A luxury cruise along the world’s mightiest river—the perfect immersion in the wonders of the Amazon!
On our exciting voyage through the Peruvian Amazon, you’ll explore exotic rivers and jungles teeming with wildlife, while enjoying all the amenities of the M/V Aqua orM/V Aria, two unique luxury vessels offering the highest levels of accommodation. Each day, venture deep into the forest aboard a comfortable excursion skiff, accompanied by guides steeped in local knowledge—in the evenings, return to the ship for a gourmet meal and a blissful sleep in your air-conditioned suite. Cruise along “black water” rivers, visit islands thick with iguanas, and spot monkeys, pink dolphins and a bevy of tropical birds in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. Gaze at the breathtaking spectacle of sunrise over the birthplace of the Amazon, and meet the natives of a remote Amazonian village to learn about their way of life. This MTS expedition is a perfect mix of adventure, culture, expert guidance, and immersion into nature, along with a daily infusion of creature comforts. So climb aboard—your extraordinary journey down the Amazon awaits! Inspiring countless legends and epic adventures, the Amazon Basin features a level of biodiversity beyond compare—one-tenth of the planet’s species call this rainforest home.
Easy river cruising, wildlife viewing, cultural encounters, and optional fishing
- Enjoy top standards of comfort and service aboard the luxury river cruise ships M/V Aqua or M/V Aria
- Spot the Amazon's spectacular wildlife, including 13 species of monkey, hundreds of species of birds, and unique freshwater pink dolphins!
- Gaze at the breathtaking spectacle of sunrise over the birthplace of the Amazon
- Meet remote Amazonian villagers and learn about their folklore and ways of life
- Visit a manatee rescue center to see what’s being done to protect these gentle, vulnerable creatures
Duration: 5 days Start Location: Iquitos End Location: IquitosDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Iquitos and transfer to M/V Aqua or M/V Aria
Arrive in iquitos via Lima, Peru's capital, and transfer to the luxurious M/V Aqua or M/V Aria, your home away from home for your Amazon River adventure. There will be a brief ship safety drill before your guide briefs you on the details of the next three days' activities, then you'll enjoy a sumptuous dinner created by one of Lima's premiere chefs.
Day 2 : Exploring the Tahuayo River and Yacapana Islands
You'll want to wake early to catch the sunrise over the glorious Amazon, heralding the beginning of your exploration of this new, verdant world. In the morning we'll board comfortable excursion skiffs to explore the Tahuayo, a classic "black water" river, so-called because of the high tannin content of the water, which makes it very dark. As we float down the Tahuayo, occasional fishermen paddling in their dug-out canoes will give us a cheerful greeting. You'll want to 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.
After lunch on board, we'll once again board the skiffs to visit the Yacapana Islands, known as the “Iguana Islands” to the locals because of the huge population of these reptiles—like tiny dinosaurs—crawling over the ground and resting in the tree tops. 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. Once the sun sets and the jungle is dark, we begin our search for caiman, frogs, bats, and other nocturnal jungle denizens before returning to our ship for dinner and a nightcap.
Day 3 : Two Options in Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Today you'll have your choice of activities. You can travel by skiff deep into the reserve, watching for howler and capuchin monkeys, the squirrel-sized monkeys called tamarins, pink and gray river dolphins, and a vast variety of birds along the way. You'll also learn first-hand about the important medicinal value of jungle plants, and your guide will show you famous Kapok trees (Ceiba pentandra), the tallest trees in the Amazon Basin. Enjoy a generous picnic lunch at the Park Ranger Station before returning to our ship.
Todays second option begins with a morning visit to one of the Park Rangers, who will tell you all about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia. You will visit one of the nearby projects, where villagers are planting palm trees to produce oil. Then, after lunch and a brief siesta aboard ship, you'll enjoy a late afternoon excursion to see the two different kinds of freshwater dolphins—including the unusual pink ones—found in the Amazon. Later, keep your eyes directed toward the jungle canopy, where you can spot many kinds of primates—among the 13 species of monkeys resident in the National Park. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of tamarins and howlers, 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!
