Hello wild people! How is it going?

Almost nine months ago we did our 2017 Recap. Now it’s time to deliver some news for this current year. Are you ready? Because we are!

We wanted to start by saying: Gracias.

Yes, that simple word (that we wholeheartedly hope you know what it means in English), that for us it has all the meaning in the world.

We feel grateful for your awesome feedback, for all the people that have enjoyed with us, for those that came as strangers and went back home as friends. For your laughter, smiles and good vibes. To all of you, for choosing us and letting us continue our growth:

Thanks!

Continuing with the trend of our last recap here you can see where people visit our website:

Map of visitors to Amazon Experience website
Map of visitors – amazonexperience.net

And the Top 10 countries with more visitors:

Worldwide visitors to Amazon Experience
Top 10 countries that visit amazonexperience.net

Now let’s dive in!

Big news and updates

Some important news and milestones that we wanted to share with you:

Web changes

We are constantly updating our website and the tools we use to the latest version. Taking into account the corresponding security measures to assure your payment information is safe with us.

Regarding support, we have added Live Chat support. Now besides reaching us by email, contact form, Facebook or Whatsapp, you can also contact us and solve your doubts without even leaving our website. Cool eh?

Livechat support for booking Amazon tours
Wanna chat?

 

Amazon Experience live chat support
We are ready to assist you!

For the functional part, we have added a “What to bring” tab right inside every tour, so our visitors know beforehand how to prepare for their Amazon trip. This was a popular request so thanks to those who gave us their feedback on this issue.

Updated website so people know what to bring to the Amazon jungle
Yep, now is that easy

We also integrated automatic pricing discounts. If you choose a tour for 4 people or more you will get a 5% discount, taken into account in your shopping cart when you do the checkout.

And now, if you go to our gallery, you can find our new…

Amazon Experience video

Our friend Simon made us a wonderful video in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. It includes some cool aerial shots of Pacaya Samiria. We cannot hide our love for this video. Check it out!

You can also check our other video, made by Vianney Lhoumeau

If you are a videographer and/or travel blogger and you plan to visit Iquitos send us a message to see if we can collaborate and work together.

Rainforest Trust support

We are celebrating our first year being part of the Roots program. We will continue to support organizations committed to protecting the environment. If you are interested in helping Rainforest Trust you can check their webpage to get more information about what they do.

Roots program – Rainforest Trust

Support for a local young soccer team

We decided to support one local soccer team of Nauta. Its name is ACD El Milagro and they are gonna rock the local soccer championship this year with their new uniforms. You can read the full story here.

ADC El Milagro, young soccer players from Nauta, Peru

Sponsoring the Peruvian Ornithology Congress 2018

This year the Congreso Peruano de Ornitología (Peruvian Ornithology Congress) is going to be organized for the first time outside of Lima. Which better place to host it than Iquitos? Being one of the biggest gateways to explore the Amazon rainforest with hundreds of different bird species to look for, we believe this Congress is an opportunity not to be missed by bird lovers.

Birding in the Amazon Jungle. Iquitos, Peru
Capped heron – Piherodius pileatus

We are sponsoring this ornithology event because we think it’s going to help Iquitos and the people working in the tourism niche. And, well, because we love birds too. For more information, you can check the official website (Spanish).

Reviews, reviews, reviews

We are getting closer and closer to the 100th TripAdvisor review. At the moment we have over 85 reviews in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Greek.

You can check our TripAdvisor profile here.

Thanks to all of you that have taken the time to let us know your thoughts about what we do, and with this we include also people that gave us Google reviews, Facebook reviews, pen and paper reviews and in-person feedback along with emails after their tour was ended. You rock guys!

Goggle reviews for Amazon Experience
Google reviews

 

Facebook reviews for Amazon Experience
We reached 50 Facebook reviews!

We keep our commitment firm: To keep adapting, learning and optimizing to bring you the best experience in the Amazon jungle.

2018 Travel Awards

This year we have received two awards. And we are very happy about that!

First, we got the news that we won the LTG  – Service Excellence Award 2018 for the second year in a row. Yay!

Service Excellence 2018

And a few days ago we received a message from THA (Travel and Hospitality Awards) about us being selected as Wildlife Tour Company of the Year 2018 in Loreto. Double yay!

