Cesar Peña

Cesar is arguably the best guide in Iquitos, Peru due to his extensive experience and knowledge of the people and ecosystem. THREE TIMES Cesar completed the epic journey of navigating the entire length of the mighty Amazon River by boat! And during his many adventures in the jungle, he came to know the best Ayahuasca shamans in Peru.

In 2015, Cesar guided these guys safely down the Amazon river from source to sea

Born in the jungle…

Cesar was born in a village 40 miles from Iquitos in the Peruvian  Amazon Jungle. When he turned 14, Cesar moved to the city for better opportunities and to finish his formal education. Like most young men in Peru, Cesar was an avid football (soccer) player and became good enough to play center forward a.k.a. striker on a semi-pro team. You don’t get to play that position without commanding the respect of all the other men on your team. Injuries shortened what looked like a promising professional football career. So, Cesar returned to his roots and eventually became the best naturalist guide in Iquitos. To this day, he continues to study the flora and fauna of the jungle.

After becoming a guide…

Cesar has spent 20 years working as a naturalist guide. He was chosen by each of the following high-profile expeditions to guide them down the Amazon River from source to sea:

  • Amazon Express in 2012
  • Kayak the Amazon in 2013
  • Amazon River Run in 2015

In all that time, over all those many adventures throught the jungle, none of the people in his care were hospitalized.

The best story about Cesar was probably written by Bo Bryan here. This is how Bo’s story begins:

The first time I went to the Amazon, I was afraid to set foot in the jungle. Mainly I felt the absence of a pistol to carry. I didn’t realize that most of the danger for humans in the Amazon is microscopic, and not a whole lot of that, but enough that a good jungle guide, if you trust one, keeps you feeling more courageous than a pistol.

Then you have the snakes, spiders, man-eating fish, all that to invigorate your imagination. But all you have to do is follow the jungle guide, step here, not there, count your fingers and toes at both ends of the journey.

I met Cesar Peña in the city, in downtown Iquitos, Peru…”

— Bo Bryan