We highly recommend the 7-night Amazon River Expedition Cruise on the Aria Amazon where you may experience the most luxurious and comprehensive Amazon journey among the Amazon River’s three powerful tributaries: the Marañon and the Ucayali, as well as several hidden black water lakes. Kayak, canoe and swim in these unspoiled black waters, keeping eyes peeled for the Amazon’s legendary pink dolphins. Be witness of one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere, the birth of the Amazon River. Take a short jungle walk in the San Jose flooded forest and see the unforgettable giant water lilies. Enjoy a breakfast picnic accompanied by jungle symphony and fishing along the black waters of the Pacaya River. Four professionally trained naturalist guides lead guests of the Aria Amazon on daily expeditions aboard comfortable skiffs deep into the Amazon’s tributaries and on foot into the sultry Amazon rain forest. True ribereños, or “river dwellers”, all English speaking Peruvian experts, grew up on the banks of the Amazon, and know every bird and mammal call. They possess a local native’s ability to spot a brown-throated three-toed sloth sleeping high up in the tree canopy, an anaconda slithering along the shoreline and even the elusive capybara hiding in the high grass after nightfall. High water season November to May
About the vessel:
Custom built in 2011 and refurbished in 2015 – the Aria Amazon can accommodate up to 32 guests in 16 oversized suites (23m2), all of which feature huge panoramic windows, luxuriously appointed bathrooms with hot water and air-conditioning. Common areas include an indoor and outdoor lounge, cold water Jacuzzi, observation deck and dining room. All suites have individual air conditioning, polished timber flooring and a wall of floor to ceiling glass facing the Amazon River. En suite bathrooms with rain shower and organic bath amenities incorporate the latest eco-sensitive technology.
You will be met at Iquitos international airport and then transferred, by air-conditioned vehicle, through the Peruvian countryside to Nauta’s Main Wharf to board the Aria Amazon, stopping for a riverside lunch en route (or a box lunch, depending on the flight arrival time). Settle into your generously proportioned suite as you begin one of life’s greatest adventures.
The afternoon continues with an introduction to this historic city and the opportunity to meet an indigenous Amazon community. At 6:00pm you’ll board the ARIA AMAZON. Settle into your generously proportioned suite as you begin one of life’s greatest adventures.
Following a routine safety drill and introduction to our naturalist guides, gather for innovative Amazonian cuisine created by the Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is the one of Lima’s top ranked dining experiences.
Amazon River – Yarapa River – Nauta Caño
Board the comfortable skiffs, and set sail from the Amazon River to the Yarapa River. Keep your binoculars ready to spot tropical songbirds, black collared hawks and sloths. You’ll go fishing for Amazonia’s notoriously ferocious piranhas while the naturalist guides share stories of Lake Moringo. As the sun sets head off on an evening’s wildlife excursion with extraordinary stargazing on the black waters of Nauta Caño.
Marañon Creer – Jungle walk – Pucate River
Rise with the sun to explore a ‘lost river’ along the Marañon River. After breakfast, take a jungle walk on the firm soil forest “Casual,” while looking for flora and fauna which include medicinal trees, insects, and poison dart frogs, and learning more about the different rainforest stratas. Later, swim, canoe or kayak in Yanayacu-Pucate River as you look for legendary pink river dolphins.
Village visit – Nauta Town – Birthplace of the Amazon
This morning, visit the local fresh market with your guides who can identify the day’s catch by the fishermen of Amazonia and the region’s exotic fruits. In the afternoon, witness one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere, the birthplace of the Amazon River.
Yanallpa River – Dorado River
By skiff, explore the black waters of the Yanallpa River, disembarking to walk deep into the Amazonian rain forest. Later, board the skiffs again to cruise along the El Dorado River for a dusk excursion in search of exotic nocturnal wildlife.
Pacaya River – Ucayali River – Tapiche River
The rewards of your early start today are plentiful, including a full day excursion by skiff along the Pacaya River, going deeper into pristine landscape shared with great egret, capuchin monkeys and taricaya turtles. After lunch, you’ll have a paiche fishing demonstration, the second largest river fish in the world. Later, we venture out by skiffs on the Ucayali River alongside the banana boats transporting their jungle products to the port of Requena, keeping an eye out for pink river dolphins.
Clavero or Yarapa River – Amazon River
Choose to go jungle walking, canoeing, kayaking or swimming on the black water Yarapa or Clavero River in the morning. Visit a remote Amazonia village in the afternoon. This evening before dinner, you’ll be introduced to some of the crewmembers whom you may not have met, working “behind the scenes” to ensure your countless exceptional experiences aboard the ARIA AMAZON.
Manatee Rescue Center
At the Bellavista Nanay morning market along the Nanay River, sample exotic snacks from the Peruvian Amazon like ‘Suri’, Amazon caterpillars that are considered especially appetizing. Return to the ARIA for breakfast and to pack up. Before saying goodbye make one last truly memorable stop at the Manatee Rescue Center, a very special kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees. Also visit San Juan craft market on route to the airport.