Afternoon Yacapan Islands exploration. Locals call the Yacapana Islands the “Iguana Islands,” because of the huge population of these reptiles—like tiny dinosaurs—crawling over the ground and resting in the tree tops. Amazon folklore says that if you touch an iguana, you will develop some of their traits; nobody wants to be ugly, so the iguanas are well protected. Pass by in the skiff, giving you a chance to snap good photos. As the sun sets, you will have the chance to see and photograph both gray and pink freshwater dolphins. The people of the Amazon believe that these dolphins turn into humans to steal handsome men or pretty women from their villages during celebrations.
Option 1: Travel by skiff from Yanayacu Creek all the way to remote Chingana, a small creek where giant river otter usually nest. These handsome animals were killed in great numbers for their pelts, and are now threatened with extinction. On this excursion, you will also see howler and capuchin monkeys, the squirrel-sized monkeys called tamarins, pink and gray river dolphins, and a vast variety of birds. Go deep into the jungle, where you will encounter wildlife and learn first-hand about the important medical value of jungle plants. See the famous Kapok Trees (ceiba pentandra), the tallest trees in the Amazon Basin. Enjoy a generous picnic lunch at the park Ranger Station No. 2, before beginning your journey back to the vessel.
Option 2: This morning a Park Ranger will tell about the sustainable management projects in Amazonia, and take you to visit one of the projects. After lunch and a siesta, you are likely to see the two different kinds of freshwater dolphins—including the unusual pink ones—found in the Amazon. Later, keep your eyes directed toward the jungle canopy, where you can spot at least several kinds of primates—among the 13 species of monkeys resident in the National Park. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of tamarins and howlers, dusky titi monkeys and pigmy marmoset monkeys. Watch for alligators, and keep your binoculars at the ready, as you are likely to see more than 200 species of birds.
Travel by skiff to Puerto Miguel native village, where you can meet and interact with local villagers from this most remote part of the world, and can learn a bit more about their culture, traditions, and folklore. You will also have the chance to trade items for local handicrafts.
Enjoy lunch on board before disembarking your ship. Visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have seized from local people and fishermen. Biologists will give a presentation about the project and its efforts to help these helpless mammals. You will also see how the manatees are cared for and are prepared for re-introduction into their natural habitat. Transfer to the Iquitos International Airport where your guides will assist you with your baggage and check-in, and will wait with you until you are ready to board your evening flight to Lima.