Arrive in Lima, where our local representative meets you at the airport just outside customs. Transfer to our hotel where we'll have a welcome dinner this evening with our Expedition Leaders. Our location near the airport provides convenient access for tomorrow morning's flight to Iquitos.
Day 2: Lima / Iquitos / Nauta—Embark / Piranha Caño
Fly across the Andes to land in Iquitos. Accessible only by air or water, this once-booming rubber town is now one of the largest cities in the Amazon. Transfer to Nauta, a small riverside town on the banks of the Marañon River, whose name literally means the “end of the road.” Here, we board our deluxe riverboat, Delfin II. Cruising slowly upstream, bound for the Amazon headwaters, enjoy panoramic views from the open-air top deck and sip exotic cocktails made with regional fruits and pisco, Peru’s famous national brandy, as our Expedition Leaders provide an overview of the journey ahead.
This afternoon, disembark for a short skiff excursion to Piranha Caño, near the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers that join to create the main stem of the mighty Amazon River. Traveling through flooded terrain, we discover a tranquil lagoon rich in birdlife, especially seedeaters that are difficult to find elsewhere. This is also a good spot to search for monkeys and sloths. It's important to know at the outset, though, that the prolific wildlife of the Amazon is also skilled at hiding: it takes an expert eye to locate animals sheltered by the dense vegetation. That's where our guides come in!
Day 3: Amazon River / Clavero Lagoon /
Board excursion boats and head out for an introduction to the "
Day 4: Ucayali River / Yanallpa / Dorado River
This morning we visit Belluda Caño Creek near Yanallpa, home to the ribereño people, indigenous dwellers in the
Navigating small waterways off the main river, we are immersed in the verdant recesses of the world's largest
Day 5: Zapote River / Pacaya River
This morning, explore the blackwater Zapote River by kayak and skiff. The water, while clear, is the color of dark tea, an effect of the tannins deposited by rich vegetation along the banks.
This afternoon, we reach the Pacaya River at the heart of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. This vast flooded landscape,
Day 6: Sapuena Creek / Yarapa River / Puerto Miguel
Wake to the sounds of a jungle teeming with life, and join our expert naturalists for a dawn birding excursion on Sapuena Creek, a blackwater stream leading to a large lake. Watch for
Later in the day, disembark for a short skiff ride to Puerto Miguel, a riverside village where we meet indigenous residents whose culture has been a part of this region for centuries. At the arts and crafts market, we have a chance to purchase items that support the community and empower women artisans. Sales indirectly help preserve local fauna, since income generated decreases the pull of illegal hunting. We may also get to visit a local school before heading out on a jungle walk in search of sloths and monkeys—then return to the Delfin II for dinner.
Day 7: Amazon Natural Park—Canopy Walk / Yanayacu Pucate / San Regis
This morning we head up the other main tributary of the Amazon, the Marañon River. Along the way, we stop at Amazon Natural Park, which has the area's sole canopy walk. Suspended 85 feet above the ground, the walkway extends a third of a mile through the upper tier of the
Board kayaks and skiffs this afternoon to travel farther up the Marañon to a virtually unvisited section of Pacaya Samiria, where the Yanayacu and Pucate rivers meet. Giant kapok and strangler fig trees along the banks shelter a multitude of wildlife, and our Expedition Leaders explain the various micro-ecosystems found here in one of the most pristine parts of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. Search once more for pink dolphins, then continue to San Regis, an isolated village that rarely sees outsiders. We visit with the prestigious shaman Carola, known throughout the region as a healer and spiritual guide. In addition to living a normal village life with her woodcarver husband, she is a spiritual caretaker for hundreds of residents living throughout the jungle's remote reaches.
Day 8: Fundo Casual Trail /
Early risers are rewarded with the reserve's most abundant bird and animal life on this morning's excursion. We set out at sunrise, when wildlife is most active in the tropics, to follow the Fundo Casual trail, walking deep into the forest on dry ground in search of sloths, birds and more. Look closely for brightly colored poison dart frogs, leafcutter ants and other intriguing small creatures along our path. After lunch, cruise to the
As the sun sinks below the canopy, an exciting adventure
Day 9: Nauta—Disembark / Iquitos / Lima / Depart
Disembark in Nauta this morning, then visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center for River Mammals en route to Iquitos. Here, biologists and volunteers care primarily for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have seized from fishermen and locals who have captured them illegally. Scientists discuss efforts to help these vulnerable mammals, including how they are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitat. We'll have the chance to see baby manatees and interact with charming, docile adults—maybe even helping to feed them. The center also cares for other animals that are often rescued after being captured as pets. Leaving the rain forest behind, we fly together to Lima. For your convenience, we have booked overnight hotel rooms at the Wyndham Costa del Sol airport hotel. Relax in your own private space until an overnight flight home, or take advantage of the opportunity for a full night's stay and depart the following morning.
Please Note: This itinerary is meant as a guideline and can change due to weather conditions, internal flight schedules