Day 4 : Visit the birthplace of the Amazon River, and meet villagers in remote Puerto Miguel
This morning, we will skirt the edges of the vast Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. Rise early and be in the skiffs at 8:00 a.m. to view one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over 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 dawn 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.
Shortly thereafter we'll travel by skiff to Puerto Miguel native village to meet and interact with local villagers from this most remote part of the world, learn a bit more about their culture, traditions, and folklore, and also have the chance to purchase local handicrafts. On the way back, we will navigate on a small connector canal between the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers, where you will have a chance to see the world’s largest aquatic plant, the giant water lilies or “Victoria Regias.”
Day 5 : Return to Iquitos
Breakfast followed by a morning excursion. Dependent on the level of the river and weather and time permitting, we set off on this last opportunity to see how people live along the Amazon by visiting the lively riverside community of Belen, in Iquitos, by skiff. Here, where the houses and shops actually float on the river during some months, visit the bustling food market that supports the entire Peruvian Amazon, where all the inhabitants of Amazonia sell and purchase their goods.
Return to the vessel and share a last lunch with fellow passengers. En route to Iquitos airport, our naturalist guides bring you to visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have rescued. Learn about this highly successful project, supported by Aqua Expeditions since its inception, and efforts to help these endearing mammals. See how the manatees are cared for, and prepared for re-introduction into their natural habitat.
Check-in at Iquitos International Airport at 4:30. Your guides will help you with check-in, and will stay with you until its time to board for your flight back to Lima.
DATES: Best time to go: Year round Departures: Sep 22 - 26, 2014 M/V Aria Sep 23 - 27, 2014 M/V Aqua Sep 29, 2014 - Oct 3, 2014 M/V Aria Sep 30, 2014 - Oct 4, 2014 M/V Aqua Oct 6 - 10, 2014 M/V Aria Oct 7 - 11, 2014 M/V Aqua Oct 13 - 17, 2014 M/V Aria Oct 14 - 18, 2014 M/V Aqua Oct 20 - 24, 2014 M/V Aria Oct 21 - 25, 2014 M/V Aqua Oct 27 - 31, 2014 M/V Aria Oct 28, 2014 - Nov 1, 2014 M/V Aqua Nov 3 - 7, 2014 M/V Aria Nov 4 - 8, 2014 M/V Aqua Nov 10 - 14, 2014 M/V Aria Nov 11 - 15, 2014 M/V Aqua Nov 17 - 21, 2014 M/V Aria Nov 24 - 28, 2014 M/V Aria Dec 2 - 6, 2014 M/V Aqua Dec 9 - 13, 2014 M/V Aqua Dec 15 - 19, 2014 M/V Aria Dec 16 - 20, 2014 M/V Aqua Dec 22 - 26, 2014 M/V Aria Dec 23 - 27, 2014 M/V Aqua Dec 29, 2014 - Jan 2, 2015 M/V Aria Dec 30, 2014 - Jan 3, 2015 M/V Aqua Jan 5 - 9, 2015 M/V Aria Jan 6 - 10, 2015 M/V Aqua Jan 12 - 16, 2015 M/V Aria Jan 13 - 17, 2015 M/V Aqua Jan 19 - 23, 2015 M/V Aria Jan 20 - 24, 2015 M/V Aqua Jan 26 - 30, 2015 M/V Aria Jan 27 - 31, 2015 M/V Aqua Feb 2 - 6, 2015 M/V Aria Feb 3 - 7, 2015 M/V Aqua Feb 9 - 13, 2015 M/V Aria Feb 10 - 14, 