Before jumping on an Amazon River cruise, my husband and I decided to spend an extra day exploring the jungle town of Iquitos. We researched online for musts in the region and one experience in particular piqued my interest: The Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm and Animal Orphanage. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but I loved the concept.
We hired a local to help guide us through the streets of Iquitos and to navigate the Amazon River. The Orphanage sits a fair bit away from the main part of Iquitos and requires a water taxi to get from Point A to Point B. After a twenty minute boat ride (give or take), we finally arrived at the banks of our destination. (Round trip boat fare cost us roughly 50 nuevo soles).
When we arrived at the orphanage, we were met by a team of volunteers who were dedicating their summer to working in this compound. The leader, a Swiss girl, guided us through the different areas of the orphanage, from butterflies to ocelots and a jaguar. A number of animals have been rescued and nurtured under the auspices of Pilpintuwasi and it really is a wonderful place to visit and give some money. My best advice based on the farm's location: take a great map or hire a local guide.