The Belen Market and the Floating Village of Belen

I started blogging to share my adventures in South America over one year ago and my blog has developed into a place to share what I hold dear.  Today I am going to share one of my many adventures in the Amazon Jungle of Peru.  Below are some photos from the Belen Market and floating village of Belen.

You can't image all the animals, fruits, veggies, and other products are sold here.  Among the most unique I saw: alligator (they eat he tail of it and it's delicious), turtle (for turtle soup), tiny jungle deer, paiche (a ten food fresh water fish).
There are many elixirs and concoctions  made from different plants and animals sold in the market along with the skins of what animals were killed to make the elixirs.
My husband and I ate grubs.  They taste wasn't bad but the thought of it was. And yes, those are giant bugs.
The floating village which is located just below the market.  The houses are anchored and move up and down during the rainy season.  During the dry season they rest on stilts.  
Schools, gas stations, grocery stores are among the houses that float here.  The natives also sell food and other items house to house by boat.  Prostitution also occurs on the boats at night on the water.

Below are giant lilly pads growing in someone's "backyard".

When (and I say "when" not "if" because I am afraid you have to go)... eh hem... when,  you go Iquitos, a city in the middle of the Amazon Jungle, you need to visit the Belen Market and the floating village of Belen.  It is a remarkable sight that shows a remarkable way of live.  If seeing this village doesn't change your perspective on life, well, I am not sure what will.

My husband and I traveled Peru and Argentina for four months last year and I'd have to say the Amazon Jungle is one of my favorite places on earth.  It is rich of culture, folk tales, wild life, shamans (AKA witch doctors), and creatures big and small.  It is ridiculously hot and sweaty and there are abnormally large critters to be found, however it's completely worth all the discomfort.  

Iquitos was founded in the 1800's during the rubber boom.  Inside the city there are beautiful colonial buildings and many historical sites founded during the 1800's.  Along the ride of the city lie houses on stilts, slums, and poverty.  In the jungle surrounding it there are natives who still live off the land and wear grass skirts. The floating City of Belen is a place of it's own among the great city of Iquitos.  It is also one of the most dangerous parts of the city.  When you go, be sure to take limited amount of cash, no wallet, no jewelry, and wear plain clothes.  

It is smart to have a guide. That way you can understand the significance of what is going on and it is safer.  We went with a local which is the best way to go in my opinion.  Our guide was from the floating village and was respected among the people.  We were safe with him.  

Going to the Amazon Jungle has been one of my life goals.  I am so grateful I was able to fulfill my dream of visiting.  Wherever your dream travel spot is, I hope you make it there.  Make it sooner rather than later.


Liesl said...

I have always loved following you and your journeys and how lovely to see how much your blog has grown since you began it...love it! Such great pictures and such a lovely background! I was in Argentina for a summer years ago and it was wonderful! Great tip on going with a guide!

Liesl :)

shopgirl said...

I love your travel photos Rachael and Belen sounds amazing! Travelling to Argentina, Chile and Peru is one of my travel dream destinations. One day I'll get there. It's "when" not "if". .-)))

Thanks sweetie for sharing these and taking me somewhere different.


Makay said...

I loved this post.
Traveling is so wonderful... and honestly I really really really wanna go to Peru now.

Nuit said...

wow, I die. Wanna go to Peru so bad!!!

Nicole Marie said...

wow this is incredible!!!!!!!!

Jolyn Lloyd Matthews said...

It sounds like such a wonderful adventure. I can't wait to go to my dream travel spot. Hopefully I can swing by Belen while I am out and about.

Tamara Nicole said...

What a fun trip! I love seeing other people travel the world, there is so much to see:-)

Looks like a blast!

OneCraftyFox said...

Incredible! You have had such amazing journeys. Happy Thanksgiving!!

melifaif said...

I remember being in AWE!!!!! when you posted on this trip at the time. And these photos do not disappoint either. Such a different world, but so fantastical also. Thanks for sharing this!

jhonblack said...

love this page Stacy! the colors are phenomenal!logo designs

Anonymous said...

Hi. Could you give me some way to contact the guide you used please? We are planning this visit in early Jan 2012 and would like someone trusted to accompany us. Thanks in advance. Dani

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