3:30 p.m. Flight from Lima LA 2382 In just an hour and 45 minutes you will be in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon region. 5:15 p.m.Arrival Your guides await you, as your flight from Lima glides in for landing at Iquitos International Airport. After you’ve claimed your luggage, you will board an air-conditioned bus for your journey to the river. 5:40 p.m. Transfer to Iquitos’ main wharf There the luxurious M/V Aqua, your home for the next three nights, awaits you. 6:00 p.m. Embarkation and check-in From the moment you step on board, you will enjoy the M/V Aqua’s atmosphere of low-key luxury. As you settle into your handsomely appointed over-sized suite, you will feel the vessel begin to move; the beginning of one of the great adventures of your life. Stand on the Upper Deck to take in the view, as the M/V Aqua leaves Iquitos behind. Over the next three days, you will also sail along the two largest tributaries of the Amazon river, the Ucayali and the Marañon, as well as on the mighty Amazon itself. You are embarking on a spectacular adventure, to a place visited by only a few of even the most experienced world travelers. 7:30 p.m. Safety Drill and Briefing on the Top Deck Before dinner we will perform a routine safety drill. Then it’s into the air-conditioned lounge, where you will learn about life onboard, and will have the first of the nightly briefings about your adventure to follow. You will meet the naturalist guides and the cruise director, who will use video, photos, and maps to explain the details of your adventure tour. 8:00 p.m. Welcome Dinner Sit down, relax, sample some fine South American wine, and enjoy the truly world-class cuisine created by Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is one of the best in all of Lima. Schiaffino’s recipes, with their imaginative use of local products – fruit, fish, spices – make every meal a delightful adventure. (The menu always offers choices, including a vegetarian option.) Toast the beginning of a beautiful journey. Perhaps enjoy a nightcap on the Upper Deck, under the stars, before retiring.
6:30 a.m. Early Morning Skiff Expedition on the Amazon River Be up early to catch your first glimpse of the majestic Amazon River, as you watch the sun rise over this green world filled with wonderful wildlife. This initial contact with Amazonia is only a brief sampling of what the rest of your journey will hold. 8:00 a.m. Breakfast Our sumptuous daily breakfast buffet features a wide choice of traditional breakfast egg dishes, plus Peruvian specialties, and fresh-squeezed fruit juices. 9:15 a.m Tahuayo River Exploration and Fishing Trip at Charo Lake This morning you will board our comfortable excursion skiffs for your first adventure, traveling from the Amazon through the Huaysi short-cut canal to explore the Tahuayo black water river. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and plenty of cold potable water will always be available for you on board the skiffs. As we float down the Tahuayo, occasional fishermen paddling in their dug-out canoes will give us a cheerful greeting. Keep your binoculars ready to spot a vast variety of wildlife: terns, orioles, blackbirds, black collared hawks, monkeys, and sloth share this wonderful environment with us. Upon arrival at Charo Lake, you can bait your hooks to try to catch one of Amazonia’s fearsome piranhas (and other fish as well). As you fish, trained guides will also tell you the story of the lake and its inhabitants. 11:30 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua Icy cold towels await you, as you transfer from your skiffs into the M/V Aqua. As the vessel continues up the Amazon River, you have some time to relax, or perhaps even take a nap, before lunch. 12:30 p.m. Lunch Enjoy lighter mid-day fare in our air-conditioned dining room. 4:00 p.m. Yacapana Islands Exploration and Dolphin Sighting Locals call the Yacapana Islands the “Iguana Islands,” because of the huge population of these reptiles—like tiny dinosaurs—crawling over the ground and resting in the tree tops. We will pass by in the skiff, giving you a chance to snap good photos. As the sun sets, you will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and photograph both gray and pink freshwater dolphins. The people of the Amazon believe that these dolphins turn into humans to steal handsome men or pretty women from their villages during celebrations. 6:30 p.m. To the Headwaters We will return to the M/V Aqua vessel and continue our journey upstream, toward the headwaters of the Amazon River, where the Ucayali, Marañon, and the Amazon Rivers merge. Perhaps sip a pre-dinner pisco sour on the Upper Deck, while you watch the sun set. 8:00 p.m. Dinner
