Reliable site for Red-faced Uakari, Peru

I recently returned from the private Tapiche O’Hara Reserve, a reliable site for Red-faced Uakari.  This site is reached in less that a day’s river travel from Iquitos Peru, and it appears to be straightforward to made daily observations of the Uakari.
While there are other accessible Peruvian lodges with the Uakari, sighings are generally rare (maybe a sighting every few weeks, even at research stations with active primatologists).
Tapiche O’Hara is, to my knowledge, the only Peruvian site with reliable daily Uakari sightings that is accessible in less than a day’s travel from a commercial airport (Iquitos).

This is one of the most intact easily accessible mammal faunas in Loreto (I work as an ornithologist all around this region).

Details at

Jacob Socolar


  • Jon Hall

    Thanks Jacob – that is really great information! I am planning a visit to Peru next year. How’s the mammal watching likely to be in February? My main targets are Emperor Tamarin and (now) Red-faced Uakari… cheers


    • Jacob Socolar

      I’ve not spent any time in Peru in February–it will be wet, and the water will be very high in the north, which is a blessing and a curse (excellent mobility by boat and terrible mobility on foot).

      If you’d like info about any other mammals in Amazonian Peru, I’d be happy to share what little I know. I can’t think of anything else that is globally difficult but fairly easy in Amazonian Peru, except for the various Night Monkeys.

      Yellow-handed (Lucifer) Titi Monkey and Equatorial Saki are both present in the Allpahuayo-Mishana reserve near Iquitos. The trail that enters from km 28 on the Iquitos-Nauta highway (at the park guard post) might be best, but I do not see these monkeys frequently.
      There are places within a few days boat travel of Iquitos where Manatee can be seen, but I don’t have details. I think the upper Nanay and the interior of Pacaya Samiria are two such places…

      • Jon Hall

        Hi again Jacob, where would you recommend for Emperor Tamarins? Jon

      • Jacob Socolar

        There are no Emperors near Iquitos–the place for these guys is Madre de Dios. I’ve spent nearly all of my time in Madre de Dios at Cocha Cashu, which is accessible to researchers only. My experience there is that the chances of seeing Emperors on any given day increase dramatically when a Machiguenga guide is available. Therefore, I would suggest that one of the Machiguenga-operated lodges in the Manu might be an excellent choice. I think one is called Casa Machiguenga (possibly spelled Casa Matsiguenka). Other likely bets include the Manu Wildlife Center and the various lodges in the Tambopata (with Ese’eja guides).
        There is another monkey in the Manu that is far more difficult than the rest: Goeldi’s Monkey. I have never seen this creature. But perhaps a visit to the Manu and a good guide could deliver.

  • Bob Berghaier

    A good report. I am very interested in what you can tell me about your experiences in the Allpahuayo-Mishana Reserve. In July 1983 I spent two weeks there on an Earth-Watch project with the late Dr. Warren Kinzey. It was my first jungle experience and I have since been to other South America, West African, Madagascar and South East Asian tropical forests. During my stay I got brief glimpses of both yellow-handed titis and the saki’s as well as dusky titis and saddle-backed tamarins. The other most memorable mammal I saw was a black tamandua. The area was very heavily hunted when I was there. Is that still the case?

    Bob Berghaier

    • Jacob Socolar

      Hi Bob,
      The area has changed dramatically with the completion of a paved road that connects Iquitos to the town of Nauta on the N. bank of the Marañon, about 90 km distant. This road skirts the southern edge of what is now the Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve. There are multiple inholdings within the reserve, and it is still hunted. To give an idea: the reserve does not currently have Curassows, but it does still have Tapir, and occasionally gets visited by a Jaguar. The western flank of the reserve is still connected to good, wild forest.
      The reserve has become a major conservation priority because the white-sands forests it contains harbor several endemic bird species, including one that is critically endangered and literally endemic to the reserve. These birds were discovered in the ’90s for the most part.

