While cruising the Amazon River in refined luxury, guests will explore one of the largest protected expanses of tropical rainforest in the world, and discover one of the most biologically diverse regions on earth.
Embark on an epic 7-day luxury expedition aboard the remarkable Amazon Discovery, a riverboat purposefully designed to immerse her passengers in the natural riches of the rainforest surroundings.
Depending on the arrival time of the recommended inbound flight LA2380 on Day 1, part or all of Day 1 activities may be moved to Day 7 of the itinerary. The itinerary below is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary.
Day 1: Arrive Iquitos / Panoramic City Tour / Embark
Upon arrival in Iquitos, we enjoy a panoramic coach tour through the bustling streets of the jungle city of Iquitos. Much of the city’s historical flavor can be seen in rickshaws, colorful tuk-tuks, and 19th century mansions financed by the rubber boom.
Originally inhabited by Amerindian hunter-gatherers, Iquitos was established as a port city during the Spanish Colonial era. In the late 19th century, an increase in demand for rubber drew large numbers of European immigrants to the area. You'll even see the Casa de Fierro (Iron House), which was designed by French architect Gustave Eiffel himself. While this “rubber boom” brought great wealth and commercial development, it also had a devastating effect on the native populations.
Upon arrival at Itaya River port, you’ll board the Amazon Discovery, then gather for a welcome reception and your first tasty lunch. Afterwards you'll be able to check into your comfy cabins as we make our way out of port and into the Amazon River.
Make yourself at home and sample the boat's great social areas before an evening map presentation and introduction to the Amazon, including what you can expect to see and experience in the coming days.
Day 2: Tahuayo River and Yarapa River
This morning, we will cruise the Tahuayo River, a tributary of the Amazon, to a favorite feeding spot of the Pink River Dolphin. Also known as the boto, these intelligent creatures are the largest freshwater dolphins in the world. In addition to their pink color, they boast un-fused neck vertebrae that allow them to turn their heads up to 180 degrees, enabling maneuverability among the underwater tree trunks of the rainforest.
The Tahuayo is one of several “black water” rivers we will encounter on our journey. It gets its color from tannins that leach into the water from the rich forest soil. After greeting the pink dolphins, you’ll have the chance to go for a swim in this unique environment.
Back on board, we’ll enjoy lunch while we cruise to the Yarapa River. We enter another tributary of the Amazon River this afternoon, teeming with tropical flowers, where you will explore its shores and small creeks in search of rare and unusual Amazonian wildlife, including species of monkeys, birds, and iguanas not seen elsewhere.
Day 3: San Fransisco Village / Jungle Hike
This morning we will awaken in an historic place, the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañon rivers, where the mighty Amazon River is born. Before the heat of the day, we’ll set off on short skiff ride to Piranha Caño (or Marayali Caño) to catch the early morning activity of the local wildlife. After breakfast, we’ll cruise to San Francisco Village, where our ship will be met by the local children of the Shipibo community. Accompanied by an expert guide and interpreter, we will have the unique opportunity to visit their homes and school and peruse their embroidery and beadwork.
After lunch on board, we’re off again on a hike into one of the most biologically diverse rainforests supporting the largest number of plant and animal species, per unit area, anywhere on Earth. Here canopy trees, such as the Kapok (ceiba pentandra) can reach up to 55 meters (180 feet) in height. During our walk, a naturalist guide will provide insights into rare medicinal plants and exotic birds such as the bluish-fronted jacamar, collared trogons, and red-capped cardinals.
Day 4: Yana Yacu Pucate River / Nauta Caño
This morning, we'll begin with a skiff excursion into the pure, black waters of the Yana Yacu Pucate River (a protected area within the Pacaya Samiria Reserve). Here, you’ll see brilliant parrots, hummingbirds, hawks, and “laughing” falcons. Spot pink and grey dolphins swimming below and red howler monkeys in the canopy above. Perhaps even catch glimpses of the endangered charapa turtle, spider monkey, giant river otter, or red macaw.
The largest wildlife preserve in Peru, Pacaya-Samiria boasts more than five million acres of rich biodiversity. Throughout the day, expert naturalist guides will assist you in identifying flora and fauna from more than 527 species of birds, 102 mammals, 69 reptiles, 58 amphibians, nearly 300 varieties of fish, 1024 species of wild and cultivated plants, and innumerable classes of insects.
After lunch, we'll explore Nauta Caño with its lagoons, and its dynamic, stunning panoramas. Cruising is the best way to experience the diversity of the wildlife that populates the rivers and their jungle habitats, quietly exploring marshes, streams and oxbows. Aboard our excursion skiffs, we head to a beautiful lake, with a spectacular piranha fishing spot. There are 25 different species of piranha in the Amazon basin, and contrary to popular legends, they feed on the flowers, fruit, and outer covering of the trees standing in shallow water.
After dark we'll embark on a night safari with powerful spotlights to help us see herons, spectacled owls, exotic frogs, tree boas, fish bats and caimans. This is also the perfect time for stargazing, while fireflies light up the vibrant jungle all around us.
Day 5: Medicinal Plants and Cooking Class / Santa Ana Village
This morning on board we will enjoy a lecture on the medicinal plants in the region and take part in cooking lessons on how to make Juanes, a popular staple dish of the region.
This afternoon we get the chance to interact with the local village residents of Santa Ana. This tributary of the Amazon River has small clusters “ribereños” people (those who live symbiotically with the rivers) who make their living with small scale agricultural and charcoal commerce. We visit a local shamanic healing clinic and meet with a native shaman who will introduce you into the mythical world of hallucinogenic and medicinal plants of the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest. If we are lucky we may also be treated to an enchanting dance performance by the children of the village, with music provided by the parents and after the show, have the chance to shop at their arts and crafts market.
Day 6: Distillery Visit / Monkey Island
In the morning we will embark on a short skiff ride to our next port of call, El Fundo Guerra, where Armando a local sugar cane farmer creates sugarcane rum and local spirits in his very own authentic vintage distillery. He will take us through the process for start to finish ending with a brief tasting session.
In the afternoon we will navigate downriver from Iquitos to a 250-hectare island dedicated to the preservation and protection of orphaned monkeys. Many of the monkeys on the island were found in local markets and donated to the non-profit organization that manages the island and cares for the seven different species of monkeys currently living here.
Day 7: Disembark / Manatee Rescue Center
This morning, we’ll disembark the Amazon Discovery and say goodbye to the Amazon River and head to the Manatee Rescue Center, a fantastic project committed to saving orphaned manatees and reintroducing them into the wild.
We learn about their importance to the world’s ecosystem, and why they are so endangered in this part of the Amazon. We can help feed the calves with a bottle of milk and sometimes we have the opportunity to swim with these gentle giants.
Later we head back to the airport in good time to catch your flight for home ... or on to your next adventure.
- Please note that all cruise itineraries are subject to change due to seasonal weather conditions (and resultant variations in river and tributary water levels) affecting accessibility to locations. Thus navigation routes, times and excursions may need to be modified at the cruise captain’s discretion.
- Passengers should also be aware that animal sightings cannot be guaranteed due to the unpredictability of wildlife behavior.