6:30 a.m. Breakfast 7:30 a.m. Guided Jungle Walk in the Primary Forest This morning your Naturalist Guide will tell you all about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia. You will visit one of these projects, where villagers are planting palms to obtain oil. Your Guide may also show you the artificial nests created on the sand to protect turtle eggs. Then we will take you deep into the jungle, where you will encounter wildlife and learn first-hand about the important medical value of jungle plants. And we will show you famous Kapok Trees (ceiba pentandra), the tallest trees in the Amazon Basin. 12:00 p.m. Return to the M/V Aqua 12:30 p.m. Lunch, followed by a Siesta 3:30 p.m. Monkey / Dolphin and Caiman Expedition In this late afternoon skiff excursion, you are likely to see howler and capuchin monkeys, the squirrel-sized monkeys called tamarins, and a vast variety of birds. You are also apt to see the two different kinds of freshwater dolphins—including the unusual pink ones—found in the Amazon river. Later, keep your eyes directed toward the jungle canopy, where you can spot at least several kinds of primates—among the 13 species of monkeys resident in the National Park. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of tamarins and dusky titi monkeys and pigmy marmoset monkeys. Watch for alligators, and keep your binoculars at the ready, as you are likely to see more than 200 species of birds. As the sun sets and our searchlight comes on, keep your eyes out for caimans, tree boas, tarantulas, and frogs. After this night adventure, the M/V Aqua will start sailing downstream on the Marañon River, back toward the headwaters of the Amazon. 7:30 p.m. Arrive at the M/V Aqua. 8:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 a.m. Ucayali River and Yucuruche Lake Rise early and be on your skiff at 6:30 AM. This morning we will travel by skiff along the Ucayali River to Yucuruche Lake, where we will walk a little way into the jungle Rainforest to see the world’s largest aquatic plant, the giant water lilies or “Victoria Regias”. You will be one of a very small number of people who have ever seen these plants bloom. 8:30 a.m.Breakfast 9:15 a.m. Birthplace of the Amazon/Puerto Prado Village This morning, the M/V Aqua skirts the edges of the vast Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. We board the skiffs to view one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the birthplace of the Amazon River. Here—where the union of two major tributaries, the Ucayali and the Marañon, form the world’s greatest waterway—nature is at its most dramatic. Your morning excursion will be accompanied by abundant bird song, as you glide in small boats past river banks populated by large-billed terns, laughing falcons, gray tanagers, sandpipers, five kinds of parakeets, the exotic short-tailed parrot, and dozens of other birds. We will then travel by skiff to Puerto Prado native village, where you will meet and interact with the hospitable native Cocama Indians. They will share their culture, traditions, and folklore with you, and you will have the opportunity to purchase some of their handicrafts and delightful folk art. 11:30 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua 12:30 p.m. Lunch Share a last lunch with your fellow passengers who have taken the three-night journey. 4:00 p.m Nauta Town Visit This afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit the Town of Nauta, the oldest town in the state of Loreto. This village, founded in the 1930’s, is our only access point to Iquitos during our expedition. Nauta is very important to the local river communities, as it is the port where they come to sell their produce. We will take a leisurely walk through town, to experience what life in a large river community is like. 6:00 p.m. Return to the M/V Aqua 8:30 p.m. Dinner Meet new friends—those taking the four-night journey—over dinner.
