Amazon Star: 8-Day Cruise

8-Day Pacaya Samiria Cruise

This 8-day Amazon voyage has been recognized as one of the 25 Greatest Adventures in the World by National Geographic Adventure Magazine and by author Patricia Schultz as one of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

As well, this  is an exceptional and engaging adventure for families, couples and solo travellers alike. 


Please note that the itinerary below is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary.

Estrella Amazonica cruise itinerary

Lima - Iquitos - Amazon River

Having flown from Lima over the Andes Mountains on our morning flight, we arrive at the jungle city of Iquitos, where we will enjoy an encounter at the Manatee Rescue Center and survey the history of local tribes at a small museum. We will then be transferred to the awaiting Amazon Star, our home for the next 7 days.

After settling into our spacious cabins, we set sail on the Amazon River. During a nightly briefing we’ll meet the crew and find out what tomorrow's Amazon Voyage expedition itinerary has in store.

Tonight, we journey slowly toward the confluence marking the beginning of the Amazon River, stargazing and storytelling with our local guides.

(L, D)

Estrella Amazonica cruise itinerary

Confluence of the Amazon River - Río Ucayali

We awake this morning on the Amazon River, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life, as our Amazon River cruise ship continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds.

The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River in Peru. Amazingly, we are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way! Aboard our sturdy excursion boats, we'll access areas where we may find marsh birds, such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant.

We turn into the Río Ucayali, where we’re likely to find gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Later we 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.

(B, L, D)

Estrella Amazonica cruise itinerary

Río Ucayali - Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

After a peaceful breakfast along the black-water Sapote Creek, we explore a small tributary of the Ucayali aboard our excursion boats. Look for animals including primates, sloths and an enormous variety of birds.

Our Amazon Voyage adventure continues upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Although scientific studies are far from exhausted, the Pacaya-Samiria is known to be home to 450 bird species, 102 species of mammals, and over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians!

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. Explore Caro Lake, connected to the river by way of a very small stream, where we may find flocks of greater ani, often seen following monkeys in search of insects disturbed by the monkeys’ foraging.

We enjoy a nighttime boat excursion for a chance to find caimans, capybaras, common potoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife.

(B, L, D)

Estrella Amazonica cruise itinerary

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 we see along the main course of our Amazon cruise, and walk through the forest. Lucky guests may release turtle hatchlings.

A delicious lunch energizes us for afternoon excursions with our expert naturalists, where we may find scarlet macaws, hoatzins, black-collared hawks and red howler monkeys.

(B, L, D)

Estrella Amazonica cruise itinerary

Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

After an early breakfast, we board our excursion boats for access even further into the heart of these vast wetlands. As our Amazon Voyage adventure cruises the narrow waterways, we’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.

Once we arrive at a remote ranger station, enjoy a refreshing swim. Gradually make our way back to our riverboat through the maze of waterways. Enjoy an al fresco lunch and time to relax before our afternoon excursion. 

(B, L, D)

Estrella Amazonica cruise itinerary

Río Ucayali - Pacaya-Samiria Reserve 

This morning we head back downriver, with a morning wildlife-spotting excursion or other activity.

We 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.

Back on board the ship, why not take advantage of the open-air top deck, learn to make traditional Peruvian dishes or enjoy an enriching lecture.

After dark, we’ll go out in our excursion boats to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and look for nocturnal wildlife.

(B, L, D)

Estrella Amazonica cruise itinerary

Amazon River 

Wake up early for a morning birdwatching excursion along the Yarapa River.

After breakfast, we try our hand at piranha fishing in Ubos Lake. Piranha are very common in the slower-moving water. With luck, we may catch red-breasted, white or black piranha, and feast on our catch this evening at dinner.

Once back aboard our Amazon River cruise ship, we enjoy a farewell dinner.

(B, L, D)

Estrella Amazonica cruise itinerary

Iquitos - Lima

In the morning, we disembark in Iquitos in time to catch the mid-morning flight to Lima.

End of services. We hope you have had a fantastic Amazonian 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. 

About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.


Geri Daniel loved her vacation with Rainforest Cruises.
We had an absolutely fabulous time on the cruise. Thank you again for the trip of a lifetime.
— Geri Daniel, Austin, TX
The Johannson family encounter a sloth on their rainforest cruise.
We had a wonderful time. We were all impressed with the efficiency and organization of the trip from start to finish.
— Jeanette Johannson & Family, USA