Summary : Experience the diverse environments of the Amazon aboard a luxurious riverboat during the high 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 to the Amazon.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$8,925 to $9,800
You will meet at Iquitos International Airport then journey together by air-conditioned vehicle through the Peruvian countryside to arrive at Nauta Lounge in time for lunch, or you will be served a box lunch en route depending on the flight arrival time. In the afternoon, you will set off on your first skiff excursion along the Marañon River. At 6:00 pm, you will board the Aria Amazon. Settle into your generously proportioned suite as you begin one of life’s greatest adventures. Following a routine safety drill and introduction to your naturalist guides, gather for innovative Amazonian cuisine created by your Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is the one of Lima’s top ranked dining experiences.
Commence today’s adventures near the main entrance of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, cruising along Yanayacu Pucate in the comfort of state-of-the-art skiffs. Kayak, canoe, and swim in these unspoiled black waters, keeping eyes peeled for the Amazon’s legendary pink dolphins. In the afternoon, you will visit a remote village along the Marañon River to learn about traditional customs. Focus a hi-tech telescope on the night sky to identify the planets and constellations.
Set off by skiffs for an excursion along the Samiria River with optional fishing. Listen carefully to an after lunch flora and fauna lecture, then venture out for a singularly thrilling jungle walk across suspended bridges deep into the high Amazon rain forest. On your return in the evening, enjoy the jungle symphony and extraordinary stargazing on local boats along the 'Enchanted Lake'.
This morning, you will visit the local fresh market with your guides who can identify the day’s catch by the fishermen of Amazonia and the region’s exotic fruits. In the afternoon, together you will witness one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere, the birthplace of the Amazon River. Tonight you will meet the new passengers who have signed on for the four-night trip, as you start your journey along the Marañon River.
Boarding skiffs, start the day like Amazon River dwellers, cruising along the Ucayali River. As these farmers and fishermen go about their business, search for pink river dolphins in these pristine waters. Later in the day, you will return to the skiffs, to ride along the black waters of the Pacaya River at dusk, searching for the mysterious wildlife that come out after dark.
The rewards of an early start today are plentiful, including a breakfast picnic accompanied by jungle symphony and fishing along the black waters of the Pacaya River. After lunch, venture out by skiffs on the Ucayali River alongside the banana boats transporting jungle products to the port of Requena, keeping an eye out for pink river dolphins.
Choose to go jungle walking, canoeing, kayaking or swimming on the black water Yarapa or Clavero River in the morning. Come afternoon, take a short jungle walk in the San Jose flooded forest and see the unforgettable giant water lilies. This evening before dinner, you will gather to meet some of the crew members whom you may not have met, working 'behind the scenes' to ensure your countless exceptional experiences aboard the Aria Amazon.
Today you will visit the town of Nauta, founded in 1930. Villagers from around Amazonia gather here to sell the products they harvest in their rural communities. Together you will walk around Nauta to gain insights into the daily life of these remotes people. Return to the Aria Amazon for breakfast and to pack up. Before saying goodbye, you will visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to rescue, rehabilitate, and release them back into the wild. You will also visit San Juan craft market on route to the airport. Lunch or box lunch will be provided, depending on the exact departure flight time, which may vary. Other local activities may be included as well, according to the flight schedule.
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 (Nov through May) and a low water season (Jun through Oct). Whichever season you choose, you will see spectacular wildlife and plant life. During the low water season, trails and jungle paths flooded from November 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.
Special Guest Jean-Michel Cousteau: 10/5/2018
Ocean conservationist and filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau will be joining select departures. The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel founded the Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work and to honor his father's heritage. An award-winning producer of more than 80 films, Jean-Michel has been recognized internationally with numerous awards for his work in ocean. During this departure, travelers will experience the Amazon from the perspective of a conservationist and will get to know Cousteau along with a small group of fellow travelers. Guests will learn first-hand about Cousteau's deep experience exploring the Amazon and other remote areas around the world as he champions the cause of environmental conservation and protection. Each voyage will include evening talks with Cousteau, and screenings of several of his films.
Group transfers to/from vessel when arriving and departing on recommended flights; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; bike use; excursions; non-alcoholic beverages plus select wine and beer only; 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 and spa services; guide and crew gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.