Pacaya River and Zapote Creek

Jun 14, 2019 - Delfin II

Pacaya Samiria is a vast reserve with over 20,000 square kilometers of protected land and flooded forest. This is the largest protected area of Peru. It is located between two major tributaries of the Amazon; Marañón River to the north, and to the South the Ucayali River.

This morning the rainforest greeted us with beautiful sunshine, a nice warm breeze on our faces, large birds all around, and a magnificent landscape home to sloths as well as raptors and many other birds. Our destination was the Pacaya River and the surrounding forest with all its surprises. As soon as we boarded our fleet of skiffs, we started spotting wood storks and many great egrets together with cormorants. Some of them were perched on trees, others were fishing in the shallow black waters of the Pacaya River.

In the late afternoon we explored an arm of the Ucayali River. This time, we traveled through Zapote River which is home to kingfishers, caciques, oropendolas, and some species of monkeys. The riverbanks along Zapote are dotted with different types of vegetation, such as cecropia trees, which are a popular food source for sloths.

The highlight of the day was exploring the forest in the late afternoon, as wildlife is most visible then. During this time, animals are foraging, courting, and singing.

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About the Author

Juan Carlos Avila

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Juan Carlos was born in Quito, Ecuador. He spent part of his elementary schooling in the province of Cotopaxi, a beautiful area in the Ecuadorian Andes ringed by volcanoes. In 1989 his family moved to the Galápagos and settled in the highlands of Santa Cruz, the second largest island in this archipelago. It was here that Juan Carlos finished high school and gained his deep love for nature.

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