4 days

Amazon Jungle Cruise - 4 Days

Amazon Jungle Cruise - 4 Days

Amazon macaw

Pacaya Samiria Reserve

On the water in the Amazon

Exceptional staff and cuisine

Amazon river cruise aboard the luxurious M.V Aqua

Trip rating
  • Explore remote parts of the Amazon by water and on foot. Spot monkeys and birds on walks through the jungle and meet local villagers along the way – the Amazon promises to impress.

    Why we love it

    • Explore remote parts of the Amazon by water and on foot.
    • Spot monkeys and birds on walks through the jungle and meet local villagers along the way – the Amazon promises to impress.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Arrive Iquitos

    • Please ensure you arrive into Iquitos on the recommended flight to take advantage of the complimentary transfer (your travel agent will be able to advise these details)
    • Your tour will start in Iquitos at 6:00 p.m. You will start by embarking and checking in. From the moment you step on board, you will enjoy the M/V Aqua’s atmosphere of low-key luxury. As you settle into your handsomely appointed, over-sized suite, you will feel the vessel begin to move; the beginning of one of the great adventures of your life. Stand on the upper deck to take in the view, as the M/V Aqua leaves Iquitos behind.
    • Over the next three days, you will also sail along the largest tributaries of the Amazon, as well as on the mighty Amazon itself. You are embarking on a spectacular adventure, to a place visited by only a few of even the most experienced world travelers.
    • Before dinner, at around 7:30pm, there be a routine safety drill. Then it’s into the air-conditioned lounge, where you will learn about life onboard, and will have the first of the nightly briefings about your adventure to follow. You will meet the naturalist guides and the cruise director, who will use video, photos, and maps to explain the details of your adventure to follow.
    • At 8pm, you will sit down, relax, and enjoy a welcome dinner. You will sample some fine South American wine, and enjoy the truly world-class cuisine, created by Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is one of the best in all of Lima. Schiaffino’s recipes, with their imaginative use of local products – fruits, fish, spices – makes every meal a delightful adventure. (The menu always offers choices, including a vegetarian option.) Toast the beginning of a beautiful journey.
    • Perhaps enjoy a nightcap on the upper deck, under the stars, before retiring.

    Day 2 - AMAZON/TAHUAYO RIVERS/CHARO LAKE/YACAPANA ISLANDS

    • Awake early, around 6:30am, to catch your first glimpse of the majestic Amazon River, as you watch the sun rise over this green world filled with wonderful wildlife. This initial contact with Amazonia is only a brief sampling of what the rest of your journey will hold.
    • You will indulge in a sumptuous daily breakfast buffet around 8am, which features a wide choice of traditional breakfast egg dishes, Peruvian specialties, and fresh-squeezed juices, made from tropical fruits you’ve never tasted before.
    • After breakfast, around 9:15am, you will get back aboard the comfortable excursion skiffs for your first adventure, traveling from the Amazon through the Huaysi short-cut canal to explore the Tahuayo blackwater river. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and plenty of cold potable water will always be available for you on board the skiffs.
    • As you float down the Tahuayo, occasional fishermen paddling their dug-out canoes will give you a cheerful greeting. Keep your binoculars ready to spot a vast variety of wildlife: terns, orioles, blackbirds, black collared hawks, monkeys, and sloth share this wonderful environment. Upon arrival at Charo Lake, you can bait your hooks to try to catch one of Amazonia’s fearsome piranhas (and other fish as well). As you fish, trained guides will also tell you the story of the lake and its inhabitants.
    • Icy cold towels await you, as you transfer from your skiffs back to the M/V Aqua. As the vessel continues up the Amazon River, you will have some time to relax, or perhaps even take a nap, before lunch.
    • You will enjoy a lighter lunch at around 12:30, in the air-conditioned dining room.
    • Late Afternoon -Yacapana Islands Exploration and Dolphin Sighting
    • In the afternoon, you will head off to explore the Yacapana Islands. Locals call the Yacapana Islands the “Iguana Islands,” because of the huge population of these reptiles—like tiny dinosaurs—crawling over the ground and resting in the tree tops. You will pass by in the skiff, when you will have the change to capture some great photos. As the sun sets, you will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and photograph both gray and pink freshwater dolphins. Local people the believe that these dolphins turn into humans to steal handsome men or pretty women from their villages during celebrations.
    • You will return to the M/V Aqua vessel around 6:30pm and continue your journey upstream, toward the headwaters of the Amazon River, where the Ucayali, Marañon, and the Amazon Rivers merge.
    • Perhaps sip a pre-dinner Camu-Camu Sour on the upper deck, while you watch the sun set.
    • Dinner will be served at approximately 8pm.

