A Guide to Visit Tarapoto, Northern Peru

Image by Joerg Zwingli
Image by Nailton Barbosa

The city of Tarapoto isn’t a prime traveler location. Located in the high jungle area of Northern Peru, it’s a long way from the northern seaside circuit and even further from the famous Gringo Trail down south. The so-called “City of Palms,” nevertheless, is far from being a tired station.

Since it started in 1782, Tarapoto has grown to be the first commercial, tourist, and transportation center for the San Martin area. The city has all but taken in the two removed districts of La Banda de Shilcayo and Morales, with the combined city now home to more than 150,000.

Why Visit Tarapoto?

Tarapoto seldom wows new arrivals with impactful impressions. The city itself is a mix of nondescript, semi-modern exteriors, and old tin-roof homesteads. While the instant environments are farming and not the thick jungle that some visitors presume they’ll discover. Include the often-oppressive heat and the consistent buzz of moto-taxis, and you have a location that some visitors see… disagreeable.

In Tarapoto, nevertheless, you require to dig much more in-depth, check out even more; you need to offer the place a possibility. However, the city itself is short on sights, but do not miss out on the impressive Tabacalera del Oriente stogie factory (Martinez de Compagñon 1138). You’ll require to head beyond the city limitations for more destinations. It consists of beautiful waterfalls such as Ahuashiyacu and Huacamaillo, the petroglyphs of Polish, and culturally crucial towns such as Lamas and Chazuta.

Tarapoto likewise draws in visitors in search of more customized kinds of tourists. (Tarapoto is home to the Takiwasi Center, an important center for the treatment of drug dependency and research study into conventional medication, in which ayahuasca plays a considerable part.).


Tarapoto has a wide variety of low-cost to midrange dining establishments and a growing number of high-end alternatives. If you’re looking for coffee, cake, and a web connection, head to Cafe Plaza on the first square.

Meat-eaters need to make the many of the area’s extraordinary pork and pork items, consisting of cecina (pieces of treated pork) and chorizo sausage. For a standard jungle treat, choose up a leaf-wrapped juane.

Some advised dining establishments consist of:

  1.  El Brasero: for exceptional pork meals (San Pablo de la Cruz 254).
  2.  El Rincón Sureño: a classy dining establishment and the very best place for steaks and other huge portions of meat (Augusto B. Leguía 458).
  3.  Brava Grilled: excellent hamburgers (San Martin 615).
  4.  La Collpa: overpriced, however, an excellent alternative for local meals (mainly fish) with a great view (Circunvalaciòn 164).
  5.  Caja Criolla Restobar: superb roast pork (with ideal crackling) prepared in a Caja china (Jr. Rioja 328 ).
  6.  Primer Puerto: among the more recent cevicherias en Tarapoto, and most likely the very best (Ramirez Hurtado 461).
  7.  El Pollo Marino: a popular cevicheria near the primary square; ceviche in Tarapoto can’t measure up to ceviche discovered on the coast. However, El Pollo Marino typically does an excellent task (Grau 182).
  8.  La Patarashca: a location for local meals, albeit borderline-trendy and costly (Lamas 261).
  9.  Chifa Canton: among the very best chefs in the area, centrally located (Ramon Castilla 140).
  10.  El Norteño: it’s worth heading to the Banda de Shilcayo district simply to attempt El Norteño’s Cantonese chicken (Santa María 246).

Drinking and Dancing.

You may believe Tarapoto has little to provide in terms of nightlife if you walk around the city center on a Friday or Saturday night. Only two blocks up from the square, you’ll discover a block understood as the Calle de las Piedras (Street of Stones) on Jr.


This block has plenty of bars, consisting of Stonewasi. This vibrant bar has ended up being something of a Tarapoto organization. The somewhat more stylish and more pricey La Montañita; the comfy Suchiche Cafe Cultural; and Huascar Bar, a friendly bar often visited by residents, Tarapoto expats, and foreign backpackers.

After a couple of beers in the Calle de las Piedras, jump in a mototaxi and head down to the Morales district. The roadway going out of Morales is lined with dynamic discotecas, consisting of Anaconda, Macumba, and Estación. Choose and get ready for a long night of dancing.


Tarapoto has lodging choices for each budget plan, although backpacker hostels (targeted at the worldwide crowd) are restricted. Hotel San Antonio (Jiménez Pimentel 126) is an excellent spending plan choice right in the center. You’ll discover a variety of inexpensive guest houses along the 2nd block (Cuadra dos) of Alegría de Morey, a street directly off the first square. La Patarashca (connected to the dining establishment of the same name. However, a block away on San Pablo de la Cruz 362) is an attractive choice if you’re prepared to invest a bit more each night.

There are a lot of other hotels of differing quality dotted around the city. The towering Boca Raton Hotel (Miguel Grau 151) is a complicated modern-day right in the center of Tarapoto. The three-star Hotel Nilas (Moyobamba 173) is another excellent alternative near the first square.

