Experience one of the greatest voyages in natural history as you navigate more than 500 miles of the Amazon and its tributaries, where you’ll witness an exciting variety of animals and birds and come to understand traditional village life.

Starting at: $5,295 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Red Poison Dart Frog  Cruising the Amazon  Poison Dart Frog  Egret as seen along the Amazon River  Squirrel monkeys  Explore the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve with an expert tour guide  Amazon macaws  Experience the mystical Amazon River   Giant otter  Blue Morpho Butterfly  Spectacular giant water lilies, which can grow up to six feet in diameter  A sloth in the Amazon  Hoatzin  Squirrel monkey in the rain forest  Amazon River lily pads  Amazon River house  Typical village in the Amazon  Boat excursions accompanied by expert naturalists allow a close-up look at wildlife  Sunset over the Amazon River  Kayak along the Amazon in order to discover its hidden gems  Blue macaws

Amazon River Cruise

Round-trip from Lima

10 days from $5,295

Experience one of the greatest voyages in natural history as you navigate more than 500 miles of the Amazon and its tributaries, where you’ll witness an exciting variety of animals and birds and come to understand traditional village life.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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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. 

- Barbara T.

We loved the naturalists, the crew, the local food, and are convinced the boat was the best on the Amazon. Truly an unforgettable experience!

- Carol M.

Our trip to the Amazon River was far greater than we expected! Not only did we get to learn a lot about wildlife and Peruvian culture, but also enjoyed delicious fresh food and an exceptional service!

- Arianna B.

The trip exceeded my expectations. I chose Smithsonian because my friend and travelling companion had been with them on a trip down the Nile, but I had no idea how wonderful this trip would be.

- Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

The staff on the trip are the best I have ever encountered, and I have been to Antarctica, Galapagos, Alaska, in the Mediterranean.

- Joan S. & Peter T.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SOLO TRAVELERS

No single supplement for solo travelers! (Limited availability. One cabin per 2018 departure.)

Overview

The Peruvian Amazon River basin is an enthralling world of verdant tropical waterways and rainforests. Join one of our small-ship adventures and navigate more than 500 miles of the Amazon River, where you’ll witness an exciting variety of animals and birds and come to understand traditional village life.

Highlights Include

  • Pacaya-Samiria Reserve: Awake to the ever-changing panorama of jungle life in this special area, the best chance for rare wildlife sightings.
  • Tropical Wildlife: Gain up-close views of gray and pink Amazon River dolphins, red howler and squirrel monkeys, monk sakis, sloths, and other animals. You’ll also see colorful parrots, toucans, blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws, and the distinctive hoatzin.
  • Active Adventure: Take exciting daily expeditions by excursion boats or kayak and enjoy nature walks that take you into the rainforest.
  • River Villages: Visit small villages along the shore, accompanied by your local guides, to learn about the lives of the Ribereño and Bora Indian people and their medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join a soccer game.
  • Zafiro: This luxury *riverboat is ideal for traveling through the wilderness given its modern comforts, spacious public areas, and five-star service, along with an open-air top deck offering incredible wildlife viewing by day and stargazing by night. *The 2017 departures are aboard the 28–guest Amazon Star. 

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. 

- Barbara T.

We loved the naturalists, the crew, the local food, and are convinced the boat was the best on the Amazon. Truly an unforgettable experience!

- Carol M.

Our trip to the Amazon River was far greater than we expected! Not only did we get to learn a lot about wildlife and Peruvian culture, but also enjoyed delicious fresh food and an exceptional service!

- Arianna B.

The trip exceeded my expectations. I chose Smithsonian because my friend and travelling companion had been with them on a trip down the Nile, but I had no idea how wonderful this trip would be.

- Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

The staff on the trip are the best I have ever encountered, and I have been to Antarctica, Galapagos, Alaska, in the Mediterranean.

- Joan S. & Peter T.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

2017 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart U.S. / Arrive in Lima, Peru

Fly independently to Lima, Peru, the nation’s capital and largest city. Meet upon arrival and transfer to the Swissôtel for the night. (D)

Day 2 — Lima / Iquitos / Embark Amazon Riverboat / Amazon River

Fly over the Andes to Iquitos. Visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have rescued. Learn about efforts to help these endearing mammals. See how the manatees are cared for and prepared for reintroduction into their natural habitat. Prior to boarding our riverboat, survey the history of local tribes at a small museum. Enjoy stargazing and storytelling with our local guides while cruising slowly on the Amazon River toward the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Confluence of the Amazon River / Río Ucayali

We awake this morning on the Amazon River, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life as our Amazon River cruise ship continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds. The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River in Peru. Amazingly, we are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way! On our Amazon Voyage adventure, travel waterways aboard sturdy excursion boats to areas where we may find marsh birds such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant. We turn into the Río Ucayali, where we’re apt to find gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Later we take an excursion into the surrounding rainforest in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths. As dusk approaches, fishing bats begin their night’s foraging. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

