Today we had an early breakfast and boarded three skiffs at 0700 for an exploration of the Pacaya River. I offered two options: a full day on the skiffs with pit stops and bag lunches at the Park Ranger Station, or a shorter day with lunch on Delfin II. Everyone who went out had an excellent time. The weather was spectacular, in that we were both hot and sweaty for a while, and then drenched by cooling rain. Our wildlife sightings on the full day option were fantastic. Howler monkeys were at the top of our wish list, and we found seven small troops. We heard the dominant male “howling” on five occasions! These monkeys are secretive and quick. We had our best looks and photo opportunities in the late afternoon when we sighted two troops as we headed back to the ship.
Some of our other highlights included: hoatzins, a capybara, several species of frogs, a sleeping potoo, dozens of egrets, herons and storks feeding, blue-and-yellow macaws, and squirrel and brown capuchin monkeys. When we arrived at Yanayacu Lake in the late afternoon, we circled in the skiff and pink dolphins came to see what was going on. We slipped into the cool blackwater and thoroughly enjoyed our swim as several dolphins swam around us. They never came very near, but they showed their low dorsal fins and pink backs often.