After journeying along the Huallaga River for around two hours from the port town of Chazuta you will reach ‘El Pongo de Aguirre,' named in memory of the Spanish Conqueror ‘Lope de Aguirre.'
El Pongo de Aguirre is the point where the river changes from the high jungle to the lower Amazon and is famous for the story of Aguirre, represented in both book, and in film twice: Klaus Kinski in the allegorical film Aguirre, the Wrath of God in 1972, and by Omero Antonutti in El Dorado in 1988.
'Aguirre, the Wrath of God’ is based on the travels of Aguirre who was nicknamed El Loco ('the Madman') because of the cruelty he inflicted. He is best known for his final expedition in 1560 which included his daughter Elvira, 300 Spaniards and hundreds of natives. They travelled down the Amazon River in search of the mythical golden King El Dorado. The actual goal of Ursúa who authorised the expedition was to send idle veterans from the former Peruvian civil wars away, to keep them from trouble-making, using the El Dorado myth as a lure. A year later the plan backfired as Aguirre participated in the overthrow and killing of Ursúa. When Aguirre was eventually captured in 1561 he killed his own daughter for the fear of what would happen to her.
Visitors can get a feel for this untouched, wild Amazon, journeying down the river Huallaga to meet El Pongo de Aguirre, situated where the Huallaga meets the Marañon River, from this point it is possible to travel to the port city of Yurimaguas, Loreto, where you can continue on to Iquitos.
photos - Tomas Cotrina Trigozo
ACHINAMIZA THERMAL BATHS
Visit the terminal baths of Achinamiza an extraordinary place appearing out of nowhere in the middle of the Amazon forest. Born in the middle of a rocky hill, scattering in an area of 10m these waters are mineralized containing sulphur and ferrous nitrate, the mineralized water springs from the subsoil at several points of upwelling with a temperature reaching 40 ° C; Hot and cold waters in small and spaced apart hill formations, centred in the protected rainforest. The landscape is dense with vegetation and is surrounded by pristine mountains where you can observe insects and butterflies.
Photo - Tomas Cotrina Trigozo