Last week, I continued telling you about my 15 day journey through Peru with tales of my trek to Machu Picchu and exploration of the Sacred Valley. This week I head into the lush wilderness of the Amazon Jungle to spot pink dolphins, fish for piranhas and more.
Arriving into the Amazon
After setting aside our trekking gear and repacking our bags with lightweight clothes and mossie repellent we set out on the final leg of our trip to the Amazon Jungle. Another early morning start took us to the airport for our flight to Iquitos, the nearest town to the Amazon in northern Peru, an area famous for being able to spot pink dolphins.
Landing in Iquitos we were whisked from the airport through town to the port where we boarded our speed boat to our accommodation for the night – the original Explorama Lodge. With wooden walkways, open-air rooms, mosquito nets over the beds and oil lamps everywhere, this beautiful rustic lodge takes you back to a time where you could imagine being one of the original explorers. On our first night we set off on a night boat cruise, where we gently drifting in the darkness through the small canals of the Amazon, and saw lots of birds and a possum too.
Wildlife adventures in the Amazon
The next morning was a real treat as we got our first glimpse of the elusive pink dolphins. Within a few minutes of reaching a prime viewing spot we eyed a couple fins in the water, and then the full dusky pink body was clearly visible for a few seconds. Pink dolphins don’t leap out of the water here, and the dorsal fins are quite flat, meaning you really have to keep your eyes peeled to catch a glimpse of one and its near impossible to capture them on film. We were lucky and saw a whole pod that cruised around us, showing off their pink sides.
Next up – piranha fishing. Heading down a number of small canals we moored up at what looked like black water and prepared our bait – fresh bloody steak! Within seconds our guide had caught a piranha and then it was my turn. Pulling the piranha out of the water it was amazing to hear it grunt and the snapping of the jaws was so loud. There was no way I was going to attempt to remove the hook myself, but luckily our boatman was experienced and managed to take it off without losing any fingers. Within about an hour we had caught a bucketful of piranha which we later gave to a local village to eat. A very successful morning of dolphin spotting and piranha fishing!
We then made our way to our second lodge where we’d be staying the next two nights, a more deluxe edition of the Explorama Lodge with air-conditioned rooms and a swimming pool. The afternoon offered time to relax, and I have to say sitting on the banks of the Amazon watching the sun set as boats drifted past was a lovely relaxing sight. We were lucky enough to see a pod of dolphins too – this time the smaller grey ones, and also discovered the lodge’s resident tapir who followed us down to the waters’ edge. That evening we went on a night walk through the rainforest where we came across an owl, various frogs, a couple of small tarantulas and a very large cane toad.
A little further in at a swamp area we saw a pair of glistening red eyes – a caiman, followed by another eight or so pairs!
We were also lucky to see a rainbow boa constructor, a moth the size of my hands and a jumbo-sized hair caterpillar. The rest of our time in the Amazon included lofty canopy walks, a meeting with a Shamen to find out about local medicinal herbs, another fishing trip and even more dolphin spotting! Before we knew it it was time to pack our bags once again for our flight back to Lima. The next morning it was time to bid farewell to Peru. What an experience!
To find out more about Charlie’s trip to Peru, please email her at [email protected].