Amazonia Expeditions in Peru’s Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Primate and Wildlife Reserve
A huge Peruvian Amazon rainforest reserve encompasses over a million acres around the Tamshiyacu and Tahuayo Rivers, originally designated a reserve by the Peruvian government in 1991 to protect the range of the rare red uakari monkey, an orangutan-looking monkey with a bright red face. It is now considered one of the world’s richest areas of wildlife diversity. In 2003, on study found more species of mammals and trees here than any other documented natural area in the world.
One amazing mammal of the reserve area is the freshwater Pink Dolphin. Large, intelligent animals, they often approach tourists who are canoeing or swimming. The diversity of birds is likewise extraordinary. Over 500 species of birds have been documented near the Tahuayo Lodge, the only lodge that has access to the Tamshiyaco-Tahuayo Reserve.
A great book for more background information on wildlife and eco travel in the Peruvian Amazon is this book, Travellers’ Wildlife Guides Peru.
To visit the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve from Iquitos you journey by boat up the Amazon River, for a distance of about 50 miles, then up the Tahuayo tributary, another 40 miles. The trip takes 4 hours by speedboat. Amazonia’s lodge on the Tahuayo River has fifteen cabins that are rustic, yet comfortable.
Each cabin is raised above the jungle floor on stilts and is connected to other buildings of the lodge by a raised boardwalk.The modern flush toilets and showers use a sanitary septic system. There is some electricity provided by solar panels and batteries, as well as kerosene lighting. The food is prepared for you by trained staff and they claim that there is no worry about getting sick from any of the food they prepare for you.
In addition to staying at this lodge, tourists can also stay 1 to 3 nights at their research center, which is located in an even more remote area of the forest. The research center also has comfortable amenities, such as private cabins and flush toilets. The research center emphasizes conservation and works in collaboration with the Chicago Rainforest Conservation Fund and other similar groups. Fund raising for the conservation program is operated by the Rainforest Conservation Fund. One major area of research here is primate conservation. The trail grid behind the research center lodge covers 52 miles spread over 1000 acres. It is the largest trail system offered in the Amazon. It is the best hike known in the Amazon for viewing primates in their natural environment.
Here is a list of just a few of the many possible items on a jungle itinerary here.
1. Swim in a blackwater lake with pink dolphins.
2. Visit a native shaman.
3. Medicinal plant hikes.
4. Swim in a blackwater lake which has warm thermal springs.
5. Excursions to see feeding or nesting Macaws, Parrots and Toucans.
6. Canoe into flooded varzea forest (Feb-May).
7. View pygmy marmosets, the world’s smallest primates, which live in trees close to the lodge.
8. Close look at the unusual hoatzin birds (when young fledge Jun-Aug).
9. Fish for piranha.
10. Hike to a manakin lek.
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