Travel

Escape to the Amazon and Reconnect With Nature

”Shhh, listen to the symphony.”

This is the instruction issued by our guide, Neycer Pizango, who has cut the engine of our skiff boat. Striving to be a good student, I sit as still as can be and tilt my ear upwards towards the forest canopy, eager to tune my ear to the right pitch. Through the rattling hum of the cicadas, an echo of cackling macaws cracks through. Then, the screech of a spiny lobster katydid, or giant lobster cricket, ricocheting between the trees. A group of swallows swoop low above the reeds in chorus. All around us, whining mosquitoes rise above the water’s surface like sentinels.

It’s peak rainy season in the Peruvian Amazon, the time of year when the river and its tributaries are at their highest, flooding the forest and pushing those who live along its banks inland for half the year. Entire villages become temporarily submerged. Banana trees buckle from the water’s force. But as much as the river appears to consume the jungle, it also creates new waterways from which to see it. The river rises almost 23 feet higher than in the dry months, meaning humans are never closer to the wildlife that lives high in the trees as from December through May. It’s why I’ve spent four days sailing along the head of the Amazon River and into the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve-scientists and conservationists have spent centuries studying animal and plant life from the water here—with Aqua Expeditions, an adventure cruise company known for a floating five-star experience that grants access to one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. Read more…

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