by Scott Humfeld of Greentracks
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, located in north-eastern Peru near Iquitos, is the largest reserve in Peru and encompasses 5,139,680 acres. This has been a protected area since 1940 and became a National Reserve in 1972.
The Pacaya-Samiria is home to some of the largest populations of wildlife in the entire Amazon.
pink and gray river dolphins, packs of howler and squirrel monkeys,
flocks of brilliant macaws, huge lagoons covered in giant lily pads
with fish of all sizes and colors....all of these and more mark the
between the Pacaya and Samiria rivers the reserve has
over 80 lakes and contains 132 species of mammals, 13 of them
There are over 449 species of birds, 250 species of fish and 150 reptile species.
The Reserve is also home to 22 species of orchids.
The objectives of the Reserve are to foster research, provide protection for all species of wildlife,
foster socioeconomic assistance for the local people, provide for the
sustainable utilization of rainforest resources and develop eco-tourism.
The Nature Conservancy of Peru plays a major role in meeting these goals. One of their successful programs is turtle conservation... providing for egg collection, hatching and release of these endangered animals.
To date they have released over 450,000 turtle hatchlings.
The best way to experience the Pacaya Samiria is by riverboat as there is no permanent lodging permitted inside the reserve. Camping trips are available.
by Scott Humfeld, Iquitos Operations Manager for Greentracks, an
ecotourism company that offers the provides the finest nature and
culture-oriented trips into tropical regions of Latin America.
Founded in 1992 by prominent tropical biologists, GreenTracks has delivered memorable adventures with expert guidance to thousands of vacationers. www.GreenTracks.com