- Friday: 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 Aria awaits you.
6:00 p.m. Embarkation and Check-In
From the moment you step on board, you will enjoy the M/V Aria’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 Aria leaves Iquitos behind.
Over the next seven days, you will also sail along the largest tributaries of the Amazon, 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.
2 - Saturday: Amazon / Yanayacu / Yacapana / Yarapa
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. Explore the Yacapana Isles
Locals call the Yacapana Isles the “the Isle of the Iguana” thanks to the great number of these reptiles, resembling tiny dinosaurs, which inhabit them. Amazonian beliefs state that if you touch an iguana, you will develop some of its characteristics and, as no one wants to look like one of them, these animals are well protected. We will pass very close the islands aboard the launches, giving you an opportunity to take good photos of the flora and fauna that we are able to observe along our route. We will also have the opportunity to go fishing for the infamous piranhas with our naturalists.
11:45 a.m. Return to the M/V Aria
While the boat continues its journey along the Amazon River, you will have free time to rest or take a siesta before lunch.
12:30 p.m. Lunch
Enjoy a light lunch in the air conditioned dining room.
4:00 p.m. Expedition to the Yarapa River
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. Return to the boat
Before dining, we recommend drinking a pisco sour as an aperitif on the top deck, while watching the sunset.
8:00 p.m. Dinner
3 - Sunday: Yanallpa / Magdalena Village / Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
6:30 a.m. Optional excursion to see wildlife along the Ucayali river.
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 a.m. Jungle Walk to Magdalena
After breakfast we stroll through the village of Madgalena, a small community of just ten families. After you meet the people, including lots of lively and curious children, your naturalist guides will lead you through the jungle to a beautiful lake that is home to the world famous Victoria Regia giant water lily. Have your cameras ready to capture this once-in-a-lifetime sight.
11:30 a.m. Return to the M/V Aria
12:30 p.m. Lunch, followed by a siesta
4:00 p.m. Excursion to watch Monkeys and Dolphins
On this trip, you will be able to appreciate the different types of freshwater dolphin, including the rare pink dolphins found along the Ucayali River. We recommend that you bring your binoculars as there will also be opportunities to observe some species of birds, among which the macaws stand out, as well as a spectacular sundown.
7:30 p.m. Return to the M/V Aria
8:30 p.m. Dinner
4 - Monday: Source of the Amazonas/ Puerto
Prado Village / Iquitos
7:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Birthplace of the Amazon
This morning, the M/V Aria 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.
9:30 a.m. Puerto Prado Village
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 crafts.
12:00 p.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 Airport
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.
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
Departures: Every Friday: Jan 6,13,20,27; Feb 3,10,17,24; Mar 2,9,16,23,30; Apr 6,13,20,27; May 4,11,18,25;
Jun 1,8,15,22,29; Jul 6,13,20,27; Aug 3,10,17,24,31; Sep 21,28; Oct 5,12,19,26; Nov 2,9,16,23,30; Dec 7,14,21,28