Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
6:00 AM - 8:00 PM
6:00 AM - 8:00 PM
6:00 AM - 8:00 PM
6:00 AM - 8:00 PM
6:00 AM - 8:00 PM
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
6:00 AM - 11:59 PM
With 2 million hectares, it is the biggest National Reserve of Peru, also it is the largest protected flooded forest of the world and one of the richest places in biological wealth on the planet. Between its biological diversity we find 449 of tropical bird species, 102 of mammals, 256 known species of freshwater fish, 69 of reptiles and more than 1000 varieties of plants, as well as species in danger of extinction like the giant otter, the black lizard, the manatee and the pink dolphin of the Amazon. The place's beauty, as well as its biological wealth makes the reserve a particularly important destination for scientific investigators, nature lovers and bird watchers.The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve stands out among Peru's natural protected areas. Located in the Department of Loreto, in the provinces of Loreto, Requena, Ucayali and Alto Amazonas, with an extension of more than 8000 square miles, it is considered one of the largest of South America
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Top ways to experience Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
The area
Saint Tomas # 410 San Juan Bautista Distrit, 00512 Peru
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

5.0 of 5 bubbles239 reviews
Very good

1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
My family of 6 members we just returned from a week long Peru vacation 2 days in Cusco and 5 days in the Amazon at Iquitos city. We use Local Trekkers Peru, because they seem to be the only company based in Cusco that operate its own groups in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve without intermediaries. We decided to take the camping option, since we wanted to have a more direct contact with nature and above all observe the greatest amount of wildlife that we could see and we would surely miss it by staying in a lodge. Alberto the Manager, organized everything perfectly, transport, pick-ups, permits, etc. Once in Iquitos we met our guide Wilder, better known as Lobo (wolf) who was waiting for us at the airport to begin our adventure. We took the first flight from Lima. Wilder gave us a quick briefing of what we had to expect and what to bring for a tour in the jungle of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. We made a brief stop in the town of Nauta to buy some last minute things like extra batteries, mosquitoes repellent, some fruits and snacks before embarking on our boat and traveling upriver on the marañon river. On our travel of the first day we could see some pink dolphins, which seemed to follow our boat, we also saw some birds like herons, toucans and some vultures too. But where we really saw a lot of action, it was once inside the heart of the reserve, 3 days inside.

Here we saw many species of monkeys, kapibaras, coaties, hundred of turtles we saw an anaconda changing skin I think it was 5 meters long, Amazing!!!. Many times we saw the famous macaws flying above us. We even had the opportunity to see a female jaguar with its baby jaguar I think this was the most amazing animals we saw. Believe me that if it weren't for mosquitoes, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve would be Paradise. Our entire trip was very well organized from start to finish, the guide, the cook, the food, the water, the transports all excellent. Thanks to Local Trekkers Peru, we will remember this experience forever and I highly recommend them.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alameda, CA2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Couples
We booked a 4 day Amazon cruise through Rainforest Cruises and I couldn't be more pleased with everything!! Miles helped us organize all of the details before the trip include where to stay and what flights to take.

The boat that we took, called the Amatista, was a beautifully restored 3 story cruise boat. The individual cabins had all the amenities you need and the dining room served delicious local cuisine.

There were two naturalists aboard who were born and raised in region, Juan Carlos and Robinson, and both were SOOO knowledgeable about the plants, animals, and local communities.

The entire crew so friendly that the boat had a very fun relaxed atmosphere and too top it off a few of the crew had their own band and played a few times in the evening, some traditional Peruvian songs and some Beatles covers!

We got up close and personal with a Bushmaster Viper, Capuchins monkeys, Caymans and soooo many more! There were excursions everyday which were well planned and organized.

I highly recommend booking a cruise through Rainforest Cruises. I wouldn't have changed a thing and I will remember this trip forever!
Written June 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ashby de la Zouch, UK15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2012 • Solo
I didn’t really know much about the reserve before I went, other than that several of my friends who live in Peru told me I was in for a treat as this is the best reserve to visit in Peru in terms of wildlife. They weren’t wrong. I’ve never seen so much wildlife before and some of the sights I saw will stay with me forever. Pacaya-Samiria is teeming with wildlife, you can see the fish jumping out of the water there are so many, dolphins both pink and grey playing and fishing, colourful kingfishers, macaws, herons, monkeys, sloths, caiman, piranha, I could go on and on. I saw all of these on an incredible cruise to this reserve on board a beautifully restored Rubber-era boat called the Ayapua. I felt every bit the Victorian explorer!

As part of the package the Casa Morey stay in Iquitos was wonderful. Try to ask for a room with views of the river which are stunning as the hotel is right on the malecon. Take your trunks too so you can take a dip in the refreshing pool. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the owner Richard is clearly passionate about the restoration of this building steeped in history. As a doctor in Biology he’s also a walking encyclopedia on all things Amazon, especially around Iquitos, and has played a huge part in the research and conservation of the reserve and its wildlife. I was thrilled to find out he was going to be on board our cruise.