Wildlife Tour Company of the Year 2018 in Loreto

New adventure and camping tours into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

Lately, we have been working on putting together our new tours. This is based on the feedback we have gotten from all of you, and your desire to explore deeper and for a longer time into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

You can now take a look at our 7 Days 6 Nights tour in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. We will have longer, up to 10 days, tours soon. Keep an eye on our tours section.

Our friends enjoying the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
Our friends enjoying the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

Now that you can explore for a week or longer. Are you ready for adventure?

Price adjustments

We are gonna be upfront about this: Our prices are going up. We decided to make a public statement about this and be transparent about it.

Our operational costs have gone up, with new software and technologies being used, new equipment and more people working in the Amazon Experience team.

We, also,  had to factor in the rise in price for entrances to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, imposed by the SERNANP since February 2018. You can check authorized tour agencies for entering the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve here.

We haven’t raised our prices in more than a year and for us to continue growing and giving you the best experiences, including support before and after your trip, while at the same time expanding our social impact, we need to do so.

We wanted to give you, and all Amazon Experience visitors, the chance to book at our “old” prices before changing. That’s why we are going to offer discounted prices, that match previous prices, until the end of May (May 30th included, to be specific).

Another thing to mention is that our prices are not only going up but also going down. How is that supposed to work? You might ask.

From now on, every time you book a tour for 4 or more people you get automatically a 5% discount.

This discount is applied to your shopping cart when you do the checkout and is a way of encouraging big families, organizations or just big groups of friends to come and experience the Amazon jungle with us.

Final words

Gratitude. That’s what we feel now.

We are full of joy enjoying what we have built but also eager to keep growing and developing a business that cares for their customers, their team, the local community and, above all, nature and the environment.

Thanks for letting us do what we love.

Peace out and…

Stay Wild

In November of 2017, we, as Amazon Experience, went to Nauta with a mission: Deliver 22 new uniforms for a local soccer team composed mostly of young people.

ADC El Milagro, young soccer players from Nauta, Peru
ACD El Milagro. Young soccer talents from Loreto region.

The name of this team is “ACD El Milagro”. ACD stands for Asociación Cultural Deportiva or Cultural and sports association. “Milagro” is a miracle in English. This soccer team is from the neighborhoods where Wolfers (one of Amazon Experience founders) was raised as a child.

This is Wolfers (Yes, he was a child too at some point, many years ago)

Our good friend Alex, in charge of sports delegation in ACD El Milagro, had commented us that this team was looking for sponsorship to get new uniforms without luck. Even after coming very close to winning the 2017 local championship (they came up in second place). We felt we could help there.

Alex showing the new uniforms for local soccer team
Our friend Alex

This is the design they chose.

Socce Uniform for ADC El Milagro. Nauta, Peru
Front
Socce Uniform for ADC El Milagro. Nauta, Peru
Back

Cool eh?

As we entered the club’s headquarters we saw most of the players gathered there along with Alex. It was inspiring to say the least seeing them with the uniforms and hearing what they had to say. We left feeling that differences can be made with our actions.

We are very thankful for this opportunity to support them and we encourage everyone reading this to think of ways how to potentiate your local community.

Local soccer team from Nauta gets new uniforms
ACD El Milagro
The team with its 2 new members. ACD El Milagro + Amazon Experience

PS: Go ACD El Milagro! This is your year, we are gonna be rooting for you. Your fans: Luis and Wolfers.

Hello wild people!

We have a quick question for you: Are you into bird watching or birding? Would you like to learn about the birds of Peru, especially about birds of the Amazon jungle?

Birds of Peru - Amazon Experience
Amazon Kingfisher – Chloroceryle amazona

If you answered yes, then this post is for you.

Peruvian Ornithology Congress

This year, 2018, the “Congreso Peruano de Ornitología” (Peruvian Ornithology Congress) it’s gonna be organized in Iquitos. This is the first time this Congress is available outside of Lima, so we decided to sponsor it and help with spreading the word.

With more than 900 bird species present in Loreto region (where Iquitos is located), this area is especially sought after for birdwatchers all over the world.

The “Congreso Peruano de Ornitología” (Peruvian Ornithology Congress) it’s going to take place between 23th and 28th of July, including one day (27th of July) with on-terrain training on bird recognition and other related topics. You can check the program here (Spanish).

Birds of Peru - Bird watching Iquitos, Peru
Slate-colored Hawk – Buteogallus schistaceus

This extract is taken, and translated, from the official website:

Imagine a moment and a place, where you will find people like you. The Peruvian Congress of Ornithology, is a space designed for you, for your passion, for your desire to learn and above all, for your desire to grow. Imagine an event where you can share with scientists, businessmen, artists, students and the general public that pleasure for BIRDS that motivates you so much. Imagine a meeting, where you can listen to Magisterial Speakers of the highest academic level, representatives of the most prestigious universities in the world. The time and place is already a reality: IQUITOS, the capital of the Peruvian Amazon, is the city chosen for this important ornithological event in 2018. Our slogan: “Let the birds fill your life with joy”, shows our interest in making the event, a real party. Come and enjoy Iquitos!

Birding in the Amazon Jungle. Iquitos, Peru
Capped heron – Piherodius pileatus

List of speakers at the Congress

The list of speakers for this Ornithology event in Perú is:

Amanda Rodewald, Ph.D.

Garvin Professor of Ornithology and Director of Conservation Science, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Bette Loiselle, Ph.D.

Director, Tropical Conservation & Development Program | Center for Latin American Studies Professor

John Marshall Bates, Ph.D.

Associate Curator, Birds Head, Life Sciences Science, and Education – Field Museum of Natural History

Scott Robinson, Ph.D.

Katharine Ordway Professor of Ecosystem Conservation at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Gustavo Bravo, Ph.D.

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology & Museum of Comparative Zoology – Harvard

Kevin McCracken, Ph.D.

Department of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences Marine Biology & Ecology, Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

Stuart J. Marsden, Ph.D.

Prof. Stuart J Marsden. Professor of Conservation Ecology. Division of Biology & Conservation Ecology

Silverio Duri Valdivia

Guía Naturalista – Aves y Fotografía – Perú. Comunidad Nativa de Infierno – Madre de Dios – Perú

Birds of the Amazon rainforest, Birding and bird watching in Iquitos, Peru
Great Black Hawk – Buteogallus urubitinga

How can I attend the Congress?

You can reserve your spot on the official webpage. The price is 250 soles. There is a discount for students (both local and international). If you cannot make international bank transfers or just plainly want to avoid the hassle of a wire transfer, contact us at booking@amazonexperience.net so we can help you out.

What else can I do while I’m in Iquitos?

We encourage you to explore this beautiful city, get to know the people that live here, share some time with them and listen to their stories. Also, we recommend you go out of the city to explore the Amazon jungle.

Pacaya samiria national reserve tours, birding and birdwatching
Large-billed Tern – Phaetusa simplex

One of the best places for bird watching is the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, located approx. 180 kilometers to the South of Iquitos. We invite you to check out our tours, hop into a motorboat with us and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime, camping and looking out for birds and wildlife in one of the most pristine rainforests on Earth.

All of the pictures in this post have been taken in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

See you at the Congress!

Hello, wild people! How are you?

Lately, we’ve been very busy organizing tours, improving on logistics, consolidating partnerships and overall improving as much as we can Amazon Experience for you.

We are very happy with the feedback we are getting, the friendships we have formed and the smiles that people give us after exploring the Jungle. All of this wouldn’t be possible without you, the visitors, so please accept a big Thank You from our team. *standing ovation*

To be able to welcome visitors from all over the world to Iquitos, and show them the beauty and magic of the Amazon Rainforest, it’s truly a blessing for us.

Here you can see from where people visit our website:

Visitors of all over the world for Amazonexperience.net
Map of visitors – amazonexperience.net

And the Top 5 countries with more visitors (up to this date):

Peru, United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Chile
Peru, United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Chile

Big news and updates

We wanted to share with you some important news and milestones we have reached:

Solar panel and solar battery in the Amazon Jungle

Since the end of 2016, we are equipped with a solar panel and a solar battery for our expeditions. This is a starting point for us in our journey towards more sustainable tourism practices in the Amazon. It also facilitates things for our visitors, making for them easier to charge their cell phones, cameras or video cameras while in the jungle.

Solar panel and solar battery in Amazon jungle tours
Solar power!

All our permits are up to date

When you book a tour or an expedition that goes into a Natural Reserve (Pacaya Samiria for example) in Peru, it is wise to check if the agency you are going to trust has its SERNANP permit up to date. You can check authorized agencies for entering Pacaya Samiria National Reserve here

Pacaya Samiria entry permit by SERNANP, Peru
Pacaya Samiria entry permit by SERNANP, Peru

We started supporting Rainforest Trust and being part of their Roots program

We strongly believe in supporting organizations that are committed to the environment. That’s why we decided to be part of the Roots program and support the work that Rainforest Trust does protecting areas around the world for endangered species.
If you wanna join too, you can do so in this link

Roots - Rainforest Trust
Roots program – Rainforest Trust

We have received over 50 reviews on TripAdvisor

We are super happy with your feedback! As of today, we have over 55 reviews in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Greek. We believe in taking an active part when it comes to seeking feedback from our visitors, and we really appreciate the time everyone that gave us their honest opinion put into it. We will keep adapting, learning and optimizing along the way so we can offer you the best experience in the Amazon jungle. That’s our commitment.

You can check our TripAdvisor profile here.

Our Facebook community keeps growing, more than 11.000 friends!

Not long ago we celebrated our 10.000 friends in Facebook with a giveaway. Thanks to all of you who participated.

Amazon Experience reaches over 10000 Facebook fans
10.000 Facebook friends!

If you wanna see some pictures of Amazon adventures, see what we are up to or engage with us just jump in!

Partnering with Santa Maria de Fatima.

At the end of March of this year, we started working together with the Santa Maria de Fatima community. This community, composed of around 65 families, started developing an ecotourism project in conjunction with NGO “Naturaleza y Cultura Internacional” to protect the biodiversity of the area while at the same time create jobs for the local community.

Amazon Experience and Santa Maria de Fatima representatives
Amazon Experience and representatives of Santa Maria de Fatima in March 2017

They have built a massive 3-floor wooden tower in the heronry (Garzal) to look for wildlife and enjoy the landscape.

Impressive 3 floor wooden tower in the Amazon jungle
Santa Maria de Fatima’s wooden tower
View from the wooden tower in Santa Maria de Fatima
This view only gets better when you are standing there.

Recently, on August 22nd, we were part of an extraordinary meeting in Santa Maria de Fatima, along with representatives of public institutions like Maynas tourism division and local municipalities of Belen and Indiana, to discuss and engage in the future development of this community. The local newspaper “Diario La Region” made an article about this. You can read it here (Spanish)

If you wanna visit them you can do so in our 3d/2n, 4d/3n or our new 5d/4n tour for the Amazon river itineraries.

Awarded LTG Service Excellence 2017

This year we received the LTG “Service Excellence” 2017 award. We felt great! *high fives*. You can find more details in this post along with our own definition of luxury and luxury travel here.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies accepted here

We started accepting payments for any of our tours using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH, Lisk, Ark, PIVX, among others. If you wanna see a list of all cryptocurrencies supported please check our FAQs or contact us directly.

Pay your Amazon Jungle tour with Bitcoin
Pay your Amazon tour with Bitcoin!

Web updates

We’ve been adding some common questions we receive from people wanting to visit Iquitos and the Amazon Jungle. Here you can check the FAQs (Frequently asked questions).
Also, we added our new tour 5 days/4 nights on the Amazon lodge, with one more day focused on deep Amazon jungle trekking and survivor skills.

Final words

All in all, we are delighted! Stay tuned for more posts, we have a couple of interviews in the oven, like the one we did with Don Julio and some exciting things coming up later this year.

Thanks again for all your support, you really make us love our work.
Peace out and…

Stay Wild

What does luxury mean to you? What do you think it means to others? What constitutes luxury travel?

All natural skin luxury treatment
Does an all-natural-mud skin treatment count as luxury?

We’ve been pondering on this question lately so we started researching different sources and brainstorming around this concept.

Definitions usually helps us grasp the meaning, features and limits of a word. So we will start with 5 definitions from across the web.

Definitions of luxury

1) Wikipedia
Running a search on mighty Wikipedia we get no definition for luxury, but a series of disambiguations, being the most prominent:

Luxury goods:
“An economic good or service for which demand increases more than proportionally as income rises”

Wow, take it easy Wikipedia. Next.

2) Webster’s NewWorld Dictionary

Luxury:
“a) the use and enjoyment of the best and most costly things that offer the most physical comfort and satisfaction
b) anything contributing to such enjoyment, usually something considered unnecessary to life and health
c) the unusual intellectual or emotional pleasure or comfort derived from some specified thing or something producing such pleasure or comfort”

Why the “best and most costly things” produce only physical effetcs, while some apparently different “specified thing” (independent of the price) can bring intellectual and emotional pleasure?
I get the point of not being necessary for life as in being vital. That luxury is not a basic need for survival. But unnecessary to health? Not entirely sold on this definition.
The use of the word “unusual” sparked some fire in our brains. Why does it need to be unusual?
Besides from that it gets the award to most confusing luxury definition.

3) Cambridge Dictionary

Luxury:
“a) Great comfort as specially provided by expensive and beautiful things
b) Something expensive that is pleasant to have but is not necessary
c) Something that gives you a lot of pleasure but cannot be done often”

Okay. So we have comfort, expensive, beautiful, pleasant, not necessary, not often. Nothing new over the horizon so far.

4) Investor Words Dictionary

Luxury:
“A good or service that is not considered a necessity but is considered as something that brings pleasure and happiness”

This is a cool one. It doesn’t restrict it in frequency (have as many luxurious experiences as you want) and states one amazing word that was missing: Happiness

5) Merrian-Webster Dictionary

Luxury:
“A condition of abundance or great ease and comfort”

Abundance. Nice word. And it doesn’t restrict it to physical plain only.

Putting together all those definitions we get our new one:

Luxury:
“A good, service or experience that brings a condition of abundance and happiness without being a necessity for life. Could be associated to beautiful, expensive and scarce things.”
fried bananas luxury travel food
Having delicious fried bananas while camping in the jungle must be a luxury

The evolution of the word luxury: From sex to time

The first recordings of the word luxury (in English) are from 1340. It comes from France, imported by the Normans and it meant “lust” or sexual desire.

It can be traced back to the ancient Romans and the latin word “luxuria”, meaning “extravagance, excess”. It was used to describe chaotic and wild living. For wealth and splendor, they used the word “luxus”.

Going forward to Elizabethan times the word was associated with adultery.
Look at this Shakespeare extract from that time:

Would you not swear, All you that see her, that she were a maid. By these exterior shows? But she is none. She knows the heat of a luxurious bed. Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
—William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, 1600

Over time, the word luxury kept evolving. From “sumptuous living or environment” to “nonessential” or “indulgent” practices, goods or activities.

In material goods, it started moving away from the cost of the materials and, in the present day, being more about the time spent in the making, the craftsmanship, and resourcefulness. Hand made things started to be appreciated as more luxurious in an attempt to get away from mass production.

Luxury today

I think that now, in this modern living, people are shifting their view in what constitutes luxury.
Marcin Rusak exemplified this in the installation “Time for yourself” inside the “What is luxury?’ exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This piece consisted in a compass spinning in random directions and a watch without a dial.
Rusak describes it as:

“It is almost impossible to get truly lost these days. It would take a lot of effort to experience this luxury

We certainly agree with that.

luxury travel getting lost
Getting lost in the jungle as a luxury

According to Skift 34% of people from the United States didn’t take a break in 2016 and 2/3 of all surveyed people said they took less than 10 days off in the same year.

Wow.

So maybe having some time off could be considered a luxury today if we assume that this would bring happiness and abundance to all these people.

Luxury travel

We think it is equally important to consider what do you make of that time off, if you truly engage in activities that bring you happiness and abundance.

That’s the aim we have in mind when we think about luxury travel.

travel luxury experience nature
Travel luxury at its best. Experiencing our connection with nature.

For us this means:

  • Caring for our visitors as people, not numbers.
  • Treating them with respect and giving them not only quality food or equipment, but quality experiences.
  • Making them feel safe and welcomed.
  • Sharing with them our passion and showing them we know the jungle and our craft.
  • Helping people feel more connected with nature.
  • Being widely available in a variety of channels and respond in a timely manner.
  • Being willing to customize itineraries according to the visitor needs (including food choices, activities, etc)
  • Owning our mistakes and responding accordingly

Having won the “Service Excellence” Award 2017 by Luxury Travel Guide made us think about all of this and what does it imply to be in the luxury category.

We used to think that luxury was associated with 5 stars hotels.
Now we know that it’s more related to enjoying a clear-sky night view of 5 thousand stars in the middle of the jungle. And being damn happy about it.

Discussion

We don’t attempt to provide a definitive answer on what is luxury or luxury travel today, but rather to engage in this opportunity to reflect and share our views with you.

What do you think? What are your views on the term luxury? When was your last luxurious experience?

Share with us on our Facebook or drop us an email at booking@amazonexperience.net.

We will love to hear from you. Have a luxurious day!

After being nominated and shortlisted for the LTG Awards 2017 (Luxury Travel Guide Awards), a few days ago we received an email that made us jump and high-five everyone in our office:

LTG Service Excellence 2017
Amazon Experience – LTG Awards 2017

Yes! We won.

That LTG Awards recognizes our work is great because it means that all the effort we put into caring for our visitors is being reflected not only in raving excellent reviews but by being recognized by International standards in Service Excellence.

In their own words:

All winners of the Holiday & Tour Specialist awards are subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by our experienced in-house professionals as well as several celebrity guest judges. This ensures that only the most deserving teams, businesses, and individuals walk away with one of these prestigious accolades.

All Luxury Travel Guide Award programs represent the pinnacle of achievement, championing the best in their respective fields, therefore to come out as a clear winner is an achievement to be proud of.

 

Indeed we are very proud of this achievement and it encourages us to continue delivering a quality service with a smiling face to all our visitors.

Thanks for tuning in, the Sloth will now play the celebration song.

Sloth Banjo Amazon Experience
Weeeee aaare the chaaampions.. yeah yeah

 

Peru tourism has been growing steadily over the years, welcoming millions of visitors each year.

Wanna know why?

Short answer: Peru is awesome.

It has three different areas to visit: Coastal, Andes, and Amazon, each one with its own unique landscapes, wildlife, cultural backgrounds, gastronomy, etc.

Peru tourism is based mainly on Cultural tourism and Ecotourism.

Having the third largest extent of tropical rainforest in the world (after Brasil and the Democratic Republic of Congo) makes Peru a paradise for those looking out for wildlife spotting and flora appreciation because of its biological diversity.

Amazon river Victoria Regia
Victoria Amazonica, biggest water lily on Earth.

Peru tourism: How many people visited Peru in the last few years?

One image speak for a thousand words.

Peru Tourism Arrivals
Peru tourism arrivals trend (yes, is going up)

Over 4.500.000 visitors to Peru in 2016. That’s around half the population of Austria or Sweden, for making a comparison.

From which countries visitors came to Peru in 2016?

We receive visitors from all over the world. They come mainly for vacations, holidays and to explore all the hidden treasures that Peru has to offer.

In 2016 the main top 15 countries from where visitors came to Peru were:

CountryNumber of visitors in 2016
1Chile1.075.079
2United States572.595
3Ecuador288.930
4Colombia179.260
5Argentina176.638
6Brasil146.947
7Spain140.705
8Bolivia133.603
9France97.889
10Mexico83.009
11Germany75.915
12United Kingdom70.808
13Canada69.330
14Italy65.333
15Japan54.878

Where do visitors go in Peru?

Most of the visitors coming to Peru arrive at Lima (or visit it during their stay), being around 90% of the total. The second most visited city is Cusco, with over 80% of the total.

Can you guess how many tourists visit Iquitos, located in the Amazon rainforest? You are in for a surprise:

Visitors Peru by City

Places visited in Peru by country (Graph)
Places visited in Peru by country (Graph)

The answer is around 5%. That’s right, only 5 out of 100 tourists visit Iquitos. Being visitors from Italy the lowest (2%) and from the United Kingdom the highest with 7% (Thanks for coming guys!)

Taking a look at these images and with the above information in mind… Where would you go if you wanna get away from the crowds and explore some off the beaten path destinations?

Visiting Iquitos as a gateway to exploring the Amazon Jungle can be an excellent option for those looking out for adventure, boat rides, and wildlife viewing.

Are visitors satisfied after coming to Peru?

The definitive answer is Yes.

A satisfaction rate of 94% has been reported for visitors after their stay in Peru.

Peru Tourism Satisfaction
This is how Satisfaction looks like in the Amazon Jungle.

Summary

The growing number of visitors coming each day to Peru, being highly satisfied with their choice, is a reflection of all the things this country has to offer. There are many different areas to explore (with varied geography, weather, flora, and fauna), many activities to do and many things to learn. It doesn’t matter what kind of traveler you are: Backpacker, businessman, honeymooner or part of a big family. You will surely find something for your taste.
In short: Come to Peru, you will not be disappointed.

Ready for Adventure?

