One of the best parts about Amazon River cruises is the ability to experience the river while acting as a part of it. Cruising upstream during an Amazon River tour, guests aboard the Aquamarina discover the wealth of wildlife both on and off-shore — like gray and pink river dolphins.

Unlike the average dolphin, the gray river dolphin and the Amazon pink dolphin are only found in the waters of the great river, as far inland as southern Peru, eastern Ecuador and southeastern Colombia. While rare in other parts of the Amazon, pink river dolphins flourish in the Peruvian Amazon, and International Expeditions’ Amazon expedition cruise guests see these mysterious mammals almost every day! The dolphin, also known as the boutu, is the largest of the freshwater dolphins, measuring as long as six feet. These creatures play an interesting role in local culture, with many native tribes telling stories of the legendary encantado, a river spirit that can transform from a dolphin into a man to seduce local women.

The pink dolphin is known for its color, which changes from gray to pink as it ages, but also of note is the sound it makes while hunting down prey. The animals use echolocation, which is the use of sound waves to determine where certain objects are in surrounding space University. But travelers won’t have to get creative to see these dolphins — their outgoing personalities around boats also make them easy to observe!

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creative commons imageImage courtesy of JorgeBRAZIL & Creative Commons