Watching Marine Mammals: Iquitos

In the Amazonian jungle, the rivers and lakes are true underwater worlds hosting animal species whose characteristics challenge the imagination, such as the pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), loved and feared by the natives due to its supposed magical powers.

Its long and pink body, which can reach a length of 2.5 meters ( over 8 feet) and 160 kg (353 pounds) is sure to attract a lot of attention, as it leaps out of the water every 15 minutes. This beloved creature can be admired in various zones of the Amazon River,while grey dolphins (Sotalia fluviatilis) and manatees (Trichechus ininguis) are found in the Pacaya Samiria Reserve area. The journey to the reserve can take up to 7 days.

There are various private and public organizations dedicated to rescuing and caring for pink dolphins and manatees. If time to observe pink dolphins in their natural habitat is limited, they are also found at the Quistocoha zoo, 20 minutes from Iquitos.

The Amazonian Rescue Center run by the Iquitos Foundation offers tourists the possibility to see manatees, and even to feed them milk with a bottle. The Foundation’s work has received many awards including: 2009 Environmental Citizenship Prize and Champions of Change Award.

A visit to the zoo and Center takes 5 hours.


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