1 - Monday: Arrival / Nauta / Embarkation / Marañon 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 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.
7:10 p.m. 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 four 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 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 - Tuesday: Marañon River / Choroyacu / San Pedro de Tipishca / Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
7:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Boat Ride Expedition
This morning we will board the skiffs to explore 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.
11:30 a.m. Return to the M/V Aria
12:30 p.m. Lunch
4:00 p.m. Jungle Walk and 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.
7:30 p.m. Return to the M/V Aria
8:00 p.m. Dinner
3 - Wednesday: Tacsha River / Pacaya Samiria / San Martin de Tipishca
6:30 a.m. Breakfast
Today you can choose between two options:
Option 1: Full-day excursion to Primary forest with a Picnic Lunch
7:30 a.m. This morning you will board your skiff to go deep into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, along the Samiria River. Along the route, we will have the opportunity to see various species of monkey, such as howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, saddleback tamarin monkeys and many bird species such as blue, yellow and scarlet macaws as well as toucans and some species of river hawks. We will arrive at the PV2 Tacsha watchpost, where we will follow a path deep into the rainforest. Enjoy a generous picnic lunch, before we begin our journey back to our vessel.
5:30 p.m. Arrive at the M/V Aria.
Option 2: Guided Jungle Walk/Siesta/Monkey and Dolphin Expedition
7:30 a.m. Guided Jungle Walk in the Primary Forest
This morning your Naturalist Guide will tell you all about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia, and will take you to one of these projects, where villagers are planting palms to obtain oil. Your Guide may also show you the artificial nests created on the sand to protect turtle eggs. Then we will take you deep into the jungle, where you will encounter wildlife and learn first-hand about the important medicinal value of many jungle plants. We will also show you famous Kapok Trees (ceiba pentandra), the tallest trees in the Amazon Basin.
12:00 p.m. Return to the M/V Aria
1:00 p.m. Lunch, followed by a Siesta
4:00 p.m. Caiman Expedition
In this late afternoon skiff excursion, keep your eyes directed toward the jungle canopy, where you can spot at least several kinds of primates—some of the 13 species of monkeys resident in the National Reserve. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of tamarins and dusky titi monkeys, as well as 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. As the sun sets and our searchlight comes on, keep your eyes out for caimans, tree boas, tarantulas, and frogs.
7:30 p.m. Return to the M/V Aria
8:30 p.m. Dinner
4 - Thursday: Yanayaquillo / Tahuayo / Charo Lake
6:30 a.m. Yanayaquillo 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.
11:30 a.m. Return to the M/V Aria
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. Charo 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 Aria
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.
5 - Friday: Arrive in Iquitos City / Check-out and Disembark
at the main wharf / City tour and trasfer 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.
11:00 a.m. Return to the M/V Aria
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
Departures: Every Monday: Jan 2,9,16,23,30; Feb 6,13,20,27; Mar 5,12,19,26; Apr 2,9,16,23,30;
May 7,14,21,28; Jun 4,11,18,25; Jul 2,9,16,23,30; Aug 6,13,20,27; Sep 3,24; Oct 1,8,15,22,29; Nov 5,12,19;