Peruvian Amazon River Cruise & Safari
Fly north from Lima to Iquitos, situated at the source of the mighty Amazon River. The Amazon is over 4,000 miles long and is the world's largest river in terms of volume of water. The Amazon and its thousands of tributaries create a vast ecosystem that has been called the 'lungs of the earth' because it continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen, and is the most plant-rich environment in the world.
Although it is awesome to behold, the Amazon is so wide at spots that you cannot see to the far shore. The true eco-experience is to get off the Amazon and explore the many small tributaries and flood plains where the forest closes in around you, and is home to a richness of flora and fauna.
Exploring the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve - The Mirrored Forest
Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve is located in Peru's Amazon region, 93 miles from Iquitos. The Reserve is a triangular-shaped area between the Maranon and Ucayali Rivers. These rivers intersect at the northeastern tip of the Reserve, marking the beginning of what is considered the Amazon proper.
It has also been called the 'Mirrored Forest' due to the many calm lagoons, perfectly reflecting the forest in the still waters (above). The basins of the Pacaya and Samiria Rivers have been protected by the Peruvian government since 1940. The area was declared a National Reserve in 1972 and enlarged to its present size of 5,137,000 acres in 1982. The Reserve is the largest in Peru, the second largest in the Amazon region, and the fourth largest in all of South America. It is also the largest protected flood forest in the Amazon region. The great size of the Reserve assures that it will be ecologically and genetically representative of the region, with an abundance of virtually unchanged areas.
climate of the region is tropical moist with an average temperature
of 80 degrees F; highly humid; with an annual rainfall up to 3,000
mm (118 inches); its surface is mostly flat, with seasonal floods,
in a setting of luxuriant vegetation and networks of winding rivers.
The Reserve is home to aquatic animals such as Amazon manatees, pink and grey river dolphins, two species of caiman, Giant South American river turtles, and many others. Monkeys and birds are abundant (over 449 bird species in 288 genus and 61 familes).
In this carefully protected area there are 85 lakes, 250 species of fish, 132 mammals species and 150 reptile species. The Reserve is home to the largest variety of flora in Peru among which number 22 species of orchids.
4, 5 & 8-Day Expedition Cruises
These three exciting programs provide the unique opportunity to explore the reserve via shallow-draft river boats especially built to navigate the flood waters of the area. Each boat offers both comfort and adventure, each in their own style.