I caught a flight over the Andes to the city of Puerto Maldonado in Peru’s southern jungle! We had lunch on the river as we traveled upstream by a traditional Peruvian boat to our Rainforest Lodge. We spotted toucans and macaws along the way. After dinner we headed out to look for caiman, a member of the alligator family native to the Amazon. We scanned the shores with flashlights to see if we could catch the red gleam of the light as it reflects off of the caiman’s eyes.
Our guide during our stay in the jungle waded into the water and literally caught one with his bare hands. We boarded a simple catamaran early the next morning for the best views of wildlife. While on the lookout, we spotted monkeys, giant river otter, and . . .
The Red Belly Piranha.
We all took turns fishing for some piranhas. Some people were really good and caught a bunch of them. The guide, not seeming to be afraid of ever losing his fingers, held one and opened its mouth so we could see its teeth. They were really small but I can imagine how sharp they must be based on how pointy they looked. He held a big leaf in front of its mouth and it chomped it to pieces. It didn’t even swallow or anything – the bits of leaves just piled up in his mouth. Savage.
During some free time, I decided to try a 30 metre canopy climb with a rope, harness and jumar (a mechanical device used for ascending on a rope). It took me about 12 minutes to climb. It was a complete upper and lower body workout. Once at the top I had an amazing view of the jungle canopy. I saw hundreds of coconuts up there. I also encountered many spiders up there, too. Big ones. The most nerve-racking part was the descent. I was terrified to scooch off the ledge out of fear of no resistance in my harness. As a joke, the guide sent me falling to the ground as fast as he could. It scared me shitless. Once back at the Lodge I had several Pisco Sour as a reward.
The photos were amazing. You made me desire to visit this amazing country. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos.
Hi there! Thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad you liked it. I definitely recommend Peru if you’re the adventurous type! :)
Nice blog. Seems we’ve been traveling the same parts of the world at the same time–I was also in Croatia in 2011 and Peru in 2012. You’ve been to a lot more places, though :-) I look forward to reading about more of your travels and hope to get to some of those places myself.
Hi Michael! That is so funny! Thank you so very much for your comment and for visiting my blog :)