Some fascinating and informative talks about the evolution of the Amazon, the reserve and its wildlife are given on board and having conducted lots of research themselves they have a wealth of information I imagine many others don’t have. If you’re an active conservationist, eco-minded or just plain interested in wildlife then I recommend this cruise. If you are excited by tales of early Amazon exploration, the search for El Dorado or the Rubber boom era then look no further either as you can’t choose a more apt boat or team to take you there.
The boat is gorgeous, it’s been used in period dramas and has lots of antique nautical equipment and vintage Victorian décor. The cabins are clean and comfortable and good views either side of the boat, but I wouldn’t say they are 5*. A nice feature are the writing desks which, if you are not out caiman or frog spotting at night, is ideal for writing your diary from – I recommend doing this or at least making a note of which animals you have seen as you will see so many it’s hard to remember them all!

The food aboard was delicious and plentiful, with bowls of fresh fruit every day, buffet style meals of Peruvian and European cuisine and (my favourite) a daily baked-cake to have with your afternoon tea or coffee, all served in a grand dining hall that stretches almost the length of the boat.

A nice feature was an onboard nurse who I kept busy with my mosquito bites – a good piece of advice is to make sure you spray or treat your clothes with repellent as the mosquitos quite happily bite through them. It was great to see she was also helping some of the local Cocama people who have little access to medical advice or treatment. It was fascinating to hear some of the different conservation approaches that have been used over the years at the reserve and how a lot of collaborative work is now done with the local indigenous people. An afternoon visit to one of the local villages was both insightful and heart-wrenching. No nonsense head-dresses or cheesy dances, just how they truly live on a daily basis. We even got to learn some of the local dialect!

I’d like to mention and recommend the library on board. If there wasn’t so much to see on deck I could have spent all day in there. It was a wealth of information, with factual books, magazines with interesting Amazon articles and several fiction books with tales of Amazon exploration which really enrich the experience in my opinion.

A highlight was a jungle hike into the rainforest. Equipped with our provided rubber boots we set off, some in the hope of finding tarantulas and the like, others in the hope of not seeing them! This is real unspoilt flooded forest rainforest at its best. Vines, swamps, giant trees, the calls of Howler Monkeys ringing in your ears and adrenaline pumping through your body. Time almost stood still when I saw a hummingbird feeding right by my head!

Another highlight were the evening and night skiff (little boat) rides where we saw so many birds, monkeys, sloths and caiman. How our guides could spot these animals from so far away or recognize (and replicate!) their calls was incredible. And I can’t not mention the dolphins. Wow! Such inquisitive creatures. They almost seemed to be additional guides, following our skiff everywhere we went. To see them playing, jumping out of the water, or fishing was breath-taking.

Don’t miss the chance to watch the amazing Amazon sunsets or the cormorants gathering in the trees whilst sipping relaxing cocktails at the upper deck bar. I could feel all the stresses of modern day life just drain away.

I’d recommend taking a good camera as my photos (I've attached some) don’t really do the views and wildlife justice. A good pair of binoculars is also recommended. Our guides were very helpful and lent us theirs but I’d recommend taking your own pair – to see some of the birds and their magnificent colours up close the zoom of binoculars is a must.

Going to Pacaya-Samiria and seeing some of the best preserved Amazon rainforest in South America is a great privilege, but to do so on a magnificently restored Rubber-era boat just added to the magic and romance of it all. A big thanks to those who showed me such great hospitality at the Casa Morey, the Ayapua team for such an incredible experience and Rainforest Cruises for organizing it all for me. I can’t recommend a trip to Pacaya-Samiria with them highly enough.
Written December 11, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kfir G
Tel Aviv, Israel80 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
We went with Jungle Explorer agency


Especially the guide named Lobo

He is a CROOK!!!

We paid a lot of money to get to Pacaya Sameria but he took us to a closer place and lied about it.

He tried to save money on our expense, skiped meals, sent us with another "guide" basically saved money in any way he could.

Be Carefull!!!
Written November 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wilmington, DE39 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2012 • Friends
The rainforest of Peru is a unique environment. A seasoned traveler, not a tourist, I expected to encounter some challenges. I had already been in Peru for two weeks, so I was past the usual bumps you encounter when traveling in South America. A friend and I booked a week-long excursion on an Amazon riverboat with a company based in Colorado. The airport pickup, transfers, and hotel in Iquitos were all executed without problems.

