Iquitos - Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm

Iquitos Travel Blog

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Olivia´s five year old daughter Jennifer Fabiana is enchanted by butterflies and I had a surprise for her for Sunday, to take her with Olivia to the butterfly sanctuary near Iquitos. They had never been, and had never even heard about it and I knew it would be a treat for them.  We took a peque peque collectivo boat from the Bellavista harbor up the Nanay river, a tributary of the Amazon, on a perfect Sunday afternoon.  They are called peque peques because of the sound of the motor as it putters away.  We glided slowly up the river under a nearly cloudless sky and the heat wasn´t as oppressive on the water so it was an enjoyable ride.  As we neared the village of Padre Cocha where we were to disembark there were some white sand beaches along the river and local families and a host of kids were already escaping the heat by bathing and sitting under makeshift enclosures of wood frames and palm fronds.

Dock at Padre Cocha village
  I was about ready to jump overboard and join them. 

The walk from Padre Cocha to the butterfly farm seemed to take a long time becuase Fabiana was moving slowly and pausing every time she saw a butterfly flitting around to exclaim, ¨yo quero una mariposita de color naranja como mi amigita!¨(I want an orange colored butterfly as my little friend!) and other such variations on the theme of wanting many little butterfly friends of varying color.  Every one she saw became her new ¨favorite¨color.  At this rate it took a while to get to Pilpintuwasi but eventually we walked in and were welcomed by the Peruvian owner as a red-faced monkey scampered up and quickly jumped up on Olivia to toy with her necklace and earings.

Pilpintuwasi
  The farm specializes in rescuing injured and sick and endangered animals as they nurture them back to health and provide a home for them.  Their primary work is the butterfly program but they also care for several varieties of monkeys, a tapir, a jaguar, an anteater and some othe animals.  Each of them is well cared for and each has a name.  Many of them are endangered species and that was a treat to see.  The butterfly project involves watching over the life cycle of the butterfly from egg to full fledged butterfly before they are released into the wild.  There were more varieties than I could count and it was neat to be surrounded by them in the enclosure and to see them at each stage in their brief life.  After visiting all the animals and playing with the monkeys, or rather, having the mischevious monkeys play with us, we bid the Austrian lady and her Peruvian partner farewell and began the trek back to the village.
Toucan? Macaw?
  I carried Fabiana for awhile, just so we could get back a bit quicker.  We shared some fresh coconut and watermelon before boarding a boat and going back to Bellavista port.  The late Sunday crowd was in full swing with a busy beach and blaring music from every side and many street vendors cooking up delicious smelling food.  I don´t know why we didn´t stop because I was so hungry but it was ok because we had some fried fish and rice at Olivia´s house. 

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Seaplane
Seaplane
Dock at Padre Cocha village
Dock at Padre Cocha village
Pilpintuwasi
Pilpintuwasi
Toucan? Macaw?
Toucan? Macaw?
Red-faced monkey.  Nearly extinct.
Red-faced monkey. Nearly extinct.
Another monkey nearing extinction
Another monkey nearing extinction
Giant anteater
Giant anteater
butterfly garden
butterfly garden
Guide showing butterfly eggs
Guide showing butterfly eggs
Caterpillars
Caterpillars
Caterpillar
Caterpillar
Owl butterfly
Owl butterfly
Caterpillars
Caterpillars
Releasing a butterfly into the wild
Releasing a butterfly into the wild
Jaguar
Jaguar
Tapir, in danger of extinction
Tapir, in danger of extinction
Monkey
Monkey
Hanging out
Hanging out
Howler monkeys resting
Howler monkeys resting
Sleeping monkey
Sleeping monkey
Howler monkey
Howler monkey
Owner of Pilpintuwasi
Owner of Pilpintuwasi
Beach on the Amazon
Beach on the Amazon
Bellavista port
Bellavista port
The Amazon
The Amazon
Iquitos
photo by: Ileamel