The pink dolphins, mythic creatures of Amazonia

Heliconia wants to make your trip into the Amazon rainforest unforgettable, respecting in the same time the eco-system. So we try to develop projects of eco-responsible tourism directly related to the Amazon rainforest preservation.

We propose you some trips where you will be able to discover and to swim with the pink dolphins. We are currently working on a project with the AMPA, the association defending the Amazonian aquatic animals. Here are some information which will allow you to know better this rare species, icon of the Amazon biodiversity and culture.


The « boto vermehlo » in few words…

The Amazonian pink dolphin is a freshwater dolphin that you can find only in river. This species of dolphin would be the descendent of ancestors found in the ocean during the Miocene and which would penetrate into Amazonia. Their evolution has been made by their adaptation in freshwater while the sea left. They can reach a length of 2,80 meters and a weight of 150 kilos. Their pink colour which has inspired their name comes from the colour of the Amazonian aquatic area. The decomposed vegetation and the slit give to the water this tea colour. Naturally they are greyer.

Secular legends…

For centuries, legends about these fascinating creatures have been transmitting. They appeared before the arrival of Christopher Colombo in the new world.  The amazon rainforest’s inhabitants still giving to the dolphins this magical dimension: they would be able to transform men and to fecundate women. It is necessary to respect them but to be careful because their magical powers can affect a man and hurt him. A lot of Brazilian musicians have been inspired by these tales.

A threaten specie

The pink dolphins are protected but for some fishermen they represent prey and concurrent. They are killed to be used as bait for the catfishes or to be sold. In one day, two died dolphins can make you win 2400 dollars of catfishes. The massacre of this mammal is increasing and it is the Amazonian symbol which is threatened at the same time. That phenomenon shows the difficulties experienced by the local authorities to protect the environment through a so large territory. According to an estimation, thousands of the 30 000 dolphins within the Amazonian area are killed every year. In some markets as the one of Santarém, it is frequent to find dolphin genitals which will be used as lucky charm for love matters. It is possible to buy oil of dolphin to cure rheumatism as well. The fisheries and environment Ministers are taking measures in order to combat this phenomenon. Association as AMPA are mobilizing

This project is important for us. More than make the Heliconia’s travellers live an unforgettable moment in Amazonia, we would be able to highlight this problem we want to denounce.



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