The guide on our tour, Victor, deserves a rating of suberb. He knows the Pacaya Samiria Reserve and its creatures well, and led our little party of seven on some amazing off-the-boat adventures through some of the most remote locations I have ever encountered. In addition to the wildlife, we were also taken to visit a rainforest village and a small yucca farm where we could meet the real people of this area. Victor is an amazing photographer and he took some wonderful pictures of the birds, snakes, dolphins, caiman, pirrhana, etc. as we traveled around.
The crew of our ship, all hard-working locals, were always smiling and did their best to help navigate our boat, clean our cabin, serve our meals and provide us with drinks.

The bad news here is the Clavero, the oldest boat still navigating the Amazon according to the local English monthly, the Iquitos Times. The information about the boat, provided by the tour company we booked with, Green Tracks, was misleading. The online description indicated that the boat was completely restored between 2007- 09 and had six comfortable cabins. 1907 - 1909 would be more like it. There was not a single comfortable place on this boat. The dining room/salon was barely air conditioned and had no comfortable furniture other than dining chairs. The cabins were even more dreary, and the sun deck consisted of several old plastic chairs under an awning that was barely big enough to provide sun for four people at one time. Not much of place to be on a hot afternoon.

Our intrepid group of seven occupied four of the six cabins. No one was particularly pleased with the accommodations, although I will not speak in detail for the others. Air conditioned? Depends on your definition. The air conditioning in our cabin was unable to keep up with the demands of the hot and humid conditions of the Amazon. It was replaced mid-week after it stopped working all together, and the replacement was also inadequate. The nights were cool, so we could have survived without A/C if we could have opened any windows without an invasion of bugs. We taped the old, wooden window frames and and the port hole in the bathroom shut in order to keep out the bugs, and still spent 30 minutes every evening killing mosquitos before we could go to sleep. Our private bath consisted of a toilet with a bucket next to it that had to be filled and dumped in order to flush the toilet. Fair enough, but there was not always water to do this task so this room took on the quality and odor of a swamp. The shower, in adequately caulked, repeatedly leaked into the cabin soaking the carpet and creating a small pond under one of the beds. As bad as our accomodations were, those of the crew were even more dire.
Our excursion boat, which we took out for two to three hours at a time, had no canopy and could get very uncomforable when we were in the open sun. By mid-week, if I could have gotten a message to American Express, I would have called for a rescue. I was counting the days until our trip was over, which is a first for me.
Written March 19, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara P
Burien, WA31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2014 • Friends
A friend and I traveled with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours and International Expeditions for eight days aboard the very comfortable Amazon Star. Three times a day we explored the rivers and creeks along the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in stable skiffs, and saw amazing sights. I guessed on my way home that perhaps I had added fifty species to my life list of birds. When I counted I had actually seen 150 new species there! This would not have been possible without our trip leaders and local guides, who each had an amazing ability to identify birds by sound, identify birds seen even when soaring high above us, and to spot animals that blended right into the forest for most of us. In addition to all those birds they found many monkeys including pygmy marmosets, saddleback tamarins, and night monkeys, iguanas and lizards, fishing bats, snakes, a spectacled caiman and more! This is a phenomenal trip for anyone interested in birds and wildlife. Along the way we met fishermen and families traveling the river, and had an opportunity to visit a village. Hard to pick highlights from such an amazing experience, but the pink river dolphins surfacing around our skiff and the baby pink-toe tarantula that fell into our skiff from the trees above really stole my heart!
Written January 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

