In the highland jungles of northeastern Peru on the banks of the Shilcayo River lies one of the country's principal centers of Amazonian tourism and commerce. Also known as the "City of Palm Trees", Tarapoto is the largest city of the San Martín department and serves as a regional transportation hub. The city has a great deal to offer travelers, including excellent hotels, delicious Amazonian cuisine, exciting nightlife and a plethora of natural attractions.
The lush rainforests surrounding Tarapoto are bejeweled with idyllic waterfalls and lagoons, hot springs, river rapids and ancient petroglyphs. There are abundant opportunities for wildlife observation, swimming, boating, hiking, whitewater rafting, camping and fishing. The city is also a gateway to the ruins of Kuélap in the neighboring Amazonas department.
Some of the best times of year to visit Tarapoto are during its yearly festivals. Come for the Fiesta de San Juan on June 24 in honor of Saint John the Baptist when everyone flocks to nearby rivers and feasts on traditional juanes, folkloric dance competitions are held and a Miss San Juan is crowned. Or stop by during Tarapoto's Tourist Week from July 8-19 when open-air concerts, musical shows and parades are held in honor of the Holy Cross of the Motilones. Carnival and the Anniversary of Tarapoto on August 20 are also celebrated with jubilant dancing, music and parades.