Summary : Covering more than 600 miles on the Amazon and its tributaries, travel deep into the protected Pacaya-Samiria Reserve and explore three different habitats so you have the best chance of spotting amazing wildlife: monkeys, birds, sloths, pink and gray dolphins and so much more. Daily excursions include dawn birding, school visits in local villages and even piranha fishing! Drawing on insight from native Amazon travel guides, the villages and tributaries visited are intentionally varied, ensuring you get the most authentic rainforest experience possible on this trip of a lifetime!
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$5,348 to $6,998
Fly independently to Lima, Peru, the nation’s capital and largest city, and transfer to the Swissôtel for the night.
Fly over the Andes to Iquitos. Visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have rescued. Learn about efforts to help these endearing mammals. See how the manatees are cared for and prepared for reintroduction into their natural habitat. Board the elegant riverboat, Zafiro, home for seven nights. Enjoy stargazing and storytelling with your local guides while cruising slowly on the Amazon River toward the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers.
Awake this morning on the Amazon River, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life as the Amazon River cruise ship continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds. The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River in Peru. Amazingly, you are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way! On your Amazon Voyage adventure, travel waterways aboard sturdy excursion boats to areas where you may find marsh birds such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant. Turn into the Río Ucayali, where you’re apt to find gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Later take an excursion into the surrounding rainforest in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths. As dusk approaches, fishing bats begin their night’s foraging.
After a peaceful breakfast along the black-water Sapote Creek, explore a small tributary of the Ucayali in search of primates, sloths and an enormous variety of birds. Continues upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Although scientific studies are far from exhausted, the Pacaya-Samiria is the known home to 450 bird species, 102 species of mammals, over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians, and countless plants.
This afternoon, enjoy an excursion into the largest wetland reserve in the world providing the opportunity to see primates, including monk sakis, red howler, saddle-backed tamarin and squirrel monkeys. Explore Caro Lake, connected to the river by way of a very small stream, where you may find flocks of greater ani, often seen following monkeys in search of insects disturbed by the foraging. Enjoy a nighttime boat excursion for a chance to find caimans, capybaras, common potoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife.
Spend the day exploring this flooded realm, seeing wading birds such as herons, wattled jacanas and horned screamers. Venture deep into the rainforest, tour an igapo (seasonally flooded forest), where plant life is very different from what you will see along the main course of the Amazon cruise, and walk through the forest. Lucky guests may release turtle hatchlings. A delicious lunch energizes you for afternoon excursions with expert naturalists, where you may find scarlet macaws, hoatzins, black-collared hawks and red howler monkeys.
After an early breakfast, board the excursion boats for access even further into the heart of these vast wetlands. As your Amazon Voyage adventure cruises the narrow waterways, find birds such as canary-winged parakeets and spectacular blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws. Primates also are fairly common, including noisy squirrel monkeys. Once you arrive at a remote ranger station, enjoy a refreshing swim. Gradually make your way back to the riverboat through the maze of waterways. Enjoy an al fresco lunch and time to relax before your afternoon excursion.
Head back downriver, with a morning wildlife excursion or other activity. Visit a village along the river, with the chance to learn about the lives of the “Ribereño” people who live there. Accompanied by guides who grew up along the river, this is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through gardens learning about medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. The children are especially excited to see their faces on digital cameras and to show off their school and sing Peruvian songs. Depending on the villages visited during your Amazon River tour, you may also have the opportunity to see a water treatment plant funded by the shipping company you are traveling with. The clean drinking water provided by these plants is having an enormous positive health impact in remote river villages. Learn about medicinal plants and enjoy a blessing ceremony by a respected village shaman.
Aboard the ship, learn to make traditional Peruvian dishes or enjoy an enriching lecture. After dark, go out in excursion boats to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and look for nocturnal wildlife.
Wake up early for a morning birdwatching excursion along the Yarapa River. After breakfast, try your hand at piranha fishing in Ubos Lake. Piranhas are very common in the slower-moving water. With luck, you may catch red-breasted, white or black piranha. Once back aboard your luxury Amazon River cruise ship, enjoy a farewell dinner.
On an early morning excursion to Pilpintuwasi Rescue Center, see two- and three-toed sloth, red uakari and even a jaguar which have been rescued. Upon arrival back in Lima late this afternoon, dayrooms are provided until time to connect with independent overnight flights home.
Itinerary is subject to change and may vary based on wildlife sightings, changes in the river, navigability and air schedules.
One pre-cruise hotel night in Lima; post-cruise dayroom in Lima; transfer from Lima airport to hotel; transfer from Lima hotel to ship; transfer from ship to Lima dayroom; transfer from dayroom to Lima airport; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; all meals onboard ship; Peruvian cocktails, soft drinks, local wine, and local beer onboard ship; gear on loan (rubber boots, walking sticks, binoculars, and rain poncho). Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; travel insurance; passport and visa expenses; airport departure taxes as applicable; gratuities to ship crew and naturalists are left to the discretion of the passenger; items of a personal nature such as laundry, spa charges, and alcoholic beverages not mentioned as included; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © International Expeditions, © Allan Gold (sloth), © Richard Mills (macaw)