  • Tapiche Ohara Reserve

    HI John,
    In February, is very easy to see the Red-faced Uakari, at this time of the year there is a lotrs of different fruits at the quebradas and we have observed them for long time feeding. Foilowing them even from a distance is more thicki cause the navigation throught the forest is ragther difficult but again when they are feeding they are very tame.
    Im very proud to say that they are ewven not scared of humans and if you keep distance one can observe them for a long period and nearly in dayly bases.
    Anything you might want to know i would be happy to informe you.

    • Jon Hall

      Hi Murilo

      Can you let me know your email address please? You can write to me direct if you prefer at I’d like to arrange a visit to your lodge in late April (is this good for Uakaris). Also interested in combining the trip with a visit to the Manu area and Chaparri as well. Thanks! Jon

  • Tapiche Ohara Reserve

    Thank you Jacob,

    Now that the water is getting highier , and there are lots of fruits on teh creeks and river side, we are observing the Uakaris in regular basis , they are not even mooving away, several times we walk away from them. It just a incredible feeling. These amazing Monkeys can put up a incredible show.


    Murilo Reis
    Reserva Tapiche

  • tomeslice

    Hey Jon,

    This is kind of late, but since you haven’t visited Peru yet, the info is still valid:

    Emperor Tamarins: The general Manu tours that go to Cocha Salvador and stay there for 1-3 nights make a point to try and see these on the oxbow lake (Cocha Salvador). Especially if you ask your guide, they will usually take you early in the morning on a catamaran to explore the lake, and at the far end from the catamaran dock (I think it’s the northern end of the oxbow lake if it still exists in the same form it did in 2007) there are a bunch of vines where they usually spot the agami heron, and there are almost daily sightings of emperor tamarins from relatively close views, sometimes accompanied by pygmy marmosets. I think when we saw them was between 7-8:30am but we watched them for several minutes, with brief views of the marmosets.
    The lodge you usually stay at around Cocha Salvador is called CASA MATSIGUENKA (after a few name changes, I think), and this is right in emperor’s hotspot, so they can sometimes even be seen around the camp.

    Also, there’s a small lodge right near Boca Manu, called Hummingbird lodge (after some name changes too, I believe) where both tamarin species (golden-mantled and emperor) are seen almost daily. We heard them at breakfast (both species sound the same, I think), I walked outside with my camera and sure enough were emperors right near the camp, but the backlighting was terrible for pictures.

    Finally, the Manu Wildlife Center has been somewhat of a hotspot for this species in the past couple of years. So spending some time in 3 of these locations will almost guarantee you a sighting. !!BUT!!! this is during dry season, during the wet season (February) I’m not sure if the consistency of viewing these species is the same. May want to ask a local guide ( He’s sometimes not very straight forward with his answers, perhaps because his English is only 85% and not 100%.

    I wouldn’t take the usual Manu Expeditions tour as my first option because there’s a VARIETY of tourists… including ones who just want to experience a rainforest adventure, and who are more interested in chit-chatting loudly on the trails, so the guide has to accommodate everyone, and there are generally 10 participants in the group. So if you can find a private mammal-watching tour, arrange directly with a local guide, or even join a bird-watching tour and kind of do your own thing (if it’s allowed) it might be preferable. I personally feel like there is SO MUCH unmaximized potential in this area, but people don’t night hike there, nor do they pre-dawn, dawn and early-morning hike in the good places because you always have to take a boat or transfer to the next place right in the peak activity hours of the morning if you take the general tours.

    I’m no Manu expert (Vladimir is, in fact) but since I’m extremely interested in this part of the Amazon, I read SO MANY trip reports from the area, mostly from birding trips, and have looked through people’s albums on Flickr from the area to see what they all saw… And of course I was there myself, and felt like there is so much more potential to the place, where if a mammal-watching tour was put in place, you may be able to see over 30 non-bat mammal species (plus bats) in a week-and-a-half’s stay.

    I hope this helps somewhat.

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