La Crescenta, CA17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Friends
I visited the Reserve on an Earthwatch Institute expedition. This is one of the few groups actually allowed inside the Reserve. Most others are only allowed along the borders. We saw no other tourist groups during the five days we were in the Reserve. Our accommodations were on board the vintage (1876) riverboat M/V Clavero. We worked with Dr. Richard Bodmer and native Cocama Indian guides counting various species of wildlife in the Reserve and visited a Cocama village the last day.
Written May 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ninove, Belgium8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Couples
We visited the park in 2013 from Iquitos. Sandro, son of Manuel and former owner of Asiendes is now the chief. We booked a tour for 7 nights in the park with guide, cook and tents. The trip itself was fine, nature is great, it's a unique experience in nature. Also a visit of the village was very interesting.
I booked this tour with Asiendes through the hostel La Pascana. Everything went perfect.
But beware of Sandro, he robbed us. How? After the trip to the park, we had to continue by boat to Yurimaguas. We promised us to buy tickets for the boat and to get us 2 hammocks to sleep in. He told us the price and we payed him to arrange everything. When we came back from the jungle trip, money from my backpack had been stolen (you don't take everything in the jungle, just your basic needs, the room had no lock and our bags had been moved). When taking the boat, he didn't give us a receipt. We needed those to get food in the boat for 2 days. It was soon clear why: he charged us more than double of the price for the tickets. The hammocks he provided, were his old ones, and he charged us a lot more than a new one would cost. In total, over $200 was waisted.
It is truely a shame that a local organisation is run by an money-obsessed person. Since he is the only one who reads email, you can't alert other people from Asiendes. I don't think the other Asiendes-people know about this, they seemed to be honest people, trying hard to live from sustainible tourism.
Written March 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Donna L
Fairfield, CA52 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2012 • Solo
Departed Nov. 23rd, returned to US Dec. 3rd
I thoroughly researched several companies before deciding to book with Rainforest Cruises (RC). From the initial contact to the trip's end I was impressed. Traveling alone, the only American in our small group, I felt comfortable and safe at all times.
RC booked us into La Casa Morey our first night, which was smart. Then no one misses the boat due to missed connections! The Morey, which has many great reviews on TA, is a lovely old rubber baron mansion refurbished by Dr. Richard Bodmer, who also owns the historic riverboat, Ayapua, which was our designated boat.
Dr. Bodmer hosted our dinner that evening and provided additional trip details including time of departure for our charter mini-bus the next morning. We drove the approximately two hours up river to Nauta where the Ayapua is moored. That drive was fascinating due to the scenery and the challenge of a narrow, two-lane highway.
We boarded the Ayapua, were given cabin assignments and settled in. The cabins are clean, but simple, each with a private bath. This isn't the QE2, this is an experience on an historic vessel. Dr. Bodmer, renowned Amazon biologist, later gave a short lecture on the origin of the Amazon, the animals and people. We were really thrilled to have our very own expert on board! He was always available to answer our questions and an all-around genial fellow.
All week long we went on morning, afternoon and evening excursions, often using a small skiff. Bird watching, monkey, sloth, pink and grey river dolphin sightings, pirana fishing, caiman spotting, and the thrill of a jungle hike were all on the itin. Everything is optional. You get to choose, but who wouldn't want to do it all!!
Every evening there was a cocktail hour on the upper deck, stern, of the Ayapua. Dr. Bodmer's house rules are simple. It's the honor system. You keep track of what you consume and pay up at the end of the voyage.
Special mention must be made of the food on board. Excellent and plentiful! Ruth, the chef, and her two assistants made three meals a day, kept fruit and drinks available all the time and often served up a surprise dessert.
Laundry service is available on board, too. You bag up your dirty, sweaty clothes, drop them by the kitchen and the next day, voila!, they appear folded in a basket.
The sunrises and sunsets on the river were beautiful beyond description. Bring a good camera and your own pair of binoculars. RC wasn't kidding when the emphasized how important it would be to bring your binoculars!
Our native guides, Roberto in particular, were outstanding. With their innate knowledge of the Amazon our time there was enhanced. By the end of the week, we could identify dolphins just by the sound of the exhale.
At the end of the cruise, all of my shipmates departed Iquitos, but I stayed two extra days, again booked into La Casa Morey. I'm glad I did. Through TA I found a local guide named Lilia who spent several hours with me one day, showing me the real Iquitos and its people. We went up the Nanay River to the Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm and Animal Orphanage, as well as going through local neighborhoods and markets. She made sure I was safe and that I didn't get ripped off when purchasing trinkets or paying for mototaxis. If you need her contact info, send me a message through TA. She's a real gem in the Amazon!
I'll close by saying that my experience with Rainforest Cruises was stellar. I would sail with them again, in a heartbeat!
Written January 4, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Romford, UK24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Solo
I visited the Pacaya Samiria in November last year with Earthwatch and it was an unbelievable experience. The trip was very well organised, led by Richard Bodmer and his team of biologists. All the staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, for someone who’d never been on an Earthwatch trip before like me I learnt so much from them. Each day is different and you choose how your day will go, in the morning you might spot wading birds or river otters then a spot of fishing (Watch your fingers for the piranhas!). You’ll never tire of spotting pink and grey dolphins who can get very close to your boat. Maybe in the evening we’d go frog or caiman spotting. The transects in the jungle are great, you see so much and just writing about this makes me want to go back.

The accommodation with Earthwatch is nice, it’s not 5 star but remember where you are and having air con, hot water for a shower and 3 nice wholesome meals a day was great and I couldn’t have asked for anything else. The girls there will cover laundry (weather permitting, they can’t dry if it keeps raining) and there is a bar on board too. Plenty of time to chill out and relax in the amazon heat, so bring some books. Seeing the stars at night so clearly is one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

If you get a chance arrive a day early and explore Iquitos, I did and went on a tour around the Belen Market and butterfly farm as organised by the Dawn on the Amazon group.

If you’re ever going to explore the Amazon do it with Earthwatch, the data you collect is so important to them and you’ll have the experience of a lifetime.
Written January 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 101
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All things to do in Loreto Region
Zoos & Aquariums in Loreto RegionDay Trips in Loreto Region
Things to do near Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars