The Amazon River is home to many different species of animals, including the elusive jaguar, the largest member of the cat family living in the Americas. The species predominantly sticks to the rainforests of Latin America, especially around the Amazon River basin, but they were once found all across South and Central America.

Jaguars are easy to recognize, as they are covered in rose-shaped black spots. However, some may appear to look more like panthers or other big cats if their fur is dark enough to disguise their spots.

Few jaguars are ever even glimpsed in their natural habitat; however, they do surround areas of the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, where guests travel on International Expeditions’ Amazon River cruises. Jaguars are excellent swimmers, and the river provides a great source of food — from fish to turtles to caimans. They also feast on larger creatures like deer and capybaras (large rodents about as big as medium-sized dogs). Jaguars have been known to climb trees to attack their prey from above, so visitors should be sure to keep an eye on the rainforest canopy on their Amazon River cruises.

For the latest travel trends and exciting discoveries., visit our Amazon Travel News section.