We highly recommend the 7-night Amazon River Expedition Cruise on the Aria Amazon where you may experience the most luxurious and comprehensive Amazon journey among the Amazon River’s three powerful tributaries: the Marañon and the Ucayali, as well as several hidden black water lakes. Kayak, canoe and swim in these unspoiled black waters, keeping eyes peeled for the Amazon’s legendary pink dolphins. Be witness of one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere, the birth of the Amazon River. Take a short jungle walk in the San Jose flooded forest and see the unforgettable giant water lilies. Enjoy a breakfast picnic accompanied by jungle symphony and fishing along the black waters of the Pacaya River. Four professionally trained naturalist guides lead guests of the Aria Amazon on daily expeditions aboard comfortable skiffs deep into the Amazon’s tributaries and on foot into the sultry Amazon rain forest. True ribereños, or “river dwellers”, all English speaking Peruvian experts, grew up on the banks of the Amazon, and know every bird and mammal call. They possess a local native’s ability to spot a brown-throated three-toed sloth sleeping high up in the tree canopy, an anaconda slithering along the shoreline and even the elusive capybara hiding in the high grass after nightfall. Low water season June to October
About the vessel:
Custom built in 2011 and refurbished in 2015 – the Aria Amazon can accommodate up to 32 guests in 16 oversized suites (23m2), all of which feature huge panoramic windows, luxuriously appointed bathrooms with hot water and air-conditioning. Common areas include an indoor and outdoor lounge, cold water Jacuzzi, observation deck and dining room. All suites have individual air conditioning, polished timber flooring and a wall of floor to ceiling glass facing the Amazon River. En suite bathrooms with rain shower and organic bath amenities incorporate the latest eco-sensitive technology.
Nauta – Amazon River
You will be met at Iquitos international airport and then transferred, by air-conditioned vehicle, through the Peruvian countryside to Nauta’s Main Wharf to board the Aria Amazon, stopping for a riverside lunch en route (or a box lunch, depending on the flight arrival time). Settle into your generously proportioned suite as you begin one of life’s greatest adventures.
The afternoon continues with an introduction to this historic city and the opportunity to meet an indigenous Amazon community. At 6:00pm you’ll board the ARIA AMAZON. Settle into your generously proportioned suite as you begin one of life’s greatest adventures.
Following a routine safety drill and introduction to our naturalist guides, gather for innovative Amazonian cuisine created by the Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is the one of Lima’s top ranked dining experiences.
Yanayacu Pucate River – Marañon River
Commence today’s adventures near the main entrance of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, cruising along Yanayacu Pucate in the comfort of the state-of-the-art skiffs. Kayak, canoe and swim in these unspoiled black waters, keeping eyes peeled for the Amazon’s legendary pink river dolphins. In the afternoon, visit a remote village along the Marañon River to learn about traditional customs. At night, focus your hi-tech telescope on the night sky to identify the planets and constellations.
Samira River – Nauta Caño or PNA (Amazonian Natural Park)
Set off by skiffs for an excursion along the Samiria River with optional fishing. Listen carefully to your after-lunch flora and fauna lecture, then venture out for a singularly thrilling jungle walk across suspended bridges deep into the high Amazon rainforest.
On your return in the evening, enjoy the jungle symphony and extraordinary stargazing on local boats along the “Enchanted Lake”.
Nauta Town – Village Visit – Birthplace of the Amazon
This morning, visit the local fresh market with your guides who can identify the day’s catch by the fishermen of Amazonia and the region’s exotic fruits. In the afternoon, you will witness one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere, the birthplace of the Amazon River.
Ucayali River – Pacaya River
Boarding your skiffs, start the day like Amazon River dwellers, cruising along the Ucayali River. As these farmers and fishermen go about their business, search for pink river dolphins in these pristine waters. Later in the day, return to the skiffs, to ride along the black waters of the Pacaya River at dusk, searching for the mysterious wildlife that come out after dark.
Pacaya River – Ucayali River – Tapiche River
The rewards of your early start today are plentiful, including a full day excursion by skiff along the Pacaya River, going deeper into pristine landscape shared with great egret, capuchin monkeys and taricaya turtles. After lunch, you’ll have a paiche fishing demonstration, the second largest river fish in the world. Later, venture out by skiffs on the Ucayali River alongside the banana boats transporting their jungle products to the port of Requena, keeping an eye out for pink river dolphins.
Clavero Lake – San Jose de Sarapanga Forest
Choose to go jungle walking, canoeing, kayaking or swimming on the black water Yarapa or Clavero River in the morning. Come afternoon, take a short jungle walk in the San Jose de Sarapanga forest and see the unforgettable giant water lilies. This evening before dinner, you will be introduced to some of the crewmembers whom you may not have met, working “behind the scenes” to ensure your countless exceptional experiences aboard the ARIA AMAZON.
Manatee Rescue Center
Visit the town of Nauta, founded in 1930. Today, villagers from around Amazonia gather here to sell the products they harvest in their rural communities. Walk around Nauta to gain insights into the daily life of these remotes people. Return to the ARIA for breakfast and to pack up. Before saying goodbye, visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. We will also visit San Juan craft market on route to the airport.