This three-night, four-day cruise itinerary takes you deep into the remote and little-visited Pacaya Samiria Reserve - five million acres of protected, flooded forest.
As well as a world of flora and fauna, you will also experience the longest Canopy Walk in Northern Peru.
Please note that the itinerary below is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.
DAY 1: MONDAY
Iquitos - City Tour - Nauta - Delfin I - Pauhuachiro
Arrive in Iquitos
Our crew will be expecting your arrival at the airport, from where you'll hop aboard our comfortable private vehicle as we begin a panoramic tour of Iquitos city, with a tasty lunchbox provided.
After the tour we will travel by paved road to the city of Nauta about an hour's drive away. Along the way, you will see vibrant "terra firma" (non-flooded forest) and various aspects of daily jungle life. Upon reaching Nauta you will enjoy a VIP greeting at our private port along the shores of the Marañon River where the Delfin I awaits you.
Embarkation & Briefing
The Delfin I's experienced, friendly crew will welcome you to your spacious suites, with their own private decks, designed to be both luxurious and environmentally-friendly.
Once you're settled into your accommodation, the Delfin will begin sailing upstream along the Marañon River, towards virgin Amazon rainforest. As a welcome, the barman will have a Pisco sour - Peru's national cocktail - ready for you on the upper deck.
On the observation deck, the naturalist guides will use charts and videos - as well as their vast personal knowledge - to outline the details of your journey: the itinerary, the wildlife you may see, as well as a some of the history and geography of the Amazon basin.
Our first excursion will be done by skiff where we visit our first wildlife-rich location, populated by sloths, iguanas, and recently anteaters! Birdwatchers are likely to check off their bucket list, the yellow-rumped caciques and the very elegant egrets.
Dinner will be served in our cozy dining room at the stern of the second deck. Peruvian cuisine mixes a wide range of cultural influences and ingredients, and is now gaining international recognition. So your stay on board the Delfin will be a culinary experience as you try the different styles, seasonings and dishes of our gourmet chef, working with fresh, local produce.
After dinner we invite you to the third deck were you can enjoy stargazing while we cruise on into the depths of the Amazon Rainforest.
DAY 2: TUESDAY
Fundo Casual Hike - Yanayacu-Pucate River
Dawn and dusk are ideal times for nature observation, with wildlife at its most active, and so we recommend getting up early while on board. This morning's pre-breakfast option is a bird-watching experience
7:00 am. Breakfast – Buffet
8:00 am. Hiking: Fundo Casual
This morning, we hike the Fundo Casual jungle trail, taking us deep into the rainforest on terra firme (non-flooded forest). Biologically, this kind of forest is one of the richest habitats on earth, supporting a vast number of plant and animal species. Among the flora is the giant Ceiba (kapok) tree, recognizable by the girth of its trunk, along with many smaller medicinal plants, which the guides will point out on the hike.
As for the fauna, this rainforest is very good for spotting birds such as the Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Collared Trogons and Red-capped Cardinal.
11:00 am. Return to Delfin I & Lunch
There is time to relax on board, during the hottest part of the day, before and after another delicious lunch, as we navigate upstream.
3:30 pm. YanaYacu Excursion
YanaYacu is a protected, blackwater area in the heart of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve which we visit using our lanchas (aluminium skiffs). Boasting outstanding biodiversity, it is impossible to predict exactly what will be seen on the journey, but troupes of various species of monkey and both Pink and Grey River Dolphin may be some of the highlights.
6:30 pm. Return to Delfin I & Dinner
Once back on board, the Delfin I sets sail to the next destination. Dinner is served on board, after which there is time to enjoy the atmosphere of an Amazon River cruise after dark. Stars of both the Northern and Southern constellations are visible in the Amazonian sky, which is completely free of light pollution.
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY
La Posada Canopy Walk - Lake Tahuampa - Nauta Caño
7:00 am. Breakfast – Buffet
A feature of breakfast on the Delfin I is the local, exotic fruit, and the delicious juices made from them.
8:00 am. La Posada Canopy Walk & Lake Tahuampa
The Amazon jungle canopy contains a large percentage of the Amazon's wildlife and vegetation, so this morning we visit the the only canopy walkway in the Pacaya-Samiria area, in order to gain a unique viewpoint of the terra firme rainforest ecosystem, from a height of over 25m / 85 ft. The walkway extends for 500m / one-third of a mile, between 14 large trees, and is one of the longest in the world; and yet no special skills or equipment are needed to enjoy it.
To get there, we will walk through primary forest and paddle slowly through tranquil Tahuampa Lake, a black water lagoon with giant arapaima fishes (known locally as paiche) and with luck, you might hear them jumping up to breathe the crisp dawn air.
10:30 am. Return to Delfin I & Lunch
Once back from our hike, we re-commence sailing. A delicious meal is served as we navigate upstream towards the formation of the Amazon River.
4:00 pm. Nauta Caño Expedition
At certain times of the year, the water level of the Amazon can rise as much as 10m / 30ft, flooding huge areas of forest. This seasonally flooded forest is known as varzea and is ideal for exploration by boat. So, this afternoon we head out in the lanchas to explore a narrow creek called Nauta Caño, a side branch of the Marañon River, which enters part of the Pacaya-Samiria National Park. This creek is part of a system of lagoons, marshes and oxbow lakes which are excellent for wildlife-watching.
In one of the lakes, we will stop for a spot of fishing ... for Piranha! There are 25 species of this notorious fish in the Amazon region, many of which like to swim among the base of trees to eat fruit and chew at bark, when the forest is flooded. They are therefore not as blood-thirsty as their reputation suggests, but still it is a real thrill to catch one.
After dusk, we can appreciate the sounds of the nighttime jungle symphony. It is also a great time to spot different, nocturnal species, using spotlights, such as: Night Herons; Spectacled Owls; Nightjars; Fish Bats; Spectacled and Black Caiman; and up to a dozen species of frogs. The occasional flash of light from a firefly completes the spectacle.
7:00 pm. Return to Delfin I & Dinner
DAY 4: THURSDAY
San Francisco Village - Nauta - Manatee Rescue Center
Breakfast – Buffet
San Francisco Village
This morning we visit the village of San Francisco which is a chance to see life in a local Amazon community. We can visit the school where the pupils and their teacher are happy to welcome you. And there is a chance to admire - and buy - the traditional craftsmanship.
Return to Delfin I & Disembarkation in Nauta
We return to our vessel to continue our sailing downstream to the final destination, passing by Yacapana Island. Here we can see the confluence of the Ucayali and Maranon, birthplace of the Amazon River, before we disembark at a jetty in Nauta, where a bus is waiting to take you back to the airport.
Manatee Rescue Center
On the way to Iquitos Airport, we visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals, where we can learn more about this peaceful, endangered species, the work being done to protect them ... and possibly help in the feeding of rescued baby manatees!
Our ground staff will assist you with check in, before bidding you a fond farewell.
- 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.