Several long distance busses, a failed attempt to get a Yellow Fever vaccine and a (thankfully) failed attempted kidnapping in a hearse by its driver named Fancy, I arrived in the jungle. I travelled from the more elevated cloud forest of Tarapoto, 2 hours in a colectivo to Yurimaguas and from there, 7 hours in a speedboat the next day to the quaint, yet infectiously charming town of Lagunas. From there, a small pickup took me into the entrance point of the Reserva Pacaya-Samiria - at 20,800km², it is Peru’s largest protected area and the second largest in the Amazon.
My guides were twins Dante and Santiago who possessed an almost superhuman ability to detect and locate animals of all shapes and sizes. Travelling in the hotter, drier season, we were treated to a wide array of beautiful creatures, drawn to the river in the relentless tropical heat.
Falling asleep protected only by a mosquito net and thatched leaf roof to the cacophony of insect and birdsong surrounded me every night was otherworldly. Truly a journey that brings at once deep peace and great adventure - I would definitely recommend entering Pacaya-Samiria from the Lagunas side. Less developed, crowded or costly than other options (such as Iquitos) - you will be more likely to see a greater array of wildlife in an area almost untouched by humans. Don’t worry, after a while you stop noticing the mosquitos biting your previous mosquito bites. For more information, contact Huayruro Tours.