Summary : Experience the diverse environments of the Amazon aboard a luxurious riverboat during the low water season. View one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over the birthplace of the Amazon River. Fish for piranhas in hidden black water lakes. Explore the jungle and venture into the Amazon wilderness to see the famous Kapok Trees and meet indigenous people. Observe monkeys, toucans, caimans, iguanas, sloths and possibly pink dolphins during expeditions with highly knowledgeable naturalist guides. Enjoy incredible scenery on one of the most luxurious and exciting journeys of a lifetime.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking
$3,645 to $3,975
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.
Wake up early and head to Yacapana Island – known as the "Isle of the Iguana.” Cruise aboard launches for photo opportunities of unique flora and fauna. Bait your hooks and try to catch one of Amazonia’s fearsome piranhas! As the sun sets, enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and photograph both gray and pink freshwater dolphins. Amazonian people believe that these dolphins turn into humans to steal handsome men and pretty women from their villages during celebrations. After dark, search the jungle discovering exotic wildlife such as caimans and frogs.
In the early morning, observe wildlife along the Ucayali River. Head out in search of freshwater Amazon dolphins, including the rare pink dolphins. Bring your binoculars to observe the many species of birds crisscrossing the Ucayali, among them the macaws stand out for their dramatic coloring. As the sun sets, watch for nocturnal wildlife, especially the caimans that your guides have a skill for spotting. Often they are able to reach out into the black water to pick up one of these prehistoric reptiles for once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.
Following lunch and siesta, take a magical journey through the "Jungle of Mirrors," where towering trees are reflected in the dark river. Move on to Dorado River where you may observe enchanting parrots, macaws and a variety of primates, undisturbed by your presence. As you make your way back to your vessel, you may see alligators, frogs and fishing bats.
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.
Following lunch, disembark. En route to the Iquitos airport, visit the 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. Transfer to airport for flight to Lima.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions – and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.
What to Expect in Low 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 low water season, trails and jungle paths flooded from December to May are now easily accessible, allowing groups to explore deep in the jungle by foot. Fishing is at its best, and you will have the chance to see dozens of species of migratory birds in flight, something you would completely miss during the high water season. Lower water levels on the Amazon River and its tributaries make many of the creeks and lakes inaccessible, and temperatures average about 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; 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. Subject to change without notice.
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.