After a peaceful breakfast along the black-water Sapote Creek, we explore a small tributary of the Ucayali aboard our excursion boats. Look for animals including primates, sloths and an enormous variety of birds. Our Amazon Voyage adventure continues upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Although scientific studies are far from exhausted, the Pacaya-Samiria is the known home to 450 bird species, 102 species of mammals, over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians, and countless plants. This afternoon, an excursion into this largest wetland reserve in the world provides the opportunity to see 13 species of primates, including monk sakis, red howler, saddle-backed tamarin and squirrel monkeys. Explore Caro Lake, connected to the river by way of a very small stream, where we may find flocks of greater ani, often seen following monkeys in search of insects disturbed by the monkeys’ foraging. We enjoy a nighttime boat excursion for a chance to find caimans, capybaras, common potoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Rio Pacaya / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

Spend the day exploring this flooded realm, seeing wading birds such as herons, wattled jacanas and horned screamers. Venturing deep into the rainforest, tour an igapo (seasonally flooded forest), where plant life is very different from what we see along the main course of our Amazon cruise, and walk through the forest. Lucky guests may release turtle hatchlings. A delicious lunch energizes us for afternoon excursions with our expert naturalists, where we may find scarlet macaws, hoatzins, black-collared hawks and red howler monkeys. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

After an early breakfast, we board our excursion boats for access even further into the heart of these vast wetlands. As our Amazon Voyage adventure cruises the narrow waterways, we’ll find birds such as canary-winged parakeets and spectacular blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws. Primates also are fairly common, including noisy squirrel monkeys. Once we arrive at a remote ranger station, enjoy a refreshing swim. Gradually make our way back to our riverboat through the maze of waterways. Enjoy an al fresco lunch and time to relax before our afternoon excursion. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

This morning we head back downriver, with a morning wildlife or other activity. Visit a village along the river, with the chance to learn about the lives of the “Ribereño” people who live there. Accompanied by guides who grew up along the river, this is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through gardens learning about medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. The children are especially excited to see their faces on digital cameras and to show off their school and sing Peruvian songs. Depending on the villages visited during your Amazon River tour, you may also have the opportunity to see an IE-funded water treatment plant. The clean drinking water provided by these plants is having an enormous positive health impact in remote river villages. Learn about medicinal plants and enjoy a blessing ceremony by a respected village shaman. Aboard the ship, take advantage of the open-air top deck, learning to make traditional Peruvian dishes or enjoying an enriching lecture. After dark we’ll go out in our excursion boats to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and look for nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Amazon River

Wake up early for a morning birdwatching excursion along the Yarapa River. After breakfast, try your hand at piranha fishing in Ubos Lake. Piranha are very common in the slower-moving water. With luck, we may catch red-breasted, white or black piranha, and feast on our catch this evening at dinner. Once back aboard our Amazon River cruise ship, we enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Days 9 & 10 — Disembark / Iquitos / Lima / Depart

After breakfast depart the ship directly for the airport and return to Lima in the late morning. Enjoy a lunch of Peruvian delicacies and a scenic driving tour of the city. Return to the airport. Day rooms will be provided at the Costa Del Sol Wyndham Airport for guests to relax prior to their evening flights. Board overnight flights to the U.S. and connect to your domestic flight home. (B,L)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2018 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart U.S. / Arrive in Lima, Peru

Fly independently to Lima, Peru where you'll be met upon arrival and transferred to the Swissôtel for the night. (D)

Day 2 — Lima / Iquitos / Embark Amazon Riverboat

Fly over the Andes to Iquitos, where we enjoy an encounter at the Manatee Research Center and survey the history of local tribes at a small museum. Board the riverboat, your home for seven days. Enjoy stargazing and storytelling with your local guides while cruising slowly on the Amazon River toward the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers. (B,L,D)

Days 3-8 — Amazon River and Tributaries

Spend the next six nights aboard a comfortable riverboat navigating deep into the tributaries of the Amazon — a web of forests and lakes that pulsate with a chorus of birdlife, far-off calls of primates and flashes of butterflies.

More than 1,300 species of birds, 40,000 plant species and grey and pink river dolphins can be found in the lush, ever-changing jungle we know simply as the Amazon. Enjoy unprecedented access to three habitats: varzea, igapó,and palm-flooded forest, including the deep reaches of the protected Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, for the greatest diversity of wildlife sightings.

Night excursions may reveal caimans, capybaras, common potoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife. Periodically throughout the year, guests may even release turtle hatchlings. Daily excursions include pre-dawn birding, enriching presentations, school visits in local villages and even piranha fishing! Learn about the lives of the Ribereño people as we visit villages perched along the riverbanks. This is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through their gardens learning about medicinal plants from a local Shaman. Depending on the villages visited during your voyage, you may also see a water treatment tower or home filtration systems. Pointing out details no guidebook could provide are your team of world-class naturalists and a local expedition leader, while an attentive 21-member crew ensures exceptional service in the wild. (6B,6L,6D)

Day 9 — Iquitos / Lima / Depart for the U.S.

After a morning excursion and lunch return to Lima. Dayrooms are provided until you connect with independent overnight flights home. (B,L) 

Day 10 — Arrivals

Arrive in the U.S. and connect with your flight home.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)