During the Amazon’s high-water season (December-May), you can take this 4-day/3-night luxury cruise on board the Aria Amazon riverboat. The cruise begins in the remote colonial city of Iquitos Peru, and transports guests in exceptional comfort deep into the Amazon rainforest along the Ucayali River, the Amazon’s largest tributary.
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AM: Embarkation and Check-In: From the moment you step on board, enjoy the Aria Amazon’s low-key luxury. As you settle into your handsomely appointed, generously proportioned suite, you will feel the vessel begin to move, thus beginning of one of your life’s great adventures. We suggest you stand on the Upper Deck to take in the view, as the Aria Amazon leaves Iquitos behind.
Over the next three days, you will also sail along the two largest tributaries of the Peruvian Amazon -- the Ucayali and the Marañon -- as well as on the mighty Amazon itself. You are embarking on a spectacular journey to a place visited by only a very few of even the most experienced world travelers.
PM: Safety Drill and Briefing on the Upper Deck: Before dinner we will perform a routine safety drill. Then it’s into the air-conditioned lounge, where you will learn about life on board, and will have the first nightly briefing about your next day’s Amazon adventure. You will meet the naturalist guides and your cruise director, who will use video, photos, and maps to introduce the details of your journey deep into the Peruvian Amazon.
Welcome Dinner: Sit down, relax, sip fine South American wine, toast the beginning of a beautiful journey and enjoy the innovative Amazonian cuisine, created by the Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is the one of Lima’s top ranked dining experiences. Schiaffino’s imaginative use of local products – fruit, fish, spices – makes every meal a delightful adventure. (The menu always offers choices, including a vegetarian option.) Perhaps sip a nightcap on the Upper Deck, under the stars, before retiring.
AM: Yacapana Islands Exploration and Dolphin watching: The locals call Yacapana Islands "The Islands of the Iguana" because of the large number of these reptiles -- appearing like tiny dinosaurs -- that inhabit them. Amazon folklore says that if you touch an iguana, you will develop some of its characteristics and, as no one wants to look like them, these animals are well protected. We should also see the famous Amazon River dolphins, pink or gray, along our route. Amazonian people believe that these dolphins possess the power to turn into men and women of great beauty. We will pass close to lush islands, giving you the opportunity to take good pictures of the tropical flora and fauna. Return to the Aria Amazon for a sumptuous breakfast buffet that features a wide variety of dishes, including Peruvian specialties and fresh fruit juices.
Yarapa River Exploration and Fishing in Moringo Lake: This morning you will board the comfortable skiff to sail from the Amazon River to the Yarapa River. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and fresh water are always available in the private boats. As you float down the Yarapa, past the occasional fishermen paddling in their canoes, keep your binoculars ready to spot wildlife: terns, tropical songbirds, black collared hawks and sloth share this wonderful world with us. Upon our arrival at Lake Moringo, use your hooks to try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas and other fish species. As you fish, trained naturalist guides will tell the story of the lake and its inhabitants.
Return to the Aria Amazon: Cold towels await you back aboard the Aria Amazon. As the ship continues down the Amazon River, you have free time to rest or take a nap before lunch. Enjoy you meal in the comfort of the air-conditioned dining room before a presentation delivered in the lounge by the naturalist guides.
PM: Canoeing and swimming at Lake Clavero: We sail on to Lake Clavero where villagers paddle in their traditional dugout canoes. You may wish to swim in the lake’s calm waters and visit the community to interact with our Amazonia neighbors who will be pleased to welcome you. Return to the Aria Amazon. Before dinner, sip a classic Peruvian pisco sour on the Upper Deck while watching the sunset.
AM: Ucayali River Expedition / Yanallpa: This morning, board a skiff to explore a fascinating blackwater stream, part of the vast Amazon flooded forest within the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guides will tell you about the jungle as we explore what scientists call a "gallery forest" because of its dense vegetation that creates a tunnel of foliage. As we explore this type of riparian vegetation, watch above for parrots, macaws and fluffy Saki monkeys. Return to the Aria Amazon for an optional Peruvian cooking lesson before lunch, which will be followed by an optional siesta and a lecture by your naturalist guides.
PM: Dorado River Exploration and Night Excursion: This afternoon we take a magical journey through the "Jungle of the Mirrors," where towering trees are reflected in the dark river. We will move on to Dorado River, where you may observe enchanting parrots, macaws and a variety of primates unperturbed by our presence. As we make our way back to the Aria Amazon, you may also see alligators, frogs and fishing bats.
Return to Aria Amazon for a crew presentation on the Amazon River, followed by dinner: While you dine, we will continue our journey upriver towards the headwaters of the Amazon River, where the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers merge.
AM: This morning, the Aria Amazon will skirt the edge of the vast Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. Get up early to see one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over the origin of the Amazon River. Here, the junction of two major tributaries -- the Ucayali and the Marañon -- form one of the greatest waterfalls in the world. Certainly, this is nature at its most captivating. Your morning excursion will be accompanied by abundant bird song, as your small boat glides past large-billed terns, Laughing falcons, exotic Short-tailed parrots and dozens of other vibrantly hued birds.
Village visit: We will travel by boat to a community located along the Marañon River, where you will meet and interact with local villagers in this remote part of the world and learn about their traditions and folklore. Walk around with the naturalist guides to see how Aqua Expeditions works with these communities to improve their management of the natural resources. You will also have the opportunity to shop for local handicrafts that are sold directly by the artisans. Return to the Aria Amazon for a light lunch.
PM: Disembarkation / Manatee Rescue Center / Transfer to the Airport: This afternoon, we will take you to the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage that rescues, rehabilitates and finally releases Amazonian manatees back into the wild. Later, we will stop at the Amazonian San Juan Indigenous Market, where you may wish to shop for local crafts before leaving. Guides will help you with checking in at the airport and stay with you until you have boarded your flight back to Lima.
Aria Amazon River cruises are priced based on per person, double occupancy in Suites and Master Suites. Included in these all-inclusive cruise rates are:
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