Iquitos and the Marañon River

Jan 14, 2019 - Delfin II

Touch down in the Amazon!  After a 90-minute flight across the Andes, we arrived yesterday from the bustling capital Lima to the remote region of Loreto, and the heart of the Peruvian Amazon.  Guests were surprised to see so many people upon our arrival in Iquitos, which at half a million, is the most populous city in the world without road access.  Surrounded by hundreds of “motorcars,” the Peruvians answer to a tuk-tuk, we toured downtown and preceded to our restaurant Al Frío al Fuego, which literally floats in the middle of the Itaya River.  

Two hours of bumpy roads took us to the small town of Nauta the locale of our embarkation on the lovely Delfin II.  No time was wasted, and within an hour, we set sail up the Marañon River.  

We awoke this morning tied of to the coastline of the San Regis community and early risers went for a 6:00 am skiff ride up the Iquitos River.  Highlights included a rare viewing of the Amazonian Umbrella bird, Saddleback Tamarin monkeys, and long-nose bats. 

Following a delicious Peruvian breakfast featuring a variety of Amazonian fruit juices, the entire group departed for walks in the outstanding and undisturbed rainforest of the Amazon Natural Park.  Our local guides, Ricardo, Jairo, and Erikson explained forest ecology, and introduced us to the rubber tree, two species of poison frogs, and Saki monkeys. 

After lunch, Lindblad Expeditions Photo Instructor, Mike Greenfelder, gave a talk on digital photography, providing helpful hints on shooting in the challenging light conditions of the rainforest.  We then took our cameras out for yet another skiff ride. This time we crossed the boundary between the sediment-laden “whitewater” of the Marañon River and the “blackwater” of the Yanayacu-Pucate River.  Here we were surrounded by the infamous pink and gray river dolphins and hundreds of white-winged parakeets.

 Just when we thought the day could not get any better dinner concluded with annona pie, pisco sours, and a surprise concert by our galley team!

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About the Author

Jeff Phillippe

Expedition Leader

Jeff was raised in upstate New York and completed his B.A. in geography at Middlebury College in Vermont. He attained his master’s degree in water resource science at Oregon State University where his research focused on glacier hydrology in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. He spent most of his 20's teaching Earth sciences and geography at the secondary and university level, while taking his summers off to lead wilderness and climbing expeditions throughout the continental U.S., Alaska, and Canada.

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