8 Days / 7 Nights
(FLOODED SEASON: December-May)
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Day 1 - Saturday: Iquitos / Amazon River
3:30 p.m. Flight from Lima LP 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 M/V Aqua 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 seven days, you will also sail along the two largest tributaries of the Amazon, the Ucayali and the Marañon, as well as 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 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 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 journey into the Amazon.
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 the one of the best in all of Lima. Schiaffino’s recipes, with the 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.
Day 2 - Sunday: Amazon / Tahuayo River / Charo Lake / Yacapana Island
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, plus Peruvian specialties, and fresh-squeezed juices, made from tropical fruits you’ve never tasted before.
9:15 a.m Tahuayo River Exploration and Fishing Trip at Charo Lake
This morning it’s back aboard 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 and chilled fruit juice 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 a selection of lighter mid-day fare in our air-conditioned dining room. Then catch up on your reading in the upstairs lounge, do a little sunbathing on the observation deck, or watch the scenes of the river pass by, framed by your suite’s oversized window.
4:00 p.m. Yacapana Islands Exploration, Dolphin Sighting, and Night Excursion
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. Once the sun sets and the jungle is dark, we begin our search for caiman, frogs, and different kinds of nightlife.
7:30 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
Day 3 - Monday: Marañon River / Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (Nauta Caño and Yanayacu-Yarina and Yanayacu-Pucate)
6:30 a.m. Breakfast.
Today you can choose between two options:
Option 1: Full day excursion with a Picnic Lunch at Ranger Station No. 2
7:30 a.m. Travel by skiff from Yanayacu Creek all the way to remote Yarina.
There you will arrive at Park Ranger Station No. 2. On this excursion, you may see howler and capuchin monkeys, the squirrel-sized monkeys called tamarins, pink and gray river dolphins, and a vast variety of birds. We will also 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. Enjoy a generous picnic lunch at the Park Ranger Station No. 2, before we begin our journey back to our vessel.
5:30 p.m. Arrive at the M/V Aqua.
Option 2: Guided Jungle Walk/Siesta/Monkey and Dolphin Expedition
8:30 a.m. Guided Jungle Walk at Ranger Station No. 1
This morning your Park Ranger will tell you all about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia. You will visit one of the projects, where villagers are planting palms to obtain oil.
11:00 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua
12:30 p.m. Lunch, followed by a siesta
4:00 p.m. Monkey and Dolphin Expedition
On this late afternoon expedition, you are likely to have another chance to see the two different kinds of freshwater dolphins—including the remarkable pink ones—found in the Amazon. Later, keep your eyes directed toward the jungle canopy, where you can spot several 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.
6:00 p.m. Return to the M/V Aqua
7:00 p.m. Briefing - Time to share adventures and learn about what tomorrow will bring.
8:00 p.m. Dinner.
Day 4 - Tuesday: Birthplace of the Amazon / Puerto Miguel Village / Nauta Caño
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Birthplace of the Amazon
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. Rise early and be on your 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.
8:30 a.m. Puerto Miguel Village
We will travel by skiff to Puerto Miguel native village, where the local people will extend you a very warm welcome. With your guide acting as interpreter, you can talk with them about their way of life along the river. And of course, no one has to interpret the kids’ bright smiles. It is also a wonderful opportunity to buy small handicrafts. On the way back to the Aqua, 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.” Have your cameras at the ready.
11:40 p.m. Lunch
Share a farewell last lunch with your fellow passengers who have taken the three-night journey.
3:30 p.m. Afternoon Excursion to Nauta Caño
Nauta Caño is also part of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. It is known as the mirrored forest, due to its glistening black water lagoons. Here you will enjoy observing different species, such as: toucans,parrots, macaws, iguanas, and more. On the way back to the M/V Aqua you will see a glorious sunset reflected in the waters of the mirrored forest.
6:00 p.m. Return to the M/V Aqua
8:30 p.m. Dinner
Meet new passengers who have signed on for the four-night trip, and enjoy your gourmet meal as we start our journey along the Ucayali River.
Day 5 - Wednesday: Ucayali / Yanallpa / Dorado Rivers / Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
7:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Yanallpa River Expedition
This morning we will board the skiffs to explore this amazing blackwater stream, part of the vast Amazon flooded forest. Your guides will tell you about the rainforest and its dynamic life, as we explore what scientists call a “gallery forest,” because of its narrow vegetation, creating a tunnel of leaves. As we float through this tunnel, it is easy to spot parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys, very close to the skiff.
11:00 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua
12:30 p.m. Lunch
4:00 p.m. Dorado River Exploration and Night Excursion
This afternoon we will take a magical journey through the “Mirrored Forest,” seeing towering trees reflected in the black water river, while spotting dozens of enchanting parrots, blue-yellow macaws, and a great variety of primates and sloths enjoying nature unperturbed by our presence. As we make our way back to our vessel, you will also have the chance to see caimans and frogs and fishing bats.
7:30 p.m. Return to the M/V Aqua
8:00 p.m. Dinner
Day 6 - Thursday: Puinahua River / Hatum Posa Lake / Pacaya River
6:30 a.m. Hatum Posa Lake Expedition
This morning we will rise as early as the sun, to cruise this beautiful and intricate ox-bow lake. As we follow its shore, we will almost certainly surprise several kinds of monkeys and many types of birds, including terns, neo-tropic cormorants, egrets, herons, hawks, and our favorite horned screamers. We will also take the skiff into other black water lakes linked to this huge lake in the flooded forest.
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Jungle Walk Near Hatum Posa or Village Visit
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. As your adventure takes you deep into the primary forest, your guides will also show you the wealth of fruit trees and medicinal plants hidden in the jungle – and will reveal some of the plants’ secrets.
11:00 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua
12:30 p.m. Lunch
4:00 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 see the abundant life that is hidden in the deep rainforest. We have chosen this time of day to give you the chance to see the late afternoon activity of the rainforest animals, including fluffy monk saki monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and the easy-to-spot howler monkeys. As the sun sets, listen for the loud, ferocious-sounding warning signals made by howler monkeys marking 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. As we take the skiffs back to the M/V Aqua, 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
8:00 p.m. Dinner
After your gourmet meal, why not sit out on the top deck and study the canopy of stars? They glisten like thousand-watt bulbs here, in a world without electric lighting to diminish the impact.
Day 7 - Tuesday: Puinahua / Pacaya Rivers and Carocurahuayte Lake
6:30 a.m. Pacaya Exploration and Breakfast Aboard the Skiffs
Back on the river as the sun rises, you will see a treasure trove of wildlife, including parrots, macaws, toucans, and many kinds of monkeys—as well as some “surprise” species that you have never seen before. Enjoy a “bag breakfast” of light sandwiches and fresh juice. Since we will stop near a popular dolphin feeding spot, you will see quite a show as you enjoy your meal.
11:00 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua
As our journey nears its end, your luxurious home away from home starts to sail back down the river toward Iquitos. It isn’t over yet however. A new adventure awaits you this afternoon.
12:30 p.m. Lunch
3:30 p.m. Carocurahuayte Lake/Fishing Trip
This afternoon, we will travel to this splendid “hot spot” lake, where you will be certain to catch some of the more than 3,000 species of tropical fish that live in the Amazon basin. Our key focus will be on piranhas, those small, sharp-teethed carnivorous fish with a big reputation for being scary. Catching one will make for great cocktail conversation back home.
6:30 p.m. Return to the M/V Aqua
Once we are back onboard, the ship will continue its journey down stream, sailing toward Iquitos through the night.
7:00 p.m. Briefing in the Top Lounge - Recap of Itinerary and Sightings.
8:00 p.m. Farewell Dinner
Leaving the peace and beauty of the jungle behind, we will enjoy our final dinner together, swapping stories about the wonderful experiences shared on the river.
9:00 p.m. Crew Presentation
After dinner, your guides will introduce some of the crew members that you have not yet met, but who have been busy with the “behind the scenes” work that has helped to create a seamless experience.
Day 8 - Saturday: Arrival in Iquitos / Check out and disembark at the main wharf / City tour / Transfer to the airport
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—by floating in skiffs through the lively riverside community of Belen, in Iquitos. Here, where the houses and shops actually float on the river during some months, you will see the bustling food market for the entire Peruvian Amazon. All local inhabitants throughout the region sell and purchase goods here.
10:00 a.m. Return to the M/V Aqua
Sadly, it’s time to finish packing. Please leave your packed suitcases in your suite for pickup before going to lunch.
12.00 p.m. Light 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. 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, including 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.
5:50 p.m. Your Flight Departs for Lima LP 2383
2012 Departures: Every Saturday: Jan 7,14,21,28; Feb 4,11,18,25; Mar 3,10,17,24,31; Apr 7,14,21,28;
May 5,12,19,26; Jun 2,9,16,23,30; Jul 7,14,21,28; Aug 4,11,18; Sep 8,15,22,29; Oct 6,13,20,27; Nov 3,10,17,24;
Dec 1,8,15,22,29
- All meals while onboard
- All excursions
- Wine with meals
- Transfers to/from vessel when arriving on recommended flights
- Pacaya Samiria entrance fee
Not Included:
- Air tickets to and from Iquitos
- Guide and crew gratuities
- Bar and Boutique purchases
2012 Prices per person:
FIT Rates: Suite: $5950 in double occupancy. Master Suite: $6300 in double occupancy.
Single supplement: 25% in addition to the adult rate.
Charter Rates: $116480
Child Policy:
7 year age minimum on all departures.
Child under 12 years old will receive a 20% discount
Third person sleeping on sofa bed will receive a 20% discount.
Third person being a child under 12 years old sleeping on sofa bed pays US $400 per night