Peru: Amazon Small Ship Cruising

Small Ship Cruise, Peru: AmazonSmall Ship Cruise, Peru: Amazon

Peru

Amazon Small Ship Cruising

overview

Earth’s mightiest river is your home on this adventure into a mysterious world of dolphins, giant otters, chattering tamarins, and hanging sloths. After a tour of historic Lima, board Aquamarina, a classic riverboat taking you deep into an Amazon most travelers never reach. Accompanied by a professional biologist guide attuned to rainforest sights and sounds, you’ll be immersed in the ultimate river expedition. Along the way, forest walks introduce you to rare birds, gargantuan plants, towering trees, and the traditions of native peoples like the Ribereño. Pacaya-Samiria Wetland Reserve, home to more than 650 mammal, amphibian, and reptile species, will give you privileged access to its rich biodiversity. In the evening, take a skiff into the river to discover the surprisingly different rainforest that exists at night. Throughout your journey, unexpected amenities will cater to your comfort: air-conditioned cabin with private bath, open-air observation deck, and chef-prepared meals of fresh fish and traditional Peruvian specialties.

Activity Level
Easy; limited walking
Meet
Lima, Peru
Depart
Lima, Peru
Small Ship 
10 days, 9 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • One hotel night at Lima Swissôtel
  • 7 nights onboard Aquamarina
  • All meals included except on Days 1 and 10, and dinner on Day 9
  • Guided tours and lectures by native naturalists
  • Services of experienced Expedition Leader
  • Wildlife excursions on land and by boat in three habitats
  • Piranha fishing
  • Pre-dawn birding
  • Local village and school visits
  • Complimentary laundry onboard
  • Nighttime skiff rides and rainforest walk
  • Shaman blessing ceremony
  • Tour of colonial Lima
  • Private dayroom until international flight
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Tips to porters and waiters for included meals
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $2,249
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

$368 airfare additional

Price calculated using base cabin rate and may change pending availability.

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Lima
View on map
2
Amazon
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3
Amazon
View on map
4
Amazon
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5
Amazon
View on map
6
Amazon
View on map
7
Amazon
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8
Amazon
View on map
9 - 10
Amazon
View on map
Day 1

Lima

Arrival in Lima

Arrival into Lima, Peru, the nation’s capital and largest city, and transfer to the Swissôtel for the night. (No meals included on this day.)

Swissôtel

Located in San Isidoro, the most exclusive district in the city, this modern hotel provides stylish, contemporary rooms, easy access to the historical city center, restaurants, shopping and sites. The hotel is just seven miles from the international airport. Amenities include three restaurants, a pastry shop, bar and business center.

Day 2

Amazon

Lima / Iquitos / Embark Amazon Riverboat

Tour historic Lima, visiting Casa Aliaga, a private home dating back to the Conquistadors. See the Cathedral, where Francisco Pizarro is entombed, and Plaza de Armas. Before lunch, tour the monastery and vast catacombs of the Iglesia de San Francisco. Fly over the Andes Mountains to Iquitos, where you board the riverboat, La Estrella, home for the next seven days of your Amazon cruise. During a nightly briefing, you’ll review the following day’s Amazon Voyage expedition itinerary and meet the crew of La Estrella. Enjoy stargazing and storytelling with our local guides while cruising slowly on the Amazon River toward the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers.

La Estrella

Imagine learning about the stars of the Southern constellations from our purpose-built Observation Deck, the largest of any boat on the Amazon River. After drifting down narrow tributaries aboard our sturdy excursion boats or hiking through thick jungle in search of Amazon wildlife, relax in the enhanced Lecture Room. Evening guides’ receptions include not only complimentary Peruvian cocktails, wine or beer, but a chance to be entertained as the boat’s crew plays music. Each night, guides hold discussions on history, geography and wildlife in air-conditioned comfort.

