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A day in the life of a guide in Peru’s Amazon rainforest

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A day in the life of a guide in Peru

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to work as a guide in the Peruvian Amazon?

The following story came to us from one of our most experiences guides, Aldo Malaga … with some great photos on Facebook.

 

Aldo writes:

“Whether guiding at Posada Amazons, Refugio Amazonas, or the Tambopata Research Centre, all of my days start out before the break of dawn.

Sometimes, I feel bad about waking guests up at four or four thirty in the morning but we have to work on the same schedules as jungle wildlife, and all of them are early risers.

The other day at Posada Amazonas, one guest sort of grumbled when I came by at 4:30 AM. Believe me, I totally understood when he said: “Now? But it’s still dark!”

I quietly replied, “Yes, I know it’s too early but trust me, it will be worth it.”

 

posada-amazonas-eco lodge room peru

Posada Amazonas, eco lodge room, Peru

 

Howling morning

After a pre-dawn breakfast, we walked down to the boat waiting on the Tambopata River.

Parrots, Parakeets, and other birds were already flying overhead and the calls of red howler monkeys were coming from somewhere in the surrounding rainforest.

After quickly crossing to the opposite bank, another guide and I helped our guests step off the boat and up the bank of the river. The 30-minute walk through the bamboo and riverine rainforest was accompanied by the sounds of Amazonian birds and brief looks at a troop of squirrel monkeys.

Our morning destination was a big oxbow lake that hosts a family of one of the most endangered animals in the Amazon, the giant otter.

 

Howler monkey Amazon Ecuador

Howler monkey, Amazon

 

Curiouser and curiouser

Fish broke the surface of the tranquil lake here and there, and we pointed out the strange, nearly flightless Hoatzin bird, the eyes of a caiman peeking above the water, and Toucans calling from the treetops.

As we approached the place where the otters are usually seen, we reminded the guests to keep their voices down and avoid using flash to minimise disturbing these endangered, five-feet long Mustelids.

Before long, a few splashes and mewing calls revealed the presence of a few giant otters.

As they came our way, everyone got close looks at these beautiful animals and one of the otters seemed just as curious as we were. It was hard to hold in the excitement but we all managed to stay quiet.

After the otters left, one of our guests said to me: “I can see why you like this job. Thanks for the early wake-up call!”

 

How to see giant otters on an Amazon adventure:

Take a tour to a remote, protected area: Giant otters have unfortunately disappeared from large areas of their range. They mostly occur in wild, heavily forested, protected areas such as the Tambopata region.

Visit an oxbow lake in Tambopata: Several of the oxbow lakes near the Tambopata river have healthy populations of this endangered mammal.

Trips are frequently made to see them from Posadas, Refugios and Tambopata Research Centre lodges.

 

pantiacolla-giant-otters-Manu peru

Giant otters, Manu, Peru

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