Our first day exploring the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve began with a pre-breakfast skiff exploration of Yanayaquillo Creek. This small tributary feeds the Maranon River. It is home to several species of birds and mammals.

During this overcast morning, the wildlife paraded for us, allowing cameras and binoculars to warm up for the whole week ahead. From the unique pink river dolphins to the majestic great black hawk, our explorers enjoyed various sightings.

After breakfast, we went for a hike through a private reserve, Amazon Natural Park. Our experience was out of this world as we walked next to very old trees with elevations above 140 feet. We also crossed swinging bridges that went over and along the canopy of the forest. Insects, bird calls, and the chance to observe primates screaming and grooming were the highlights of our hike.

In the afternoon, we explored another tributary of the Maranon River, Yanayacu River. We had the opportunity to explore by kayaks and skiffs. Different species of birds filled the sky and the riverside forest. Some of our explorers were treated to sightings of four different species of primates. Flocks of different species of macaws passed by the explorers, too.

It was just a majestic experience for all on our first day of exploration!