AdventureSmith Explorations - vacations and travel

Aqua Amazon Luxury Cruise

Peru, South America

from $5,950* per person 8 Days Year-round
Boutique accommodations Exertion level: 2
Operator: AdventureSmith Explorations 24 people max
  • Lima airport, lima, peru
  • Boats, Barges & Small Ship Cruises trips
Embark on the voyage of a lifetime aboard the first luxury vessel in the Amazon. The 24-passenger small ship M/V Aqua caters to the most discriminating and adventurous of world travelers, providing an unforgettable journey into areas penetrated by only a privileged few - the earth’s mightiest river, the Amazon. As your small ship docks along the river, knowledgeable and experienced naturalists will take you, via small launches, into remote estuaries in the Peruvian rain forest and the massive Pacaya Samiria Reserve which spans more than 5 million acres. As you explore these pristine wilderness areas teeming with hundreds of species of wildlife and birdlife, you will also encounter local people living in villages as they have for centuries. And when the day’s sightseeing is over, the comforts of your luxurious floating hotel await you.

The Peruvian Amazon has two distinct seasons that can influence this itinerary. No matter the season the M/V Aqua operates year-round, departing Tuesdays and Saturdays. Every voyage is uniquely appealing, based on the changing seasons. During the flooded season (December – May), the river and estuaries grow, allowing launch boats to venture deeper into the flooded forest. During the dry season (June – November), the river recedes and beautiful sandy river beaches form. This fabulous itinerary is also offered as a shorter 5-Day or 4-Day cruise. The 8 day itinerary is detailed below. Note: the itineraries are subject to change slightly to accommodate the changes in water levels for the different seasons.

Locations visited/nearby

Peru, South America

0 testimonials about this trip.

1 testimonial about the provider, AdventureSmith Explorations:

  • Reviewer:

    Galapagos Motor Yacht Eric/Letty/Flamingo Cruise

    Thank you for the most incredible experience! We just came back from our trip to the Galapagos. We were on the Eric - a terrific yacht and an even greater team. The islands are beyond belief, but I wanted to tell you how perfect the entire trip was.  Everything went incredibly smoothly from our arrival (late) in Quito where our guide was waiting for us despite the late hour, to all transfers, luggage and ticket arrangements - everything. Our guides were fabulous, as was the entire crew, including the Captain.  AdventureSmith Explorations did a terrific job!


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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.
  • Family oriented trip.


Day 1 - Saturday – Iquitos / Amazon River
Fly to Lima, transfer to Iquitos, board the M/V Aqua in the evening. As you settle into your over-sized suite, your small ship cruise will begin its journey toward the Yanayacu River, deep in the heart of Amazonia. Over the next seven days, you will also sail along the two largest tributaries of the Amazon, the Ucayali and the Marañon, as well as on the mighty Amazon itself. You are embarking on a spectacular adventure, to a place visited by only a few of even the most experienced world travelers. Your Cruise Director and Guides will give a safety and orientation talk. Enjoy Peruvian cuisine, considered some of Latin America’s best, and raise a glass of fine South American wine to toast the beginning of a beautiful journey.

Accommodations: M/V Aqua
Included Meals: na

Day 2 - Sunday – Tahuayo River, Charo Lake, Yacapana Islands
Sunrise on the Amazon River! Our sumptuous daily breakfast buffet features a broad choice of traditional breakfast egg dishes, plus Peruvian specialties and fresh-squeezed fruit juices. This morning board our comfortable excursion skiffs for your first adventure tour, traveling from the Amazon through the Huaysi short-cut canal to explore the Tahuayo black water river. (The Flooded Season, Dec. – May, will explore the Yanayacu “black water” and Yarapa Rivers). Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots and plenty of cold potable water will always be available for you on board the skiffs. As we float down the Tahuayo, occasional fishermen paddling in their dug-out canoes will give us a cheerful greeting. Keep your binoculars ready to spot a vast variety of wildlife: terns, orioles, blackbirds, black collared hawks, monkeys, and sloth share this wonderful environment with us. Upon arrival at Charo Lake, bait your hooks to try to catch one of Amazonia’s fearsome piranhas! As you fish, trained naturalist guides will also tell you the story of the lake and its inhabitants. Back onboard the M/V Aqua relax prior to lunch and then enjoy an after lunch visit to the Yacapana Islands “Iguana Islands”.

In the late afternoon, there is the chance to see and photograph both gray and pink freshwater dolphins. The people of the Amazon believe that these dolphins turn into humans to steal handsome men or pretty women from their villages during celebrations. Return to the M/V Aqua Peruvian small ship and continue our journey upstream, toward the headwaters of the Amazon River, where the Ucayali, Marañon, and the Amazon Rivers merge. Perhaps sip a pre-dinner pisco sour on the Upper Deck, while you watch the sun set.

