The Pacaya is one of the rivers that gives its name to the amazing area we are visiting. This area is a prime destination worldwide for its variety of wildlife and the sheer numbers that concentrate here. We set out for a half-day outing to spot thousands of birds from over 70 species. We observed turtles, river otters, pink dolphins, countless monkeys, and various other mammals. Afterwards, all agreed it was a formidable experience. To top it off, some brave guests dared to jump in a black water lake for a refreshing swim with pink dolphins. At night, we set out for a hike in the forest, the first real hike of our expedition. With the aid of torches, our intrepid guides found a myriad of insects, spiders, and frogs.
On our last full day exploring the Upper Amazon, the namesake of this area made its presence felt with lots of rain in the rainforest. Sheets of rain fell last night, obliterating the view of the shore across the river less than a mile away. It’s this rain that feeds the tributary rivers and is such a critical part of the rainforest cycle of life. Fortunately, it let up this morning, and we were able to do our walk in the protected forest area of Casual with an occasional drip from above. Our findings included the Goliath tarantula, a rosy-tailed boa, and a couple of poison dart frogs that looked like they were wearing colorful Freddy Mercury tights. The images tell the story of our forest findings and the community that calls this magnificent place home.