Amazon River Cruise
Experience one of the greatest voyages in natural history as you navigate more than 500 miles of the Amazon and its tributaries.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
This trip was exactly what we were looking for - a good introduction to the nature, history and culture of the Amazon Basin in Peru. It served to whet our appetite for more explorations into the vibrant, colorful watery jungles of the Amazon.”
We loved the naturalists, the crew, the local food, and are convinced the boat was the best on the Amazon. We learned so much about the natural environment, had new experiences (I caught my first fish - 3 piranhas!), swam in an amazon tributary and identified over 130 birds and participated in a shaman ceremony. Our fellow travelers were interesting and we enjoyed meeting the Ribeneros along the rivers. Truly an unforgettable experience!”
The enthusiasm and knowledge of nature guides was second to none. They truly cared.”
One of our best trips ever!”
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2015 HOLIDAY VOYAGE
Join us on our special Holiday 2015 departure, sure to be a memorable adventure like no other! Depart on Saturday, December 26 from the US. You’ll ring in the New Year with a special celebration while cruising the Amazon! Return to the US on Sunday, January 3. See special itinerary and more details below.
December 26 Fly to Lima
Fly nonstop to Lima, Peru. You will be met upon arrival at the airport and escorted to the Ramada Costa del Sol.
December 27 — Iquitos, Embark
This morning after an early breakfast, fly directly from Lima to Iquitos on an early morning flight, then board La Estrella Amazonica, your home for the next 6 nights. During lunch on board cruise the mighty Amazon. This afternoon enjoy welcome remarks by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert followed by a festive dinner. (B,L,D)
December 28 — Amazon River, Río Ucayali
Awake to the ever-changing panorama of jungle life. Small villages dot the shoreline, and the channels that weave through the island mazes provide closeup views of a variety of marsh birds. Arrive at the junction of the Río Marañón and Río Ucayali. Turn into the Río Ucayali, home to gray and pink Amazon River dolphins. Set out aboard sturdy excursion boats into the dramatic Amazon wilderness. Learn about the lives of the Ribereño people as you explore a local village. Accompanied by your Smithsonian Journeys Experts and local guides who grew up along the river, stroll through gardens learning about medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. Take an excursion in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife. (B,L,D)
December 29 — Río Ucayali, Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Try your hand at piranha fishing. Search for primates, sloths, and birds. Return to the boat and continue upriver, heading for the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. The largest wetland reserve in the world, it provides the opportunity to view a variety of primates including monk sakis, red howlers, saddle-backed tamarins, and squirrel monkeys. (B,L,D)
December 30 — Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Explore this tangled realm of forest, rivers, and lagoons on foot and aboard excursion boats, seeing pink dolphins and wading birds such as jabiru storks, wattled jacanas, and horned screamers. Search for wildlife as we walk through an igapó (seasonally flooded forest), where plant life is very different from what is seen along the main course of the Amazon. On excursions with your expert naturalists, you may find Amazon parrots and black-collared hawks. Take-in a dramatic sunset on the river before a nighttime boat excursion, where we observe caiman, pootoos, and other nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)
December 31 — Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, New Year Celebration!
Board excursion boats for access even further into the heart of the vast wetlands. Along the narrow waterways find wading birds, as well as canary-winged parakeets and blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws. Primates are also fairly common, including noisy squirrel monkeys. Take a short hike once we reach the reserve’s second checkpoint to explore the forest, and return to your riverboat through the maze of waterways. This evening gather for a special New Year’s Eve reception and dinner then ring in a New Year like no other you have ever experienced…while cruising the mighty Amazon! (B,L,D)
January 1 — Río Ucayali, Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Wake this morning and greet the first day of 2016 with a kayaking expedition on a peaceful creek with your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and local guides. Head downriver, with a wildlife excursion into Yanallpa Creek, looking for cream-colored woodpeckers and white-throated toucans. After lunch delve into the terra firma forest on a winding trail into the jungle Large trees festoone with ephphytes, palms, woody vines, and a vaulted canopy add to the shadowed mystery of the tropical rain forest. Return to La Estrella for cocktails and a festive farewell dinner (B,L,D)
January 2, 3 — Disembark, Iquitos, Lima, Depart
Disembark and fly back to Lima. We’ll tour the historic area of the city, a World Heritage Site, including the Cathedral and Plaza de Armas. Enjoy lunch at Huaca Pucllana, which overlooks the ruins in the city. Return to the airport in the afternoon where we’ll have dayrooms at the Ramada Costa del Sol. This evening you’ll check in for your return overnight flight home arriving in the US on Sunday, January 3. (B,L)