Accommodations: M/V Aqua
Included Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 3 - Monday - Marañon River/ Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Choose between two morning excursions (either a skiff exploration, or a guided jungle walk). On the full-morning skiff excursion: Travel from Yanayacu Creek to remote Chingana, a small creek where giant river otter usually nest. See howler and capuchin monkeys, the squirrel-sized monkeys called tamarins, pink and gray river dolphins, and a vast variety of birds. Learn first-hand about the important medical value of jungle plants. And we will show you famous Kapok Trees, the tallest trees in the Amazon Basin. On the guided Jungle walk, your Park Ranger will tell you all about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia. Visit one of the projects, where villagers are planting palms to obtain oil. The ranger may also show you the artificial nests created on the sand to protect turtle eggs.

On an afternoon expedition, search for two different kinds of freshwater dolphins, including the unusual pink ones found in the Amazon. The National Park has 13 species of primates. Keep your eyes directed toward the jungle canopy, where you may catch a glimpse of tamarins, howlers and pigmy marmoset monkeys. Watch for alligators, and keep your binoculars at the ready, as you are likely to see more than 200 species of birds. Still not enough!... How about a post-dinner night excursion! Take the skiffs out in search of caimans, tree boas and frogs.

Accommodations: M/V Aqua
Included Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 - Tuesday - Birthplace of the Amazon / Puerto Miguel
Skirt the edges of the vast Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres. Take a pre-dawn skiff ride to view one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over the birthplace of the Amazon River at the union of the Ucayali and Marañon tributaries. Glide past river banks populated by large-billed terns, laughing falcons, gray tanagers, sandpipers, five kinds of parakeets, the exotic short-tailed parrot, and dozens of other birds. Travel to Puerto Miguel village, where you can meet and interact with local villagers from this most remote part of the world, and learn about their culture, traditions, and folklore. Share a last lunch with your fellow passengers who have taken the 4-Day journey. This afternoon travel by skiff along the Ucayali River to Yucuruche Lake and take a short jungle walk to see the world’s largest aquatic plant, the giant water lilies or “Victoria Regias”. Over dinner, meet new passengers who have come aboard for the 5-Day journey.

Accommodations: M/V Aqua
Included Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5 - Wednesday – Ucayali River / Yanallpa Area
Go on a jungle walk in search of the bizarre-looking birds called “hoatzins”, which live in huge colonies in the strange, Jurassic Park-like Yanallpa Lake. In the afternoon, cruise the majestic Ucayali River, giving you a chance to see and meet native balseros, or fishermen, who will demonstrate their skill and let you see their catch. Also see “banana balsero” rafts, loaded with hundreds of clusters of bananas, drifting down the river to market. Take an after dinner skiff excursion to search for caiman, members of the alligator family, along the fish-rich Sapote River. (The Flooded Season, Dec. – May, will explore the “mirrored forest of the Dorado River).

Accommodations: M/V Aqua
Included Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6 - Thursday – Puinahua River / Hatum Posa Lake and Pacaya River
Take a morning jungle walk near Hatum Posa Village. Guides will introduce you to native people doing subsistence farming, and will tell you how they learned to cultivate wild plants and trees to earn farm income. They will also show you the wealth of fruit trees and medicinal plants hidden in the jungle. In the late afternoon, take our skiffs along the Pacaya River, journeying from Ranger Station No. 1 toward Yanayacu Lake, where you can view the abundant life that is hidden in the deep rainforest. You may see saki, capuchin and howler monkeys with their ferociously loud calls which serve as warnings and mark their territory. Tonight the vessel will be docked by the No. 1 Ranger Station in Pacaya Samiria National Park.

Accommodations: M/V Aqua
Included Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7 - Friday – Puinahua / Pacaya and Sapote Rivers
Lets do breakfast on the skiffs! On Yanayacu Lake, guides point out parrots, macaws, toucans, monkeys, and dolphins. 11:00 a.m. In the afternoon, try your hand at fishing on the Sapote River. (Or, Carocurahuayte Lake during Flooded Season). There are more than 3,000 species of tropical fish that live in the Amazon Basin. The key target will be piranhas, the small fish with a fearsome reputation are considered a good food source by the locals. Enjoy a final farewell dinner.

Accommodations: M/V Aqua
Included Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8 - Saturday – Iquitos: Disembark, City Tour, Airport Transfer
A brief skiff trip along the majestic Amazon will give you a last chance to photograph the wildlife of the jungle. Enjoy your final lunch onboard. In the afternoon, take a guided tour of bustling Iquitos, once a rich center of the rubber industry. See a house built by Gustave Eiffel and stop at San Juan Amazonian Indians’ Market for some last-minute shopping. Conclude your Peru small ship cruise at 4 pm upon arrival at Iquitos Airport, where your guides will help you check-in and will wait with you until your flight departs at 5:30 pm.

Accommodations: n/a
Included Meals: breakfast

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