Iquitos (ēkēˈtōs) [key], city (1993 pop. 252,312), capital of Loreto dept., NE Peru, on the Amazon River, c.2,300 mi (3,700 km) from the Amazon's mouth. It is the farthest inland port of any considerable size in the world. With the boom in wild rubber at the beginning of the 20th cent. the city gained prominence, but it declined after the collapse of the market. Today coffee, cotton, timber, balatá, and tagua nuts, as well as rubber, are exported. There is launch service some distance up the Marañón and Ucayali rivers and air service to the highlands, but the Andes Mts. are so formidable a barrier to the transport of most commercial goods that Iquitos has been oriented toward the Atlantic rather than the Pacific. The city was founded in 1863.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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