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Giant water lilies, called Victoria Regia, floating in the Amazon

Luxury Amazon Expedition

Example 8 Day Cruise
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Embark on this 8-day journey showcasing the best of the Amazon River's treasures on the Aqua Amazon. Your journey includes fishing at Moringo Lake, dolphin sightings, guided tours of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, visits to local villages, the "Mirrored Forest", wildlife safaris by night, and a visit to the Manatee Rescue Center.
Amazon SceneryInto the Wild AmazonThe Amazon RiverHorned Screamer, one of the many species of wildlife on an Amazon cruiseGiant water lilies, called Victoria Regia, floating in the Amazon
  • Discover the best of the Amazon River’s treasures
  • Fish for ferocious piranhas and other fish species in Lake Moringo
  • Explore the dark lagoons of Nauto Caño, also known as the Forest of Mirrors
  • Swim in the calm waters of Clavero Lake where villagers paddle their canoes
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Iquitos | Amazon River | Embark

  • 1 Dinner
Arrive in Iquitos this afternoon and  board your luxury vessel, Aria Amazon. As you settle into your handsomely-appointed, over-sized suite, feel the vessel begin to move. Stand on the Upper Deck to take in the view, as the Aria Amazon leaves Iquitos behind. Over the next eight days, sail along the two largest tributaries of the Peruvian Amazon, the Ucayali and the Marañon, as well as on the mighty Amazon itself.

Meet the naturalist guides and cruise director, who use video, photos, and maps to introduce the details of your journey deep into the Peruvian Amazon. Enjoy the innovative Amazonian cuisine, created by your Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is one of Lima’s top-ranked dining experiences. Schiaffino’s imaginative use of local products – fruit, fish, spices – makes every meal a delightful adventure.

Day 2: Amazon | Yarapa | Nauta Caño

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Watch the sunrise for the first time on the Amazon River, a first, dramatic glimpse of your upcoming adventures. This morning board your comfortable skiff to sail from the Amazon River to the Yarapa River. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and fresh water are always available. Float down the Yarapa, past the occasional fishermen paddling in their canoes - keep your binoculars ready to spot wildlife: terns, tropical songbirds, black-collared hawks, and sloth share this wonderful world with you. At Lake Moringo, use your hooks to try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas and other fish species.

Nauta Caño is part of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, also known as the Forest of Mirrors due to its dark lagoons which reflect the scenery. In this area observe toucans, macaws, and iguanas, among many other species. Head back to the Aqua Amazon and enjoy one of the most incredible sunsets reflected in the black water of the flooded forest.

Day 3: Marañon | Yanayacu | Pucate

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, visit the Yanayacu - Pucate River in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. On the black water river observe the vibrant flora and fauna while looking for macaws and several species of primates like the capuchins and squirrel monkeys as well as the famous Amazon River dolphins, either pink or gray. Amazonian people hold the belief that these dolphins possess the magical power to turn into men and women of great beauty. Enjoy a light breakfast on board, consisting of homemade baked goods, hot coffee, and fresh juice. Stop near a quiet place to see and hear quite a show put on by Mother Nature while you enjoy your meal.

Sail along the Marañon River and watch the different species of flora and fauna as you approach the Casual community where you hike on land. Keep your binoculars ready to observe tanagers and orioles as well as various reptiles and amphibians. Keep an eye out for the beautiful and eye-catching but poisonous frogs along this fascinating trail, as well as trees and medicinal plants.

Day 4: Birthplace of the Amazon | Village Visit | Nauta City

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, the Aqua Amazon skirts the edge of the vast Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. See one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over the origin of the Amazon River. Here, the junction of two major tributaries, the Ucayali and the Marañon, form one of the greatest waterfalls in the world – certainly this is nature at its most captivating. Your morning excursion is accompanied by abundant bird song, as you glide in small boats.

Travel by boat to a community located along the Marañon River, where you meet and interact with local villagers in this remote part of the world and learn about their traditions and folklore. Walk around with naturalist guides to see how the ship operators work with these communities to improve their natural resource management. Shop for local handicrafts directly from the artisans.

Visit the town of Nauta, founded in 1930. Nauta is the main point where villagers from around Amazonia come to sell the products they harvest in their rural communities. Walk around Nauta to gain insights into the life of these coastal peoples and visit the local fresh market, with your guides on hand to point out the different fish caught by the fishermen of Amazonia, and all types of indigenous fruits.

Day 5: Ucayali | Yanallpa | Dorado | Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning board the skiffs to explore this amazing black water stream, part of the vast Amazon flooded forest. Your guides teach you about the rainforest and its dynamic life - explore what scientists call a “gallery forest” because of its narrow vegetation, creating a tunnel of leaves. Float through this tunnel and spot parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys, very close to the skiff.

This afternoon take a magical journey through the “Mirrored Forest,” see towering trees reflected in the black water river, and spot dozens of enchanting parrots, blue-yellow macaws, and a great variety of primates and sloths enjoying nature unperturbed by your presence. As you make your way back to the Aqua Amazon, see caimans,frogs, and fishing bats.

Day 6: Puinahua | Pacaya | Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Choose from two different excursions:

Option 1:
Undertake a full-day excursion along the Pacaya River. Observe and explore the flooded forest of this vast region. Sail among a wide variety of wildlife, birds including large parrots, macaws, herons and storks, and many species of primates. Visit some of the most beautiful lakes in the protected reserve and meet some of the friendly local people who take care of the reserve’s natural resources. Your nature guide discusses the ship operator's involvement in the natural resource management of Amazonia. En route back to the Aqua Amazon, see the famous Ceiba tree, the highest in the Amazon.

Option 2:
Board your comfortable boat to sail and explore the Pacaya black water river. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and fresh water are always available in your boats. As you sail, the occasional fisherman paddles past in their homemade canoes. Keep your binoculars ready to spot terns, tropical songbirds, black hawks, monkeys, and sloths. Try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas of the Amazon. As you fish, your naturalist guide tells the story of the lake and its inhabitants. 

Keep your eyes out for two different kinds of freshwater dolphins, but especially the unusual pink dolphins found in the Amazon River. Spot arboreal lizards, iguanas, and look up to catch a glimpse of some of the area’s 200 bird species.

Day 7: Ucayali | Clavero Lake | Amazonas River

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail on to Lake Clavero where villagers paddle in their traditional dugout canoes. Swim in the lake’s calm waters and visit the community to interact with Amazonia neighbors who are pleased to welcome you. From this point, sail downstream toward Iquitos.

In the afternoon, sail along the great Amazon River, observe the flora and fauna, then stop at a riverside community that actively conserves the forest’s natural resources and their own ancestral customs.

Day 8: Disembark Iquitos | City Tour | Transfer to the Airport

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Weather permitting, tour the flood zone that borders the city of Iquitos and observe houses and shops that actually float on the Itaya River for several months of the year. Visit the traditional market of Bellavista Nanay, bordering the Nanay River, to see products from the Peruvian Amazon.This afternoon, tour Iquitos, a glorious city in the days of the rubber boom. Then, visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to be rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Later, stop at the Amazonian Indian Market San Juan and shop for local crafts before leaving.

Guides help with check-in at the airport and stay with you until you have boarded your flight back to Lima.

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  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners



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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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