• Pacaya Samiria

    Iquitos Peru

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  • Pacaya Samiria


Pacaya Samiria National Park
~ Iquitos Peru ~

Amazonas Conservation Initiative

We believe conservation success is defined by helping nature thrive so the people who depend on it live productive and sustainable lives.

It means a protected forest with old-growth trees, clean river water, and honoring the traditions of indigenous people so they may live in harmony with nature. And to strengthen the rainforest ecosystem of Peru by facilitating sound conservation principles and supporting protection of Ingigenous community lands.

In the face of climate change and other threats to the ecosystems that sustain our planet, we continue to work urgently to save more intact landscapes and the diverse species within.

We are dedicated to our mission: to conserve biologically diverse landscapes in Amazonas, in concert with local cultures, for the well-being of the planet.

The Palomino Project – Saving the Amazon: ( PPSA ) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 2018. PPSA is based in the Amazon basin, state of Loreto, Peru.
The Palomino Project is dedicated to the accumulation and conservation of indigenous knowledge, medicinal plants and traditional methods of use, as well as preservation and protection of the environment and wildlife.

Our vision includes creating educational/medical centers, botanical gardens, hatcheries and arboretums in rural villages with the goal of saving and ensuring sustainable availability of these resources and preserving the information on how to use them.

The educational centers will document the village elders’ knowledge their pharmacological knowledge to be passed on to the next generation. Intrinsic to this effort will be the scientific identification of the plants and a corresponding compilation of an indigenous language dictionary.
Privately guided services to Pacaya Samiria are provided by Emerald Forest Expeditions. To plan your visit contact:

~ Pacaya Samiria National Park ~

Amazonas Peru

Pacaya Samiria
Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve is located in Peru's Amazon region, 100 miles west from Iquitos. The Reserve is a triangular shaped area between the Maranon and Ucayali rivers. These rivers intersect at the northeastern tip of the Reserve, marking the beginning of what is considered the Amazon River proper. Most visitors access Pacaya-Samiria through the nearby city of Iquitos.

Private boat is the only way to access the reserve, which is large enough to cover the entire U.S. state of New Jersey. The basins of the Pacaya and Samiria rivers have been protected by the Peruvian government since 1940. The area was declared a National Reserve in 1972 and enlarged to its present size of 5,137,000 acres in 1982. The altitude of the Reserve is between 263 to 675 feet above sea level. The Reserve is the largest in Peru, the second largest in the Amazon region, and the fourth largest in all of South America.

There are over 80 lakes in the Reserve, the most important ones are the Hatun Cocha, Pastococha, Shinguito, Maldonado, Ungurahui, Yanayacu, Zapote, Yarina, Tamara, Cotococha, Achual, and El Dorado.

The approximately 50,000 people who live in the Reserve most are located in villages along the edge of the Reserve. Only a few villages are found in the interior of the Reserve. The average family has six to ten people and their main food staples are plantains, yucca, and fish. Their houses are made from materials found in the forest.

Animal and plant life is abundant and extremely varied in the reserve. There are over 132 species of mammals, 13 of which are primates. The reserve's waters are home to gray and pink dolphins, Amazonian manatees, Giant river Otters, Black Caimans and giant South American River Turtles. Land species include Jaguars, Capuchin Monkeys and Spider Monkeys. The Black Spider Monkey, the Orange-chested Spider Monkey, the Woolly Monkey, and the Howler Monkey are all considered endangered.

More than 300 species of birds live in Pacaya-Samiria, including five of the eight species of Macaw found in Peru. The prehistoric-looking hoatzin bird is seen here as well.

Wildlife and local villagers rely heavily on two species of palm for food. The fruit of the Moriche Palm is critical to the diets of parrots and mammals such as the Tapir. Humans use the fruit in drinks and ice cream. Birds and mammals feed on the fruit of the Chonta Palm, while humans harvest the palm's heart. No other protected area in Peru is as directly linked to the economic well-being of such a large human population. At least 100,000 "ribereños", or river people, living in and around this part of the Amazonian rain forest rely on its aquatic and terrestrial resources for food and income. Another 600,000 Peruvians live nearby.

