The alarm bell rings at 3:00 am, after a quick change we get in the cab to the airport to get our 5:30 AM flight to Iquitos with ViaAir. After a very comfortable and beautiful flight, taking us sunrise over the Andes mountains, we arrived at Iquitos. Here, Oscar from Erics Adventure picked us up. First stop, Iquitos centre where Oscar fixed us a local Sim card with 24 GB for 80 soles.
After that we stopped in Iquitos city centre, where a lot of bars and the corners of the amazone can be seen. Especially the plaza is a pretty place to snap some pictures. Not to mention the ferry that has stranded on the dried banks gives a neat view. After that we went to the port, where a big food court is in front of the boat loading dock. Here, we tried some nice local dishes including tortoise eggs and banana tasting like potatoes (5 solas for a meal, 10 for four tortoise eggs).
First stop with the boat: Fundo Pedrito. A small fish farm who also hosts the world’s smallest monkey, kaimen, tortoises and big paiche fish who you can feed. Normal entrance is 10 USD, we had it included in our tour.
After that we hidded to our lodge around 12:30 with a welcome passion fruit drink. 13:00 the drums went for lunch. During the lunch we got fried dorado, bananas that taste like potatoes, palm tree salad and some local fruits.
We had another hour to spare, so what better way then chilling in a hammock!
After that, rubber boots on and off to the locals! 10 minutes with the boat and we arrived to a local tribe, a few ladies wearing traditional wear and their kids. They hand make bracelets, dream catchers and other souvenirs (sell for 10 soles each). They painted us with a fruit paint making a difference in married (square) and single (one line on each cheek). After that they made us participate in their traditional dance, got the opportunity to fire a blow gun and buy some things. After that we drove with the boat for a relaxing view.
After dinner we chilled for an hour with Oscar playing the guitar singing local songs. Then we went for an hour long night safari on foot where we saw tarantula, frogs and a lot of other bugs. 21:00 back to get to bed and be fit for day 3.
After a 7:00 am breakfast we left around 8:00 AM with the boat, first stop: dolphins!
After a 20 minutes or so drive we reached a lake with dozens of dolphins, gray and pink ones, showing their upper parts to breath. For 20 minutes we floated on the water, seeing several dolphins showing us their beauty and lots of birds on the small islands surrounding the lake.
After that we switched boats, on our way to the next destination. For an hour we had to go through a small river seeing a sloth, a lizard and a lot of birds.
Later on we stopped at a spot where the biggest tree of the amazone are located. Walking through a meter deep water and playing tarzan!
We continued to our next stop,a lodge for our lunch. Had to wait for an hour, so hammock time! After some rice, fish and bananas we went back to our pitstop island, here we visited a shelter for abused wildlife. These creatures get taken by the police from homes who use them as pets and get sent here with a mission, to get back into the wild.
In the rescue center we got the chance to get on a picture with a sloth and a huge yellow anaconda. There were also toucans, monkeys, aligators, an anteater and tortoises.
Once we went through the whole lot we visited upstairs of the center, here they make their own medicinal oils and alcoholic beverages for impotency and vitame intake. Got to taste them all!
Back on our usual boat for some dolphin sight seeing at 17:00 pm. This time we were not so lucky as in the morning, only one pink dolphin showed his snout. There were a lot more tourists at the lake this time, making it more difficult to spot the dolphins. We headed back for our 19:00 PM dinner and relaxing time.
After another early breakfast we went for our morning program: catching piranha!
First we stopped quick at the dolphins lake once more, and there were a lot jumping everywhere! Pink and gray ones.
After that we stopped at a small bar where we fished for piranha old school style, with a stick and a wire with some chicken on it. Caught 7!
Came back to the lodge around 11:15, some hammock time and lunch at 12 with our freshly caught piranhas, super tasty! Had to pay 12 soles for my two beers, then drove back to iquitos for an hour by boat.
After that our American friends had to leave for their flight and Oscar joined us for a trip over the market to get the chilis they use over here, Sam loved em! Market was huge, lots of souvenirs, herbal medicine, meat, fish and fruits. Weird side note, a lot of vendors are women, giving breast feeding to their newborns and a lot of black vultures are swarming everywhere!
After that Oscar dropped us at our hotel in Iquitos, Saris house.
Quick food at a local fast food joint with chicken leg and rice (19 soles) and chicken breast with fries (18 soles) we were ready for a shower and some sleep.