Upper Amazon Cruise

Explore the flooded forest of Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, spot famous Amazon residents like pink dolphins, scarlet macaws, monk saki monkeys, and piranha, and visit an indigenous community living at the river’s edge.

When: Year-round
Duration: 10 Days/ 9 Nights
Accommodations: Delfin II River Boat

Trip Highlights

  • Pacaya Samiria National Reserve: The name Pacaya Samiria comes from the two rivers that run through the reserve. An essential element of the reserve is the changing water levels of the rivers. October through April marks the rainy season and a large area of the rainforest is flooded. Between May and September, water levels fall creating a landscape full of small rivers, creeks and lagoons. Abundant wildlife inhabit the reserve – 449 bird, 102 mammal,69 reptiles, 58 amphibians, 256 fish, and 1,204 plant species have been recorded there. In addition, there are 94 indigenous communties found within the reserve’s boundaries.


Below are some of our sample itineraries, but note that we can customize the perfect Peru adventure that meets your needs.


Sample Itinerary

DAY 1 Arrival in Lima ~ Arrive in Lima in the late evening and transfer the short distance to your hotel for the evening. Overnight at Ramada Costa del Sol.

DAY 2 Lima ~ Enjoy a morning tour of Lima, then fly to Iquitos and continue overland to the riverside village of Nauta, where Delfin II awaits. Settle into your cabin, and gather for a welcome dinner of fine Peruvian cuisine on board. Tonight, step out on deck to gaze at the magnificent Amazon night sky. Overnight on Delfin II. (B,L,D)

DAYS 3-8 Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve ~ Spend this week exploring the Pacaya- Samiria National Reserve, a pristine swath of jungle—one of the largest in South America—stretching more than five million acres, and harboring some of the Amazon’s most fascinating flora and fauna. Bordered by the Marañón and the Ucayali, two powerful rivers that converge to create the famed Amazon, the reserve floods annually with nutrient-rich waters and is known locally as the Mirrored Forest for the reflections created by its glassy water.

convict tree frog - Peru

Set out into this remarkable wilderness on daily excursions by skiff, kayak, and, when the water level permits, hikes on terra firma. Skim past giant lily pads afloat on black-water lakes, and venture deep into the rain forest on narrow tributaries. Spot sloths and monkeys, including variably colored saddleback tamarins, noisy howlers, and shaggy-tailed monk saki monkeys. Watch for an astounding variety of birds, from tanagers and hummingbirds to parrots and endangered scarlet macaws. In the river, look for massive paiche fish, the Amazon’s largest; rare pink dolphins; and the infamous piranhas, an important food source for local people. Enjoy an opportunity to swim in a lake in the reserve’s interior. Seek out Victoria amazonica, a giant water lily that grows in small lagoons. Go on a bird-watching hike, listening for the vocal oropendola and then looking for its telltale yellow tail. Watch the sun set and listen to a cacophonous symphony of nocturnal animals calling out across the treetops. Then slip through the forest in a skiff as night falls, using a spotlight to find caimans, frogs, fishing bats and other creatures of the night. Pay a visit to one of the communities on the reserve’s edge and get to know the ribereños, those who live on the riverbanks, and their age-old traditions. Meet local women and children, and watch them make jewelry and other handicrafts. Learn how local subsistence farmers cultivate wild plants and trees to earn income. Hear about how the locals find edible fruits and indigenous plants with medicinal properties hidden in the jungle. Overnights on Delfin II. (B, L, D)

submerged caiman

DAY 9 Nauta/Iquitos/Lima ~ Enjoy one last morning excursion by skiff to view wildlife. After lunch, disembark in Nauta, and return to Iquitos overland for a late-afternoon flight to Lima. Overnight at Ramada Costa Del Sol. (B,L)

DAY 10 Departure ~ After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for your flight home. (B)

Want to stay longer in Peru? A variety of extensions are available.



MEALS: B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner

Pricing from $5590/ person based on double occupancy.

Package includes accommodations, ground transfers, activities and meals as listed in the itinerary. A donation to local conservation efforts in Peru will be made on behalf of all trip participants.

Exclusions: international airfare, domestic flights in Peru, passport/visa fees, airport exit taxes, alcohol, personal expenses, optional extensions, travel insurance, and gratuities.

This sample itinerary is a suggested outline.  It can be customized to best suit your travel plans.