    Day 3 - MARAÑON RIVER/PACAYA-SAMIRIA NATIONAL RESERVE (YANAYACU-PUCATE)

    • You will enjoy an early breakfast today, before a guided Jungle Walk in the primary forest.
    • This morning your naturalist guide will tell you all about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia, and will take you to one of these projects, where villagers are planting palms to obtain oil. Your guide may also show you the artificial nests created on the sand to protect turtle eggs. Then you will be taken deep into the jungle, where you will encounter wildlife and learn first-hand about the important medicinal value of many jungle plants. You will also see the famous Kapok Trees (ceiba pentandra), the tallest trees in the Amazon Basin before returning to the M/V Aqua.
    • At 12.30pm you will enjoy lunch and a little siesta.
    • Today's skiff excursion will depart in the late afternoon. You are likely to see howler and capuchin monkeys, the squirrel-sized monkeys called tamarins, and a vast variety of birds on this trip. You will also see the two different kinds of freshwater dolphins—including the unusual pink ones—found in the Amazon.
    • Later, keep your eyes directed toward the jungle canopy, where you can spot several kinds of primates, some of the 13 species of monkeys resident in the national park. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of tamarins and dusky titi monkeys, as well as pigmy marmoset monkeys. Watch for alligators, and keep your binoculars at the ready, as you are likely to see more than 200 species of birds. As the sun sets and the searchlight comes on, keep your eyes out for caimans, tree boas, tarantulas, and frogs.
    • You will arrive back at the M/V Aqua around 7:30pm. Enjoy a hot shower and a cool drink, before heading to the dining room. The M/V Aqua will start to sail downstream on the Marañon River, back toward the headwaters of the Amazon.
    • Dinner will be served at approximately 8:30pm.

    Day 4 - YUCURUCHE LAKE / BIRTHPLACE OF THE AMAZON / PUERTO PRADO VILLAGE VISIT / IQUITOS

    • Rise early and board the skiff at 6:30am. This morning your skiffs will take you along the Ucayali River to Yucuruche Lake, where you will walk a little way into the jungle to see the world’s largest aquatic plant—the giant water lilies or “Victoria Regias.”
    • Bring your cameras. You will be one of a very small number of people who have ever seen these luxuriant plants bloom.
    • Breakfast will be served at 8:30am.
    • This morning, the M/V Aqua skirts the edges of the vast Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. You will board the skiffs again after breakfast to view one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the birthplace of the Amazon River.
    • Here two major tributaries—the Ucayali and the Marañon—unite to form the world’s greatest waterway. Here, you will experience nature at its most dramatic. Your morning excursion will be accompanied by abundant bird song, as you glide in small boats past river banks populated by large-billed terns, laughing falcons, gray tanagers, sandpipers, five kinds of parakeets, the exotic short-tailed parrot, and dozens of other birds.
    • You will then travel by skiff to Puerto Prado native village, where you will get to know the hospitable Cocama Indians. They will share their culture, traditions, and folklore with you and you will have the opportunity to purchase some of their delightful folk art and crafts.
    • At approximately 11:40 am, you will return to the M/V Aqua and share a last lunch with your fellow passengers, before preparing for your onward journey.
    • At 1:15pm you will disembark. Before heading for the airport, you will be taken to visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have seized from local people. Biologists will give a presentation about the project and its efforts to help these helpless mammals. You will also see how the manatees are cared for and are prepared for re-introduction into their natural habitat.
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Return Airport transfers in Iquitos (if you are on the recomended group flights)
    • Breakfast lunch & dinner whilst on board the Aqua
    • Activities mentioned in the itinerary, English speaking guide
    • Accommodation -3 nights cruise

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure tax
    • Visas where required
    • Flights to and from Iquitos
    • Meals not included in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Laundry
    • Optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips and items of a personal nature
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PSJC4
Start City: Iquitos
End City: Iquitos

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