Flying to Peru & Iquitos for Your Ayahuasca Retreat
Currently, almost all international flights to Peru arrive in Lima, the capital of Peru, on the west coast. Unfortunately, flights to Peru can be quite costly, particularly from Europe and Australia, but if you shop around and book early, you can sometimes find some great deals
The time of year that you fly can also affect the price. The most expensive months are usually between June and September. The best flight deals are usually between November and April.
Flying from Europe
The main airlines that fly directly from Europe to Lima are KLM (via Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam), LATAM (formerly LAN), Air Europa and Iberia (via Madrid). Air France also flies to Lima from Paris. There are sometimes good deals on flights that go via North America. KLM often have the best flight deals during certain times of the year (Usually between October and May). Also, British Airways have recently started flying to Lima directly from London.
Flying from North America
For flights from North America check out Spirit Airlines, JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta, Continental and Air Canada. Flying via Panama with Copa airlines can also be cheaper sometimes.
Flying from Australia / New Zealand
There are currently no direct flights between Australia/New Zealand and Peru. Most people fly here via Buenos Aires in Argentina, or Santiago in Chile. Another alternative route is to fly via Los Angeles in the USA.
It is recommended that you have a return ticket or at least a future ticket to some other country when you enter Peru. While it is not common, the immigration officers do sometimes ask to see proof that you will leave the country. If you cannot provide proof, they have the right to deport you at your own expense.
We recommend the following sites for buying international flight tickets.
Flying to Iquitos
Iquitos is completely surrounded by the Amazon rainforest, and the only way to get here is by boat or by plane. Unless you’re an experienced traveller we don’t recommend you take the boat, which usually takes about four or five days from either Yurimaguas or Pucallpa (the food on the boats is also pretty bad and not recommended before an Ayahuasca retreat).
We strongly recommend that you fly to Iquitos from Lima which is about a 90-minute flight. There are currently 4 domestic airlines that run daily flights between Lima and Iquitos. These are LATAM, Avianca, Star Peru and Peruvian Airlines.
You can book your flights all the way to Iquitos using a travel agent or flight booking website such as Expedia. However, please be aware that all travel agents and flight booking websites use LATAM as the airline for the Lima to Iquitos leg of the journey and LATAM has by far the most expensive prices. If you are on a tight budget and want to save money, then explore the option of only booking your flight to Lima with your travel agent and booking your flight from Lima to Iquitos separately (It may or may not work out more expensive). Usually, the best deals are with Peruvian Airlines where you can sometimes book a round-trip for as little as 120 US dollars, although $150 would be a more regular price.
NOTE: Several flights to Iquitos stop on the way in either Pucallpa of Tarapoto. This is not always made very clear by the airlines. Please make sure you don’t get off the plane too soon.
Here are the websites for the Peruvian domestic airlines: