Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Encompassing an area as large as of Wales and more than three times the size of Yellowstone National Park, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is a vital asset in the Amazonian rainforest and river system.
For explorers of the Amazon, the appeal of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve rests in the sheer number of different habitats it hosts. Located between the Marañón and Ucayali tributaries and at the head of the mighty Amazon River, the Reserve contains two large alluvial river basins, flooded forests (in the high water season), seasonal and permanent freshwater lakes and lagoons, gorges and canals, as well as tropical forest cover.
With its extensive nutrient forests (known as the ‘varzea’), the Reserve has been designated as a Ramsar wetland under UNESCO’s purview.
Every day in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve is a chance to see different species of flora and fauna.
The Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve is also known for its exceptional natural beauty.
Roughly 200 communities numbering 42,000 people live within the Reserve.
River cruises that explore the beauty and richness of Pacaya-Samiria start and finish in Iquitos, a city on the banks of the Amazon River, or in the town of Nauta, two hours south by road.
Both Iquitos and Nauta are conveniently accessible by air from Lima (1 hour 45 minutes) and Cusco (2 hour 10 minutes) to Iquitos airport (IQT).
Meanwhile, the lack of road access plays a big part in keeping this region of the Amazon untouched and pristine. This is also why Aqua Expeditions has positioned its Amazon river cruise itineraries in this region of the rainforest.