Pucallpa is a city in the Peruvian Amazon.
You can fly in on one of Peru's national airlines (which are often going in and out of business), or, for the more adventurous, you could try coming in on a bus from Lima (expect a two-day drive!) Transmar runs direct buses from Lima.
Motocarros are odd, motor-tricycle taxis that are the standard mode of transportation for Pucallpa. Expect to pay about $1 US for a trip within town, and as much as US $2 for a trip from one of the suburbs.
There is not very much in the way of sightseeing in Pucallpa itself. That said, most attractions are water related. Pucallpa is situated on the shores of the Ucayali River, and there is a lake near the city called Lake Yarinacocha. In the middle of the lake is an island called La Isla de Amor. This is a nice place for a day trip.
There is a recreation center about 15 miles from Pucallpa. At this center is a restaurant, a pool, and several waterslides. This is a relaxing way to spend a day, and the food won't break the bank. If you travel here when the weather is warm (as it often is) you may find that an ice cream from the stand there hits the spot.
Pucallpa's zoo is called the 'Parque Natural'. The tour operators will try to sell you a trip to the zoo with a trip to Lake Yarinachocha, but this is not necessary. Ask any motocarro operator and they will take you there. You can also take the bus from near the Plaza de Armas. Do not expect to see animals in enclosures like North American zoos. The animals are in small cages and in many cases, you can get quite close to the big cats with only a fence between you. You will be able to pet or feed some of the animals (please fruit only) and see animals you will not be able to see in the jungle. Make sure you see the historical part of the zoo as well.
There are a number of markets within Pucallpa. These markets are filled with booths that are manned by vendors selling all sorts of wares. Hammocks are best bought at the market nearest to the lake, and you can buy any number of artifacts/crafts from many of the surrounding indegenous tribes. There are also pharmacies, banks, travel agencies, and two supermarkets with imported projects. Los Andes market is a delight for anyone looking for European or North American products.
Yarinacocha is the best place around to get good food. It is a couple of miles outside of Pucallpa, but worth the trip. Go to the restaurant Anakonda.
There are many cheap hostels around the Plaza de Armas, ranging from about 10 soles per bed.
- Hostal Richard, Calle San Martin, grotty dark singles from 10 soles.
The road between Tingo Maria and Pucallpa is infamous for robberies. Particularly buses are prone to suffer, as some of the robbers get on as paying passengers and then stop the bus while more robbers get on and strip the passengers of all valuables. It is much safer to use a plane from Lima. If you have to use the road, try organizing a taxi or lorry from Huanuco. Avoid travelling when there are special events in Pucallpa, as the robbers are known to be more active then. And don't ever travel this road at night.
This page was last edited at 03:02, on 3 February 2009 by Peter Fitzgerald. Based on work by Michele Ann Jenkins and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.