We motored last night for about eight hours along the Ucayali River, from far into the jungle until dawn when we arrived at the Yarapa River. We woke up early to have breakfast and immediately took our skiffs to explore this pristine area of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. This spot is full of wildlife. After passing a park ranger control point, we started to look for the many species of creatures living in this flooded forest. Several howler monkeys eating in a tree was our first surprise. It was a super moment to observe these big monkeys jumping from branch to branch to get away from our inquisitive glances. In another incredible moment, we spotted a flock of big horned screamers; these birds perch on the canopy and use sound to communicate with each other.
When we explore places like the Amazon, every minute is a surprise. We never know when a creature is going to show up, and that makes the exploration so exciting and entertaining. At this time of the year, thousands of egrets and herons migrate to the area in search of food. The rain brings an abundant variety of wildlife. It supports the blooming of plants and the reproduction of the invertebrates that are food for many kinds of birds, mammals and reptiles. The jungle is flourishing, and we are here to enjoy the action. The morning was incredible and very well worth it! We found what we expected to find, and we are happy and thankful to Mother Nature for such a great gift.
In the afternoon, we went off for more adventure. Pahuachiro Creek is a great place to spot macaws, toucans and other types of birds. Three years ago, we found a toucan nest in the trunk of a huge tree. This time around, I wanted to visit these amazing birds. We did it! We went there, and we found our toucan. It was perched in the same place we saw it years ago. This moment was very special to us. To see these birds with their wide, colorful beaks was just an unforgettable moment.
The surprises were not over. On our way back, we found maybe the same toucan about 80 yards away from its home. It was perched on a low branch, almost eye level. Our skiff driver slowly turned the engine off so we could enjoy the closeness. Our local guide was very excited. He said it is the first time he was so close to this elusive bird in his many years of acting as a guide in the jungle. What a great day we had! Amazing, astonishing, unrepeatable!