5 Top Wildlife Sites of Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon The gateway to the Northern Peruvian Amazon is held by Iquitos, the largest city on earth inaccessible by car, only by airplane or boat. Situated between three large rivers, this region is incredibly rich with tropical plants and wildlife. Among the various excursions usually organized as part of an Amazon trip or any trip to Peru, here are the top 5 most popular sites to visit: 1. Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve - This is a place not to be missed by primate aficionados. Located about a 3-4 hour boat ride south of Iquitos, its over 300,000 square hectares contain some of the densest areas of life in all of the Amazon forest. Also to be seen are pygmy marmosets, poison dart frogs, leaf frogs, butterflies, pink dolphins, leaf-cutter ants, and colorful orchids. Not only does the reserve feed off the opportunities of the Amazon River, it is also dotted with a number of lakes. Its numerous conservation initiatives also make it worthy of support. 2. Pacaya Samiria National Reserve - Over 500 bird species of animals reside within this reserve's over 5 million acres of rainforest. In addition, about 50,000 people from various traditional tribes call the edges of the reserve their home; this is the largest human population in any protected area of Peru. Making the park especially lush are the Maranon and Ucayali Rivers which intersect at the northeastern corner. Visitors should take note of the two vital palms: the fruit of the Moriche Palm is a critical part of many diets both animal and human; the Chonta Palm, on the other hand, is particularly eaten by birds and many types of mammals. Not to mention, countless dolphins, reptiles, fish, and mammal species reside here. The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is regarded as one of the top places to animals in the world. 3. Fundo Pedrito - This caiman alligator farm is one of the closest attractions to Iquitos. Just a 45 minute boat ride away, visitors get a chance to feed the large beasts, as well as see paiches, the most immense freshwater fish in the Amazon basin and one of the longest in the world. Also on display are Victoria Regia lily pads, the largest in the world. The small village nearby is also worth staying for as an example of regional Amazonian life. 4. Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm & Amazon Animal Orphanage - Butterflies are the center of attention here. The well-educated staff will teach visitors all about the life cycle, development, and variations of butterflies. In addition, the orphanage is host to dozens of endangered animals who have been hurt or abandoned in the wild, for example, young whose parents were killed by hunters. The roster includes a giant anteater, red-faced Huarcary monkey, black Hucary monkies, a tapir, a squirrel money, and even a glorious jaguar. 5. La Isla de los Monos (Monkey Island) - As the name suggests, this park specializes in showing and educating the public about various primate species. Walk around and enjoy the company of the peaceful yet playful creatures alongside you while listening to them chatter loudly amongst themselves. But the monkeys are not the only thing to see. A sloth, some coatis, toucans, and macaws also live as friends among the primates.
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