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Peru Best Tours / Blog  / The Amazing Pink Dolphins of the Peruvian Amazon
Amazon river dolphin with mouth open

The Amazing Pink Dolphins of the Peruvian Amazon



Peru has a diverse ecosystem that features a wonderful array of amazon river animals. One of the most popular by travelers is the Boto, more commonly known as the Pink River Dolphin, which can be found in the Amazon River. If you are planning to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu, an extension trip into the Peruvian rainforests to search for the Pink Dolphin is definitely a great option to consider. 

Where can you experience an encounter with Pink Dolphins in Peru?

The Pink dolphin in Peru can be found in the Amazon River basin particularly in locations such as Iquitos, the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, and the Upper Amazon River. Generally, populations of amazon river dolphins are separated by different water boundaries such as waterfalls and shallows.

If you are interested in seeing these beautiful and playful creatures as part of your trip, then consider adding any of the following amazon tours in Peru:

Pink Dolphins in the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

This fantastic national reserve is the largest protected area in the whole of Peru and spans for some 20,000km squared. Iquitos is often the main city from which to visit the reserve, and you can then travel to Nauta and other towns that lie on the banks of the Maranon and Ucayali Rivers. Within this stunning and biodiverse landscape, you can see a staggering 500+ different bird species, 100+ mammals and a jaw-dropping 1000+ species of wild plants. The pink river dolphin is, of course, one of the main attractions here and Pacaya is undoubtedly one of the best pink dolphin locations.

An Amazon River Cruise from Iquitos will take you see Pink Dolphins

As mentioned before, Iquitos is one of the best locations and there are lots of cruises to choose from. Luxury cruises in the Upper Amazon give you the chance to see pink dolphins in style. Cruises range from 4 day/3 night up to 5 day/4 night. The boats themselves are absolutely stunning and you can even have a room with jacuzzi! 


Delfin III Amazon Cruise and Machu Picchu
Duration: 9 days
Highlights: Lima, Iquitos, Cuzco
Price per person from
Zafiro Amazon Cruise and Machu Picchu
Duration: 9 days
Highlights: Lima, Iquitos, Cuzco
Price per person from
Aria Amazon Cruise and Machu Picchu
Duration: 9 days
Highlights: Lima, Iquitos, Amazon River, Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu
Price per person from


More About the Pink Dolphins of the Amazon River in Peru

Physical Traits

As you would imagine, the Peru Pink dolphin has a pink coloration of the skin – this is more prominent in males than females. The maximum length of a Pink Dolphin was recorded as 2.55m and their maximum weight has been recorded as 185kg. This type of Dolphin actually has greater mobility than ocean dolphins due to a difference in vertebra alignment. Generally, newborns have a grey coloration, and it is not until adulthood that their skin turns pink.


Behavior and Courtship

The Peru River Dolphins generally travel in pairs and rarely as full pods. During particular seasons, the males and females of the species will split off and live in different areas of the river. As with most species of dolphin, the Pink dolphin is curious but less sociable – they will interact with boats and have even been known to rub against boats and play with sticks and oars. During mating and courtship, the male Pink dolphins in Peru carry objects in their mouths as a form of social display.


The Pink Dolphin and Peruvian Folklore

The pink dolphin in Peru is regarded with high esteem in folklore – the Boto as it is commonly known with the Peruvian population is said to have supernatural powers. Stories say that drowned spirits actually enter the bodies of pink dolphins and cause them to change into handsome young men. This supernatural element to this beautiful dolphin has helped contribute to their preservation.



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