Discovering one of the world's premier waterways
One of the world’s most unique travel destinations is also its most biologically diverse. The Amazon River and its tributaries cut a path across South America from the Andes toward the Atlantic Ocean creating a system of river basin rainforests where more than a third of the world’s animal species live. Custom watercrafts and skiffs let travelers journey into the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, flooded forests at the headwaters of the Amazon Basin where exotic animals and indigenous people groups make their home. Here are five of the top reasons you’ll want to visit this unique river region:
Image: Red Faced Monkey, Amazon Rainforest, Peru
Weird Creatures -- From tarantulas to toads the size of small dogs, the Amazon is chock-full of creepy creatures. Watch as large anacondas slither in the trees overhead or scan the water’s surface at night for the eerie red eyes of caiman alligators. Search for three-toed sloths and electric eels, squirrel monkeys and the exotic pink river dolphins that cavort in the waters alongside your vessel.
Piranha Fishing -- The first indication that you’ve found a school of piranha is the sight of fish leaping into the air in front of the swarming predators. These small fish are feared for their serrated and interlocking teeth that allow them to carve flesh off a bone like a buzzsaw. There are dozens of the species to fish for in the murky, slow-moving Amazon waters, the most dangerous being the black and red varieties.
Sounds of the Amazon -- There is a cacophony of sounds in the river basin that rises to a deafening volume at sunrise and sunset. From the screech of howler monkeys and exotic birds to the croaking of frogs and the chirping of crickets, the music of the Amazon is a symphony worth hearing.
Birds -- From technicolor macaws to green ibis, giant egrets to black-collared hawks, the Amazon is ground zero for bird-watching enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled for yellow-headed caracaras and the plum-throated catinga with its electric blue feathers.
Native Encounters -- One of the highlights of an Amazon journey is the chance to interact with the shy, but friendly, natives who make their homes alongside the water. Discover their medicinal plants and homeopathic treatments, listen to ancient Peruvian folklore or watch as the men fish from dugout canoes or practice substance farming.
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