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Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Peru

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by Scott Humfeld of Greentracks

El Espejo de la Selva - The Mirror of the Jungle

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.

Hordes of pink and gray river dolphins, packs of howler and squirrel monkeys, massive flocks of brilliant macaws, huge lagoons covered in giant lily pads teeming with fish of all sizes and colors....all of these and more mark the region as Another World.

Situated between the Pacaya and Samiria rivers the reserve has over 80 lakes and contains 132 species of mammals, 13 of them primates.

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.

Article 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.

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