Aqua Expedition’s 4 night luxury river cruise on the Aria Amazon transport guests in exceptional comfort deep into the Amazon rain forest, along the Ucayali River, the Amazon’s largest tributary, as well as the four other rivers, each one rich in vibrant wildlife with thriving rain forests. Go piranha fishing, trek into the dense jungle in search of Amazon monkeys, three-toed sloths, crown headed hoatzin birds, toucans, macaws and giant water lilies. Come back to the comfort of our skiffs to cruise up close to view Taricaya turtles and spectacled caimans in their natural habitat while pink dolphins, at play, challenge your photography skills. As the Aria Amazon journeys towards the confluence of the Ucayali and the Marañon Rivers, considered the birthplace of the Amazon, learn about the diverse Amazon wildlife and birds of Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. 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.
Iquitos – Amazon River
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.
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 and with extraordinary stargazing.
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, 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
Choose to go jungle walking, canoeing, kayaking or swimming on the black water Yarapa or Clavero River in the morning. Visit a remote Amazonian 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
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. Return to the ARIA for breakfast and to pack up. Before saying goodbye, visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. We will also visit San Juan craft market on route to the airport.