Make It Yours
After a gourmet lunch onboard, 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. Pass by in the skiff, giving you a chance to snap good photos. As the sun sets, you will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and photograph both gray and pink freshwater dolphins. The people of the Amazon believe that these dolphins turn into humans to steal handsome men or pretty women from their villages during celebrations. Once the sun sets and the jungle is dark, begin the search for caiman, frogs, and different kinds of nightlife.
Return to the M/V Aqua vessel and continue your journey upstream, toward the headwaters of the Amazon River, where the Ucayali, Marañon, and the Amazon Rivers merge.
Option 1: Travel by skiff from Yanayacu Creek all the way to remote Chingana, a small creek where giant river otter usually nest. These handsome animals were killed in great numbers for their pelts, and are now threatened with extinction. On this excursion, you will also see howler and capuchin monkeys, the squirrel-sized monkeys called tamarins, pink and gray river dolphins, and a vast variety of birds. Go deep into the jungle, where you will encounter wildlife and learn first-hand about the important medical value of jungle plants. See the famous Kapok Trees (ceiba pentandra), the tallest trees in the Amazon Basin. Enjoy a generous picnic lunch at the park Ranger Station No. 2, before beginning your journey back to the vessel.
Option 2: This morning a Park Ranger will tell about the sustainable management projects in Amazonia, and take you to visit one of the projects. After lunch and a siesta, you are likely to 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 at least several kinds of primates—among the 13 species of monkeys resident in the National Park. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of tamarins and howlers, dusky titi monkeys and 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.
This afternoon travel to Nauta Caño, also part of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. It is known as the mirrored forest, due to its glistening black water lagoons. You will certainly enjoy observing different species, such as: toucans, parrots, macaws, iguanas, and more. On the way back to the MV Aqua you will see a glorious sunset reflected in the waters of the mirrored forest.
This afternoon take a magical journey through the “Mirrored Forest,” seeing towering trees reflected in the black water river, while spotting dozens of enchanting parrots, blue-yellow macaws, and a great variety of primates and sloths enjoying nature unperturbed by our presence. As we make your way back to the vessel, you will also have the chance to see caimans and frogs and fishing bats.
After breakfast on board, embark on a jungle walk near Hatum Posa. 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. Deep in the primary forest, your guides will also show you the wealth of fruit trees and medicinal plants hidden in the jungle.
In the late afternoon, take the skiffs along the Pacaya River, journeying from Ranger Station No. 1 toward Yanayacu Lake, where you can see the abundant life that is hidden in the deep rainforest. Your crew has chosen this time of day to give you the chance to see the late afternoon activity of the rainforest animals, including fluffy monk 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 howler monkeys marking 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. As you take the skiffs back to the MV Aqua, use the special spotlight torches to locate night creatures, including, perhaps, huge caimans.
Return to the M/V Aqua for lunch as your ship starts sailing down river, towards Iquitos. This afternoon, travel to the splendid Carocurahuayte “hot spot” lake, where you will be certain to catch some of the more than 3,000 species of tropical fish that live in the Amazon basin. The key focus will be on piranhas, those small, carnivorous fish with a big reputation for being scary.
This evening while your vessel continues its journey, enjoy your final dinner together, swapping stories about the wonderful experiences shared on the river.
Weather and time permitting, this will be the last opportunity to see how people live along the Amazon—by visiting the lively riverside community of Belen, in Iquitos, by skiff. 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.
Enjoy lunch in board before disembarking your ship. Visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have seized from local people and 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.Transfer to the Iquitos International Airport where your guides will assist you with your baggage and check-in, and will wait with you until you are ready to board your evening flight to Lima.
Initial deposit is $400, and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card. Alternatively, you can register online here.
Final payment is due 131 days prior to departure by bank transfer, check or credit card. All final payments by credit card may be subject to a surcharge and maximum of $20,000 charge.
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|Days Prior to departure||Fee|
|121 days or more||$200|