2015 M/V Aqua Feb 16 - 20, 2015 M/V Aria Feb 17 - 21, 2015 M/V Aqua Feb 23 - 27, 2015 M/V Aria Feb 24 - 28, 2015 M/V Aqua Mar 2 - 6, 2015 M/V Aria Mar 3 - 7, 2015 M/V Aqua Mar 9 - 13, 2015 M/V Aria Mar 10 - 14, 2015 M/V Aqua Mar 16 - 20, 2015 M/V Aria Mar 17 - 21, 2015 M/V Aqua Mar 23 - 27, 2015 M/V Aria Mar 24 - 28, 2015 M/V Aqua Mar 30, 2015 - Apr 3, 2015 M/V Aria Mar 31, 2015 - Apr 4, 2015 M/V Aqua Apr 6 - 10, 2015 M/V Aria Apr 7 - 11, 2015 M/V Aqua Apr 13 - 17, 2015 M/V Aria Apr 14 - 18, 2015 M/V Aqua Apr 20 - 24, 2015 M/V Aria Apr 21 - 25, 2015 M/V Aqua Apr 27, 2015 - May 1, 2015 M/V Aria Apr 28, 2015 - May 2, 2015 M/V Aqua May 4 - 8, 2015 M/V Aria May 5 - 9, 2015 M/V Aqua May 11 - 15, 2015 M/V Aria May 12 - 16, 2015 M/V Aqua May 18 - 22, 2015 M/V Aria May 19 - 23, 2015 M/V Aqua May 25 - 29, 2015 M/V Aria May 26 - 30, 2015 M/V Aqua Jun 1 - 5, 2015 M/V Aria Jun 2 - 6, 2015 M/V Aqua Jun 8 - 12, 2015 M/V Aria Jun 9 - 13, 2015 M/V Aqua Jun 15 - 19, 2015 M/V Aria Jun 16 - 20, 2015 M/V Aqua Jun 22 - 26, 2015 M/V Aria Jun 23 - 27, 2015 M/V Aqua Jun 29, 2015 - Jul 3, 2015 M/V Aria Jun 30, 2015 - Jul 4, 2015 M/V Aqua
2014 & 2015 PRICES
All rates are per person, double occupancy, in US$
2014 M/V Aqua (departures year-round, every Tuesday)
2014 M/V Aria (departures year-round, every Monday)
2015 M/V Aqua (departures year-round, every Tuesday)
2015 M/V Aria (departures year-round, every Monday)
Additional departures available for 3 nights and 7 nights. Please call for details.
Note: All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions.
M/V Aqua and M/V AriaAmazon, Peru
M/V Aqua Amazon
The 130-foot-long, M/V Aqua was the first true luxury cruise ship on the northern Amazon River in Peru and was custom built by Peruvian architect Jordi Puig in 2007 to offer an extraordinary level of comfort for her guests.
The M/V Aqua can accommodate a maximum of 24 guests plus crew, and is the perfect size to sail along the Amazon River, providing extremely comfortable lounge, dining and sleeping accommodations as well as modern navigation systems and standards for cruise ship travel and safety on the water.
The M/V Aqua’s twelve oversized cruise ship suites—including 4 Master suites—feature en suite sitting areas and generous outward-facing picture-windows with panoramic Amazon river views. Each of the handsomely decorated, air-conditioned suites measure between 230 to 240 square feet. Four of these suites can be interconnected, to cater to families.
M/V Aria Amazon
Spacious and indulgent, yet intimate enough to feel entirely exclusive, the 16-cabin Aria Amazon incorporates generous dining and lounging areas, including an outdoor Jacuzzi.. The striking black-hulled ship was launched in 2011 and can accommodate a maximum of 32 guests.
Floor to ceiling windows face the Amazon River (with blackout windows for maximum privacy) in each of the 16 Design Suites, four of which can interconnect for families. Handsomely decorated with natural fibers and neutral hues these air-conditioned accommodations with en suite sitting areas and bathrooms each measure 250 square feet.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.