber boom.
Spaniards, French, Brits, Moroccans, and Germans were the first ones to arrive during the rubber boom eager to acquire and capitalize the rubber. The material was one of the propellers for the Industrial Revolution at the close of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, and it was
because of this controversial event in history that Iquitos established its place on the world map.
The iron cast balconies, colorful tiles, electric train, electricity and treated water had been in Iquitos since the 19th century. Everything was imported from Europe sometimes at excessive costs in order to carry out the construction of elegant buildings for the rubber barons.
Such was the rubber fever many fascinating characters, both real and fictitious, sprouted out of the city.
German filmmaker Werner Herzog was specially inspired by this and took on the challenge to film “Fitzcarraldo” loosely based on the Irish-Peruvian baron, but rather true in the accounts of the exploitation caused on the natives during the time.
Luck turned on Iquitos when the British monarchy brough
t their rubber production to closer colonies. The city went literally bankrupt in 1917, starting a depression that lasted several decades until recently.