What a spectacular day in the Peruvian Upper Amazon. I always wake up with high spirits looking forward to exploring the Pacaya River. It is one of my favorite locations in the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve.

Early in the morning, at 05:30, we were already on our way. This is the farthest destination we will be going to on our expedition this week. In our convoy were three skiffs, 24 guests, three naturalists, a LEX photo instructor, a paramedic, three drivers, a barman, two deckhands, and me. Along the way we had great wildlife sightings accompanied by a persistent rather refreshing misty rain. Many bird species were seen: a fabulous hoatzin, egrets, and neotropical cormorants. We also observed several red howler monkeys, monk saki monkeys, and troops of squirrel monkeys as well.

At around 07:30 we arrived at a small ranger’s station located in front of Yanacocha Lake. We stopped to stretch our legs and have lunch at this cozy location in the middle of the rainforest. Afterward, we continued with our exploration, stopping at Yanayacu Lake to swim. It was a lot of fun!

In the afternoon, we came back to explore Pacaya River in different light conditions. The late hours of the day are prime time to observe the extraordinary rainforest landscapes and biodiversity in a sublime golden light. We had amazing sightings, including the rare view of elusive giant river otters! The icing on the cake was seeing a gray dolphin Tucuxi leaping out of the water!

Back onboard, we were delighted by our day of exploration. It was a long but very rewarding adventure with all the ingredients of a memorable expedition.