The accommodations, food and travel on the river were done in style. Interacting with local scientists, and the group leader was very rewarding.
I would highly recommend this expedition to anyone that wants to experience the Amazon, scientific research and the local culture. Note: I would recommend looking into a side trip to Machu Piccchu the Inca ruins. This is not easy and I would thing almost a week is needed for travel and observing the ruins, but I felt it was well worth the effort. Nancy Burton Tuesday, March14, I loved the number of different daily activities available- from early in the AM to late in the evening! For this reason alone, I would consider signing up for this expedition again.
The logistics support was super and the research team focused, but fun. As a citizen scientist, I felt like a real member of the team.
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Kevin Slotten Monday, March13, As two individuals interested in broadening our knowledge of the environment, we joined the 2-week expedition with the hope of developing a better understanding and appreciation of the Amazonian ecosystem, its importance and sustainability in the longer term. The expedition exceeded our expectations. Bodmer and his team of biologists and field guides managed a unique balance of classroom-style lectures and field trips that meshed theory with the aggregation of data collected in a way that was easily understood by the non-biologist.
The team was eager to share their knowledge regarding the flora and fauna of the region and explain the subtle nuances of nature: bird calls or dolphin behaviors. Further, the field guides were true experts in sighting and identifying mammals, birds and plants.
Bodmer and his team were always accessible for field questions throughout the day and during the evening group debriefs. We came away with a good understanding of the research being conducted and the importance of the ongoing field counts in maintaining a data sample that is immensely valuable in formulating policies along with sustainable conservation models helping local people profit from eco-sensitive utilization of the land.
Daily activities included: land transects, dolphin, wading bird and macaw counts, while after dark fishing bat and caiman counts that included capturing and measuring. Each day was unique and eventful. Sallie McCutcheon Friday, February10, The Amazon Riverboat Exploration expedition was amazing.
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It was outstanding not only for its terrain, land animals, fish, dolphins, birds, caimans etc. The men who operated the small boats used for observing wildlife were very skilled. The research staff and the boat operators were able to hear or see both macaws, monkeys, or sloths before any of the volunteers were able to detect them. But we learned fast but never as proficiently as the staff. The lectures by Dr. Bodmer pertaining to the expedition were well received. We learned about the history of the region and the political undertakings that made some of the area a preserve.
We also learned the reason the research was valuable to the area. The boat staff wonderful cooks and made out stay very comfortable. The captain of the boat made the days on the river a pleasure by slowing the boat so we could have a good look at the animals in the trees even before we reached our final research location. Barbara Conrad Thursday, February9, This was a very rich and rewarding experience, and I highly recommend it.
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The project is very well managed and organized. The project team is outstanding.
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The Principal Investigator Richard Bodmer is very knowledgeable and willing to share his years of experience, through several university-level presentations and in response to one-on-one questions. The biologists and field assistants are also outstanding in the knowledge and experience which they so willingly share.
I learned good basic skills and methods for field surveys. The village visit was a pleasure. There is clearly a long term, respectful and mutually beneficial relationship between the project and the local communities. I especially appreciate that the findings from the research are shared and serve so many: the local community for resource management, the provincial and national governments in Peru for policy and planning, and the international community for climate change impact tracking. And, of course, the forest, the rivers, the birds, animals and fish are wonderful.
This is a great up-close connection with a very beautiful and rich ecosystem. The other team members were great fun too, coming from a broad range of ages and background. Brought my own boots, and appreciated my mosquito head net and gloves for those few times that mosquitoes were abundant. Nicole Cloutier Tuesday, January17, For years I had wanted to go on an EarthWatch trip and was so excited when I was finally able to make it happen!
There were so many choices, but an EarthWatch advisor helped me narrow it down. While all the trips are amazing, she specifically highlighted that this trip in particular offers so many different types of experiences. On any given day you can chose up to 3 or 4 different activities.
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I made it a point to try each excursion at least once - and they were all fantastic! In the mornings, you could chose to do a bird survey, including 1 for Macaws flying over! Or you could go on a boat to observe and count the Pink River Dolphin, a jungle transect, which was an amazing way to encounter various monkeys, or a night bat count by boat.