Pacaya Samiria Map

Pacaya Samiria

Mammal species found in the reserve include the Graay & Pink Dolphin, Amazonian Manatee, puma, jaguar and a myriad of birds and reptiles.


Geology: The habitat types found in the Peruvian Amazon resulted from large-scale geologic events during the tertiary and quaternary periods. The Samiria River basin sits in the Pevas lake bed, which formed during the uplifting of the Andes, and leaving a geological depression characterized by soft alluvial soils. This depression in western Amazonia allows the vegetated landscape to transform into the flooded forest that the region is known for. The Amazonian rainforest, including regions of Peru, is responsible for 20% of the oxygen on the entire planet.

Flora: Some of the native plant species present in the reserve are: Spondias mombin, Quararibea cordata, Mauritia flexuosa, Parinari excelsa, Cedrela odorata, Ocotea spp., Myrciaria dubia, Socratea exorrhiza, Calathea allouia, Solanum sessiliflorum, Hevea guianensis, Pouteria caimito, Clidemia hirta, Ficus maxima, Heliconia psittacorum, Inga spp., Psychotria poeppigiana, Alibertia edulis, Victoria amazonica, Ceiba pentandra, Phytelephas macrocarpa, Clusia spp., Swietenia macrophylla, Asclepias curassavica, Pachira aquatica.

Fauna: Mammal species found in the reserve include: the Amazonian manatee, the red-faced spider monkey, the South American tapir, the Bolivian squirrel, the Amazon river dolphin, the puma, the giant otter, the white-lipped peccary, the jaguar, the red brocket, the tucuxi, the South American coati, the capybara, etc. Some species of fish found in the reserve are: Arapaima gigas, Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum, Phractocephalus hemiliopterus, Colossoma macropomum, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum, Potamotrygon motoro, Brycon melanopterus, Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma, Plagioscion squamosissimus, Prochilodus nigricans.

BIRDING: Special birds almost impossible to see elsewhere: Wattled Curassow & Zimmer's Woodcreeper. Restricted Range species: Black-tailed Antbird. Good birds recorded at Yanayacu: Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Rufous-capped Nunlet, Scaled Spinetail, Orange-fronted Plushcrown, Dusky-chested Flycatcher. Varzea/Igapo specialties: Plain-breasted Piculet, Rufous-capped Nunlet, Slender-billed Xenops, Amazonian Antshrike, Plumbeous Antbird, Yellow-crowned Elaenia, Royal Flycatcher, Dusky-tailed Flatbill, Varzea Mourner, Gray-chested Greenlet. Terra Firme: Black-throated Trogon, Bluish-cheeked Jacamar, Rufous-necked Puffbird, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, Collared Puffbird, Bar-bellied Woodcreeper Spot-throated Woodcreeper, Saturnine Antshrike, Wire-tailed Manakin, Dot-backed Antbird. Mauritia palm stands: Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Sulphury Flycatcher, Red-bellied Macaw. Nightbirds: Zig-Zag Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Great Potoo, Long-tailed Potoo, Spectacled Owl. On the water-conspicous birds: Horned Screamer, Black-collared Hawk, Green Ibis, Sungrebe, 5 species of Kingfishers, Slate-colored Hawk, White-eared Jacamar, Wattled Jacana, Hoatzin, Velvet-fronted Grackle, Red-and-white Spinetail, Plum-throated Cotinga, Band-tailed Oropendula. Parrots: Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Rose-fronted Parakeet, Festive Parrot and Short-tailed Parrot.

Wildlife Photos

  • hawk

  • Bird

  • monkey

  • Dolphin

  • frog


Pacaya Samiria ~ How to Visit

Pacaya Samiria



Pacaya Outlined below is a special program for those interested in both the best in wildlife viewing and, as well, visits with indigenous Indians.

This tour is appropriate for all ages.
Accommodations include stays at a local lodge and within the Reserve in Refugios (or optional camping): Refugios are small cabins at Indian villages built in typical local material, protected by a mosquito net, with capacity and equipment for 8/10 people with an indoor bath facility. Electric light is produced by solar energy and communications are assured by a radio.

Example itinerary
Included are all meals, boat transport, park fees, English-speaking naturalist guides, and activities.

