Peru

Peru Amazon River Cruise - Dec to May - ZAFIRO - 7 Nights

8 days | 7 nights
Shared tour
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Cruise Description

Explore some of the world’s most astonishingly biodiverse landscapes on this eight-day Zafiro Amazon River Cruise, an unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime experience. Board Zafiro in the port city of Iquitos and settle into your luxurious suite. Soak in the outdoor jacuzzi on the observation deck and enjoy panoramic views as you sail, or sip on refreshing cocktails at the onsite bar. Head to the confluence of the Marañon and Ucayali Rivers, where the Amazon River begins, and see the highly anticipated pink and grey dolphins play in the water. For a spiritual and soul healing experience, meet the shaman of San Regis and learn about the ancient rituals of his ancestors. Spend time in Nauta discovering the city on a moto-taxi tour. Then browse the food and handicraft stalls at the market for a taste of local life. On skiff, head to the Dorado River, where you’ll try out your newfound fishing techniques. When the moon rises, go on a night safari in search of caimans, bats, and tarantulas in the lush rainforest. Visit the Huaysi community, where you’ll learn about their traditions and get a glimpse into the daily life of a local. Disembark in Nauta, where you’ll continue to Iquitos for your onward journey. Along the way, visit the Amazon Rescue Center (CREA) and learn how biologists and volunteers are rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured animals, and re-releasing them into the wild. 

Destinations

Peru

Trip at a glance

Visits

AMAZON RIVER & RAINFOREST (Iquitos): Iquitos, Amazon river, Kukama reserve (Yanayacu de Yacapana), Source of the Amazon, Marañon river, Puerto Prado community, Nauta creek, Yanayacu de Pucate, Japanese lagoon, Yanayaquillo, San Regis, Amazonian National park, Shiriyacu, Casual, Pahuachiro, Ucayali river, Yanallpa del Ucayali, Tapiche river, Dorado river, Ucayali river, Yarapa of Ucayali, Tahuayo river, Huaysi community

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 IQUITOS - AMAZON RIVER

Afternoon

You will be picked up at the airport and brought to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels Iquitos where you will enjoy a delicious lunch before being transferred by private vehicle to the main dock of the city of Iquitos to board the cruise ship.

Our staff will show you to your suite, which will be equipped with comfortable beds, 100% Peruvian Pima cotton sheets, cotton bathrobes, air conditioning and a private bathroom with a shower and amenities.

Before setting sail, our bartender will serve you a cocktail prepared with local fruit and pisco, the most popular liquor in Peru. You can sip it while enjoying 360° views from the observation deck or a panoramic view from the indoor or outdoor lounge.

After setting sail, our naturalist guides will offer an overview of the travel itinerary, including activities, routes, information about wildlife and vegetation, geographical and historical context, as well as other useful info. If you have any doubts or concerns, our guides are always available to answer your questions.

Evening

We will then enjoy the welcome dinner. Start your journey by sampling the selected wines and dining Peruvian cuisine with an Amazon flare. There are many options on our menu, including vegetarian alternatives. Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary needs.

After dinner, you will be able to take in stunning views of the starry night sky while we start our journey to the depth of the Amazon rainforest.

MEALS
  • Lunch at Hilton hotel
  • Dinner onboard

Day 2 AMAZON RIVER, KUKAMA RESERVE (YANAYACU DE YACAPANA), SOURCE OF THE AMAZON, MARAÑON RIVER, PUERTO PRADO COMMUNITY, NAUTA CREEK

Morning

Before breakfast, we will go out for a boating expedition on the Amazon River to explore the local flora and fauna.

When you get back, enjoy our breakfast buffet, which offers a daily selection of traditional dishes, Peruvian specialties, freshly baked goods and a range of freshly squeezed juices.

After breakfast, we will head out to see the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón rivers, which give rise to the Amazon River. Here we will observe pink and gray river dolphins.

Afternoon

We qill go back to the boat for lunch by midday and then have time to rest. Make sure you attend the talk about the source of the Amazon and the hydrography of the river so that you’ll be up to speed for our walk to Puerto Prado, where we will see the “Victoria Regias”, the largest water lily in the world.

Evening

We will then head back to the boat for dinner and live music. After dinner, we will enjoy the nighttime.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 3 YANAYACU DE PUCATE – JAPANESE LAGOON - YANAYAQUILLO - SAN REGIS - AMAZONIAN NATIONAL PARK

Morning

Breakfast and outing on the skiff to different lakes and lagoons, until we reach the Japanese Lagoon. There, we will enjoy a picnic and one of the best conserved and protected areas of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. It is also a popular spot to view pink river dolphins from.

Before heading back to the Zafiro, we will take a trip to the Yanaquillo gorge. Once we are back on the cruise ship, we will get ready to go kayaking and take a dip in the black waters.

Afternoon

Head back for lunch aboard the Zafiro. Before starting the afternoon activity, our guides will give a talk about the Amazon philosophy.

Afterward, we will take a walk through the rainforest overhanging bridges, where you can admire the riches of the rainforest from the treetops.

