Your guide, Gary Lighthall, has lived in Iquitos Peru with his family since 2000. Gary began traveling in the Amazon in 1991 applying his university minor in Social Anthropology. Since his first trip he has traveled extensively in the Amazon visiting different tribes and learning about their cultures. He has also explored and met tribes in the countries of Brazil and Columbia. In Brazil he has visited the photogenic Matis. Traveling to meet the Matses tribe required a 5 day walk in the jungle from the Ucayali River to the frontier of Brazil. While in Columbia, Gary visited the Tacuna tribe. Other travels in Peru include visits to the Bora, Witotos, and Yagus tribes.
His first visit to the Chambira basin was in early 2004 to meet the Urarinas. During the first couple of years the Urarinas were reserved and there was limited sharing of the culture. As more trips to the area were made a trusting relationship was built. As the Urarinas became more comfortable they begin to share their culture.
In 2006, after many requests for future visits, Gary was approached by several Urarina chiefs to bring in a few tourists. After the positive encounters with Gary, all the villages wanted to share their culture with others.
To meet the request of the Urarinas, a crew of all family members was assembled and private trips into this region began to be offered. Over the years the crew has stayed the same, including the two brothers who are the boat drivers, born and raised in this area.
Gary Lighthall is currently making frequent trips to explore a remote area upriver from Iquitos. He has friends among the Urarina Indians who live in a remote area along several tributaries of the Rio Marañón, one of the two great rivers that merge to form the Rio Amazonas.
He has a standing invitation to visit all the Indian villages, those near the lower end of the river, to the very last village on the upper end. Gary’s friends will be your hosts during your adventure. You will be introduced to the Amazon rainforest by people living in intimate relationship within this environment.