Arrival on morning flight to Iquitos from Lima.
Morning visit to the Manatee Rescue Center; rescuing, rehabilitation and releasing program of aquatics mammals and endangered wildlife.

Morning continues to the historical community of San Joaquin de Omaguas and our basecamp located along the Amazon River. Lunch is served following a welcome drink and rainforest safety introduction.

After boat excursion along the majestic Amazon River to observe Pink & Gray Dolphins, Three-toed sloths, Iguanas, and birds.

Evening at the lodge with dinner followed by Tales of the Amazon by our naturalist guide.

This morning we explore the back water lagoons into the Yanayacu Reserve for piranha fishing and viewing monkeys, wild turkeys, parrots, toucans and more. Following lunch at the lodge we embark on a boat excursion to Chingana Creek in search of tarantulas, scorpions, night Monkeys, anacondas and caimans.
Evening at the lodge with dinner.

With box lunch we venture up the Yanayacu River deep into the amazing Amazon jungle to the isolated Yarina Lagoon – prehistoric Hoatzin birds, macaws, iguanas, dolphins, capybaras. Yarina is the home of the Amazon paiche (Arapaima gigas). P It is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, reportedly with a maximum length in excess of 3 m (9.8 ft.) and weight up to 200kg (440lb). It is one of the most sought after food fish species in South America.

Our naturalist guides explain the medicinal plants and basic jungle survival techniques.
Evening at the lodge with dinner.
OR Camping option: Yarina Lagoon hike inland to a very special place where macaws and parrots congregate to eat mineral clay (often from the bark of special trees). These minerals help with the digestion of toxic seeds eaten by the birds especially during the dry season when their regular food supply is in short supply. Excursion to view Tapirs and night monkeys.
Overnight camping (all equipment provided) under the stars of the Southern Hemisphere.

Morning we head out by speedboat up the Amazon River and then 1-hour up the Marañon River to the entrance ranger station of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. We arrive at the Yanayacu-Pucate black water rivers in the Samiria reserve to meet the local Indians, the home of the Veinte de Enero Indian Community.

Jungle walk to the rain forest, learning about the medicinal species from the area, look for monkeys and wildlife.
Dinner and overnight Veinte de Enero community Refugio (rustic hut).
Night walk to observe tarantulas, scorpions, insects, night monkeys etc.

Early morning viewing wildlife followed by a visit to the Indian community of Buenos Aires in the Pucate River, learning about their hand work/crafts with plant ivory and native projects with heart of palm. As well visit to the curandero (shaman house) from the community.

Afternoon on the river to view pink and gray dolphin and excursion swimming with dolphins and canoeing.
We will learn about the medicinal plants from this area and learn basic Indian survival skills.
Overnight local community Refugio.
Night excursion in searching of caimans and night birds among the river bank.

By boat farther into the national park, we will sail for 5-hours up the Yanayacu of Pucate River until we get to the Yarina Indian community. Here we will find monkeys, sloth, dolphins, birds etc.
We will use an open wooden boat for viewing wildlife.
Yarina Indian community is a very small community and the last one in the park, there is a community Refugio where we will spend the day/night.
Afternoon jungle walk to look for snakes and monkeys, learning about the different medicinal plants from the area.

Early morning bird watching.
By boat 1-hour up river to a very small creek to look for Giant River Otters.
Overnight community Refugio.
Evening nocturnal canoe ride to look for boas, anacondas and caimans as well as nocturnal rodents.

By boat down river to the ranger station where we board larger boats to go down the Marañon and Amazon rivers.
Arrival Iquitos and transfer to hotel (or airport depending upon your flight to Lima).

Groups and Individuals are welcome. Itinerary can be customized to your personal interests.

Privately guided services to Pacaya Samiria are provided by Emerald Forest Expeditions. To plan your visit contact:

Pacaya Samiria Photos

  • juan carlos palomino

    Juan Carlos Palomino (right)
  • Juan Carlos Palomino

  • amazon river lodge

    Amazon River Lodge
  • fish

  • expedition


Services provided by Amazonas Conservation Initiative & Emerald Forest Expeditions, Iquitos Peru.
For information contact Davarian