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Amazon Journey

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard Zafiro
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Join the Zafiro on this 5-day luxury cruise exploring the wonderful Amazon, Ucayali, and Maranon rivers! Skiff through its tributaries towards the Sapote River, a buffered zone of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. As you enter into one of the greatest flooded forests of the world, see extraordinary wildlife, many species of primates, hundreds of exotic and colorful birds, and groups of pink and gray dolphins only after a single day! 
A monkey clings to the treeTree frog spotted in the AmazonPink dolphin in the AmazonCattleya cruise adventures
  • Visit where the Maranon and Ucayali Rivers join together forming the Amazon
  • Kayak and swim with the famous Amazon pink dolphins
  • Meet and visit with locals and learn about life on the Amazon River
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Iquitos | Embark | Amazon River

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Iquitos, where your guides meet your arrival at the airport. Transfer all together in your comfortable private vehicle over paved road to the main wharf to board the Zafiro. Staff introduce you to your suite, specially equipped with all the amenities for the experienced traveler as yourself. While the Zafiro begins its primary navigation, enjoy the most fantastic panoramic views from the gracefully interior lounge located on the third deck. Before the Welcome Dinner, your naturalist
guide gives you an overview of your journey's schedule, activities, route, highlights, wildlife and vegetation, geographical and historical background, and other useful details.

This evening, salute your journey with fine South American wine that accompanies the Amazonia-influenced cuisine. After the welcome dinner, enjoy starwatching while you cruise into the depths of the Amazon Rainforest.

Day 2: Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy early morning birdwatching in the middle of the Amazon River. Observe parrots, macaws and learn from nature. Early rising is always rewarding since wildlife is most abundant and active with the rising of the sun.

After breakfast, the Zafiro skirts the edges of Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. Board your skiffs for an expedition on the confluence where the Maranon and Ucayali Rivers join together forming the mighty Amazon River. Nature here appears especially dramatic: birdsong accompanies your morning excursion as you glide past river banks! Explore the first river into the Pacaya and Samiria National Reserve named piranha creek, in search of wildlife. This area is known as the parrot-parakeet paradise.

Enjoy an afternoon excursions to Nauta Creek within Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, which is known as the mirrored forest, which makes perfect sense as you gaze upon its glistening black water lagoons. Naturalist guides use their eagle eyes to help you spot toucans, parrots and macaws overhead, and iguanas, sloths and monkeys among the soaring trees. 

*Optional nocturnal boat ride to enjoy the symphony from the night and constellations, as well as search for caimans, tarantulas, boa constrictors and more.

Day 3: Yanayacu of Pucate | Tiger River

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early in the morning start cruising through the Yanayacu and Pucate Rivers, peeking into different creeks and lagoons. This is one of the best preserved and protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guide uses his expert eye to pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region. This is also a popular dolphin feeding spot so you won´t be the only one enjoying a happy meal here. 

Interact directly with the waters of the Amazon on a kayak. In addition, swim in the river along with the famous pink dolphins!

On a late afternoon excursion, take a short walk through the forest and over hanging bridges in the beautiful San Regis park full of colorful birds that are native to the area. Following this, have an experience with a native shaman and partake in a tree planting

Tiger River is one of most important tributaries that flow into the Maranon Rivers because hundreds of other small rivers flow into the main Tiger River. Explore one of those small rivers called Nahuapa and look for caimans, snakes, tarantulas, night monkeys, nocturnal birds such as boat-billed herons, great potoos, and more. Wildlife is always active early in the morning, late afternoon and night, turning this into an amazing experience.

Day 4: Maranon River | San Martin De Tipishca

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, your skiff skims the Samiria River and its tributaries, where an abundance of wildlife hides in the deep rainforest, such as blue and yellow macaws, scarlet macaws, toucans, umbrella birds, monkeys, and river others, capybaras and more.

This afternoon, meet the genuinely welcoming people of San Martin de Tipishca Kukama Amazonian community at this riverside community. Your naturalist guide acts as interpreter so that you may talk with them about their life along the Amazon. Of course, no one has to interpret these kids’ bright smiles and wide-eyed curiosity about you. This visit also offers an excellent opportunity to buy easy-to-pack artisanal handicrafts, from painted coconut bowls to surprisingly chic seed bead jewelry. Tipishca Lake formed over 100 years ago by the Las Piedras River cutting through the neck of a sharp meander. It harbors good fish stocks, including piranha and catfish. Bird life on the lake is plentiful, as the lake attracts many species including blue and yellow macaw, grey-necked wood-rails, putrescent tiger-herons, wattle jacanas, amazon and pygmy kingfishers, green ibis, black–collared hawk, black capped mocking thrush, and yellow-rumped caciques. Enjoy live music from a local band aboard the Zafiro followed by a sumptuous dinner.

Day 5: Maranon River | Nauta | Disembark | Iquitos

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Before breakfast, enjoy early birdwatching in skiff boats among the Maranon River searching for bank species. The Maranon River has a great outflow and many tributaries which give to its basin bountiful species. After breakfast fish for the famous piranhas in Shiriyacu stream, and walk into the jungle to meet a local healer to learn about complementary medicine from the Amazon and ancestral traditions.

On your way from Nauta back to Iquitos airport, visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) where you have the chance to meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile creatures and why they are on the endangered species list. You also have the chance to pet and feed these kind manatees.  

Our land personnel wait for you at the airport to deliver your boarding passes and assist you with departure formalities. Check in at Iquitos International Airport for your flight to Lima.




Dates & Prices

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Flexible New Booking Policy
For new bookings scheduled until December 31, 2021, changes in departure dates are available at no additional cost. Some restrictions may apply. Contact us for more details. 
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Per person starting at
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First Deck Suite
21 m2 / 226.04 sq. ft. Panoramic floor to ceiling windows on the first deck.
Suite on board the Zafiro
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Second Deck Suite
21 m2 / 226.04 sq. ft. Panoramic view floor to ceiling windows with separate balcony overlooking the Amazon River on the second deck.
Suite on board the Zafiro
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Master Suites
23 m2 / 247.57 sq. ft. 90-degree front-facing windows, air conditioning with en-suite bathroom and living room.
Suite on board the Zafiro
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Zafiro Suite
44.60m2 / 480.07 sq. ft. 180-degree front facing window with jacuzzi and amazon view located on the second deck.


Please note:
The itineraries are subject to change due to weather conditions at certain times of the year. The water levels of the rivers also vary from time to time, as well as the hours of sailing. Excursions may be modified at the discretion of the Zafiro crew.

Rates Include: 
  • All meals while on board 
  • All excursions & equipment (including rubber boots & rain ponchos)
  • Transfers to/from vessel when arriving on recommended flights to Iquitos.
  • Entrance fee to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
  • Natural juices, soda, coffee, tea, water; beer (on board the Zafiro)
Rates Exclude: 
  • Air tickets to/from Iquitos
  • Cost of medical emergencies (including evacuation)
  • Tipping guidelines. We recommend an amount in the range of US $20 – $30 per passenger per night for the crew (to be divided among all the crew members) and between US $7 –$10 per passenger per night for the guides.


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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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