After navigating downriver in the Ucayali during the night, the beautiful and comfortable Delfín II arrived in the vicinity of the Yarapa River. A small tributary located near the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers, the Yarapa is where some of our early risers went kayaking before breakfast. Their efforts were rewarded with lots of bird activity and a group of the always-fun squirrel monkeys. The rest of us also explored the Yarapa by skiff after breakfast. We watched lots of interesting birds, including a few new species for the trip, like the blue-headed parrot. We also found a small group of woolly monkeys, a very interesting species named for its thick, furry coat. Their black and hairless faces, with dark eyes and muscular arms, give them a little bit of a gorilla resemblance. A female had a very young baby with her who was starting to explore the world by himself (yes, we could tell he was a boy) and delighted us with his movements around the tree branches, never far from mom. What a special moment!

Later the skiffs left the main Yarapa River and entered the flooded forest, navigating around the trees trying to find our way in the labyrinthine landscape. Our guides needed to use their machetes in a few spots to clear the way for the skiffs — it was a truly exciting ride. Eventually we arrived at an open area where a small lagoon is home to a very special plant: the giant water lily. Their huge five-foot-wide leaves maximize the plant’s ability to catch the sunlight, and provide a platform and a roof to many creatures both above and under the water. We also admired a few of its very large flowers with delicate pinkish tones.

Delfín II continued navigating and entered the Marañón River on her way to our next destination, Nauta Creek. We boarded our skiffs and explored this long and beautiful creek during the evening. We continued enjoying lots of birds, sloths, and monkeys — some species already very familiar and others not so much — and marveled once again at the incredible ability of our naturalists and skiff drivers to find some very elusive creatures like the caiman-lizard! Our very pleasant ride ended with a spectacular double rainbow over the Marañón River, finishing another great day in the Peruvian Amazon.