Yurimaguas

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Yurimaguas

Yurimaguas is a thriving port-town [1] in the Loreto Region of northeastern Peruvian Amazonia. Historically associated with Maynas (Pais de los Maynas), the culturally diverse town is affectionately known as the "Pearl of the Huallaga" (Perla del Huallaga). Yurimaguas is located at the confluence of the majestic Huallaga and Paranapura Rivers in the steamy rainforests of northeastern Peru,[2]. It is the capital of both Alto Amazonas Province and Yurimaguas District, and had a population estimated at about 64,000 inhabitants (2002).

With a long and illustrious history (see Samuel Fritz, "Misión de los Omaguas, Yurimaguas, Aizuares, Ibanomas y otras naciones desde Napo al rio Negro" in Pablo Maroni's 1738 Noticias auténticas del famoso río Marañón or Journal of the Travels and Labours of Father Samuel Fritz in the River of the Amazons 1686-2008, reprinted in 1922), Yurimaguas is a tourist destination [3], especially during the August 15 annual Catholic festival of the Assumption. Long dominated by the presence of the Church, the town is home to the Apostolic Vicariate of Yurimaguas, Loreto Region. Visited in 1855 by the famed botanist Richard Spruce[4], Yurimaguas remains an important commercial center for subsistence and market oriented farmers or ribereños (who cultivate sugar cane, bananas, cotton, tobacco, manioc and other comestible produce) and fishermen (see Rhoades, Robert and Pierre Bidegaray Los Agricultores de Yurimaguas. Lima, Peru: Centro de Estudio Amazonas. 1987, or the English version The Farmers of Yurimaguas: Land Use and Cropping Strategies in the Peruvian Jungle. Lima:International Potato Center & CIP, Peru).[5].

Yurimaguas is notable for being the last urban center in Loreto connected by highway with the rest of Peru: a recently paved road links Yurimaguas with Tarapoto and Moyobamba, located in the tropical Andes (high-jungle), or as it is known in the vernacular, the montaña. While the Moisés Benzaquen Rengifo Airport was first established in Yurimaguas in 1937, it is now barely functioning (the collapse of the Peruvian airline Aero Continente left only two airlines serving the airport). For the majority of the populace, transit is dominated by river travel. In the ports of Yurimaguas trade is in tropical forest produce, particularly hardwoods, petroleum, contraband, and goods (licit and otherwise) from the Andean highlands or Pacific Coast sent down-river to Iquitos and beyond (the Port Authority of Yurimaguas, ENAPU is in charge of the International Puerto de Yurimaguas, Peru). Yurimaguas boasts a magnificent Cathedral built by the Passionist Order, and modeled after the Cathedral in Burgos, Spain. Coordinates: 5°54′S 76°05′W / 5.900°S 76.083°W / -5.900; -76.083