- Saturday: Iquitos / Amazon River
3:30 p.m. Flight from Lima LP 382
In just an hour and 45 minutes you will be deep 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 youve 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,
6:00 p.m. Embarkation and check-in
From the moment you step on board, you will enjoy the M/V Aquas
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
Over the next three days, you will also sail along the largest tributaries
of the Amazon, 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 its
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 to follow.
8:00 p.m. Welcome Dinner
Sit down, relax, sample some South fine 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. Schiaffinos 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
2 - Sunday: Amazon / Tahuayo Rivers / Charo Lake / Yacapana Islands
6:30 a.m. See the Sun Rise Over the 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, Peruvian specialties, and fresh-squeezed juices,
made from tropical fruits youve never tasted before.
9:15 a.m. Tahuayo River Exploration and Fishing Trip at Charo
This morning its back aboard our comfortable excursion skiffs
for your first adventure, traveling from the Amazon through the
Huaysi short-cut canal to explore the Tahuayo blackwater 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 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 Amazonias 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 reptileslike tiny
dinosaurscrawling 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 believe that these dolphins turn into
humans to steal handsome men or pretty women from their villages
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 Camu-Camu Sour on the Upper Deck, while
you watch the sun set.
8:00 p.m. Dinner
3 - Monday: Marañon River / Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
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, and will take you to 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 medicinal value of many jungle plants. We will
also 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 dolphinsincluding the unusual pink onesfound
in the Amazon. Later, keep your eyes directed toward the jungle
canopy, where you can spot at least several kinds of primatessome
of the 13 species of monkeys resident in the National Park. Perhaps
you will catch a glimpse of tamarins and dusky titi monkeys, as
well as 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.
7:30 p.m. Arrive at the M/V Aqua
Enjoy a hot shower and a cool drink, before heading to the dining
room. The M/V Aqua will start to sail downstream on the Marañon
River, back toward the headwaters of the Amazon.
8:30 p.m. Dinner
4 - Tuesday: Yucuruche Lake / Birhtplace of the Amazon / Puerto
Prado Village visit / Iquitos
6:30 a.m. Ucayali River and Yucuruche Lake
Rise early and be on your skiff at 6:30 AM. This morning your skiffs
we take you along the Ucayali River to Yucuruche Lake, where we
will walk a little way into the jungle to see the worlds largest
aquatic plantthe giant water lilies or Victoria Regias.
Bring your cameras. You will be one of a very small number of people
who have ever seen these luxuriant 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 two major tributariesthe Ucayali and the Marañonunite
to form the worlds greatest waterway. Here, you will experience
nature 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 get to know the hospitable Cocama Indians. They will share
their culture, traditions, and folklore with you and you will have
the opportunity to purchase some of their delightful folk art and
11:00 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua
11:40 a.m. Lunch
Share a last lunch with your fellow passengers, before preparing
for your onward journey.
1:15 p.m. Disembarkation/Manatee Rescue Center/Transfer to the
Before we head for the airport, we will take you to visit the Manatee
Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered
Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have seized from local
people. 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.
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.
5:50 p.m. Your Flight Departs for Lima LP 383.
Departures: Every Saturday: Jan 1,8,15,22,29; Feb 5,12,19,26;
Mar 5,12,19,26; Apr 2,9,16,23,30; May 7,14,21,28; Jun 4,11,18,25; Jul
2,9,16,23,30; Aug 6,13,20,27; Sep 3,10,17,27; Oct 1,8,15,22,29; Nov 5,12,19,26;