Amazon Rainforest Tours


See a broken link? Please let us know

Photo attributions:
(1) Vianney Lhoumeau
(2) Observatorio Turistico del Peru
(3) Observatorio Turistico del Peru
(4) Vianney Lhoumeau

Source:
INEI Peru
Observatorio Turistico de Peru
Peru.info
Trading Economics

The Amazon river dolphin, pink dolphin or Boto is a freshwater dolphin. It inhabits South America, mainly in the Amazon river, but also in the Orinoco basin and Madeira river.

So, what actually is a Pink Dolphin?

Pink dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) are a species of Toothed whales classified in the family Iniidae and it contains three sub-species: Amazon river dolphin (I. g. geoffrensis), Bolivian river dolphin (I. g. boliviensis) and Orinoco river dolphin (I. g. humboldtiana).

They seem to have some relationship with their South Asian counterparts, the Ganges river dolphin (P. g. gangetica), predominant in India, and Indus river dolphin (P. g. minor), predominant in Pakistan. The pink dolphin is the biggest of all river dolphins.

Pink dolphin facts: DIstribution in South America
Distribution of Pink Dolphin sub-species in South America

How does a Pink Dolphin look? Can you show me one?

With the adult males reaching an average length of 2.3 metres (7.6 ft) and an average weight of 150 kilograms (340 lb), and the females reaching a length and weight of 2 metres (6.6 ft) and average 100 kilograms (220 lb), they will not pass unseen by your side if you are navigating in their habitat. In contrast with other cetaceans, in this case, the male is bigger than the female.

Amazon Pink River Dolphin - Boto - Inia geoffrensis (Pink Dolphins)
Amazon Pink River Dolphin – Boto – Inia geoffrensis

Their cervical vertebrae are not fused, allowing the head to turn 90 degrees to each side. This, in conjunction with large pectoral fins, gives them very good maneuverability to swim through the flooded forest searching for their prey. You can see the way they swim and move in this video put up by National Geographic.

In his head we found quite a few interesting things, so for the ones of you digging this article for your homework, keep reading!
They have small eyes, but good eyesight, in and out of the water. Between 25-28 pairs of teeth to each side of both jaws helps them capture fish, tortoises or crabs. It is curious tho, that they are the only toothed whales to have different types of teeth in their jaw. And finally, the melon on their heads, which they can modify by muscular control for using it as a Biosonar (or Animal echolocator)

Are Pink Dolphins really Pink?

Depends. The color of their bodies varies with age. Young dolphins have a dark gray color, which in adolescence transforms into light gray. Adults can display a range of colors from light gray to pink (varying from solid to mottled) and even brownish.

It is not entirely clear why they have this color but one of the strongest hypothesis says it’s due to the repeated abrasion of the skin surface. Some observations correlate with this theory, for example, that males tend to be pinker than females (they fight more between them, displaying intra-species aggression). Another hypothesis, like the one of Tim Caro, mammal coloration expert from the University of California at Davis, says that this coloration could be to match the particulate red mud that follows heavy rains in some rivers.
All in all, no one knows for sure why.

Pink dolphin facts they exhibit different patterns and colors
This Amazon river dolphin exhibits a mottled pattern

What do Pink Dolphins eat?

Basically, pink dolphins eat almost anything small that swims. They eat around 50 species of Amazon fishes, including piranhas. Turtles and crabs are also on the daily diet which consists of around 2.5% of its body weight every day.

Pink dolphins have a powerful jaw. The front row of teeth helps to puncture and to hold fishes (or other preys). The back row is for crushing and smashing.

After they catch their food pink dolphins swallow their food without chewing. All indigestible parts (like bones or spines) are regurgitated after.

Pink dolphin facts: They eat fishes, turtles and crabs
Pink dolphin looking for its dinner: Fishes, turtles or crabs.

Are Pink Dolphins smart?

We might have heard that dolphins are very smart animals, but what kind of intelligence do they have?

The answer is Cetacean intelligence.

They are aware of themselves and their different body parts, are able to experience basic emotions, engage themselves in some degree of abstract thought and understand the structure of their environment. They learn by observing and even mimicking, solve problems and choose their own actions, even remembering their own recent behavior.

When interacting with humans, they appear to recognize the difference between children and adults and tend to be more gentle and patient with children. Some researchers suggest that dolphins are “non-human persons” who qualify for moral understanding as individuals.