Evening

Once we are back on the Zafiro, our bartender will give a demonstration of how to make Peruvian cocktails, and we will then enjoy live music while we await the gala dinner with the captain.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 4 MARAÑÓN RIVER – SAN REGIS - SHIRIYACU

Morning

Breakfast and visit to the community of San Regis, where we will learn about the local people’s way of life and traditions.

We will also learn about their ancestral traditions from the community’s shaman. With our guides as interpreters, we will be able to ask questions about spiritual connections and curing the soul. We will then continue the ceremony by planting a tree as a positive contribution to the environment. There, we will also see a market set up by women from the community to sell their handmade crafts.

Afternoon

Head back for lunch aboard the Zafiro. After resting, the guides will tell us about the myths and legends of the Amazon.

In the afternoon, we will head out on a skiff to the Shiriyacu stream. There, we will find a good spot to do some piranha fishing using local techniques and equipment. Back on the boat, we will enjoy the stunning colors of the sunset.

Evening

Return to the Zafiro, live music and dinner.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 5 MARAÑÓN RIVER - NAUTA - CASUAL - PAHUACHIRO

Morning

Before breakfast, we will visit Nauta, the second most important city in the region. Upon arriving, we will take a motorcycle taxi to the local market where we’ll see what business in the city is like firsthand.

Visit to the Sapi Sapi lagoon, an arapaima hatchery. This is the second-largest freshwater fish in the world. Discover a new habitat, surrounded by fruit trees. We’ll also see Arrau turtles, butterflies and different species of birds and fish that call this lagoon home.

After, we will head back to the Zafiro for breakfast. After breakfast, we will head out on a skiff to Casual.

Afternoon

We will have lunch at midday and then rest up for the afternoon activity: an outing on the skiff to explore the area of Pahuachiro and its wildlife.

Evening

We will then head back to the boat for some free time until dinner.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 6 UCAYALI RIVER - YANALLPA DEL UCAYALI - TAPICHE RIVER - DORADO RIVER

Morning

Before breakfast, we will head out on a skiff to the Yanallpa area of the Ucayali River in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, where we will see many native animal species.

After breakfast, we will head out on a skiff to the Tapiche River in search of wildlife.

Afternoon

Before midday, we will head back to the boat for a cooking demonstration by the executive chef.

After lunch, whoever is interested may attend a talk about the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, and in the afternoon we will take a skiff to the Dorado river, where we will fish using local techniques.

Evening

Before heading back on board, we will enjoy a nighttime outing in search of caimans, tarantulas and other species that make an appearance after the sun goes down.

Dinner will then be served aboard the Zafiro.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 7 UCAYALI RIVER - YARAPA OF UCAYALI (BLACK WATERS) - AMAZON RIVER - TAHUAYO RIVER - HUAYSI COMMUNITY

Morning

After breakfast, we will set out to explore the Yarapa River, where the infamous pink and gray river dolphins swim in its black waters.

Back on the Zafiro, we will see the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón rivers, which give rise to the Amazon River.

Afternoon

After lunch, we will take the skiff out on the Amazon River to visit the Huaysi community. There, we will see how the locals live and learn more about their customs with our guides, who will act as interpreters.

We will also take a dip in the Tahuayo River and, before heading back to the boat, enjoy a colorful Amazon sunset.

Evening

Back on the Zafiro, you will have some time to relax and enjoy live music before the presentation by the crew and farewell dinner.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 8 DISEMBARK IN NAUTA - AMAZON RESCUE CENTER

Morning

After breakfast, we will begin disembarking. On the way to the airport, we will stop by the Amazon Rescue Center (CREA), where biologists and volunteers take care of manatees – an endangered species – rescued by the authorities. We will see how the manatees are cared for and prepped for reinsertion into their natural habitat. We will also get to see other animals that have been rescued from attempts to turn them into pets and other dangerous situations.

Afterward, you will be transferred to the airport.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard

Map

Video

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
7 nights onboard ZAFIRO

Meals

Full board plan
7 breakfasts + 7 lunches + 7 dinners

Transportation

Bus
Shared shuttle Iquitos airport/Nauta town/Iquitos airport
Cruise
River Cruise Ship

Orientation

Guide
Shared English-speaking naturalist Guide

Entrance Fees

Entrance fee to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

What's not included

  • Domestic flights:
    • From/to Iquitos
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Extra meals
  • Alcoholic and bottled beverages
  • Tips

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

Important notes

If necessary, it is imperative to get your yellow fever vaccine at least ten days prior to departure.

Weather conditions in the Amazon rainforest vary greatly depending on the two seasons: the wet season from December to May and the dry season from June until November. Regardless of the season, you have to be prepared for rain throughout the year, although it rains a lot less during the dry season. 

Amazon rainforest packing list:

  • binoculars
  • waterproof hiking shoes
  • hat
  • quick-dry clothing
  • long-sleeve shirt
  • long-sleeve pants
  • strong insect repellent
  • strong sunblock
  • bathing-suit
  • case or protection for your camera and phone
  • personal medication. 
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