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Explorer Cruise – 4 Nights

Overview - Explorer Cruise – 4 Nights


The Aqua Amazon’s 4-night Amazon River luxury cruise begins in the remote colonial city of Iquitos, Peru and transport guests in exceptional comfort deep into the Amazon rainforest, along the Ucayali River, the Amazon’s largest tributary, as well as the four other rivers, each one rich in vibrant wildlife with thriving rainforests. 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 ofour 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 Aqua Amazon journeys towards the confluence of the Ucayali and the Marañon Rivers, considered the birthplace of the Amazon, learn from our experienced, English speaking naturalist guides about the diverse Amazon wildlife and birds of Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.
 


DAY 1
Tuesday: ARRIVAL - NAUTA - EMBARKATION - MARAÑON RIVER
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.
Transfer to Nauta’s main wharf.
Enjoy a scenic one-and-a-half hour drive through the Peruvian countryside to the small village of Nauta. You will be traveling along the only road out of town . . . and it only goes as far as Nauta.
Check-In
From the moment you step on board, enjoy the AQUA AMAZON’s low-key luxury. As you settle into your handsomely appointed, generously proportioned suite, you will feel the vessel begin to move –the beginning of one of your life’s great adventures. We suggest you stand on the Upper Deck to take in the view, as the AQUA AMAZON leaves Iquitos behind.
Over the next four 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.
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 our 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 our 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.
 

DAY 2
Wednesday: UCAYALI - YANALLPA - DORADO RIVER - PACAYA-SAMIRIA NATIONAL RESERVE
Breakfast
River Expedition Ucayali / Yanallpa
This morning, board the skiffs to explore a fascinating black water 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 leaves. As we explore this type of riparian vegetation, watch above for parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys.
Return to AQUA AMAZON
Lunch
Lecture in the lounge by our naturalist guides.
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 move on to the 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 AQUA AMAZON, you may see alligators, frogs and fishing bats.
Return to AQUA AMAZON
Dinner
 

DAY 3


Thursday: PUINAHUA RIVER - PACAYA RIVER - PACAYA SAMIRIA NATIONAL RESERVE
Breakfast
Full Day Expedition Along The Pacaya River
This morning we will undertake a full-day excursion along the Pacaya River, observing and exploring the flooded forest of this vast region of the Peruvian Amazon. You will sail among a wide variety of wildlife, birds including large parrots, macaws, herons and storks and many species of primates like the capuchin, howler and squirrel monkeys, who can be very funny. We will have the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful lakes in the protected reserve and to meet some of the friendly local people who take care of the reserve’s natural resources. Our nature guides will discuss Aqua Expeditions involvement in the natural resource management of Amazonia. We will eat a picnic lunch en route and on our return, we can see the famous Ceiba tree, the highest in the Amazon.
Return to AQUA AMAZON
Dinner
Option 2: Exploring the Pacaya and Puhinahua / Dolphin Expedition
Breakfast
Pacaya River Exploration and Piranha Fishing
This morning you will board our comfortable boat to sail and explore the Pacaya black water river. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and fresh water are always available in our boats. As we sail, the occasional fisherman will paddle past in their homemade canoes. Keep your binoculars ready to spot terns, tropical songbirds, black hawks, monkeys and sloths necks that share this enchanted place with us. After our arrival at a particular point, you may use your hooks to try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas of the Amazon. As you fish, trained naturalist guides will tell the story of the lake and its inhabitants.
Return to AQUA AMAZON
Lunch
Dolphins Along the Puhinahua River
During this expedition, we’ll be keeping our eyes out for two different kinds of freshwater dolphins but especially the unusual pink dolphins found in the Amazon River. We’ll also spot arboreal lizards, iguanas and look up to catch a glimpse of some of the area’s 200 bird species.
Return to the AQUA AMAZON
Dinner


DAY 4
Friday: UCAYALI RIVER - CLAVERO LAKE - AMAZONAS RIVER
Breakfast
Clavero Lake Canoeing and Swimming
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 AQUA AMAZON
From this point, start sailing downstream toward Iquitos.
Cooking Lesson
Lunch
Lecture in the lounge by our naturalist guides.
Village Visit
We sail along the great Amazon River, observing the flora and fauna, then stop at a riverside community that actively conserves the forest’s natural resources and their own ancestral customs.
Return to the AQUA AMAZON
Once back on board, the ship will continue its journey down stream, sailing toward Iquitos through the night.
Meet in the lounge with our naturalist guides for the Crew Presentation
The guides will introduce some of the crew members whom you may not have met, who worked "behind the scenes" to ensure your memorable trip has been filled with countless exceptional experiences.
Dinner


DAY 5
Saturday: CHECK OUT - DISEMBARK AT THE MAIN WHARF - CITY TOUR - TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT
Breakfast
Travel briefing
Morning Excursion
Depending on the weather, we will tour the flood zone that borders the city of Iquitos and observe the houses and shops that actually float on the Itaya River for several months of the year. Then we will visit the traditional market of Bellavista Nanay, bordering the Nanay River, to see products from the Peruvian Amazon including exotic snacks like the Amazon Caterpillar. Called "Suri," these caterpillars live in the palm trees and are considered a very appetizing snack for Amazonia people, even in the city.
Return to the AQUA AMAZON
Sadly, it’s time to finish packing. Please leave your packed suitcases in your suite for pickup before going to lunch.
Light Lunch
Disembarkation / City Tour / Manatee Rescue Center / Transfer to the Airport
This afternoon, we will take you on a tour of Iquitos, glorious city in the days of the rubber boom. Visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. Later, we stop at the Amazonian Indian Market San Juan, where, you may wish to shop for local crafts before leaving.
Guides will help with check in at the airport and stay with you until you have boarded your flight back to Lima.
Itinerary Addendum
Note: All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.