Belluda Creek and El Dorado River

Feb 21, 2019 - Delfin II


The Amazon region has always been a great source of inspiration for mythology and legends. Countless books and movies have been written about the “cannibals” that inhabit the heart of the Amazon forest. Beasts and monsters of the Amazon River have been portrayed in several movies, and the beauty of the famous Amazonas -the legendary warrior-women- is currently one of the biggest hits in the big screens worldwide. It all has its source here, in the mighty Amazon!

Right now, we are traveling in one of the most unspoiled regions in the Amazon, the Pacaya and Samiria Reserve. Located in the heart of the Peruvian Rain Forest, this natural reserve has its share of myths and legends too.

Belluda Creek, our morning destination, has a name that comes from the legend of the hairy witch that enchants travelers and fishermen, luring them to follow her into the narrow small tributaries until they are lost in the woods with no way to return. Like that, there are probably legends that would account for every animal, tree and site, way too many for todays event’s narration.

The reality is that the region has indeed a unique charm and enchantment, and after all my years exploring its narrow creeks, I am yet to meet the hairy witch at Belluda caño, but I have been enchanted by its beauty nonetheless!

How can you not be enchanted by the sudden appearance of the monk saki monkey? A monkey that for years was hunted for its furry tail to be use as dust-wipers? How can you not be enchanted by birds called “paradise tanagers” which hold more colors on their feathers than you can imagine? During one of our excursions we saw howler monkeys; these monkeys were responsible for turning back hundreds of men during the conquistador’s times, due their fear of encountering the “monsters” causing the sound of a thunder in the jungle. Howler monkeys’ call can be heard for at least two miles away, and indeed their sound is like a thunder for the untrained ears.

The Amazon has always been and will always be a source of strange legends, but today it is not a reason to fear, but rather it will become the source of stories of bonding, friendship, knowledge and understanding of a world far from what the Hollywood movies describe. It is a world where the monsters do not come from the bottom of the river, but rather from outside, armed with saw machines menacing to destroy the very place where legends are created.

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About the Author

Lucho Verdesoto

Expedition Leader

Born and raised in the tropical country of Ecuador, Lucho is a passionate naturalist that has been working for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1998. With a marine biology background, he started as a naturalist in the Galápagos Islands in 1994. Since then, he has filled numerous roles with Lindblad-National Geographic, such as naturalist, undersea specialist and expedition leader in the Galápagos Islands, Costa Rica and Panama, and Baja California.

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