Pacaya River and Magdalena River

Feb 07, 2020 - Delfin II


Today we started very early to explore the Pacaya River, which is one of the farthest points in the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. We have been lucky this week, there was a bit of rain, but most of the time, we have had perfect weather for our explorations. It is Friday and the week has been fantastic. Here, the time seems to go slow and feel relaxing. Quietness and solitude are amazing in this remote area of the world, it’s just the sounds of nature. The sounds of the jungle every day are a gift for our senses.

We woke up at 5:30 a.m. and took our skiffs to navigate deep into the jungle. The Pacaya River is still very pristine. The deeper you get in, the more wildlife you find. Very soon after, the sun came up and it was perfect light to start to find some creatures. Our expert guides know all the sounds of thousands of animals, and thanks to them we found a pygmy owl – a very rare bird to see! We enjoyed this moment and then, with our energy up and spirits high, we continued discovering more wildlife. Some of the incredible birds found in the Amazon are the hoatzins, scarlet macaws, and horn screamers, to mention some highlights.

We had a lot of fun discovering more of this amazing place that is truly like no other. At 8:30 a.m. we stopped in the jungle to have a nutritious breakfast and then we came back to our ship, just exploring one more time the Pacaya River. We had a great morning there, on our way back we saw some types of monkeys such as the brown-mantled tamarinds, common squirrel monkeys, and red howlers as well as parrots, parakeets, and tropical birds.

The afternoon also was superb! We visited Magdalena River, a place full of wildlife! It was a real adventure to skiff ride along narrow canals covered by vegetation, grass, water lettuce, shallow waters and thick dense branches. Our expert skiff drivers do a great job navigating these areas. Magdalena was vibrant and magical. We found a toucan nest in a tree, and we had the opportunity to see this big colorful bird so close to us. Monkeys were also a big attraction. It is so funny to seem these animals jumping from branch to branch along the creek shoreline. Colorful little birds like tanagers and cardinals were seen. Caciques and oropendulas were spotted building their nests in trees, which was also a great show. They weave their nests with fine fibers they collect around, in a very efficient and complex way to have a very resistant home where they lay their eggs. These homes are hanging from the tall trees to avoid a predator getting in, to ensure the survival of the chicks.

At sunset we headed back home. The orange color of the sky was a magical finale for a unique and unforgettable day in the Upper Amazon.

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About the Author

Christian Saa

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Christian was born on the island of Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago. He grew up on a farm and had a magical childhood devoid of cars, electricity, telephones—just pure nature and playful sea lions along the beach. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Santa Cruz Island, the economic hub of the Galápagos Islands. His father began to work in tourism and took Christian around the islands during school vacations. It was during this time that Christian learned to love and understand the real value of this unique archipelago, and he decided to devote his life to its stewardship. A lifelong passion for nature and its creatures took root in his heart, and he eventually decided to become a naturalist, which he has now been doing for 18 years now.

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