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Arrive in Lima and be transferred to your hotel. After settling in, you'll set out for a half-day tour of Lima — Peru’s bustling capital city — including such sites as the Plaza Mayor, San Francisco catacombs, and the San Francisco Catacombs, as well as the lively Miraflores district. Your Welcome Dinner is at the hotel this evening.
Depart Lima and fly to the bustling river city of Iquitos — the largest in the Peruvian rainforest. A panoramic city tour will reveal remains of the grand homes of the city’s former “rubber barons,” and includes a visit to the Manatee Rescue Center. Later, embark the M/V Zafiro in time for dinner on board.
Revel in the remoteness of the exotic Amazon jungle, as you begin your travel through the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Named for the rivers that run through this 8,000-square-mile protected area, Pacaya Samiria is teeming with wildlife. You’ll sail through this rainforest, soaking in the natural splendor of your surroundings in what has been called the "birthplace of the Amazon."
Here amidst towering trees that are reflected in the dark waters below (hence the name “mirrored forest”), the jungle comes alive. Alligators, frogs, herons, monkeys… the diversity of this region’s denizens will become apparent right away. Your naturalist guide’s encyclopedic knowledge – and his or her eagle eye – will ensure that you get the most from your explorations of this verdant wilderness.
To truly experience the Amazon, we delve deeper into some of its lesser-known tributaries. Today, we’ll set off on the Yanayacu and Pucate rivers, keeping an eye out for reclusive species like sloths. Later, we’ll visit an area where the pink dolphins of the Amazon are known to feed on fish. Seeing these creatures in their element is a true thrill.
We also embark on excursions in the cool of the evening, when nocturnal species emerge. Tonight, we discover the Tiger River, an offshoot of the Amazon that is home to a variety of fascinating creatures like snakes, tarantulas, and many intriguing nocturnal birds.
We venture further into the rainforest today with our naturalist guide, who will point out the stunning array of wildlife around us. The area is renowned for its macaws and toucans, so we’ll keep our eyes trained toward the canopy to catch a glimpse of these colorful birds. In the afternoon, we’ll have a chance to visit with the local Kukama tribe, getting an insider’s look at their culture and learning about their everyday lives. Our visit concludes with an uplifting singing performance by the local children.
In the evening hours, we’ll explore Tipishca Lake to see even more rare species of birds, including the black collared hawk and the pygmy kingfisher.
In addition to its natural riches, the Amazon is home to fascinating cultures as well. We’ll interact with one of those cultures this morning, when we visit a shamanic village called Shiryacu. Here, we’ll learn about the plants used by the locals for medicinal purposes, and get a chance to witness a healing ceremony – a riveting glimpse at this local tradition.
The evening brings us to Yuricuchi Canal, where among other impressive natural features we’ll see the Victoria Regia, the largest aquatic plant in the world.
A new day brings yet another thrilling river experience, as we explore the Yanallpa River and its famous “gallery forest,” so named because of the unique enclosed environment the jungle creates here. Tonight, we’ll discover the creatures of the Dorado River, where we’ll be on the lookout for caimans, those rare and deadly Amazon alligators.
Our last full day is one of our most diverse. We spend the morning swimming with the pink Amazon dolphins in the Yarapa River, an experience that is beyond compare. In the afternoon, we’ll learn about the local food during an Amazonia cooking class, followed by a home-hosted lunch. Interacting with the friendly people of this region while enjoying a wonderful meal will be the perfect coda to our journey. That is, unless you choose to add yet another unforgettable experience to your adventure: our Cuzco and Machu Picchu extension.
Following breakfast, enjoy a morning at leisure before heading to the airport this afternoon. If you’ve purchased air with Vantage, you'll be transferred to the Iquitos airport for a connecting flight to Lima before boarding your international flight home. If your flight from Lima is an overnight flight, consider joining an evening optional tour to the Larco Museum, where you’ll explore a fascinating collection of pre-Colombian art, before returning to the airport for your flight home.
Please Note: If you’ve purchased air with Vantage, your transfer to Iquitos Airport and your connecting flight to Lima prior to your international flight home will be included in your airfare package. If you are purchasing airfare on your own, please plan to arrange for a transfer to the Iquitos airport (or purchase from Vantage) in addition to your flight arrangements home from Iquitos.
You may have to wait 5 to 6 hours at Lima airport due to connections.
$89 USD per person
Embark on a special evening tour of the splendidly unique Larco Museum. Housed in a former mansion and built on the site of a pre-Colombian temple, this museum offers a varied collection of 3,000 years of ceramic, textile, and precious metal artifacts. You'll enjoy a guided visit of this irreplaceable collection, followed by a special dinner in the museum, the perfect finale to your South America adventure.
Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.
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Amazon River Cruise: Peru's Wildlife Wonders - 2017
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