This eight-day cruise itinerary combines the 5 and 4-day itineraries, taking you along both the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers for an adventure of a lifetime in the wildlife-rich Pacaya Samiria Reserve.
As well as a world of flora and fauna, you will also witness the lifestyles of the people living in this extreme environment.
Please note that the itinerary below is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary.
Day 1: The Adventure Begins!
You will be met at the airport and comfortably transported 2 hours by road to the town of Nauta. Here you will embark our modern and newly built riverboat, the M/V Cattleya. Take some time to settle in, relax and have a drink as you get to know your fellow passengers. There will never be more than 8 guests, so you will have the opportunity to make life-long friends.
As safety is our priority, we will conduct a safety drill and explain everything you need to know about the riverboat to have a safe and exhilarating adventure. Savor the first of many authentic freshly prepared dinners by our talented chef as we begin our journey along the Amazon!
Day 2: Ucayali River & Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
After a relaxing breakfast along the black-water of the Belluda-Caño Creek of the Dorado river, we will explore a small tributary of the Ucayali River looking for a variety of primates, colorful and unusual birds unique to the Amazon River basin and a wide variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and rainforest plants.
Our wildlife sightings and experiences will swell as we continue up river into the Pacaya-Samiria reserve, the largest wetland reserve in the world and home to over 500 species of birds, over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians and hundreds of mammals and primates.
Have your binoculars and cameras on hand because our guides will expertly identify creatures difficult to spot with an untrained eye. After an invigorating day filled with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, we return to the relaxing comfort of the Cattleya for a nourishing dinner and a review of the day’s discoveries.
Day 3: Sapote River & Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Venturing deep into the rainforest, we will spend the entire day wandering through the island mazes and twisted tunnels of the the igapo (seasonally flooded forest) where the dense plant life is dramatically different than what we see from the river’s edge, and harbors a whole new variety of exotic wildlife.
After lunch we will re-board the skiffs for another afternoon of exploration within the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. If water levels allow, we will hike along terra firma and experience the jungle from a new perspective. See the brightly colored frogs used to make poison darts by indigenous tribes and examine and learn first-hand about the jungle plants – their unique survival tactics as they compete for sun and nutrients in the dense rainforest, the part they play in sustaining the complex balance of life in the jungle and the important medicinal value they offer.
As the sun sets we turn on the spotlight and search the riverbank for caimans, capybaras, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife. After a long adventurous day, savor a glass of wine with your expertly prepared dinner followed by some star-gazing on deck before you turn in for a well-deserved night’s sleep.
Day 4: Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
After an early breakfast, we will further explore the vast wetlands of the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Add to your growing list of wildlife and bird sightings.
In the afternoon, we will visit a village along the river for a chance to meet and learn about the lives of the Ribereño people who call the river’s edge their home. It is an excellent opportunity to ask questions (practice your Spanish if you like!) and gain a deeper understanding of how people live in this remote part of the world. A wide variety of handmade handicrafts and delightful folk art will be available for your viewing and purchase.
Experience one of many brilliant Amazon sunsets as we return to the Cattleya for another sumptuous gourmet experience.
Day 5: Confluence of the Amazon River / Ucayali
In the morning we slowly meander up-river toward the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers, famous for marking the beginning of the mighty Amazon River. Observe small villages that dot the river’s edge and catch a glimpse of the locals’ activities as they go about their day. At the confluence, the famous freshwater gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins frequently swim near the boat.
After a hearty breakfast we will board our sturdy excursion boats to explore the channels that weave through island mazes so we can get a closer look at the abundant wildlife such as monkeys, sloths, frogs, and an amazing variety of marsh birds.
In the afternoon, we will board our sturdy excursion boats to explore the channels that weave through island mazes so we can get a closer look at the wildlife that abounds such as monkeys, sloths, frogs, and an amazing variety of marsh birds. Experience one of many brilliant Amazon sunsets as we return to the boat.
Depending on passengers arriving for the 4-day itinerary, there will be a short transition period while they join the boat in Nauta. After dinner, enjoy a pisco sour as you watch the dazzling star-filled sky with your new friends.
Day 6: Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve & Yanayacu Pucate River basin
Enjoy breakfast as we cruise along the Marañón River. Board our sturdy excursion boat for a day-long excursion in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve – the largest reserve in Peru and the second largest in the Amazon region. Travel by skiff from Yanayacu Creek to the remote Yarina Cocha.
As we explore deep in the jungle, you will experience the huge biodiversity that the rainforest is known for. Watch for monkeys, sloths, frogs, iguanas, gray and pink river dolphins, and a wide variety of bird species in their natural habitat. Examine and learn first-hand about the jungle plants – their unique survival tactics as they compete for sun and nutrients in the dense rainforest, the part they play in sustaining the complex balance of life in the jungle and the important medicinal value they offer.
After an invigorating day filled with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, witness a brilliant Amazon sunset as we return to the boat. After dinner, enjoy a pisco sour as you watch the dazzling star-filled sky with your new friends.
Day 7: Yanayacu Pucate River & Shaman Ceremony
In the morning we depart for our next adventure - a spectacular skiff tour along the Yanayacu Pucate River to hear and see the amazing sights and sounds of the rainforest as it awakes. After this breathtaking experience, enjoy lunch and some free time aboard the Cattleya. In the afternoon we will visit one of the local villages to gain a deeper insight into how people live in Amazon. We will get to meet a local shaman and participate in a traditional ceremony of spiritual healing. Before you depart, you will have the opportunity to view and purchase some of their handicrafts and delightful folk art.
This evening, join the crew and all your friends in a farewell dinner of authentic Peruvian cuisine and a celebration of your Amazon experience.
Day 8: Disembark / Return to Iquitos
As we cruise slowly back down the Marañón River, we enjoy our last skiff experience and get another chance to explore the nearby channels in search of that perfect wildlife photo opportunity. Afterwards, it's time to reflect on our Amazon experience as we savor our last lunch on board. After disembarking in Nauta and saying goodbye to the crew, our guides will escort us back to the Iquitos airport in readiness for our journey home or continued travels!
- 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.