Amazon Jungle Tours

Amazon Rainforest Tours

Tours Info

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

Pacaya Reserve, Iquitos, Peru

Suggested Pacaya Samiria Reserve Tours

Tours selected for Experience & Sustainability

Suggested Amazon Tours photo
Suggested Amazon Tours map

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

  • Summary Info
  • Pacaya Samiria Info
  • Wildlife
  • Visiting

Pacaya Samiria Reserve Summary Info

  • Name
  • Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
  • Area:
  • 2,080,000 ha
  • Habitat Type:
  • Tropical Flooded Forest
  • Location:
  • Loreto Region, north Peru
  • Base City:
  • Iquitos

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve Information

Containing over 2,080,000 hectares, the Pacaya Samiria is a wonderful example of Western Amazon Rainforest. The nature reserve was created in 1982 and is situated between the Ucayali and Marañon rivers. These rivers are home to gigantic fish called paiches (Arapaima gigas) that weigh an impressive 100 kg. These rivers of the Pacaya Samiria contain an assortment of wildlife such as black caiman, pink dolphins and manatees. The main waterways flowing through this impressive wilderness are black with the high concentration of life giving nutrients.

Best Time to Visit

During the rainy season, the Pacaya Samiria floods with water claiming the land. Fish normally restricted to the river systems can now swim freely between the forest trees. At this time hundreds of different birds, amphibians and fish explore the forest searching for fallen fruit. This is a crucial time for seed dispersal. The wet season is the best time to visit if your interest is mainly birds and fish.

The wet season means you can canoe into the forest to get a better view of the canopy. However, the dry season, from April to October, is usually the recommended season to visit. This is when small pools of terrestrial water shrink to a fraction of their former size, concentrating the wildlife so you can see an impressive assortment of Amazonian animals.

Human Population & Conservation

The human population of the Pacaya Samiria consists of 94 villages, where around a quarter belong to the cocama-cocamilla. The cocama-cocamilla have a population size of 42,000 people living off fishing, agriculture, and hunting.

The communities of the reserve are passionate about sustainable development promoting stable use of reserve resources. They are reintroducing the taricaya turtles to the reserve and impressively brought the paiche population of El Dorado Lake back from the brink of extinction. In 1994 only four specimens were found and today you can find over 800, which establishes Lake El Dorado as one of the many successful conservation efforts of this area.

The reserve is home to an assortment of sustainably harvested delicious fruit. You can try some of the fruit from this reserve in either Nauta or Iquitos. One of the favourites is the small, tart citrus fruit named camu-camu.

Flooded Forest of the Pacaya Samiria

Despite the distinct wet and dry seasons, a large portion of the Pacaya Samiria remains flooded throughout the year. This has resulted in adaptations of the vegetation to cope with being constantly submerged. Aguaja palms are one of these plants and are the dominant vegetation type across thousands of hectares, which are named aguajales.

Animals of the Pacaya Samiria

The reserve contains 132 species of different mammals like the abundant and diverse rodents e.g. the capybara, the largest living rodent, and many different monkeys. Pacaya Samiria amphibians and reptiles when taken together comprise around 150 species. There are 220 different types of fish, such as the gigantic paiche previously mentioned, and around 450 species of birds including 23 migrants. This means the reserve is home to about a quarter of all the birds in Peru. Along with these animals, you may see the endangered South American river turtles, amazon manatees, and pink and grey dolphins

Visiting the Pacaya Samiria

For Pacaya Samiria Reserve tours you can cruise on the comfortable Delfin II or the luxurious Delfin I. Both will take you on guided expeditions from the vessel to explore the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

  • what lodge amazon rainforest

    Five Days:

    Delfin II Cruise Iquitos, Peru

    First, you are collected in the Delfin limo-styled coach from Iquitos airport and you will then cruise in comfort to explore the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. After relaxing with Peru’s famous cocktail, you will board the Delfin II to enjoy massages & sophisticated cuisine by candle-light. Delfin provide 8 person skiffs & modern Kayaks so you can explore the Pacaya Samiria National Park in detail to experience the sounds and views of this giant flooded tropical forest.
    Massages, Kayak Tours
  • what lodge amazon rainforest

    Five Days:

    Delfin I Luxury Cruise Iquitos, Peru

    As entrée to your luxury Amazon cruise, you will be chauffeured in the Delfin limo-styled coach from Iquitos airport to the dock of the luxury Delfin I. After relaxing with Peru’s famous cocktail, you will board the Delfin I to enjoy your own vast suite complete with personal pool, massages & sophisticated cuisine by candle-light. Delfin provide 8 person skiffs & modern Kayaks so you can explore the Pacaya Samiria National Park in detail.
    Spacious Suites, Personal Pool, Massages
Keep updated on latest tours & articles, join our RSS feed, monthly newsletter, or contact us for tour help.