Yesterday we had a long first day of our trip, which included a transit from Lima to Iquitos via airplane and then from Iquitos to Nauta via bus. When we reached our ship, the Delfin II, we experienced the heavy rains common this time of year. Luckily, today we dodged the rainstorms and stayed dry. Our first day of exploration here in the Upper Amazon proved fruitful in more ways than one.
In the morning, we took skiffs for a short ride up the Marañon River to a trailhead near a small riverside community called San Regis. After a short walk in the jungle, we came to a place where our local guides took us across a wonderful lake in canoes to access a section of primary forest. The more adventurous hikers chose to take a long walk which also involved a series of hanging bridges that form a network of canopy walkways. This gave us a varied perspective on the multi-layered forest and particularly the canopy layer. Meanwhile, the nature walkers spent time learning about the forest and the plants in the shrub layer. One guest spotted a white-chinned jacamar, a highlight of the morning.
During the middle of the day, the ship made a transit to our afternoon location on the Marañon River near a small community named San Jose de Sarapanga. After the bridge team found us a suitable tree to tie the ship up to, we boarded our skiffs and headed up Pahuachiro Creek to search for wildlife. We had many memorable sightings of birds including a few horned screamers, a black-headed parrot, tropical kingbirds, and lesser kiskadees. We were especially delighted to spot a crimson-crested woodpecker and a hoatzin.
In addition to the wonderful bird sightings, we spotted a brown three-toed sloth, a caiman lizard, many squirrel monkeys, and a green iguana. Just when we thought we could safely pack our cameras away, we were treated with an excellent sunset on the river.
This was an impressive first day exploring the biodiversity of the region, and we are looking forward to further explorations tomorrow.