Pañacocha, means Lake of Piranhas in in the native language kichwa, spoken by the locals of the Ecuadorian Amazon. It is located in town of Shushufindi in the Province of Sucumbios. The Pañacocha Lagoon, is a serene, circular backwater lagoon located off the Napo River. The closest urban city to this lagoon is Coca in the Province of Orellana. The city of Coca is located 7 hours away by canoe. The lagoon is only 1 meter deep and has a distinct blackish colored water. The black water is due to the presence of decomposed organic matter.
Here you will be able to admire the abundance of wildlife including: birds, fish, squirrels, monkeys, and if luck permits the emblematic Amazonian Pink River Dolphin. Additionally, the plant life is a majestic spectacle for both tourists and locals, whom are gifted with this daily sight. It is filled with beautiful plants and flowers, many of which can only be found in the Ecuadorian amazon such as, the castana tree, rubber tree, and ceibo tree.
You would think that with its name, Lake of Piranhas, the lake would be filled with this animal, however this is unfortunately not the case. The indigenous communities illegally fish the piranha and it is part of their diet. The locals consume the piranha fried or boiled, and praise its savory flavor. In this past decade, the illegal fishing has caused a significant decrease in the piranha’s population. At the Lake of Piranhas you will experience both a close encounter with the nature as well as with the rich culture offered by locals.