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You’ll hear many people say that they have always dreamed of seeing the Amazon. Its unique location in the heart of South America makes the region unparalleled when it comes to wildlife and biodiversity. When you cruise along the Amazon River with Vantage, you’re not just seeing one aspect of this natural wonder. On Venture Deep into the Amazon: Brazil, Colombia & Peru, you’ll explore the world’s largest rainforest from the perspective of three countries: Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. Most trips focus on this area either from Iquitos or Manaus, but Vantage will show you both Amazonian cities. And as our first expedition featuring Colombia, this is one enchanting journey you shouldn't miss!
Beginning in the rainforest city of Manaus, you’ll quickly fall in love with Brazil’s charm and Portuguese influence. Get to know the gateway to the Amazon — once highly prosperous due to rubber production — as you gaze upon the pink facades of its main theater and stroll through its famous Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa, best known for mercadão. From there, you’ll embark the luxurious Ocean Explorer for a comprehensive, 8-night ascent into the Amazon. Throughout your adventure, you’ll ride Zodiac boats to get even closer to indigenous communities, thousands of wildlife species, black rivers, floating villages, and more, all alongside your knowledgeable Expedition Team.
With 14 included features and Cultural Discoveries, Venture Deep into the Amazon: Brazil, Colombia & Peru will enchant and inspire you. Get ready for pink dolphin spotting, piranha fishing, interactions with indigenous locals, and a Peruvian cooking demonstration in the UNESCO city of Lima … this expedition is sure to enrich your life. Watch the river roll by on the Ocean Explorer’s observation deck, learn more about the Amazon during one of many onboard lectures, or get a reinvigorating massage in the spa. Come see one of the world’s most magnificent natural destinations amidst exclusive, 5-star amenities.
Cap off your Amazonian adventure with a deep dive into Peru’s Sacred Valley, where you’ll discover South America’s richest heritage at Machu Picchu and in the citified Inca capital of Cusco. Under the shadow of the Andes, you’ll explore ancient, indigenous, and contemporary culture in the towns and archaeological sites of Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuamán, Machu Picchu, and Cusco. You’ll also join a local family in their home for an unforgettable dining experience, explore a centuries-long weaving tradition in Chinchero, catch a mototaxi to a chichería, and ride the Vistadome train up to Machu Picchu for extraordinary views and a true bucket-list experience.
Fly overnight to Lima, Peru
Depart the U.S. and fly to Peru. Or, depart earlier for an exhilarating pre-trip extension to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.
Arrive in Lima, and explore the Larco Museum
Today you’ll arrive in Lima. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, you’ll be met at the airport by a Vantage representative who will assist you with your hotel transfer. After settling in, head to the wonderful Larco Museum. Housed in an 18th century royal building, you’ll discover over 5,000 years of pre-Columbian art here. Wander through its countless galleries, following the chronology of Peru’s history as well as a grand selection of erotic pottery. Tonight, enjoy a wonderful Welcome Dinner at the Huaca Pucllana restaurant, famous for its location inside ancient archaeological ruins.
Embark on a half-day walking tour of UNESCO-listed Lima
A half-day walking tour of Lima’s historic center — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — introduces the Plaza Mayor, the Basilica and Convent of San Francisco and its catacombs, and the lively Miraflores district. Here, we’ll participate in a Peruvian cuisine cooking demonstration and sample a regional specialty: lucuma ice cream. Often likened to sweet potato or butterscotch, the lucuma fruit is indigenous to Peru and used in a variety of desserts. We'll have lunch at a local restaurant, then spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner is on your own and the perfect opportunity to discover Lima's gastronomic goings-on. Here’s a helpful hint: Lima is renowned for ceviche, fresh seafood “cooked” in citrus juice, and is home to more than 16,000 cevicherias.
Fly to Iquitos and embark the Ocean Explorer
This morning, we’ll put Iquitos in our sights when we fly from Lima to the adventurous “Capital of the Amazon,” nestled deep in the Peruvian rainforest. A 20th-century rubber boom launched Iquitos into jungle-shrouded modernity, and today the city is a fascinating study in contrasts — a place where handcrafted canoes sail alongside cruise ships, and open-air restaurants and glistening mansions share the streets with bustling markets and mud huts. After arrival, we’ll embark the Ocean Explorer. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.
Enter Peru’s Oldest Amazonian Pueblo: Pevas
Today we will disembark in Pevas, a palm-lined Amazonian village in Peru. In the 1930s, displaced indigenous groups from Colombia settled here. Largely composed of the Bora and Witoto tribes, they are known for practicing ages-old medicine of the rainforest, as well as traditional dancing and singing.
You will get the chance to interact with members of these tribes as we enter into their villages. Hear their folk legends, learn about their riverside way of life, and — if you wish — purchase some of their unique artesanías, or handicrafts. After a possible Zodiac outing to see endemic wildlife, we’ll have dinner onboard and make our way to Iquitos.
