Day 71 - Getting to the Jungle and Yarapa Lodge

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Loreto,
Monday, December 10, 2012

We had a simple breakfast at the Amazon Apart hotel in Iquitos before being picked up by our guide for the next few days - Leo. We jumped in a taxi with him and after sorting out payments, taxi changes and money withdrawals in town we started on our way upriver to a town called Nauta, around 260 km upriver from Iquitos and the closest town to the beginning of the Amazon River - actually on the Maranon River.

At the entrance to town we hoped on a tuk tuk taxi to take us through town to the harbour. There are lots of these all over the area - many more than cars.

At the harbour we boarded the boat which would take us to our lodge. Life in the town is focused on the river and seeing the boat life in both Iquitos and Nauta was very interesting. The river and jungle is life here.

Heading down the Maranon River for 30 mins we came to the confluence of the Maranon and Ucayali Rivers, which forms the beginning of the Amazon River, running some 6 700 km through Peru, Columbia and Brazil, and forming the main artery of the Amazon Jungle. 700 km of the river is situated in Peru.

We turned up the Ucayali River to get to the Yarapa River, 30 minutes up stream. We saw a number of jungle villages alone the way. Most of these villages are 100 - 200 people. They are all through the Amazon region.
Yarapa Lodge has 3 villages on its land, and has a very interesting partnership with Cornel University in the United States in research. It also has programs in rescuing animals being sold in markets and educating villages on the environment and it challenges.

The lodge has a section setup to house students when they come. As we are a little out of season we are the only ones at the lodge.

After being shown around, a delicious lunch and having a rest we headed out for an afternoon jungle exclusion by boat. We cruised further down the Yarapa river. Leo was a great guide pointing out all the birds with his keen eye. There is such variety here, and some of the fun ones included Tucans, Parakeets, and hawks.
We also got to see our first sloth in the wild - we actually saw three on the trip - one incredibly well. They go so high up in the trees, its often difficult to see nicely, but this one was low and close to the river bank. Such funny creatures.
We also had our first encounter with monkeys - they were called squirrel monkeys and were very cute.
Cruising through the jungle was magical, and such a special experience.

Heading home we got another delicious meal before bed of fish caught today. It was a type of catfish. We may be larger once we finished with our stay here.
Our last wildlife experience for the day was a teranchular outside our room.
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