The last full day of our expedition exploring the Peruvian Upper Amazon arrived and we took full advantage of it. We went ashore shortly after breakfast to visit a beautiful location called Amazon Natural Park; privately owned, the property has been protected for a long time. In this place, there is a lagoon, a suspension bridge, and a series of trails that crisscross the rainforest.

We crossed the lagoon using local catamarans, Amazonian style: a couple of wood-plank canoes tied to each other. We had a lot of fun! Once on the opposite shore, we went hiking and learned about the astonishing variety of plants and their uses by the local people. We also learned about the significant historical and economic aspects of them. One example was the rubber boom of the late 1800s, when a few people in the larger population centers of the Amazon (such as Iquitos and Manaus) amassed enormous fortunes. They did so by trading rubber made from the sap of the caucho tree — sap that we had the chance to touch and rub between our fingers today. The suspension bridge is pretty long and allowed us to see the rainforest from a different perspective, just like a bird can.

Once all aboard, the Delfin II continued sailing downriver in the Marañón and eventually arrived to Yanayacu River around lunchtime. Some of us went swimming in the river surrounded by many herons and river dolphins. Around four in the afternoon, we enjoyed the abundant wildlife of the reserve once more by going on a final skiff ride. We spotted many blue-and-yellow macaws and some toucans as well.

At sunset, we returned to our beautiful home away from home to enjoy a farewell cocktail, the guest slideshow, a farewell dinner, and a final performance of the ship’s band. We concluded a delightful and successful week’s exploration of the unique and spectacular Upper Amazon of Peru aboard the Delfin II.