We woke up to the sound of the wilderness in the vast Upper Amazon in Peru. Miles of trees embraced by flowing water and birds of all kinds flying overhead was the first scenery we had from the upper deck aboard Delfin ll.

We decided to start our expedition day with a pre-breakfast skiff exploration in search of birds. Not long after we left our mother ship behind, we encountered blue-and-yellow macaws flying overhead and a couple of wood storks feeding on small freshwater sardines as they looked for small crustaceans on the side of the river. We also spotted several species of kingfishers and a couple of roadside hawks. We were lucky to spot one bat hawk perched in the top of a Cecropia tree. After our birdwatching skiff ride, we came back aboard Delfin ll for an orientation lecture to introduce us to the Amazon region.

Here in the Amazon, the flavors are rich. The bodies of water provide food for the animals inhabiting the ecosystem and also for locals and transitory humans. We had the opportunity to taste several local exotic fruits, most we had never seen before. One of our local naturalists explained each fruit we tasted so we could learn about it.

After lunch, we had a lecture about nature photography. Our photo instructor showed us techniques to capture the wildlife and scenery here in the Amazon.  While learning about photography, we saw a few pink dolphins swimming around the ship. We got ready to go kayaking with the hope that some of these dolphins would come near us. A couple of pink dolphins were curious about us in the kayaks, and they gave us the opportunity to take a good look at them.

After kayaking, we explored the Dorado River with the hope of observing new species. We were extremely lucky to find a couple of red howler monkeys. As soon as night arrived, we spotted several reticulated and black caimans. Using a spotlight from the skiff, we spotted the caimans’ eyes from a distance. Once night fell around the Amazon, all the sudden we had plenty of shiny little eyes around us. Those eyes belonged to baby caimans sheltering under shrubs and looking at us from the muddy riverbank. We stayed in the area admiring these elegant reptiles. On our way back, we saw some owls and night herons flying in the distance. We also spotted a few fishing bats feeding off the surface of the water. It was a very unique experience to spend time at night in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon.

What an incredibly full day in the Upper Amazon.