The morning was cool and clear with stunning lighting on the clouds, forest, and reflections on the water. The entire forest seemed to be celebrating the new day with songs, trills, car alarms, Star Wars laser fights, and all sorts of other amazing vocalizations. It was hard to believe the sounds were all coming from birds. Amongst the cacophony of sound was a scream of color when we sighted the orange-backed troupial. Other notable sightings included a blue-crowned motmot and a violaceous trogon. All more beautiful than their names could begin to describe. We continued to spot mammals, including the requisite common squirrel monkeys, Isabel’s monk saki monkeys, and a special sighting of a tamandu up in the tree branches. Our week in the Peruvian Amazon may be near to closing, but we continue to have new and amazing sightings every day on every outing!
This is our last full day exploring the Pacaya Samiria Reserve in the Upper Amazon in Peru. The week has been great. It was indeed full of surprises! The jungle is a surprise even for locals; this vast land is so huge that every day you can find an animal that you have never seen before or one that you rarely see. We visited a local community of people called Amazonas, like the river, because the community is located at the foot of the majestic Amazon River. Around four hundred people live here. This was the first opportunity for our guests to experience how people live in this remote area of our planet. We enjoyed a very warm welcome. The children were happy to greet visitors, and they were very curious. Our hosts prepared some local food and invited us inside one of their rustic houses made of local materials, such as wood, palm trees, and tree trunks. Inside, the atmosphere was very pleasant. Our hosts prepared local fish and some cassava and plantain, and they offered us a very delicious beverage called chapu, which is made of ripe plantain. After learning about their way of life, we visited a handicraft market. Some of the women from the community offered for sale elaborate, beautiful elements made from a local plant called chambira, a type of straw. Artisans use plants to dye the very strong material and use it to decorate their crafts. Later, we moved to Casual, a primary, protected forest. With the guidance of local experts, we explored the site and found all kinds of small creatures that are difficult to spot with our naked eyes. Our guides knew where to find tarantulas, miniature frogs, boas, anacondas, and sloths. We enjoyed our last moments in the magnificent jungle, a place full of wildlife. At night, we enjoyed our photo slideshow, in which our guests summarized their memories of all the great moments during our wonderful week exploring the Upper Amazon in Peru. After dinner, our talented crew performed. The music and dancing made for a memorable farewell event to say goodbye to our guests and to thank them for visiting with us in this astonishing place.