The Amazon forest is an amazingly complex system of biota, rivers, creeks, millions of acres of trees and plants; there are thousands of animal species of all types, like sloths, jaguars, pink dolphins, fishes, harpy eagles, frogs, storks, snakes, caimans, monkeys, bats, and millions of insects and microscopic animals and plants, indeed! Plankton is also present in these rivers, which represent one of the biggest reservoirs of fresh water on our planet. The amazon basin is the main “organ” that sustains life on our planet. Some of these creatures work by day, and others at night. Yesterday we explored the Pacaya River at night and it was a great experience, but today was astonishing. The Pacaya area is very remote in the jungle of Peru, and the abundance of wildlife is incredible. We came out early in the morning, at 5:45 a.m., to spot more wildlife — the majority of the creatures are early risers, so we are too.
We saw hundreds of storks, jabirus, neotropical cormorants fishing on armored catfish, herons, egrets, many varieties of kingfishers, horn screamers, herons, turtles, caimans, and hoatzins; we saw howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, white-fronted capuchin monkeys, pink and gray dolphins, and big anacondas. Wow! Truly this place is amazing, marvelous — like no other place on earth.
We spent six and a half hours on a tiring journey, but we were very well rewarded! At noon we came back for lunch and siesta time to recover our energy. The food on board our ship is exceptional; we enjoyed a ceviche of local fish to fuel up for the rest of the day.
In the afternoon we navigated for four hours to a nice beach along the coast. We disembarked to spot some shoreline birds such as black skimmers, yellow-billed terns, and sandpipers. One very special event of the afternoon was the jungle bar that our crew opened on the beach. Our guests rested and enjoyed coconut water, some tropical fruits, and pisco sours. The “Jungle Spa” was also opened, as some of our guests enjoyed relaxing mud therapy on their bodies and faces. We enjoyed the sunset and chatted together about the amazing experiences of our day.
Today we explored Pahuachiro Creek before breakfast, looking for special sightings along the Maranon River. Pahuachiro Creek is a small body of water with beautiful forest on both sides. This area is home to creatures such as yellow-headed caracaras, black-collared hawks, large-billed terns, and some species of monkeys. In the morning after breakfast we explored Casual Rain Forest on the riverbank. As the name suggests, it is a rainforest! It is a vast green jungle with an interesting trail that leads through an amazing collection of giant trees and palms where many types of animals hang out. As we explored the forest, we had an encounter with the master of the jungle! We spotted a red-tailed boa slowly moving among the bushes. Its camouflage is impressive — without the expert eyes of the local guides we would have missed such an event. These forests are so full of life; besides the abundance of trees there are the many creatures here that we saw with our own eyes. On the ground there were snails and tarantulas, and the sounds of many insects that we cannot see due to their camouflage. The Upper Amazon is not only a vast green forest but also home to many human settlements divided into small communities close to the riverbanks. Today we visited Amazonas Community to learn about the local culture and way of life. It was very interesting and exciting to spend some time with the leaders of the community, hearing their stories about education, fishing, and agriculture. It was a very enriching experience for all the visitors. Over the years we have visited different settlements along the rivers of the Upper Amazon, and we have seen how their lives have improved in terms of education, empowerment, and production of fine handicrafts. Today we had an opportunity to buy some souvenirs produced by the women of the community. Their figures and weaving are amazing, very colorful and of good quality. All these items are made from natural palm fibers found in the surrounding forest. It was another amazing day in the heart of the rainforest!