Day 3

Amazon

Confluence of the Amazon River / Río Ucayali

You awake this morning on the Amazon, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life as La Estrella continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds. On your Amazon Voyage adventure, travel waterways aboard sturdy excursion boats to areas where you may find marsh birds such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant. The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River. Amazingly, you are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way! You turn into the Río Ucayali, where you’re apt to find gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Use hydrophones to listen to the pink river dolphins as your naturalists share local lore and explain dolphin interaction and how the dolphins use sounds to hunt. Later you take an excursion into the surrounding rainforest in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths. As dusk approaches, fishing bats begin their night’s foraging.

La Estrella

Imagine learning about the stars of the Southern constellations from our purpose-built Observation Deck, the largest of any boat on the Amazon River. After drifting down narrow tributaries aboard our sturdy excursion boats or hiking through thick jungle in search of Amazon wildlife, relax in the enhanced Lecture Room. Evening guides’ receptions include not only complimentary Peruvian cocktails, wine or beer, but a chance to be entertained as the boat’s crew plays music. Each night, guides hold discussions on history, geography and wildlife in air-conditioned comfort.

Day 4

Amazon

Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

After a peaceful breakfast along the black-water Sapote Creek, you explore a small tributary of the Ucayali in search of piranha, which are very common in the slower-moving water. With luck, you may catch red-breasted, white or black piranha, and feast on your catch this evening. You look for animals including primates, sloths and an enormous variety of birds. Your Amazon Voyage adventure continues upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Although scientific studies are far from exhausted, the Pacaya-Samiria is the known home to 450 bird species, 102 species of mammals, over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians, and countless plants. This afternoon, an excursion into this largest wetland reserve in the world provides the opportunity to see 13 species of primates, including monk sakis, red howler, saddle-backed tamarin and squirrel monkeys. You explore Caro Lake, connected to the river by way of a very small stream, where you may find flocks of greater ani, often seen following monkeys in search of insects disturbed by the monkeys’ foraging. You enjoy a nighttime boat excursion for a chance to find caimans, capybaras, common potoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife.

La Estrella

Imagine learning about the stars of the Southern constellations from our purpose-built Observation Deck, the largest of any boat on the Amazon River. After drifting down narrow tributaries aboard our sturdy excursion boats or hiking through thick jungle in search of Amazon wildlife, relax in the enhanced Lecture Room. Evening guides’ receptions include not only complimentary Peruvian cocktails, wine or beer, but a chance to be entertained as the boat’s crew plays music. Each night, guides hold discussions on history, geography and wildlife in air-conditioned comfort.

Day 5

Amazon

Rio Pacaya / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

Spend the day exploring this flooded realm, seeing wading birds such as herons, wattled jacanas and horned screamers. Venturing deep into the rainforest, tour an igapo (seasonally flooded forest), where plant life is very different from what you see along the main course of your Amazon cruise, and walk through the forest. Once you reach the reserve's second checkpoint, hike around the ranger station. Lucky guests may release turtle hatchlings. A delicious lunch energizes you for afternoon excursions with your expert naturalists, where you may find scarlet macaws, hoatzins, black-collared hawks and red howler monkeys.

La Estrella

Imagine learning about the stars of the Southern constellations from our purpose-built Observation Deck, the largest of any boat on the Amazon River. After drifting down narrow tributaries aboard our sturdy excursion boats or hiking through thick jungle in search of Amazon wildlife, relax in the enhanced Lecture Room. Evening guides’ receptions include not only complimentary Peruvian cocktails, wine or beer, but a chance to be entertained as the boat’s crew plays music. Each night, guides hold discussions on history, geography and wildlife in air-conditioned comfort.

Day 6

Amazon

Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

After an early breakfast, you board excursion boats for access even further into the heart of these vast wetlands. As your Amazon Voyage adventure cruises the narrow waterways, you’ll find birds such as canary-winged parakeets and spectacular blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws. Primates also are fairly common, including noisy squirrel monkeys. You arrive at a ranger station, where you may take a short hike to explore the forest. After a picnic lunch, you gradually make your way back to the riverboat through the maze of waterways. Visit a village along the river, with the chance to learn about the lives of the “Ribereño” people who live there. Accompanied by guides who grew up along the river, this is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through gardens learning about medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. The children are especially excited to see their faces on digital cameras and to show off their school and sing Peruvian songs. Learn about medicinal plants and enjoy a blessing ceremony by a respected village shaman.

