To fly to Iquitos, Peru is a bit like stepping back in time. You can only reach this small town by plane or boat and you are surrounded by the Amazon, the lush forest and rich biological diversity. Cars are rare so most people use motorcycles. We were met by the staff of the Aqua, our yacht on the Amazon and off we went for our adventure.
We spent two full days exploring the Amazon River. We boated to different areas to see birds, mammals, and meet the local people. We swam with dolphins, met school children, fished, observed, and at the end of each excursion we returned to the comfort of the Aqua.
The bird life is diverse and rich colors come to mind. Macaws are beautiful! The photo is of the Blue Yellow River Macaw. At one stop, we saw 25 in one tree! Raptors studied us as we floated beneath them. The most common was the Black-collared Hawk which is a fish eater. We even saw the rare Long-billed Wood Creeper. I was impressed by a nighthawk- the Great Potoo, an insect eater. It camouflaged perfectly with the tree where it roosted. For a birder, this is the trip! We were told there are 1800 different types. My list is long and varied. It was great to have naturalists with us to share their knowledge and passion.
The mammals were also exciting. We did see the Three-toed Sloth. They only come out of their tree once a week to go to the bathroom. Talk about slow metabolism. As you watch them move, it makes sense. The Cabybara is the largest rodent and we saw it on a night adventure.
Monkeys are common. They greeted us with screeches and hoots as we floated by. We saw Owl Monkeys which are nocturnal. The Common Squirrel Monkey, the Flying Monkey and many more.
We also saw pink dolphins, turtles, and went for a swim with them. We even fished for Piranha and gave our catch to a local village.
Each day was a new experience. It reminded me of home- Jackson Hole and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. I have the fortune to live in an area with rich diversity. The web of life is complete as species are protected in the northwest corner of Wyoming. It is a true thrill to be in an area surrounded by nature! We are blessed to have so many amazing areas to explore. Here’s to the next adventure….