Animals Seen on Recent Amazon Wildlife Cruise

The June 6 - 12, 2014 GreenTracks Amazon Wildlife Cruise was as always, filled with exotic wildlife, stunning scenery, great traveling companions...and delicious meals. Our guide, Neil, and his assistant, Jhonathon, once again used their eagle eyes and knowledge of the rainforest to find cool animals and explained all about what we were seeing.

Aboard the Clavero, on our way to the Samiria River, we headed up the Marañón River which borders the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Every morning we would head out on the skiff at 6:00 to look for wildlife. The first morning we observed two sloths, kingfishers, macaws, several types of hawks, Pink Dolphins and a Caiman Lizard on a low hanging branch over the water.

Entering the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, we traveled up the Rio Samiria early in the morning. While having coffee on the observation deck we spotted Blue-and-Yellow Macaws, toucans, kingfishers and many Great Egrets among other birds. The Samiria River is a black-water river, stained a dark tea-color and the reflection of the trees and sky on the water was spectacular.

Each day we did three or four excursions either by skiff or by foot on jungle trails. We also did excursions at night! We explored small creeks and entered two large oxbow lakes. In one of these lakes we fished for piranha and caught a few good sized ones to take back to the boat for dinner. We also observed a number of Pink Dolphins, some of which followed the skiff for a while.

On this trip we spotted over a dozen Three-toed Sloths, six species of monkeys including a Night Monkey that is rarely seen. We even saw Howler Monkeys and were treated frequently to their distinctive call. We were also lucky enough to spot two spectacular, iridescent Blue Morpho butterflies on an excursion up a small creek.

The night hikes show an entirely new side to the rainforest. There is the constant symphony of frogs, crickets and other little creatures. We saw some small frogs and one good sized Smokey Jungle Frog and a Katydid sitting on a leaf eating what looked like a seed. Our guide spotted a stick insect none of us would have realized was not an actual stick. Leafcutter ants moved methodically along their trail carrying pieces of leaves. We also got a glimpse of a Night Monkey who looked at us then scurried away.

We took the skiff out at night several times looking for colorful frogs and Caiman. Spotting the distinctive red eyes of a Caiman along the edge of the river we slowly moved in to try to grab it, but it submerged, but soon after we saw another set of eyes and this time we were able to get close enough for Jhonathon to lean over the bow of the skiff and grab it. It turned out to be a baby Spectacled Caiman.

That night we also eased the skiff into some vegetation along the riverbank to look for frogs and were rewarded with seeing a few Glass Frogs and a colorful Geographic frog. We took the skiff into the middle of the Samiria River and cut the motor off and shut off flashlights and drifted for a while just listening to the cacophony of sounds and watching the full moon rise over the tree line.

Friday morning we visited the small village of Monte Alegre (Happy Forest) and met a local family who told us about their life along the Amazon. They treated us to some catfish stew they had fixed for lunch. These folks are always very friendly and welcoming.

While on board the boat we had many fun conversations over great meals and up on the observation deck. No two trips are exactly the same, but all are exciting and yield lasting memories.


Amazon cruise riverboat
Clavero Amazon Riverboat
Pink Dolphin
Pink Dolphin
Blue & Yellow Macaws
Blue and Yellow Macaws
Pacaya Samiria Reserve
Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
Three-toed Sloth
Three-toed Sloth
Night Monkey
Night Monkey
Leafcutter ants
Leafcutter Ants
Dusky Titi Monkey
Dusky Titi Monkey
Squirrel Monkey
Squirrel Monkey
Amazon excursion by small boat
In search of Wildlife.
Spectacled Caiman
Spectacled Caiman
Frod with eggs
Doris' Lime Tree Frog
Capuchin Monkey
Capuchin Monkey
Geographic Tree Frog
Map Tree Frog
Blue Morpho butterfly
Blue Morpho Butterfly