Truly - all of it was so unique and priceless. My favorite memory probably will be the evening boat excursion to count and capture Caiman. It was fun to find them, the guides would ultimately "catch" them, and then a volunteer would take various measurements before naming and releasing it. There was a scientific briefing each night which was fantastic as well. The food was great but the company was better!
I went solo and made 3 great friends during my trip! Was a great escape from busy work life and a trip of a lifetime to work side-by-side with the local ecologists! Judith Wieske Saturday, October22, This expedition should be called "Amazing" Amazon Riverboat Exploration. The director and staff were wonderful and made sure everyone was comfortable, well fed, participated as much as they wanted and helped us to fully understand how our participation really helps make an impact on the Reserve and it's inhabitants.
There are so many great activities on this project and I was able to select which ones I wanted to participate in each day. Yes, it is hot during the day and you will sweat a lot, but the rewards are many and there's always air conditioning and a shower back on the Clavero. If you want to do the walking transects for this expedition I would bring your own rubber boots as they may not have your size available.
I am prone to sea sickness and we hardly felt the motion of the boat at all, even when underway. The smaller boats for field work were very steady also and I only had to use dramamine when I was using binoculars counting all the birds during the Wading Birds Survey. There was ample opportunity to take photographs during all of the activities.
This is definitely a photographer's dream trip! We were able to see a new Giant River Otter family in the area along with about 75 different types of birds.
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The river dolphins were everywhere and playful. Many monkeys and sloths also. If you have time spend an extra day or two in Iquitos to see and experience life on the Amazon. There are many animal preserves in the area. I would surely do this again! Ruth Robarts Sunday, September18, The Amazon Riverboat Exploration was a very inspiring experience. It let me contribute in a small way to the vital work of Dr. Richard Bodmer and other scientists who study the Pacaya-Samiria river forest in the western Amazon region of Peru.
Bodmer has genuine roots in the area.
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Since the s, he has studied wildlife in this area in a cooperative and deepening relationship with local scientists and the indigenous people, the Cocama nation. His lectures fully prepared us to participate in the field work. They also presented a compelling argument for co-management of the Pacaya-Samiria area and all other areas experiencing the damaging impacts of climate change. Bodmer has the perspective of someone who has restored river boats from the s, helped create a museum of indigenous culture, trained generations of scientists, and is building and refining a solid bank of scientific evidence to inform the decisions of local people and governments.
As a result, volunteers get the chance to follow Cocama guides through the areas of study, learning from them and the young Peruvian biologists, while Dr. Bodmer makes it all happen. Julie Buxton Wednesday, July6, Being on a historic year old ship in the depths of the Amazon with a passionate Principle Investigator and experienced fellow Expeditioners - mysterious water below, clear blue sky above, surrounded by lush greenery and exquisite wildlife that calls out in a harmonious symphony - what is not to love?
Having a day of research in the jungle that concludes with a stunning sunset and a chilled Pisco sour in hand or 2 on the ship - that's what I call the epitome of 'giving back'. During the evening debriefings I learned that an early, early morning jaunt to track Macaws was a daily option.
I sighed and signed up for the early morning call thinking that I would take one for the team - only to find out that it was a spectacular experience. The same held true for the early evening quest for caimans in the Amazon dusk. And that says nothing for the wild life tracking during the course of the day. My all-time favorite afternoon was at a village of one of the Amazon tribes — touring the village and dancing with the children.
The expedition staff were exceptionally friendly, the food was savory and tasty, the accommodations very comfortable and the mission is one that very much needs to be supported. The Amazon is a treasure and needs to be preserved. Just do it! Yoko Sakai Thursday, May26, This is my 3rd expeditions over years. Last expedition in Madagascar was the best among those yet, this Amazon River was as good as it was considering the costs of participants and the program was very organized and efficient.
I would highly recommend it. Jeremy Lijoi Saturday, May14, This expedition was fantastic- interesting, rewarding, and engaging. I was skeptical at first, given I never travel solo nor really participate in "organized" trips. However, the entire experience was flawlessly executed.
The science team was patient with the volunteers and very willing to teach us anything we were interested in.
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