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Iriomote Jungle Cruise
Glide past a wild environment on a Urachi river cruise, part of Iriomote Island's national park
Iriomote is the second largest island in the Okinawan island chain and remains largely unexplored. Over 90 percent of the island is covered with mangrove and sub-tropical forest, most if it part of a national park. The clear waters surrounding Iriomote teem with dolphins, reef life, and manta rays, and the beaches are stunning. The Urachi river snakes in from the sea, continuing southeast into the center of the island.
The brackish waters are host to mangrove swamps alive with bird life, and small boats regularly make the cruise eight kilometers upriver, to a pair of beautiful waterfalls. The best departures are the earliest, when the river is still and mist hangs across the surface. Birdlife is at its peak, and if fortune favors, you might catch a glimpse of the native wild cats. This island truly feels like what it is: one of the last wild places.