Amazon Expedition - Part 1
When is cruising a river not a river cruise? The answer is when it’s on the lower reaches of the Amazon, navigable by ocean liners and so wide that you can’t see the shore from the middle of the river. The Amazon is the world’s mightiest river and gets its origins from a series of major rivers in Peru. Although it’s slightly shorter than the Nile, it drains about 20 percent of the world’s fresh water. At its mouth, it is more than 300km wide and nowhere is it narrow enough to be spanned by a bridge. Most of the Amazon Jungle is found in Brazil, where the Amazon River runs the bulk of its course. While part of the Brazilian Amazon is the domain of cruise ships, the upper reaches of the river and its tributaries in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador are traversed by river cruise vessels. It is the world’s largest rainforest and has the greatest collection of species on planet Earth. The size of the continental United States - the Amazon is mostly untouched by human settlement and is one of the world’s last wilderness frontiers.
To experience the spectacular beauty, witness the crystal clear waters of ancient forest streams, the thick dense canopy of the gigantic trees, and the large colorful birds and mammals in the trees, take a seven day river cruise with GreenTracks. Established by prominent tropical biologists in 1992, GreenTracks delivers memorable and culture oriented adventures into tropical regions of Latin America. The Amazon Riverboat Cruises are perfect for wildlife viewing and visiting small villages along the Amazon tributaries. On the seven day cruise, you will observe wildlife along the Samiria River in the Pacava-Samiria National Reserve including macaws, monkeys, caimans, dolphins, aquatic birds, river turtles and fish and possibly see giant river otters, deer, large cats and other large mammals.
From Lima, fly into Iquitos. Known as a doorway for Peru tours into the Amazon, Iquitos is also known for being the world’s most populous city that has no road leading in. For trips to Iquitos Peru, you will either have to go by plane or by boat. If you have the extra time, and don’t mind the hot, long trip, going by boat can be quite an experience. From Iquitos, transfer by private bus to the boat in Nauta (100 kms south of Iquitos on the Marañón river, one of the two sources of the Amazon). Travel up the Marañón towards the Samiria River, and the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. The Pacaya-Samiria is home to some of the largest populations of wildlife in all the Amazon and a visit to this awesome place is unlike anything you've ever experienced in your life. There are no lodges or fixed accommodations in the Pacaya-Samiria or along the Rio Tigre (Jaguar River). A riverboat is the best way to explore this remote forest in comfort. This protected area contains 85 lakes which are home to 250 species of fish as well as both pink and gray fresh-water dolphins. In the jungle and flooded forest of the reserve 132 mammal species, including 13 types of primates, 449 bird species and 150 reptile and amphibian species have been documented. With three distinct eco-systems in the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve this region has the largest variety of flora in Peru, including 22 species of orchids. The Rio Tigre enters the Rio Marañón not far above the juncture of the Rio Ucayali and Rio Marañón - the joining of which form the Amazon River proper. It flows from the Northwest, originating in Ecuador. ...continued Part 2