After a short but heavy rain in the morning, we explored the Yarapa River. In this location, we had the thrill of finding three monkey species. A rather curious common woolly monkey was seen balancing and hanging in the middle canopy relatively close to our skiff. The second species was the spectacular red uakari monkey — a juvenile that was seen in a house along the river. Finally, we spotted a night monkey; also known as an owl monkey, it’s the only true nocturnal monkey species in the world. Once aboard, we celebrated the famous geographical point where the Ucayali and Marañon rivers meet. This confluence marks the beginning of the mighty and famous Amazon River.
In the afternoon, we had the fascinating opportunity to visit a community called Amazonas, located near the rivers’ confluence. Amazonas is a small settlement of about three hundred people of Kukama-kukamilla origins. We learned many things about their lifestyle, including how they obtain the juice of the sugarcane that the men take with them when they go out fishing or tending crops. We were invited into a local house where the women explained how they cook their meals and showed us several kinds of fish that they eat frequently. We also listened to some of the women and girls speak about how a local non-governmental organization, Minga Perú, has been helping to empower them by promoting activities such as fish farming, health practices, and the manufacturing of handicrafts. It was a great opportunity to experience firsthand how life is nowadays in an Amazonian community.
We returned to the ship around 6:00 p.m. to enjoy a beautiful sunset from the outer deck. After dinner, a big surprise awaited us. A band formed by several crew members played some live music in the dining room, led by the incredibly talented head waiter Jose Yacaite. The event was a golden finale for a remarkable day of exploration of the Upper Amazon in Peru.