2 hours in a colectivo from the elevated cloud forest of Tarapoto is a town called Yurimaguas where you can take a 7-hour speedboat to the quaint, charming vlilage 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.
Inside the northeasternern Peruvian reserve, workers complete shifts that can span several weeks patrolling the rivers by canoe in order to protect wildlife by preventing illegal fishing and poaching. Guides Jose and Emiliana – both in their sixties but still in commendably good shape – travelled with me for five days into the jungle reserve in March 2017. Despite being right in the middle of the wet season, I was for the most part thankfully spared the epic, chaos of Amazonian thunderstorms.
Less developed, crowded or costly than other entry points (such as Iquitos) - you will be more likely to see a greater array of wildlife in an area almost untouched by humans if you enter the reserve from Lagunas with guides that promote ecologically friendly expeditions and tours. Don’t worry, after a while you stop noticing the mosquitos biting your previous mosquito bites. For more information, contact Huayruro Tours.