Pahuachiro, Casual Trail, and Yanayaco Lagoon

Aug 20, 2018 - Delfin II

This was our first full day of expedition in the Peruvian Amazon, and we enjoyed a wonderful combination of unique animals and plants found only in this part of the world. We started our day very early in the morning visiting the Pahuachiro area, which we explored with our skiffs. Here we saw various species of birds, including hawks, kingfishers, cardinals, vultures, sandpipers, cotingas, and tanagers. The many tributaries of the Amazon River and its surrounding forests are home to some of the richest forest fauna in the world, and such abundance attracts birdwatchers and wildlife aficionados around the globe.

Later, we had a delightful breakfast followed by our next outing to Casual Trail. This was a great walk and we had our first encounter with an anaconda, as well as several species of frogs, a huge tarantula, and our first sloth. All of our observations were possible thanks to the expertise of our local guides, and the assistance of some local villagers who helped us identify species which otherwise would have been missed.  Considering that the involvement of local communities in ecotourism can be an efficient strategy for the conservation of fragile ecosystems, we were grateful to the members of this community who inspire visitors and teach them about the unique biodiversity existing in their home. It´s amazing to witness their ability to spot small creatures between the dense vegetation.

After this walk, we enjoyed an incredibly delicious lunch and a short siesta. In the afternoon, we had a presentation given by our naturalists about the Amazon ecosystem and the Pacaya Reserve. We then  explored the Yanayacu area, which gave us a great opportunity to see the two species of dolphins that inhabit the Amazon: the grey dolphin and the pink dolphin. The pink dolphin is a species that can be found exclusively in the Amazon region. This rare mammal can reach almost nine feet long and weight up to 180kg. Indigenous communities that live in this region have many beliefs about this colorful dolphin. One is that killing this dolphin brings bad luck, and the perpetrator would become a dolphin him/herself. For this reason, as our naturalist explained, this mammal is part of a very healthy population in the Yanayaco region. Additionally, in Yanayaco we spotted many species of birds and enjoyed wonderful photography opportunities as the light reflected on the calm waters of the Marañon River. We even had the chance to learn about the local techniques of spear fishing, as some local villagers where catching fish in one of the lagoons.

This cultural experience, combined with wonderful wildlife encounters, is what made this expedition day so special. The Peruvian people we encountered were very generous and really welcoming in this beautiful part of the world. It´s just our first day, and everyone is already so inspired by the astonishing Peruvian Amazon.

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About the Author

José Guerrero

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

José Guerrero Vela is an Ecuadorian permanent resident of the Galapagos. His mother was born in the islands and his grandfather was one of the first generation of teachers in the Galapagos, which has always inspired him to promote education as the main path to protect the archipelago.

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