La Estrella

Imagine learning about the stars of the Southern constellations from our purpose-built Observation Deck, the largest of any boat on the Amazon River. After drifting down narrow tributaries aboard our sturdy excursion boats or hiking through thick jungle in search of Amazon wildlife, relax in the enhanced Lecture Room. Evening guides’ receptions include not only complimentary Peruvian cocktails, wine or beer, but a chance to be entertained as the boat’s crew plays music. Each night, guides hold discussions on history, geography and wildlife in air-conditioned comfort.

Day 7

Amazon

Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

This morning you head back downriver, with a morning wildlife walk or other activity. Aboard the ship, take advantage of the open-air top deck, learning to make traditional Peruvian dishes or enjoying an enriching lecture. After dark you’ll go out in the excursion boats to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and look for nocturnal wildlife.

La Estrella*

Imagine learning about the stars of the Southern constellations from our purpose-built Observation Deck, the largest of any boat on the Amazon River. After drifting down narrow tributaries aboard our sturdy excursion boats or hiking through thick jungle in search of Amazon wildlife, relax in the enhanced Lecture Room. Evening guides’ receptions include not only complimentary Peruvian cocktails, wine or beer, but a chance to be entertained as the boat’s crew plays music. Each night, guides hold discussions on history, geography and wildlife in air-conditioned comfort. *Our first departure on the Amazon Voyager will be August 2, 2013. All departures prior will be on the Aquamarina.

Day 8

Amazon

Marañón River / Amazon Rainforest

Journey into the terra firma forest on a winding trail. Large trees festooned with epiphytes, palms, woody vines and a vaulted canopy add to the shadowed mystery of the tropical jungle. Once back aboard Aquamarina, you enjoy a farewell dinner.

La Estrella

Imagine learning about the stars of the Southern constellations from our purpose-built Observation Deck, the largest of any boat on the Amazon River. After drifting down narrow tributaries aboard our sturdy excursion boats or hiking through thick jungle in search of Amazon wildlife, relax in the enhanced Lecture Room. Evening guides’ receptions include not only complimentary Peruvian cocktails, wine or beer, but a chance to be entertained as the boat’s crew plays music. Each night, guides hold discussions on history, geography and wildlife in air-conditioned comfort.

Day 9 - 10

Amazon

Iquitos / Departure from Lima (Last day of tour)

Disembark in Iquitos. Enjoy a walking tour of this frontier city, stopping at the Belen Market and the Las Malvinas garden project. After lunch, fly back to Lima and connect with overnight flights to the U.S. (Dinner not included.)

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Jorge Salas

Expedition Leader Jorge is a favorite among guests, having led expeditions to the Amazon, Orinoco, Antarctica, Trinidad, West Africa, Patagonia and Papua New Guinea. Jorge has been leading groups for more than 19 years, and brings with him a contagious enthusiasm. Jorge is an avid photographer, with one of the most complete wildlife (he's photographed more than 1,200 species!) and travel stock portfolios of South America. Jorge has led 33 journeys on the Inca Trail and 22 circuits of Torres del Paine in Chile, among many other adventure expeditions. Jorge's research and photography has been published in history books, and he has worked extensively with the Smithsonian, World Wildlife Fund and National Wildlife Federation.

Hernando Vallenas

For the past 11 years, after studying tourism, Lima native Hernando has lead tours to Arequipa, Puno, Cusco and the rainforest. Hernando has led more than 150 Amazon River cruises. And if you’re wondering why there’s never a problem he can’t solve, the answer is easy: Hernando spent two years fielding traveler complaints at the Lima airport! When Hernando is not sharing his native Peru with guests, you’ll find him playing soccer or spending time with his two children.

George Davila

George first began working in the Amazon jungle as a 13-year-old trail cutter for groups of visitors. He learned English by listening to tourists and practicing with them as he cut a path for their exploration. As he studied natural history, George was assigned to work with scientific tours. George also joined a Peruvian tour operator as a barman and waiter while completing coursework in guiding and science.

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