Today was another spectacular day spent exploring the Upper Amazon aboard Delfin II. Sprinkled throughout the day were moments of awe, inspiration, grandeur, and many opportunities to learn about this fascinating region’s ecology and natural history.
Today’s breakfast (and every day) featured wonderful local specialties, including many delicious fresh fruits and various egg dishes. After gathering tools for exploration, we headed out via skiff to explore the Yanallpa Creek, a protected area of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve.
Local guides Javier, Jorge, and Ericson have excellent observation skills, and they help us locate even the smallest birds. In conjunction with the practiced skills of our skiff drivers–Larry, Edison, and Jorge–we can explore places that seem inaccessible. Since it is currently the high-water season, we have a wide carpet of flooded forest to explore. A few times today, we did what I’ve been calling “boat-based bushwhacking” to gain access to back lagoons. The various sightings today would be too lengthy to list, but I’ll illustrate a few stand out moments here.
When naturalist guide Jorge started jumping for joy, we knew we were in for something special. He had spotted a northern tamandua, an anteater, chewing away on a termite nest. By the time skiff driver Jorge maneuvered the boat, the tamandua was on the move. We carefully repositioned the skiff to a window in the forest and got a good glimpse of this wonderful creature as it passed along branches high in the forest canopy. We learned that the animal has five toes on its hind feet and only four on its fore feet.
We also observed a group of common squirrel monkeys. We learned that these diurnal monkeys primarily feed on fruits and insects. Socially speaking, they live in multiple male or multiple female group structures.
Our sightings continued to prove fruitful, and we spotted a three-toed sloth. We learned that male three-toed sloths are strongly polygamous and territorial.
Just when we thought the day couldn’t get any better, we spotted the moon rising over the horizon. We observed it rising from the water, which was a memorable and special moment. The full moon will arrive around midnight. As the evening progressed, we lingered to search for nocturnal wildlife on the Dorado River. We returned to the ship and were welcomed by our hotel team who prepared yet another amazing dinner. Tired and happy, we went to sleep soon after dinner knowing that tomorrow will be another action-packed day exploring the Upper Amazon.