Landscape of the Amazon in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Peru

The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (PSNR), located close to Iquitos (Peru), is the largest government protected area within the floodable Amazon basin in South America with 2'080,000 ha (20,800 sq km or 5139.7 acres) is twice the area of the Yellowstone National Park (USA).

RAMSAR site since 1986, it is located among the rivers Marañón, Ucayali and Amazon housing a huge biodiversity: 527 bird species, 102 mammal species, 69 species of reptiles, 58 species of amphibians, 269 fish species, and 1024 species of plants. Some of these species are endangered as the charapa turtle (Podocnemis expansa), taricaya turtle (Podocnemis unifilis), the spider monkey (Ateles sp.), the giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), the jaguar (Panthera onca), the Amazon manatee (Trichechus inunguis), black caimans (Melanosuchus niger), the red macaw (Ara macao), herons, hummingbirds, the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), and more.

The altitude of the Reserve is between 80 to 206 msnm (263 to 675 feet above sea level) and have many lagoons and streams of calm water that reflects the landscapes and sky as a mirror. Due its landscapes and biodiversity, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is an Amazon hotspot for ecotourism, adventure travel and birdwatching.

There are many tour companies -cruises, lodges, travel agencies and local guides of the villages living in the protected area (these people were trainned by the Peruvian government and NGOs)- that organizes trips to the reserve, but always is better contact only with registered ones. Usually is necessary to take a minimun of three days or more to travel to the Pacaya Samiria.

To obtain information and the reputation on tour companies and local guides of the villages living in the protected area contact iperú, the Peruvian Tourism Office (PromPeru, the Peruvian tourism board) to, or their 24-hour line (+51 1) 574-8000.

Further information: (Official website of Peru)

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (Official website of the Reserve - Spanish)

The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (article) 

 Amazon river turtles taking a sunbath in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.