Ostensibly, the Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm is a conservation and breeding center for Amazonian butterflies. Butterflies aplenty there certainly are, including the striking blue morpho (Morpho menelaus) and the fearsome-looking owl butterfly (Caligo eurilochus). But it’s the farm’s exotic animals that steal the show. Raised as orphans and protected within the property are several mischievous monkeys, a tapir, an anteater and Pedro Bello, a majestic jaguar.
Some animals have to be kept caged as Peruvian law states they cannot be released into the wild without precise ideas of their origin. To get there, take a boat from Puerto Bellavista-Nanay, 4km north of Iquitos, to the village of Padre Cocha. Boats run all day. The farm is signposted: a 15-minute walk through the village from the Padre Cocha boat dock (keep to the paths that stick close to the river, bearing left at all opportunities).