A sprawling, hot and dusty city with over 400,000 inhabitants, PUCALLPA holds little of interest to travellers, most of whom get straight into a mototaxi or a local bus for Lago Yarinacocha. If you stay a while, though, it’s difficult not to appreciate Pucallpa’s relaxed feel – or the entrepreneurial optimism of this burgeoning jungle frontier city.
Pucallpa’s annual festival for visitors – the Semana Turística de la Region Ucayali – is usually held in the last week of September, offering mostly artesanía and forest-produce markets, as well as folklore, music and dance.
If you have an hour or so to while away in the town itself, both the downtown food market on Jirón Independencia and the older central market on Dos de Mayo are worth checking out; the latter in particular comprises varied stalls full of jungle produce. The port of La Hoyada and the older, nearby Puerto Italia are also bustling with activity by day. For craft shopping, artesanía can be found at Jirón Mariscal Cáceres block 5, Jirón Tarapacá block 8 and Jirón Tanca block 6.