We arose bright and early for our very first excursion into the Amazon, and it was like someone had put in a request to the dolphins. Pink and gray dolphins appeared in abundance as we entered the Flor de Castaño, feeding and courting. Our day would be full of bird and other wildlife sightings as we explored deep into an oxbow lake, where the river pinched a meander as it shifted course over the years. Later in the day after several aboard enjoyed a kayaking exploration, we ventured into Supay Creek. We looked for elusive pygmy marmoset monkeys, the smallest in the world, and were treated to a rare sighting as a little group of monkeys licked sap from a tree. Our day was full of such creatures as sloths, yellow-headed caracaras, osprey, cormorants feeding and black-collared hawks and even a paradise tanager. The day proved to be but an appetizer for all the wonders yet to come.
After another delicious breakfast we went to a local village called Amazonas to learn about the traditional way of life and how it’s changing. While we were there a few dozen of the local children followed us around and posed for photos, we watched a demonstration about pressing sugarcane juice for drinking or fermenting, we learned about how to use traditional plants to make dyes, and we visited the local school house. After lunch we utilized the skiffs to explore two small streams and found even more rare birds including the white-headed marsh tyrant, slender billed and snail kites, a red and white spinetail, and a grey breasted saber-wing. We then went to the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers where they form the Amazon River and had a champagne toast to celebrate the last night on the Amazon. On the way back to the ship we stopped at a small island and had a moment of silence to enjoy the sound of tens of thousands of canary winged parakeets flying across the water to roost.