We started our day with a skiff ride along the Pacaya River to explore for wildlife along the riverbank. This time of year the water is low, and plenty of fish are trapped in the shallow water lagoons. We observed neotropic cormorants feeding on armored catfish and freshwater sardines; great egrets and jabiru storks were also spotted flying over the area and resting on the canopy.
We were lucky to spot a family of three giant river otters walking down the river — they even stayed for a few minutes, allowing us to photograph them and enjoy their presence from a short distance. Giant river otter populations are recovering slowly, as their numbers have been displaced by human settlements in remote areas of the Peruvian Upper Amazon.
This region is home to three different species of caimans, and we were lucky to spot a few of them sunbathing along the riverbank. We had breakfast on the skiffs, and we encountered a group of hoatzins (also known as stinky turkeys) nearby.
After breakfast, we went swimming in the Yanayacu lagoon. We jumped into the water from the skiffs, and soon pink river dolphins came to swim nearby. What a great experience!
After lunch aboard the Delfin II, we explored further into the Pacaya River. We encountered several more caimans, and as the night arrived we spotted several groups of capybaras feeding on the grass along the riverbank. Night birds and long-nosed bats were soaring in the sky.
This was an incredible day along the Pacaya river.