Amazon Jungle Cruise - 5 Days
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.
Day to Day 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.
- 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
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
- International flights
- Airport departure tax
- Visas where required
- Meals not included in the itinerary
- Optional tours or activities during free time
- Tips and items of a personal nature
- Flights to and from Iquitos
- Daily budget
What to know
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region. We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.
Visas and Permits
Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself.
Australians, Americans, Canadians, British and New Zealanders do not currently require a visa for Peru. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.
Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
Cut Stones and Crossroads - R Wright Exploring Cusco - P Frost The Incas and Their Ancestors - M Moseley
Port of embarkation: Iquitos, Peru
Vessel’s Registry: Peru
Type of Vessel: River Expedition Vessel
Length: 130 feet / 39.80 m
Beam: 24 feet / 7.30 m
Draft: 5 feet / 1.5 m
Gross Tonnage: 400 tons
Cruising Speed: 10 knots
Electricity: 220 volts
Engines: 2 new Cummins 380 HP Marine Engines
Generators: 1 x 95 KVA Cummins and 1 x 65 KVA Cummins
(encapsulated for noise reduction)
Water: 7000-liter water treatment plant
Safety: Radio communication with separate battery pack, satellite phone, life jackets, flares and signals, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in each cabin, automatic defibrillator on board.
Launch Boats: Three auxiliary aluminum launch boats equipped with four-stroke low emission engines; constant radio communication with the main vessel. Each boat has a capacity of 8 passengers.
Crew: 21, including a cruise director, paramedic and 3 English-speaking naturalist guides.
Accommodation: Up to 24 passengers with private facilities
Cabins: 12 suites:
• 4 Master Suites measuring 240 sq. ft.
• 8 Suites measuring 230 sq. ft.
- All outside-facing with large panoramic windows
- All air conditioned with en suite sitting areas
- 4 interconnecting suites for families
Twin beds that can be converted to a California king-sized bed
En suite sitting area
Internal communications system, bathroom with shower, toilet, sink, cabinet, hairdryer, and a basket of toiletries.
Hot water around the clock.
Partner organisations on the ground:
Peregrine works with partner organisations in each country we visit. This ensures we provide employment opportunities within local communities, including our experienced local leaders. We minimise the negative impacts of travel and maximise the benefits to the regions we travel, through working with our ethical services providers.
For any assistance prior to travel, please contact your travel agent.
For assistance whilst you are travelling, please contact the local numbers listed on your travel itinerary or below, as your call will be received in the same time zone. Alternatively, if you have already joined your tour, please direct your enquiries to your local tour leader.
Local contact numbers:
PEAK South America
+51 99605 5559 or +51 97009 4823
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
8 April 2014
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Peregrine