Jacaré-Açu: 4-Day Cruise

4-Day Anavilhanas Archipelago Cruise

This four-day trip really packs a punch offering a wide range of activities, wildlife attractions and cultural interaction, in a short time. Imagine yourself climbing giant Amazon trees, parasailing, swimming with pink dolphins, interacting with the local Tuiuka peoples, while sailing up the Rio Negro to the heart of Anavilhanas. 

It is the world's largest river archipelago and, for obvious reasons, a protected region. Moreover, the Rio Negro has almost no mosquitoes on account of the natural insecticide in its waters!


Please note that the Jacaré-Açu is the sister ship of the smaller Jacaré-Tinga. When a departure has fewer than eight passengers, the Jacaré-Tinga is used.

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

Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 1: Manaus - Rio Solimões - Rio Negro

Embarking at 9am from the Tropical Hotel Pier in Manaus, we welcome you aboard the Jacaré-Açu, and give you an introductory briefing about the itinerary and the background to some of the incredible things you will witness.

Our first excursion is in our expedition canoes at Lago Janauary, a rich ecosystem fed by the waters of the Rio Solimões, which is abundant in organic nutrients, and therefore supports an abundance of Amazon birds, reptiles, exotic plants and giant trees. You are likely to see Tucuxi River Dolphins, Pink River Dolphin, Cocoi Heron, Great Egret, Blue-Yellow Macaw, Festive Parrot, Rufescent Tiger-herons, Yellow-rumped Caciques, Crested Oropendola and Jacamars, among many others.

Once back on board, we sail along the Paraná do Paracuuba to the Rio Solimões, enjoying our first lunch on board as we do so.

In the afternoon, we arrive at the famous Meeting of the Waters, where the black Rio Negro meets the clearer water of the Solimões and they run parallel for more than nine miles.

Then it’s time to search for pirarucu, the largest scaled fish in the world, nicknamed the Lion of the Amazon.

While we have dinner on board, the boat sails up the Rio Negro towards the Anavilhanas Archipelago.

Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 2: Rio Negro - Rio Ariaú - Acajatuba Lake 

At daybreak, we can watch the sun rise over the Tupé Beach settlement, beside the high Rio Negro.

After breakfast on board, we visit the village where we will have the opportunity to witness their well-preserved history, customs, dance and handicrafts. The villagers communicate in two indigenous languages, Tuiuka and Tukano.

Once back on board the Jacaré-Açu, we have lunch and then sail to the Rio Ariaú, a beautiful blackwater river enclosed by giant trees and dense vegetation. Here we have the option of climbing one of the trees - or at least, some of it - using ropes.

We continue to Lago Acajatuba to see the iconic pink Amazon river dolphin up close, in an area where the locals live in floating houses region.

After dinner on board, we set out in our expedition canoes to search for caiman and other nocturnal animals.

Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 3: Anavilhanas Archipelago 

Upon waking up, we are in the heart of the Anavilhanas River Archipelago - 100,000 hectares of islands and canals within the Rio Negro and a further 260,000 hectares of riverside forest. So, after breakfast, we take to the canoes to explore this stunning region of creeks, lagoons and river beaches. 

After lunch, we visit an Amazon farmhouse, where the owner will explain his way of life, his ancestry, and the crops he raises, such as manioc and fruit.

We then make a 2-hour guided trek through the rainforest, to spot and learn about the flora and fauna.

Finally, this evening, we have the option of staying overnight in a hammock at an atmospheric jungle hut camp. Around the campfire, we can share stories and learn about the way of life of the Amazon's settlers.

Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 4: Anavilhanas - Manaus 

For those that camped in the rainforest, the day starts with the sound of the jungle - and especially its birdlife and primates - waking up. Breakfast will be at the camp, before we hike back to the boat, looking out for wildlife, especially monkeys, along the way. 

This morning's excursion takes us to the Tiririca riverside community to discover what life is like on the banks of the Amazon River and learn a little about their customs and traditions. There is also the chance to do some parasailing behind the boat over the Rio Negro, near the Praia Da Lua. This is optional.

Next up is a city tour of Novo Airão, famous for its crafts, artisan workshops, shipyards and pink river dolphins.

After a farewell lunch on board we are transfered by road back to Manaus, arriving at approximately 3.30pm.

  • 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

Featured Blog Post