For a relaxing resort-style stay, think about Puerto Palmeras, situated directly outside Tarapoto (Carretera Fernando Belaúnde Terry, Km 614). It’s not low-cost; however, it will keep you far from the city’s continuous pressure.

Best Time To Visit

The first yearly occasion in Tarapoto is the Festival of San Juan; a celebration commemorated throughout the jungle areas of Peru on June 24. Tarapoto’s Semana Turística (Tourist Week) happens from July 8 to 19 (specific dates might differ), including street parades, music celebrations, gastronomic fairs, and more.

In regards to weather conditions, Tarapoto is damp and hot year-round (with some uncommon exceptions). March and April tend to be the wettest months. However, shifts do take place. It’s not unusual to hear a significant fracture of thunder at any time of the year, followed by an hour approximately of a downpour.

How to Get to Tarapoto.

  • By air: Tarapoto’s Guillermo del Castillo Paredes Airport is found a brief moto-taxi trip from the town hall (S/.6 fare). The domestic airline companies LAN, TACA, and StarPerú, have day-to-day flights between Tarapoto and Lima; StarPerú likewise gets in touch with Iquitos and Pucallpa. Movil Tours has buses direct from Lima to Tarapoto (28 hours approx.). You can head from Lima to Tingo Maria and then north to Tarapoto. You can do the Tingo Maria to Tarapoto path with the Pizana Express cars and truck business.
  • By boat: Tarapoto can’t be reached by boat. However, the port in the town of Yurimaguas (a two-hour trip from Tarapoto) has guest boats to Iquitos.

Tarapoto Travel Guide.

The people of Tarapoto, Peru, have an excellent reason for taking life at an unwinded rate. Silently baking in the heat of the high-jungle sun, the town and its occupants tackle their organization with minimal difficulty, buzzing around on motorcycles and moto-taxis. The absence of in-your-face traveler promo might leave new arrivals questioning what there is to do. However, dig a little more profound and discover a great mix of natural and cultural tourist attractions.

Quick Tip: If taking a trip to or from Lima Airport, it is highly suggested to utilize the high-end Airport Express Lima bus to get to or from your hotel. Much safer and more affordable than a taxi without any luggage limitation along with Free WiFi and USB battery chargers onboard, it is perfect for tourists.


Tarapoto is the most significant settlement in the San Martin department of Peru. The town itself has a population of roughly 66,000. However, the broader city location consists of Morales (22,500) districts and Banda de Shilcayo (27,200). Tarapoto is the primary industrial and transportation center in San Martin– considering that the town’s structure in 1782, the instant surrounding location has gone through substantial cleaning for farming usage.

Tarapoto Attractions.

Tarapoto is not the place for colonial architecture and quite patched streets. The first square is significant; however does not have any genuine appeal, and bare brick walls and tin roofing are plentiful. There are a handful of destinations within the town. However, the majority of the primary draws are dotted throughout the surrounding location.

Museo Regional Universidad Nacional de San Martín. Tarapoto a little strange. Little museum merely lies off the primary square on Jr. Maynas 177 (below the Universidad Nacional structure). The screens are worth and diverse a checkout, particularly thinking about the S/.2 (nuevo sol) entryway cost.

Tabacalera del Oriente– A must-see location for stogie fanatics, the Tabacalera del Oriente is probably Tarapoto’s many ignored gem. Elaborate boxes of great stories are on sale for deal costs (Jr.

Petroglyphs of Polish– The petroglyphs of Polish lie about 5 miles from Tarapoto. Hidden at the side of a rough roadway, this new historical site gets remarkably a couple of visitors. The website’s “caretaker” functions as a guide of sorts; there is no entryway charge. However, the idea is traditional.

Cataratas de Ahuashiyacu– There are many waterfalls in the hills surrounding Tarapoto. However, none are as well-publicized as the Cataratas de Ahuashiyacu. An essential traveler location, the remarkable waterfall stays up in the mountains above Tarapoto, a brief flight from town. An attractive jungle path leads from the roadside to the fall– swim in the cold plunge swimming pool to cool off after the walk.

Cataratas de Huacamaillo– If you choose traveling to your waterfalls, go to the Cataratas de Huacamaillo from the village of San Antonio de Cumbaza (about 11 miles from Tarapoto). The beautiful one-hour path runs along the Rio Cumbaza before permeating much deeper into the jungle towards the dubious and cool waterfall. You’ll require to find yourself a guide in San Antonio de Cumbaza.

The town of Lamas and the lakeside settlement of Sauce offer more destinations within simple reach of Tarapoto– these will be covered in different posts.

Did you understand? The Tourist Information Center at 799 Avenida Jose Larco in Miraflores uses crucial free details for all tourists to Peru. Visit our blog site to find out more!

Consuming in Tarapoto.

Spending plan backpackers will discover many inexpensive set-lunch menús and some outstanding street grills in Tarapoto. However, requirements differ considerably. For a more trusted yet more costly banquet, attempt among the following:

El Rincón Sureño– The most beautiful place in Tarapoto for steaks and other pieces of meat. Guide Puerto– Currently my preferred cevicheria in town (Jr. El Pollo Marino is an excellent, central place for lunch break ceviche. El Pollo Marino is a popular restaurant with a wide array of fish-based meals (Jr. Grau 182– several blocks from the primary square).

