This four-night Iberostar Grand Amazon itinerary heads North West from Manaus up the Negro River, so named for the color of its tannin-stained waters.
Not only is the river, and the jungle surrounding it, beautiful and ecologically-rich, but the natural acidity of the water keeps mosquitoes at bay!
The itinerary below is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary.
Day 1: MONDAY
We embark the Iberostar Grand Amazon in the Port of Manaus in the late afternoon and then, after settling into our luxurious cabins, we can watch the sunset from the Top Deck as the boat begins sailing on the Amazon.
Tonight, the crew welcomes you aboard with a cocktail, followed by a delicious dinner. This is your first opportunity to take advantage of the ship's open bar policy!
Day 2: TUESDAY
Jaraqui Stream & Tres Bocas Island
If you are up early, there is a Sunrise Lovers' breakfast on the Upper Deck, where you can enjoy the early morning atmosphere. Otherwise, you can enjoy the buffet spread in the Kuarup Restaurant.
After breakfast, we go and explore the Jaraqui region. Depending on the water level, we either stay on the expedition skiffs or take a guided hike along a jungle trail, where we can learn about the trees and plants that are of particular importance to locals for construction and the production of medicines.
Back on board, we enjoy an introductory Amazon lecture in the Lua Salon and have lunch on the terrace of Kuarup restaurant, followed by time for a welcome siesta!
In the late afternoon, we board the skiffs again to explore the second largest fluvial archipelago in the world, Anavilhanas, a huge collection of river islands and beaches, which are in striking and photogenic contrast to the black waters of the River Negro.
One of the largest islands in the Archipelago is Tres Bocas, and here one can see dense vegetation that includes bountiful orchids and bromeliads, and is home to birds such as toucans and macaws. After dark, caimans are abundant and fun to spot from the skiffs.
Day 3: WEDNESDAY
Cuieiras River & Ariaú Region
As the sun rises, the Grand Amazon arrives at the River Cuieiras, and we have the chance to enjoy the resplendent scenery as we take our breakfast.
For our morning tour, we pay a visit by skiff and on foot to Cambebas, a fascinating indigenous village, where we learn how the locals have adapted their way of live to best suit their environment, visit their school, and have a chance to buy handicrafts.
Upon our return to the boat, there will be a lecture on Amazonian Fish, including the dreaded piranha which we will then have the chance to catch for ourselves as we head back out onto the waterways of the Ariaú region. This is an area known for the abundance of monkey species and sloths, as well as birds of prey and kingfishers. We can also get to know the fish life ... by catching it (and then releasing)! The easiest species to catch is the famed piranha, and most people have a chance to be photographed with their catch. Alternatively we may pay a visit to a local farm to learn about the way of life there.
Once back on board, we have dinner, and then can enjoy the facilities and entertainment of the Grand Amazon.
Later, there is a night tour by motorboat to spot alligators and listen to the night sounds of the Ariaú region.
Day 4: THURSDAY
Praia Grande & Rubber Tapping Museum
There is the option of a pre-breakfast birding excursion by skiff for those that wish to enjoy the Amazon dawn and its abundant wildlife.
Then, after breakfast, we head to the Praia Grande - which means, simply, 'Big Beach' in English - yes, that's right there are beaches on the Amazon! There is a chance to swim in the refreshing waters of the Rio Negro and even the incredible opportunity to interact with the rather peculiar-looking but remarkable pink Amazon river dolphins.
Back on board there is a lecture on Amazon Birds in the Lua Salon.
After lunch, we step back in time as we visit the Rubber Tapping Museum and learn about the shocking history of the rubber trade which made the region the richest in the world at one point in time.
This evening we have a special gala dinner, with exotic Amazon dancing, as a celebration of what we have experienced and a farewell.
Day 5: FRIDAY
Manaus: Meeting of the Waters & Disembarkation
We wake up early in order to see the fascinating phenomenon known as the Meeting of the Waters at sunrise. This is the point where the black water of the Rio Negro and brown water of the Solimoes meet - but don't mix. Don't worry, breakfast will be available!
We then continue to the port of Manaus, for disembarkation.
- 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.