There are no specific studies related to Pink dolphins and their intelligence, but being part of the same family we can suppose that they share most of their cognitive system.
For more in-depth information about the brain power of dolphins (and whales) click here

Amazon river dolphin facts: They have Cetacean intelligence
Pink dolphins are intelligent. Some researchers suggest they have a moral understanding and qualify for “non-human persons”.

Are Pink Dolphins threatened or endangered now?

Yes, they are threatened by many factors such as the contamination of the river (with mercury, for example, by the illegal mining operations) and the increased deforestation of the Amazon jungle that affects many different ecosystems changing the migration patterns of some fish species that they eat.

But the main threat to them is the hunting and deliberate killing along with their incidental capture in fishing gears. A big part of the income of riverside families that live in the Amazon is the fishing activity, and dolphins are prone to damage fishing equipment when they get entangled in it or when they want to eat the fish from the nets. They are also used in the Catfish or Piracatinga, (Calophysus macropterus) fishery as bait, and the increasing demand for the piracatinga has created a market for distribution of dolphin carcasses.

Some efforts in favor of their protection are being made. Precautionary measures are one of those efforts, through good fishing practices taken together by fisheries managers and fishermen to start developing multiple-species management and ensure sustainable practices.

Another measure is law enforcement, as the one put by IBAMA that prohibits killing the Amazon river dolphin (but fails to compensate the fishermen for the damage done to their equipment and catch), or the one made in year 2012 by the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales putting up a law that bans fishing freshwater pink dolphins and declares the species a National Treasure.

Pink dolphins: amazon river dolphin photo
Hello friend. I am mister pink dolphin, a national treasure.

And what about their Conservation Status?

The species is listed in Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

It means that pink dolphins (along with other 21.000 species) are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless a strict regulation is enforced in order to protect the survival of the species in the wild.

It is also listed in Appendix II of CMS meaning that they would significantly benefit from international co-operation regarding their conservation.

The Conservation Status is a classification system that shows if a species still exists or how likely it is to become extinct in the near future.

Pink dolphin information: Conservation status by IUCN
The conservation Status ranking system by the IUCN

The Pink dolphin is classified as Threatened (between Endangered and Vulnerable, due to lack of actual data)

Pink dolphin conservation status vulnerable
Vulnerable means a high risk of extinction in the wild
Pink dolphin conservation status endangered
Endangered means a very high risk of extinction in the wild

All in all, the current situation for the Pink Dolphin is worrying, with a high to very-high risk of extinction, more coordinated efforts are still needed for their preservation.

Other facts about Pink Dolphins

  • The Boto or pink dolphin is subject to a particular Amazon mythology. It is said that this freshwater dolphin turns itself into a handsome man when the sun goes down. Some say it morphs itself fully clothed in white, some say with a straw hat, and some other people say it takes the form of some other man from nearby villages. What for? To hypnotize and seduce unsuspecting your woman, impregnate them, and return to the river before the sun goes up to turn back into pink dolphins. This is one of the most widespread Amazon rainforest myths, and some Amazon villagers attribute many of the single mom kids to this Amazon river dolphin. They even tell young girls to be careful about strangers and keep away from the river at night.
  • Like most other dolphins, pink dolphins sleep with one eye open. They can do that by putting one half of their brain to sleep and keep the other side of the brain conscious and functioning. They alternate those sides to be able to rest and at the same time be on the lookout for predators.
  • The season for giving birth to young pink dolphins coincide with the flooding season of the Amazon river (between May and June), providing an advantage to female dolphins and their babies.
  • After birth, it takes between 2-3 years for young pink dolphins to be considered independent and adults.
  • Last, but not least, pink dolphins are real. Just in case you were still wondering.

Wanna see some Pink Dolphins in the Amazon river?

Buckle up and prepare for Adventure!


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Photo attributions:
(1) Cetacea range map Amazon River Dolphin by Pcb21 and Vardion / CC BY-SA
(2) Unknown/Pending attribution
(3) Amazonas-Flussdelfin Orinoko3 by Oceancetaceen / CC BY-SA
(4) Pucate_2015 07 27_0586 by Harvey Barrison / CC BY-SA
(5) Boto vermelho by lubasi via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA
(6) Inia geoffrensis by Joachim S. Müller via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA
(7) Conservation Status Ranking by Peter Halasz (Pengo) / CC BY