The city of Tarapoto is not the most popular place in Peru tourism. It is far from the northern coastal circuit and further away from the popular Gringo Trail in the south. The so-called "City of Palms", however, is far from being a quiet town. The city is located in the foothills of the Andes, in the so-called "blue jungle" (indeed with a blue tinge). Another interesting fact is that there are always some events here: the festival of Indian cuisine, or the regional exhibition. A very lively city. First impressions of Tarapoto are rarely spectacular. The city itself is a mix of indescribable, half-modern facades and dilapidated roofs of farmers' houses. The weather in Tarapoto is usually very typical for the region: it is humid and very hot during all month with some short-term exceptions. April and March are the wettest months, but the humidity varies. Torrential rain is a usual thing in this region.
A lot of people come to this city to stay at sauce resort Tarapoto. There are not a lot to see in the city itself, but you can visit the cigar factory Tabacalera del Oriente (Martinez de Compagnon 1138). Many people agree that this cigar factory is possibly the finest in Peru. All of the cigars are hand-rolled, so this one-hour tour is quite promising, especially if you are a smoker. You can visit scenic waterfalls such as Ahuashiyacu and Huacamaillo, petroglyphs of the Polish language and culturally important cities such as Lamas and Chasuta. A lot of tourist come here with very specific goals in mind, like bird watching, for example. Also flora lovers, will be amazed by marvelous variety of orchids. If you love adventures more than quiet walks around beautiful flowers, we suggest rafting. It is also a good place for those who seek enlightenment (Tarapoto is home to the Takivashi Center, the largest drug treatment center and the study of traditional medicine).
If you enjoy Peru hiking tours, you will feel great here. Just head over to the Cordillera Escalera Conservation Area, which sits right on Tarapoto’s doorstep. For the small entrance fee, you will find a lot of possibilities. There is a variety of trails that will surely interest even the experienced hiker. For example, one of the main trails involves crossing the river more than 15 times. It is recommended to go there earlier, so you will have more time to enjoy marvelous swimming spots and gaze at the numerous waterfalls.
Some people may think that there are not a lot do in terms of nightlife. But be sure that just a few blocks away from the main square, at the Calle de las Piedras or Street of Stones, you will find what you were looking for. There are a lot of restaurants and bars that serve authentic Peruvian drinks and cocktails. Explore the very essence of Tarapoto here. And if after drinks, you will feel the need to party and dance, head over to Morales district. You will encounter a lot of discotecas along your way, for example Estación or Anaconda. Take your pick and prepare for a long night of dancing. What to do in Peru Tarapoto also includes visiting the main annual event, the Festival of San Juan to be exact. This festival is celebrated across all junge regions of Peru during summer time. The tourist week in Tarapoto lasts from July 8 to 19 (but make sure to check the dates before booking the tour, because they may be changed from time to time). During this week there usually a lot of gastronomic fairs, music festivals and even colorful street parades.
If you are a Peruvian food lover, Tarapoto has a wide choice of cheap and medium-sized restaurants, as well as a growing number of high-class options. You have to try "saltado" - ragout fried with various seasonings of vegetables, "huancaina papas" - dish of potatoes, melted cheese and lemon juice with green salad and spicy sauce, soups of lentils, beans and other legumes, soups of puree from red beans or spinach, "arroz-choclo" - a kind of porridge of rice or cereals, "carapulcra" - dried potatoes with pork, chicken and sunflower seeds.