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Amazon Expedition – High Water Season

Amazon River Cruise

Summary : Explore the diverse environments of the Amazon aboard a luxurious riverboat during the high water season. Experience the Amazon River’s three powerful tributaries: the Marañon, the Ucayali, and the Puinahua, as well as hidden several black water lakes. Explore the jungle and venture into the Amazon darkness to witness caimans in their natural habitat. Observe monkeys, toucans, iguanas, sloths and possibly pink dolphins during expeditions with highly knowledgeable naturalist guides. Enjoy incredible wildlife on one of the most luxurious and exciting journeys of a lifetime.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking


Prices from
$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1
Iquitos / Amazon River / Embark

Arrive in Iquitos, the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. Settle into your suite and enjoy the views as you embark on your Amazon adventure. Enjoy fine South American wine and world-class cuisine on your first evening surrounded by the sounds of the Amazon.

Day 2
Amazon River / Yarapa River / Nauta Caño

Catch your first glimpse of the Amazon River, as you watch the sun come up over this vibrant world of wonderful wildlife.

Following a sumptuous breakfast, board comfortable excursion skiffs for your first adventure. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and plenty of cold potable water are always available for you on board the skiffs. Travel from the Amazon River and onto its black water tributaries where fishermen paddling dug-out canoes greet you. Your naturalist guides help you to spot terns, egrets, orioles, hawks and kingfishers as well as monkeys among Amazonia’s other fascinating inhabitants. At Moringo Lake, bait your hooks to catch piranhas, as the Guarani Indians named these vicious creatures, and other Amazon fish as well.

Following time for relaxation and lunch, enjoy a lecture in the air-conditioned lounge. One of your naturalist guides will introduce the major threats to this magnificent but precarious eco-system you are exploring and describe some successful initiatives including camu camu tree planting and wildlife education for local youth.

Explore Nauta Caño, part of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, also known as the Forest of Mirrors due to its dark lagoons, which reflect the scenery. In this area you may hear and observe toucans, macaws and iguanas, among other species. Head back to the ship, enjoying one of the most incredible sunsets reflected in the black water of the flooded forest. Sip a camu camu sour on the observation deck before dinner.

Day 3
Marañon River / Yanayacu-Pucate River / Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

This morning, visit the Yanayacu-Pucate River in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. On the black water river you can observe the vibrant flora and fauna while looking for macaws and several species of primates, such as capuchin and squirrel monkeys, as well as the famous Amazon River dolphins, either pink or gray. Amazonian people hold the belief that these dolphins possess the magical power to turn into men and women of great beauty. Enjoy a light breakfast on board, consisting of homemade baked goods, hot coffee and fresh juice. Stop near a quiet place where you will see and hear quite a show put on by Mother Nature while enjoying your meal.

Following lunch and siesta, enjoy a lecture about the marine life of the Amazon River in your air-conditioned lounge. Learn about the 28 species of piranha swimming in the black waters of the Amazon and its tributaries, as well as the catfish, paiche fish that grow up to 12 feet long in these waters, and how your tour operator provides fishing equipment and technical advice to Amazonia fishermen.

On a late afternoon expedition, sail along the Marañon River, watching the different species of flora and fauna as you approach the Casual community where you hike on land. See a plethora of wildlife, so keep your binoculars ready to observe tanagers and orioles as well as various reptiles and amphibians. Keep an eye out for the beautiful and eye-catching but poisonous frogs along this fascinating trail, as well as trees and medicinal plants.

Day 4
Birthplace of the Amazon / Village Visit / Nauta City

In the morning, sail along the vast Pacaya Samiria Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon Basin. View a great spectacle of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over the birthplace of the Amazon River. Here the union of two major tributaries, the Ucayali and the Marañon, form the world’s greatest waterway. Watch for large-billed terns, laughing falcons, gray tanagers, sandpipers, five kinds of parakeets, exotic short-tailed parrots, and countless other colorful birds.

Visit a riverside community where you'll be warmly welcomed by people of Amazonia. Your naturalist guides act as interpreters so you may talk with the villagers about life along the Amazon. The visit offers an excellent opportunity to buy easy to pack artisanal handicrafts, from painted coconut bowls to surprisingly chic seed bead jewelry.

On the way back to your vessel, navigate on a small connector canal between the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers, to admire the world’s largest aquatic plant, the giant water lilies, or Victoria Regias. Here you become one of a very small number of people who have ever seen these plants bloom.

For guests who wish to explore on land, enjoy a two wheel motorized ‘moto’ tour of the small riverside Peruvian town of Nauta, the oldest town in the state of Loreto. This village, founded in the 1930s, is very important to the local river communities, where they come to sell their produce.

