Aqua Expedition’s 4 night luxury river cruise on the Aria Amazon transport guests in exceptional comfort deep into the Amazon rain forest, along the Ucayali River, the Amazon’s largest tributary, as well as the four other rivers, each one rich in vibrant wildlife with thriving rain forests. Go piranha fishing, trek into the dense jungle in search of Amazon monkeys, three-toed sloths, crown headed hoatzin birds, toucans, macaws and giant water lilies. Come back to the comfort of our skiffs to cruise up close to view Taricaya turtles and spectacled caimans in their natural habitat while pink dolphins, at play, challenge your photography skills. As the Aria Amazon journeys towards the confluence of the Ucayali and the Marañon Rivers, considered the birthplace of the Amazon, learn about the diverse Amazon wildlife and birds of Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. 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.
Iquitos – 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.
Ucayali River – Pacaya River
Boarding the skiffs, start the day like Amazon River dwellers, cruising along the Ucayali River. As these farmers and fishermen go about their business, look out 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 and with extraordinary stargazing.
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’ll 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
At the Bellavista Nanay morning market along the Nanay River, sample exotic snacks from the Peruvian Amazon like ‘Suri’, Amazon caterpillars that are considered especially appetizing. Return to the ARIA for breakfast and to pack up. Before saying goodbye, we will make one last truly memorable stop at the Manatee Rescue Center, a very special kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees. We will also visit San Juan craft market on route to the airport.