DAY 6-8: Upper Amazon
Explore the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, a pristine swath of jungle stretching more than five million acres—and harboring some of the Amazon’s most fascinating flora and fauna. Bordered by the Marañón and the Ucayali, these two powerful rivers converge to create the famed Amazon, which floods annually with nutrient-rich waters, known locally as the Mirrored Forest for the reflections created by the glassy water.
Set out into this remarkable wilderness on daily excursions by skiff, kayak, and, when the water level permits, hikes on dry land. Spot sloths and monkeys, including variably colored saddleback tamarins, noisy howlers, and shaggy-tailed monk saki monkeys. Watch for an astounding variety of birds, from tanagers and hummingbirds to parrots and endangered scarlet macaws. In the river, look for massive paiche fish, the Amazon’s largest, rare pink dolphins, and the famous piranhas.
One of the unexpected joys of traveling in the region is the interaction with the local ribereños, the traditional people who live on the riverbanks. Visit a local community and see the projects that we support through the local non-profit Minga Peru, including a program of handcraft development, radio broadcasts, women's health initiatives and efforts in sustainable farming. (B,L,D)