Discover Colombia’s Amazonian Center
Amidst the borders of Brazil and Peru, Leticia is Colombia’s official gateway to the Amazon. This riverside village is the country’s southernmost city — not to mention a melting pot of nearby cultures. Upon arrival, we’ll meet with locals who will show us along the riverfront to the indigenous market. Here, you can savor Colombia’s renowned sancocho soup as well as Brazilian churrasco and Peruvian ceviche. Purchase medicinal herbs, sample exotic fruits, and admire a variety of recently caught fish from the Amazon River.
Your walking tour through this rural port will also include Santander Park, where you’re likely to witness a myriad of parakeets and parrots. You’ll learn about Leticia’s geography and ethnic tapestry with a visit to the Museo Etnográfico. After exploring the city’s wealth of indigenous communities, as well as inseparable ties to its neighboring countries, head out to the plaza for a Colombian-Amazonian dance performance. We’ll end our walking tour with a visit to the vibrant boardwalk. Keep an eye out for mischievous monkeys!
Journey deep into the Amazon
Enjoy a wonderful next few days as your expedition into the Amazon begins. Your captain and experienced Expedition Team will coordinate closely and choose from a bevy of fascinating sites along this particular stretch of the Amazon River to plot itineraries for Zodiac rides, treks, and visits with locals. While sailing the river, head to the deck and observation lounge to hear the Expedition Team pointing out wildlife and offering insight on the passing terrain. While other companies offer trips from Manaus or Iquitos, Vantage is the first to do both. We will also stop into remote villages for unforgettable interactions with Amazonian locals. Most importantly, our daily itinerary will be based on weather conditions. Where conditions allow, we’ll explore key Amazonian sites. These destinations may include:
Situated on the Badajós River, this floating village is scarcely populated and seldom visited. Known for its stilted houses, most of its residents sustain themselves by fishing. This is one of the Amazon’s optimal locations for viewing pink dolphins. You may also spot Howler Monkeys, anaconda, and several different bird species here.
Located in the northwestern region of Brazil’s Amazon, Cuxiu Muni is a small village, home to approximately 40 families. Explore its narrow creeks, observe village life, and learn how its inhabitants grow crops, tap rubber trees, and more. This rustic locale is also an excellent spot to see caimans, three-toed sloths, snakes, and frogs.
Known for its Brazilian Nut Forest, Uara is an immense body of black water just off the Amazon River. This is a very large black water lake accessed by a short half mile channel from the main river. While here, you’ll have the chance to take a trek into the jungle with locals, swim in the black lake, and birdwatch on your Zodiac.
Home to about 15,000 people, Jutaí is a small town recognized for its floating shops and handcrafted hammocks. While we will only be visiting the entrance of Rio Jutaí, you’ll be able to spot the white water streaming in amidst the black river water, as well as inundated treetops.
Disembark the Ocean Explorer and tour Manaus, gateway to the Amazon
After breakfast this morning, bid adios to the Ocean Explorer as you disembark in Manaus.
Manaus has a fascinating contradictory feel; it is a city in the middle of a jungle, and despite its size, it is only accessible in a practical sense by boat or plane. And though seafaring vessels dock here, the ocean is 900 miles away. It’s all part of the intrigue of the Amazon!
If you’re in the market for exotic fruits, Amazon herbal medicines, and local handicrafts, you’ll love rubbing elbows with the people of Manaus during a visit to Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa. Fashioned after the Les Halles market of Paris in 1882, it is the city’s oldest market and a scintillating way to immerse yourself in the culture. Produce from the surrounding countryside and fish from the river are delivered every morning. Cross the street to see how all these goods arrived — aboard the armada of fishing and cargo boats bobbing on the Amazon’s waters.
Discover Manaus’s Opera House, then return home
After a free morning and lunch on your own, explore more of the largest city in the Amazon basin during an included tour that features Manaus’s Teatro Amazonas, or Amazon Theatre. This stunning vision in pink opened in 1896 at the height of the rubber barons’ prosperity and was built with European bricks, French glass, and Italian marble. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant, after which you’ll transfer to a hotel until time to board your return flight home, arriving back to the U.S. tomorrow. Optionally, if you purchased the post-trip extension to Rio de Janeiro, you’ll head there today.
Over the course of three days, get to know the spectacular city of Rio de Janeiro. Take an afternoon tour of Sugarloaf Mountain, then savor a unique local dinner, trying various kinds of churrascaria. Visit Corcovado to witness one of the wonders of the world: Christ the Redeemer. Experience the local dance of samba behind the scenes, then head to downtown Rio for lunch at the iconic Confeitaria Colombo. This compact extension is just the ticket for a comprehensive exploration of Rio, at the best value and in true Vantage style!
Please note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew.
Important: Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.