An Amazon Cruise from Iquitos Peru to Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve

by Captain Bill

An Amazon Cruise from Iquitos Peru to Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve

Bird watching, Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Blue-crowned Trogon

If you are traveling to Iquitos Peru and only have three or four days to appreciate nature in the rainforest, I recommend an Amazon cruise to Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve when the water is high, or to Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve when the water is low. Here is the story of our most recent cruise to Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve.

Bromeliad in Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve

The first five or six hours were spent cruising upstream on the Amazon River. We like to stay close to shore out of the strong current going upstream. That provides an opportunity to observe how the people living along the banks of the Amazon survive.

Nearly everyone has a small grove of bananas and papayas, a little garden of yuca, bushes of hot peppers called aji, natural medicine plants, and other tropical fruit trees. The women cook over charcoal, or a wood fire, and do the laundry in the river nearly every day. The men fish, hunt, make charcoal, and work the gardens. The children laugh, wave, and play. There seems to be time between chores to enjoy a close family life.

The water was high. Our boat bobbed near the top of the river bank so we could look into their homes. Most people do not have doors or windows, many do not have walls.

Bromeliad Blossom in Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve

Alberto is our best wildlife spotter. He pointed out a family of Iguanas, one of them big. They were so camouflaged I have no idea how he spotted them. We could barely see them with binoculars, even when we stopped the boat, backed up, and maneuvered closer with him pointing to them. We watched birds catching fish, birds catching insects, birds eating fruit, and birds eating amphibians. Life and death in the food chain played out in front of us and that was even before we turned up the Tahuayo River. Then things started getting really interesting.

Best food on the Amazon, Dawn on the Amazon 3

I was happy to be back on the river, and headed for the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve rainforest on Dawn on the Amazon III with our nice guests from Hawaii, and my son Matt. This was Matt’s second Amazon cruise; his first to Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve. Last year he went with us to Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve a couple of days before Christmas. He played Santa’s elf and we delivered Christmas cheer to remote jungle villages. This cruise was a lot different. Of course all cruises are a lot different.

Blooming Bromeliads in Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve

My crew and I like adventuring on the river best. I can be happy pecking on the computer for days, but when I feel the breeze off the river in my face, and the boat handling like a dream under us, seeing where the river and the sky come together, breathing the clean moist air filtered through the rainforest, and the aroma of food cooking in the galley, to me, that is living. We were living.

Bird watching, Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, flock of Sand-colored Night Hawks

One of our best series of nature sightings was entering a lake through a narrow channel with monkeys on both sides, parrots all around, and a flock of sand-colored night hawks that numbered well over a hundred swooping up from their day roost right in front of us. Shortly after that we were surrounded by pink dolphins. We had a great sighting of an osprey, which I tried to conjure into a Harpy Eagle, but it remained an osprey.

Osprey, bird watching, Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve

Why would a sloth swim across the river? To get to the other side! Ha, ja, he, je, hi, ji…No really, why, food, escaping a predator, finding a mate, a random action triggered by a tiny brain? In the middle of the Tahuayo River, there she was, a sloth swimming across. After taking some photos, one of our new friends asked if we could help her across to the other side, so Edson used a pole to put the sloth in our Jon boat, motored across and placed the sloth in a Cercropia tree. All of us humans were happy, I don’t know about the sloth.

Sloth swims river in Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve

We paid our entrance fee, visited two remote villages, donated school supplies, bought lots of handicrafts and hired a local guide. We were good for the economy of the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve community.

Orchids in Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve

Possibly our guests were most happy by the experience provided by our local guide. He led them by canoe through three lakes and the flooded jungle that separated the lakes, to a pristine stand of the giant water lily, Victoria regias.

Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Orchids

Our Amazon Cruise to Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve with our new Hawaiian friends was more than we expected. Our guests were wooden boat people who walked the deck barefoot to have a better feel for the wood. It was as if we found each other, but really they found Dawn on the Amazon III on the internet. Few guests have appreciated my boat more. While drawing from their personal artistic experience, they gave several simple suggestions I can hardly wait to follow up, for the love of my Amazon river boat.

An Amazon Cruise from Iquitos Peru to Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve

Bill Grimes, Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Welcome to Iquitos Peru, Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises

Articles about Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve for your research;

The Advantages of Bird Watching from Iquitos Peru, with Dawn on the Amazon

Celebrating the New Year with the Monkeys in Tamshyacu Tahuayo Reserve

Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Iquitos Peru

In Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve with Friends

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Harry December 11, 2008 at 6:13 am

It a nice site collecting all info about Cruise.
I need this information.
Thanks for your time to post this article.

2 Jack Welch August 11, 2014 at 6:55 pm

I visited Peru (Refugio Altiplano) three times in 2012, and became friends with Scott Petersen. He mentioned the name Bill Grimes several time during my visits. I was so sorry to hear about his unfortunate accident. I will look you up if I get back to Iquitos.

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