6:30 a.m. Ucayali River Exploration We will set out early this morning to explore the Ucayali River, the Amazon’s largest tributary. Sightings will include the slow-moving three-toed sloths, iguanas, orioles, and horned screamers, as well as many other birds. 8:00 a.m. Breakfast 9:30 a.m. Jungle Walk to Magdalena After breakfast we will walk through the village of Madgalena, a small community of ten families. After meeting the people, including lots of lively and curious children, your naturalist guides will lead you through the jungle to a beautiful lake that is home to the world famous Victoria Regia giant water lily. 12:00 p.m. Return to the M/V Aqua 12:30 p.m. Lunch 4:00 p.m. Ucayali Exploration and Puinahua and Discovery Tour This afternoon we will cruise the majestic Ucayali River, giving you a chance to see and meet native balseros, or fishermen, who will demonstrate their skill and let you see their catch—including a type of “armored” catfish with a shell-like skin. You will have at least one chance to sample this delicious local fish at dinner aboard the M/V Aqua. We are also likely to spot, and have an opportunity to photograph, the “banana balsero” rafts, loaded with hundreds of clusters of bananas, drifting down the river to market. Other highlights include the viewing of woodpeckers, parrots, macaws, and toucans. 6:30 p.m. Return to the M/V Aqua 8:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 a.m. Breakfast 8:30 a.m. Jungle Rainforest Walk Near Hatum Posa Village On this walk, your guides will introduce you to native people doing subsistence farming, and will tell you how they learned to cultivate wild plants and trees to earn farm income. Deep in the primary forest, your guides will also show you the wealth of fruit trees and medicinal plants hidden in the jungle—the source of many of the world’s pharmaceutical products. 11:30 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua 12:30 p.m. Lunch 3:30 p.m. Pacaya River Exploration, Plus Night Trip from Ranger Station No. 1 to Yanayacu Lake In the late afternoon, we will take our skiffs along the Pacaya River, journeying from Ranger Station No. 1 toward Yanayacu Lake, where you can view the abundant life that is hidden in the deep rainforest. You may see saki monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and the easy-to-spot heavy howler monkeys, leaping long distances from tree to tree. As the sun sets, you will hear the loud, ferocious sounding warning signals made by the howler monkeys as they mark their territories. When night falls, you will hear the second movement of the Amazon rainforest symphony, as other nocturnal animals send their shrill calls across the tree tops. We will use our special spotlight torches to locate night creatures, including, perhaps, huge caimans. 7:30 p.m. Return to the M/V Aqua Tonight the vessel will be docked by the No. 1 Ranger Station in Pacaya Samiria National Park. 8:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 a.m. Pacaya Exploration; Breakfast on the Skiffs In the bright morning light, your Guides will show you parrots, macaws, toucans, and many different types of monkeys. We will also go to the dolphin feeding spots along Pacaya River, where you will be delightfully surrounded by these creatures while enjoying a light breakfast and fresh juice. After breakfast, armed with poles and bait, we will take you to a special place on this fish-rich river, where you will catch some of the more than 3,000 species of tropical fish that live in the Amazon Basin. The key target will be piranhas, the small carnivorous fish with a fearsome reputation—considered a good food source by the locals. 11:00 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua We will begin our homeward journey, sailing downstream toward Iquitos. 12:30 p.m. Lunch 4:00 p.m. Native Village Visit This optional afternoon excursion is a short informational walk into a riverside village. Your guide will show you way of life in these communities of fishermen and farmers. 5:30 p.m. Return to the M/V Aqua We will sail downstream all night, as we make our way to Iquitos, and your onward flight. 8:00 p.m. Farewell Dinner Just minutes after being in the wilderness, surrounded by monkeys and birds and the other wildlife of the rainforest, you will find yourself sitting down to a final gourmet feast in the ship’s dining room 9:00 p.m. Crew Presentation Tonight, the Cruise Director will introduce some of the crew members you haven’t yet met on the trip, but who have worked behind the scenes to give you an unforgettable experience. There may even be a bit of musical entertainment!
7:30 a.m. Breakfast 9:30 a.m. Morning Excursion – The excursions today depend on the level of the river. Weather and time permitting, this will be the last opportunity to see how people live along the Amazon river—by visiting the lively riverside community of Belen by skiff, in Iquitos. Here, where the houses and shops actually float on the river during some months, you will see the bustling food market of the entire Peruvian Amazon. All local inhabitants throughout the region sell and purchase goods here. Some groups may instead take a short skiff ride to visit the Boras indigenous community, on the Momon River. The Bora tribe has made every effort to maintain its traditional culture since arriving from deep inside the rainforest more than 30 years ago. Today they will perform some of their most colorful dances for you. 11:00 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua You have time to pack and prepare for the next stage of your journey. 12:00 p.m. Light Lunch Please leave your packed luggage in your cabins, to be transferred to the bus, before coming to the dining room for lunch. 1:15 p.m. Disembarkation/City Tour/Manatee Rescue Center/Transfer to the Airport Your afternoon in the remote city of Iquitos, accessible only by river or air, will not disappoint. This bustling town, complete with a house built by Gustave Eiffel, was once a rich center of the rubber industry. En route, we will visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have seized from local people and fishermen. Biologists will give a presentation about the project and its efforts to help these helpless mammals. You will also see how the manatees are cared for and are prepared for re-introduction into their natural habitat. Finally, we will stop at the San Juan Amazonian Indian Market, for a last chance to shop for local crafts. 4:30 p.m. Check in at Iquitos International Airport Your guides will help you with check-in, and will stay with you until you have boarded your flight back to Lima. Note: All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.
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