This is our second day of exploration in the Amazon rainforest! After a long trip coming to Peru, to Iquitos, and then to Nauta, we are far away from the big cities and now we are surrounded by the greatest network of rivers on the planet. The Upper Amazon is a vast combination of terra firme and (mostly) varzea forests. There are giant trees that emerge above the canopy layer and most of them are at least a hundred feet high! The terra firme forest is always above water level and has the largest and highest trees. On the other hand, the varzea forest gets flooded for at least four months of the year and there is also a vast area that is always flooded.
This morning we started visiting part of the terra firme, it is a pristine park called Amazon, like the river. Here we got a close encounter with the fauna of the Amazon region and the great and diverse flora as well. We took jungle catamarans, paddled softly across a lake and then finally walked in the jungle! The experience was very impressive. Huge trees were found along our way, each of them can be home to about three thousand different species of micro and macro organisms. A tree is a ecological niche for insects, bugs, epiphytes, air plants, bromeliads, orchids, ferns, musses, and some other creatures such as snakes or monkeys. After this astonished exploration we came back to our ship.
In the second part of the day we explored Nauta Creek. The name Nauta refers to “Navigations.” Here we boarded the skiffs and headed up the narrow creek in search of more wildlife. The shoreline of the creek was dotted with birds, like many species of kingfishers, herons, anies; but high up on the canopy we saw monkeys, tanagers, euphonies, and the highlight of the place – red-collared hawks and a flock of paradise tanagers, one of the top ten most beautiful birds in the world.
All these sightings were just amazing. On our way back to the ship, we stopped for a while just to see the sunset. Here, the landscape is very impressive at sunset; water is like a mirror, and the sky is covered by warm and vivid colors. We celebrated in the bar, thankful for an amazing day in the Upper Amazon with the typical Peruvian drink, Pisco Sour!