By Caitlin Moore
Imagine starting your morning by peacefully kayaking along the river, gliding past the jungle as it slowly awakens. Later, you trek through the luscious green rainforest and come across a sloth enjoying its afternoon snooze. In the evening, you relax on your private balcony with a pisco sour in hand as dolphins jump alongside the ship. The sun dips past the horizon, sending gorgeous hues of orange and yellow across the river, concluding another glorious day on the Amazon River.
While this sounds like a blissful dream, in the Amazon Rainforest, such dreams can become reality. I had the pleasure of experiencing this magic aboard the Zafiro—an intimate luxury riverboat—for a week in October.
Whether exploring in a skiff, trekking through the jungle, or even enjoying a morning cup of coffee on the observation deck, wildlife abounds. During the day, we saw three-toed sloths lazily climbing trees, wooly monkeys jumping through the canopies, black-crested hawks stoically keeping watch over the river, and yellow-spotted turtles slipping into the water after sunbathing on small logs. At night, we spied the eyes of caimans just above the water and tiny frogs on the river’s edge.
The Peruvian Amazon has no shortage of life, and to have highly knowledgeable guides point out the small details was invaluable. I would have surely missed so much without their expert eyes! I could (and did!) ask many questions, and they were always ready with a smile and an answer, eager to share their home with us. With two guided excursions a day, we had ample opportunities to spot wildlife along the river and visit local villages, which brought welcome cultural perspectives.
While you can experience the Amazon in a number of ways, exploring on an upscale riverboat offered the perfect combination of adventure and comfort. I loved getting muddy while frolicking through the sticky jungle, only to later have a comfortable cabin to clean up in, a cozy bed for my many siestas, and to enjoy delicious ceviche with like-minded travelers who soon felt like family.
If you are seeking a relaxing, yet active expedition filled with wildlife and culture, look no further—the Peruvian Amazon is sure to be your next adventure.