In the Amazonian jungle, the rivers and lakes are aquatic worlds containing many species with characteristics that surpass the imagination, including the pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), which is loved and feared by the natives who believe it has magical powers.
Its long, pink body, which can reach a length of 2.5 metres and weigh 160 kg, attracts much attention, especially as it leaps out of the water every 15 minutes. This cherished mammal can be admired in various sections of the Amazon River, and there are also grey dolphins (Sotalia fluviatilis) and manatees (Trichechus ininguis) in the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. The journey to the reserve takes approximately 7 days.
There are various private and public organisations that are dedicated to caring for and rescuing the pink dolphin and manatee. If one has limited time to see them in their natural habitat, pink dolphins are the main attraction in the Quistocoha zoo, 20 minutes from Iquitos.
The Amazonian Rescue Centre run by the Iquitos Foundation offers tourists the opportunity to see manatees, and even feed them milk from a bottle. The Foundation's work has seen them given many awards, including the 2009 Environmental Citizenship Prize and the Champions of Change Award.
Visits to the zoo and centre last 5 hours.