Jacaré-Açu: 7-Day Apujaú Cruise

 7-Day Apujaú Cruise Itinerary Map

7-Day Apujaú Cruise

The left bank of the lower Rio Negro, the section between rivers Apuaú, Jauperi and Rio Branco, has a low density of population, abundant flora and fauna and mainly, a rich morphology. It is also where you'll find the Anavilhanas National Park, and the most beautiful and wild waterfalls in the whole region. After we explore this area, we will conquer the Jau River, where the largest fresh water forest park in the world still remains partly unexplored.

Monkeys, sloths, dolphins, lowland pacas and birds can be observed on jungle nights, or in the river, close to sunset time. During the dry season, the giant otters are the attraction. Riverside communities with genuine northern Brazilian culture, give the human touch to a region where nature still runs the show. This seven-day itinerary is ideal for those looking for added value in adventure, leisure, waterfalls and great contact with wildlife.


Please note that the Jacaré-Açu is the sister ship of the smaller Jacaré-Tinga. When a departure has fewer than seven 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 - Novo Airão - Anavilhanas 

This morning at 9am we pick you up from your hotel or the airport in an air-conditioned van, and drive to the riverside town of Novo Airão. We arrive here at lunch time, and give you a briefing on the Amazon's biology, history and the things you may see, along the way.

After boarding the Jacaré-Açu, we start sailing through the spectacular Anavilhanas Archipelago while enjoying our first delicious lunch on board.

In the afternoon, we take a ride on the motorised canoes through the islands and lagoons of the archipelago. This is an area rich in wildlife, and we hope to see two species of river dolphin, as well as multiple species of birds, such as herons, egrets, macaws, parrots, caciques, oropendolas and jacamars

To cool off, there is the chance to jump overboard for a refreshing swim in the Rio Negro.

Once back on the boat, we set sail to the Rio Apuaú, as we have dinner and then spend our first night in the comfortable cabins.

  Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 2: Rio Apuaú: Waterfalls & Camping

This morning, we awake in the beautiful Apuaú region. After breakfast, we take the motorised skiffs up Içana Creek, until we reach a series of waterfalls. Here we can swim, dive and enjoy the magnificent setting.

Lunch is a barbecue of grilled fish and side dishes, followed by a welcome nap in a hammock. Then, we start hiking through the primary rainforest, for about an hour and a half, to the Trovão Creek Waterfall. The boat crew will have already set up the campsite here, and so the rest of the afternoon can be spent in the natural pools. 

Dinner is taken at the camp, around the fire, as we listen to stories and folklore from caboclo culture. We have the choice of sleeping in a tent or a hammock. 

  Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 3: Rio Apuaú: Waterfalls 

We awake to the sound of the jungle coming to life, and have time to refresh ourselves once again in the pools and waterfalls.

After breakfast at the camp, we can choose how to return to the Jacaré-Açu: we can either take the motorised canoes all the way down Trovão Creek; or we can hike to Içana Creek, where we canoe downstream using the force of the current to propel us. 

Once back on board the boat, we sail back to the Rio Negro, and we have the whole of the afternoon and evening to relax on board. 

  Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 4: Jaú National Park

We awake this morning and set sail for the Jaú National Park's entrance, where the IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) base is located.

Once in the park we will navigate the Jaú River, a river of mirror-like waters, with probable sighting of water mammals and birds. Depending on conditions we will either anchor and take a speedboat ride through the Park’s creeks, in an attempt to find the packs of Giant Otters, or take a trip along the Pauini River, exploring this tributary filled with boulders and waterfalls.

Later we will return to the boat and navigate to the community if Aturiá. Tonight we venture out in canoes for a nocturnal safari on the river, to spot alligators and other nocturnal animals.

  Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 5: Jaú National Park

Today we have another day exploring this remarkable park. We begin with getting to know our hosts in the Aturiá community, where we'll experience a cultural exchange with the locals and practice some of their local customs.  We'll have the chance to play with the children, check out some local handicrafts, take a swim in the river and more. A highlight will be visiting a giant tree around the community, a very old lady of the ancient forest.

Later we'll head out on an aquatic trail in regional canoes, seeking Bicoh Monkeys and other animals. Lunch will be served on board before we return to the IBAMA base and exit from the Park.

  Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 6: Anavilhanas Archipelago / Madadá Caves

We start the day at Madadá with a 3 hour hike (round trip) through virgin forest to the remarkable Madadá Caves. Upon our return, we'll pay a visit to a native ranch and their orchard with various seasonal fruits. 

Returning to the boat, we set sail to the city of Novo Airão, but before sunset we'll get to try our hand at piranha fishing! We'll also weigh anchor at a fresh water beach (dry season) or lake inside the archipelago (flood season) and keep our eyes peeled for the resident sloths, birds and alligators.

  Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 7: Novo Airão / Manaus

We have breakfast on board and then take a city tour of Novo Airão to see the ship-building, the craftsmanship and other attractions of this Amazon River town. Pink river dolphins can regularly be seen in the river near the town.

We have a farewell lunch on board, before taking the van 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, Galapagos Islands tours, and Southeast Asia cruises. We provide you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama and Southeast Asia. As travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure.


 Geri Daniel loved her vacation with Rainforest Cruises.
We had an absolutely fabulous time on the Amazon 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 in the Amazon. We were all impressed with the efficiency and organization of the trip from start to finish.
— Jeanette Johannson & Family, USA

Featured Blog Post