Caja Criolla– Superb pork and chicken (Jr. Rioja 328). El Norteño– For really amazing Cantonese chicken down in La Banda de Shilcayo district (Jr. Santa María N ° 246, half a block from La Banda’s Plaza de Armas).

Genuine Grill– A heavily apparent option right on the first square, Real Grill, is a great place to see the world and sit pass. Food and service can be hit and miss. However, the essential requirement is beautiful (the pork is sometimes extraordinary– and the salads are tremendous). They likewise make great pisco sours (Plaza de Armas 237).

Chifa Canton– One of the very best chifas in Tarapoto (Jr. Ramon Castilla # 140).

Drinking and Dancing in Tarapoto.

The main drinking strip in Tarapoto is along the Calle de las Piedras (obstruct 2 of Jr. Stonewash (Lamas 222). It is Tarapoto’s most popular bar and an excellent place to kick begin your night.

For my sort of scene– drinking, talking, music, more drinking– concerned Huascar Bar (Jr. Lamas 244, opposite Suchiche). This bar comes from my spouse and me, so I’m incredibly extreme. However, it has excellent music, reasonably priced beer, local alcohols (along with whiskey, rum, tequila, Baileys, etc.) and a blended crowd of friendly residents, expats, and backpackers.

Warmi Bar (Jr. Augusto B. Leguia 563) is likewise worth taking a look at. Warmi frequently has live music at the weekend.

Later on, you ought to believe about taking a moto-taxi down to the Morales district. The Anaconda Discoteck (Jr. San Martin 580; anaconda.com.pe) is an excellent alternative with a dynamic environment and a blended crowd.

Tarapoto Hotels and Hostels.

Tarapoto is short on ordinary backpacker hostels. However, there are a lot of budget-friendly guesthouses and hotels.

Hotel San Antonio– Central and easy, Hotel San Antonio is an excellent choice for budget plan backpackers. $11); wedding spaces and double spaces cost S/.40 per night (Jr.

Totti Alojamiento– Located a couple of blocks from the primary square, Totti Alojamiento is a friendly guesthouse staffed by practical and young Tarapotinos (and a somewhat stern woman owner). The same street is home to 4 or 5 more hotels of comparable quality, making it a great choice if you are showing up in Tarapoto without an appointment (Jr.

La Patarashca– Rustically advanced, La Patarashca is a captivating and comfy guesthouse/hotel in the town center. A single space will set you back S/.50 per night (S/.90 for a double; S/.120 for a triple). However, the additional expense deserves it if you desire a more unforgettable lodging experience (Jr. San Pablo de la Cruz 362; lapatarashca.com).

Hotel Nilas– An old-school hotel with far more appeal than more modern hotels like Boca Raton. Only one block from the first square and has a sign outside the swimming pool location (Jr. Moyobamba 173, www.hotelnilas.com).

Sol de Selva– Family run, comfy and tidy. An excellent choice hotel all round (Jr. Pedro de Urzua 161, www.soldeselvaperu.com).

Getting to Tarapoto– Flights and Overland.

There are 3 or 4 set up flights between Tarapoto and Lima every day, a few of which go through Pucallpa. LATAM (previously LAN) and StarPeru likewise have a routine trip to Iquitos. Tarapoto’s little airport lies simply on the borders of the town.

From Lima, buses head up the coast to Trujillo and onto Chiclayo before cutting inland to Pedro Ruiz (get out here for coaches to Chachapoyas), Moyobamba, and then Tarapoto. Movil Tours, TEPSA, and Civa, are the most beautiful bus businesses running along the Chiclayo to Tarapoto path (they likewise have direct departures from Lima to Tarapoto).

Initially, make the two-hour journey by land to Yurimaguas if you desire to head to Iquitos by boat (4 days approx). Here you can organize a passage along the Río Huallaga, which gets in touch with the Río Marañón before heading to Iquitos.

More Tarapoto Information.

To find out more about things to do in Tarapoto, lodging choices, and essential happenings, head over to my other blog site, Tarapoto Life. As the name recommends, the website is everything about Tarapoto, Peru (where I’ve been living for five years and counting …).

Tarapoto is the primary industrial and transportation center in San Martin– considering that the town’s structure in 1782, the instant surrounding location has gone through comprehensive cleaning for farming usage.

Museo Regional Universidad Nacional de San Martín– Tarapoto Is a little strange. The little museum is situated directly off the primary square on Jr. The main drinking strip in Tarapoto is along the Calle de las Piedras (obstruct 2 of Jr.

The very same street is home to 4 or 5 more guesthouses of comparable quality, making it an excellent alternative if you are showing up in Tarapoto without an appointment (Jr. Movil Tours, TEPSA, and Civa, are the most beautiful bus businesses running along the Chiclayo to Tarapoto path (they likewise have direct departures from Lima to Tarapoto).