6 DAYS FROM $2,099
Watch in awe as the wonders of the Amazon rainforest come to life around you on this extraordinary small-group adventure. Your journey begins with tours in historic Lima — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — and vibrant Iquitos, the perfect introduction to colorful Peruvian culture. Then, you’ll embark on a seven-night Amazon cruise through the heart of the famous Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Each day, we’ll explore this verdant jungle on a series of pre-dawn and night excursions (on special skiffs designed for river exploration), so you’ll fully appreciate the thrilling remoteness of this unique environment. In the still of these placid hours, we’ll be immersed in the sights, smells, and sounds of this lush wonderland.
In addition to 18 included tours, you’ll enjoy the luxurious surroundings of the deluxe, all-suite M/V Zafiro during the cruise potion of your trip. Launched in 2015, this ship offers a 5-star experience amidst the rugged environs of the Peruvian Amazon. Traveling solo? With low cost single supplements on every departure, you’ll always enjoy the best value for solo travelers with Vantage. Join us and experience the best of the Peruvian Amazon — and beyond — on this unforgettable nature-filled adventure.
Depart home for Lima, Peru
Set off on your Amazonian adventure by boarding an overnight flight to Lima, Peru.
Arrive in Lima
You’ll transfer to your hotel after arriving in Lima. After settling in, you'll embark on a short orientation tour to familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Your Welcome Dinner is at the hotel this evening.
Peruse Lima’s historical highlights followed by an afternoon at leisure
Founded in 1535, Lima is an enchanting treasure trove of history. We'll set out on a half-day tour of Peru’s bustling capital city, including such sites as the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral, and the San Francisco Catacombs, as well as the lively Miraflores district. Then, enjoy the balance of an afternoon at leisure with dinner on your own.
Journey to the rainforest and explore the mystical jungle town of Iquitos
We depart early this morning for Iquitos, an adventurous river city nestled in the Peruvian rainforest. Iquitos is a fascinating study in contrasts; unadulterated jungle sits just beyond the edge of the modern city center, handcrafted canoes maneuver the river besides grand cruise ships, and elegant restaurants and glistening mansions share the streets with bustling markets and mud huts. Upon arrival this afternoon, you'll have the rest of the day to explore this lively city on your own.
An exploration of Iquitos, from manatees to the rubber boom; embark the deluxe M/V Zafiro
Following a relaxing morning at leisure, our first stop today is the city's Manatee Rescue Center, where we'll learn about these playful animals and the dangers that threaten their survival. Then, enjoy a panoramic city tour that includes the 20th century remains of the grand homes of the city’s former “rubber barons.” Later, embark the luxurious M/V Zafiro in time for a delicious Welcome Dinner on board. Tonight, salute your rainforest explorations with a night of stargazing on the deck or live music performance.
Sailing the wildlife-rich Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
Unforgettable Moment: 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 teems 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, amid towering trees 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.
Search for sloths by day — at night, embark on a search for nocturnal species
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 Tigre River, an offshoot of the Amazon home to a variety of fascinating creatures like snakes, tarantulas, and many intriguing nocturnal birds.
Get up-close with the Kukama tribe and sightseeing Amazon birdlife
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.
Plants, rituals, and healing: inside a shamanic village
Unforgettable Moment: 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 locals for medicinal purposes, and get a chance to witness a healing ceremony – a riveting glimpse of this local tradition.
The evening brings us to Yuricuchi Canal, alongside among other impressive natural features we’ll see the Victoria regia, the largest aquatic plant in the world.
Yanallpa River’s “gallery forest” and the search for caimans
A new day brings yet another thrilling river experience, as we explore the Yanallpa River and its famous “gallery forest,” named for the unique enclosed environment the jungle creates here. Tonight, on the Dorado River,
we’ll be on the lookout for caimans, those rare and deadly Amazon alligators.
Keep an eye out for pink dolphins on the Yarapa, then savor a home-hosted lunch and cooking class
Our last full day is one of our most diverse. Unforgettable Moment: We spend the morning swimming in the mystical waters of the Yarapa River, home to the famous pink Amazon dolphin. Keep your eyes on the surrounding waters — according to Amazonian legend, pink dolphins possess the power to turn into humans and steal the most attractive people from surrounding villages! In the afternoon, we’ll learn about 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 Cusco and Machu Picchu extension.
Please note: Depending on river currents and weather conditions, some departures may not have the opportunity to swim, and will explore the river via skiff instead.
Disembark and settle into the hotel for leisure or spa amenities before flying home
Enjoy your final leisurely morning onboard; this afternoon, we’ll disembark in Iquitos and transfer to our hotel. Spend a relaxing afternoon taking advantage of the hotel’s amenities: treat yourself to a hot stone massage in the hotel’s Wellness Center, enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool and whirlpool, or explore the vibrant city around you. We’ll head to Iquitos Airport this evening for a short connecting flight to Lima on our way back to the U.S.
If you’ve purchased air with Vantage, your transfer to Iquitos Airport and your flight to Lima prior to your international flight home will be included in your airfare package.If you'll be purchasing your own airfare, please plan to arrange your own transfer (or purchase from Vantage) and plan your flight arrangements to fly home from Iquitos.
Please Note: You may have to wait 5 to 6 hours at Lima airport due to connections.
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.