Paseos Amazónicos

Pacaya Samiria

With 2 million hectares, it is the biggest National Reserve of Peru, also it is the largest protected flooded forest of the world and one of the richest places in biological wealth on the planet. Between its biological diversity we find 449 of tropical bird species, 102 of mammals, 256 known species of freshwater fish, 69 of reptiles and more than 1000 varieties of plants, as well as species in danger of extinction like the giant otter, the black lizard, the manatee and the pink dolphin of the Amazon. The place's beauty, as well as its biological wealth makes the reserve a particularly important destination for scientific investigators, nature lovers and bird watchers.

The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve stands out among Peru's natural protected areas. Located in the Department of Loreto, in the provinces of Loreto, Requena, Ucayali and Alto Amazonas, with an extension of more than 8000 square miles, it is considered one of the largest of South America, holding an spectacular diversity of flora and fauna including endangered species as the black spider monkey (Ateles paniscus), the wooly monkey (Lagothrix lagoticha) and the giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis).

So far it has been possible to identified 132 mammal species, among these many primates and rodents; 330 bird species, including 23 migrating species. It is estimated that there are over 70 reptile species and a similar number of amphibian species; 220 fish species prove that aqua-fauna is the most important source of the reserve which includes the paiche (Arapaima giga), considered the largest fresh water fish in the world.

Flora is equally one of the most diverse of the wet tropical forest. It has been determined so far that there are 847 vegetable species, grouped in 118 families, being 22 of them orchids. It should be remarked that there are also within the reserve great extensions of palm trees and among these the most common is the aguaje (Mauritia flexuosa).

There are also timber tree species in Pacaya Samiria such as cedar (Cederia odorata) and mahogany (Maena capimori) very much appreciated in the Peruvian and international market; it is this the reason why occasionally these are threaten by unscrupulous loggers.

People from the communities within the perimeter of the reserve have organized themselves to help government forest rangers in an effort to protect the natural resources in this area.