5 days

Amazon Jungle Cruise - 5 Days

Amazon Jungle Cruise - 5 Days

Amazon macaw

Amazon river cruise aboard the luxurious M.V Aqua

Exceptional staff and cuisine

On the water in the Amazon

Pacaya Samiria Reserve

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 be taken to the M/V Aqua where you will embark and check 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 four 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 there will 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.
    • After the briefing you will sit down to a welcome dinner at 8:30pm. You can relax, 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 - Ucayali - Yanallpa - Dorado Rivers - Pacaya Samiria national Reserve

    • You will board the skiffs at 6:30am just as the giant sun rises above the jungle. As you move down the Ucalyali River, the Amazon’s largest tributary, your naturalist guides will point out an amazing variety of wildlife, particularly active in the early hours of the day. Keep your eyes out for three-toed sloth hanging from tree limbs, for prehistoric-looking iguanas, and for a multitude of birds . . . orioles, horned screams, the list is long and varied. Then it’s back to the vessel, for a sumptuous breakfast.
    • After breakfast you will stroll through the village of Madgalena, a small community of just ten families. After you meet the people, including lots of lively and curious children, your naturalist guides will lead you through the jungle to a beautiful lake that is home to the world famous Victoria Regia giant water lily. Have your cameras ready to capture this once-in-a-lifetime sight.
    • Return to the M/V Aqua at approximately midday. Cool towels and chilled fruit juice await you, as you step out of the skiffs.
    • After lunch, why not enjoy a siesta in the air-conditioned comfort of your suite?
    • In the afternoon, you will enjoy a Ucayali exploration and Puinahua and discovery tour. You will continue along the majestic Ucayali River by skiff, enjoying the opportunity to see and meet native balseros, or fishermen. They will demonstrate their skill and let you see their catch—including a type of “armored” catfish with a shell-like skin. You will have at least one chance to sample this delicious local fish at dinner aboard the M/V Aqua. you will also be likely to spot, and have the opportunity to photograph, the “banana balsero” rafts, loaded with hundreds of clusters of bananas en route to market. Keep your binoculars ready to get an up-close look at woodpeckers, parrots, macaws, and toucans.
    • Return to the M/V Aqua in the evening, and enjoy dinner at approximately 8:00 pm. Afterwards, why not sit out on the upper deck to study the vast canopy of stars, shining so brightly, because there is virtually no electric light to compete with them.

    Day 3 - Puinahua River - Hatum Posa Lake - Pacaya River

    • You will awake to another beautiful breakfast this morning, before embarking on a jungle walk near Hatum Posa Village at 8:30am.
    • On this walk, your guides will introduce you to native people doing subsistence farming, and will tell you how they learned to cultivate wild plants and trees to earn farm income. As your adventure takes you deep into the primary forest, your guides will also show you the wealth of fruit trees and medicinal plants hidden in the jungle—and will reveal some of their secrets.
    • You will return to the M/V Aqua before lunch is served at approximately 12:30pm.
    • After lunch, you can just watch the world go by through the over-sized windows in your suite.
    • In the late afternoon, you will take the skiffs along the Pacaya River, journeying toward the scenic Yanayacu Lake. There you can view the abundant life that is hidden in the deep rainforest.
    • This time of day will give you the best chance to see the late afternoon activity of the rainforest animals, including fluffy saki monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and the easy-to-spot howler monkeys. As the sun sets, listen for the loud, ferocious-sounding warning signals made by the howler monkeys, as they mark their territories.
    • When night falls, you will hear the second movement of the Amazon rainforest symphony, as other nocturnal animals send their shrill calls across the tree tops. You will use special spotlight torches to locate night creatures, including, perhaps, huge caimans. You will return to the M/V Aqua in the evening.
    • Tonight the vessel will be docked by the No. 1 Ranger Station in Pacaya Samiria National Park. Dinner will be served at approximately 8:30pm. After dinner, perhaps enjoy Peru’s famous Pisco sours on the upper deck.

    Day 4 - Pacaya River/ Puinahua Village Visit

    • Back on the river as the sun rises, you will see a treasure trove of wildlife, including parrots, macaws, toucans, and many kinds of monkeys—as well as some “surprise” species that you have never seen before. Enjoy a “bag breakfast” of light sandwiches and fresh juice. Since you will stop near a popular dolphin feeding spot, you will see quite a show as you enjoy your meal.
    • After breakfast, armed with poles and bait, you will be taken to a special place on this fish-rich river, where you will catch some of the more than 3,000 species of tropical fish that live in the Amazon Basin. The key target will be piranhas, the small carnivorous fish with a fearsome reputation—considered a good food source by the locals. You will then return to the M/V Aqua.
    • As your journey nears its end, your luxurious home away from home starts to sail back down the river ward Iquitos. It isn’t over yet, however. A new adventure awaits you this afternoon. You will enjoy lunch on board at about 12:30pm.
    • A pleasant optional afternoon excursion will take you to a riverside village – home to a friendly group of fishermen and farmers, and their families. Your guide will translate for you, as you interact with the local people.
    • Just minutes after being in the wilderness, you will find yourself sitting down to a final gourmet feast in the ship’s dining room at around 8pm.
    • Tonight, around 9pm, the Cruise Director will introduce some of the crew members you haven’t yet met on the trip, but who have worked behind the scenes to give you an unforgettable experience. There may even be a bit of musical entertainment!

    Day 5 - Return to Iquitos

    • You will enjoy breakfast at around 7:30am, before heading off on a morning excursion. Please note that the excursions today will depend on the level of the river.
    • Weather and time permitting, this will be the last opportunity to see how people live along the Amazon—by floating in skiffs through the lively riverside community of Belen, in Iquitos. Here, where the houses and shops actually float on the river during some months, you will see the bustling food market for the entire Peruvian Amazon. All local inhabitants throughout the region sell and purchase goods here.
    • After your excursion, you will return to the M/V Aqua to finish packing. Please leave your packed suitcases in your suite for pickup before going to lunch.
    • A light lunch will be served at midday.
    • At 1:15 pm, you will disembark before enjoying an afternoon in the remote city of Iquitos. Accessible only by river or air, it will not disappoint. This bustling town, complete with a house built by Gustave Eiffel, was once a rich center of the rubber industry.
    • Before you head 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, including fishermen.
    • 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. Finally, you will stop at the San Juan Amazonian Indian Market, for a last chance to shop for local crafts.
    • You will be taken to the airport from here where your trip will come to an end.
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Return Airport transfers in Iquitos (if you are on the recomended group flights)
    • 4 night cruise aboard the luxurious M/V Aqua
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner whilst on board the Aqua
    • Activities mentioned in the itinerary & English speaking guide Guide
    • Accommodation -4 nights cruise

    Not Included

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

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PSJC5
Start City: Iquitos
End City: Iquitos
Style: Small Group

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