Others venture to Nauta Caño within Pacaya-Samiria Reserve which is known as the mirrored forest, which makes perfect sense as you gaze upon its glistening black water lagoons. Your naturalist guides use their eagle eyes to help you spot toucans, parrots and macaws overhead and iguanas, sloths and monkeys among the soaring trees. On the way back, the glorious sunset is reflected in these glistening waters.

Day 5
Ucayali / Yanallpa / Dorado Rivers

After breakfast, within the vast Amazon flooded forest, cruise along an amazing black water stream, as your guides tell you about the rainforest. Explore what scientists call a “gallery forest,” because of its narrow vegetation that creates a tunnel of leaves. As you float through this tunnel, your naturalist guides help you to spot parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys in the trees along the riverbanks.

Enjoy a lecture about the Taricaya Turtles in the air-conditioned lounge. Your naturalist guides recount the history of these adorable creatures along the Amazon, their near extinction and the recent efforts that are successfully growing the turtle population in the Pacaya-Samiria Nature Reserve.

Take a magical journey aboard the skiffs through the “Mirrored Forest” to see towering trees reflected in the black water river, while on the lookout for enchanting parrots, blue-yellow macaws, as well as the great variety of primates and sloths undisturbed by your presence. Make your way back to the boat as your guides point out caimans and frogs in the water, and fishing bats overhead.

Day 6
Puinahua River / Pacaya River

Undertake a full-day excursion along the Pacaya River, observing and exploring the flooded forest of this vast region of the Peruvian Amazon. Sail among a wide variety of wildlife, from birds including large parrots, macaws, herons and storks to many species of primates like capuchin, howler and squirrel monkeys, who can be very entertaining to observe. Visit some of the most beautiful lakes in the protected reserve and meet some of the friendly local people who take care of the reserve’s natural resources. Your guides will discuss the natural resource management of Amazonia. Enjoy a picnic lunch en route and on your return, see the famous Ceiba tree, the highest in the Amazon.

Keep an eye out for two different kinds of freshwater dolphins but especially the unusual pink dolphins found in the Amazon River. Spot arboreal lizards, iguanas and look up to catch a glimpse of some of the area’s 200 bird species.

Day 7
Ucayali River / Clavero Lake / Amazonas River

Sail on to Lake Clavero where villagers paddle in their traditional dugout canoes. You may wish to swim in the lake’s calm waters and visit the community to interact with your Amazonia neighbors who will be pleased to welcome you.

After lunch, sail along the great Amazon River, observing the flora and fauna, then stop at a riverside community that actively conserves the forest’s natural resources and their own ancestral customs.

As the ship sails downstream to Iquitos, enjoy a recap of your trip, wildlife sightings and a review of your wildlife checklist with your naturalist guides. Following dinner, enjoy a presentation by the crew, where your naturalist guides introduce you to the very important crew members that have been busy “behind the scenes” to create your seamless experience.

Day 8
Iquitos / Disembark / City Tour

Weather and time permitting, enjoy a morning excursion to the Amazon community of Belen where the houses and shops actually float on the river during some months. Observe the bustling food market that supports the entire Peruvian Amazon. Local people throughout the region sell and purchase goods here.

Following lunch and disembarkation, visit Iquitos' Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees. Learn how the manatees are rehabilitated before re-introduction back into their natural habitat. Guided transfer to airport for flight to Lima.


What to Expect in High Water Season:
The Amazon River in Peru has essentially two seasons; a high water season (Dec through May) and a low water season (Jun through Nov). Whichever season you choose, you will see spectacular wildlife and plant life. During the high water season, when the Amazon Basin’s rivers and streams are approximately 23 feet higher than lower water season, more rivers, creeks and lakes are navigable. Flooded waterways put travelers much closer to the Amazon jungle canopy making it very likely to see many more mammals, including monkeys, and birds. The average temperature is slightly cooler (about 86 degrees Fahrenheit). During high season, areas to walk and hike are sometimes limited, you may encounter more mosquitoes, and fishing in the Amazon River can be more limited—though you still have close to a 50:50 chance of making a catch.

Cabin accommodations; all meals while onboard; excursions; non-alcoholic beverages plus select wine and beer only; group transfers to/from vessel when arriving and departing on recommended flights; Pacaya Samiria entrance fee.

Not Included:
Airfare to and from Iquitos; private transfers; travel insurance; departure taxes; visa fees if applicable; items of a personal nature such as boutique purchases; guide and crew gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.

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