Over the 32 years that International Expeditions has been leading Amazon River cruises, our guests have enjoyed unrivaled access to the rainforest’s most pristine areas and the company of the river’s most knowledgeable guides. IE’s exciting daily excursions include pre-dawn birding, school visits in local villages and even piranha fishing! In true expedition fashion, our Amazon River tour is aboard a classically designed Amazon River cruise ship, the 24-guest Aquamarina. Join IE and be transported to the Amazon of your imagination to discover a rainforest that pulsates with an unrivaled diversity of wildlife.
Go Deeper Into the Rainforest
International Expeditions’ exclusive Amazon River tour covers more than 600 miles on the Amazon and its tributaries. You travel deep into the protected Pacaya-Samiria Reserve and explore three different habitats so you have the best chance of spotting rare wildlife! On our Amazon River cruises, we look for monkeys, birds, sloths and other mammals, pink and gray dolphins and so much more.
Authentic Amazon Experience
Aboard our Amazon River cruise you’ll create a lifetime of memories: the joy in the eyes of a village child when you visit their school; the enveloping darkness of the jungle; or the awe of floating along narrow streams accompanied by pink dolphins. Drawing on insight from our native Amazon travel guides, IE intentionally varies the villages and tributaries we visit, ensuring you get the most authentic rainforest experience possible.
Explore with Pioneers in Amazon Travel
International Expeditions pioneered travel to the Peruvian Amazon, and our nature-focused, small-group expedition travel remains the standard for Amazon Voyage expedition cruises. IE not only pioneered travel to this region, we still work with many of the naturalist guides that we helped to train. Ensuring a worry-free and educational journey, these expert local naturalist guides — along with an expedition leader — accompany our Amazon Voyage cruises. Each day, these knowledgeable Amazon River travel guides use their decades of learning and guiding experience to serve as lecturers, field guides and friends as you explore the rainforest.
Day 1 • Friday
U.S. / Lima
Fly independently to Lima, Peru, the nation’s capital and largest city, and transfer to the Swissôtel for the night. (D Aloft)
Day 2 • Saturday
Lima / Iquitos / Embark Amazon Riverboat / Amazon River
Tour historic Lima, visiting Casa Aliaga, a private home dating back to the Conquistadors. See the Cathedral, where Francisco Pizarro is entombed, and Plaza de Armas. Before lunch, tour the monastery and vast catacombs of the Iglesia de San Francisco. Fly over the Andes Mountains to Iquitos. Board our riverboat, Aquamarina, home for the next seven days of our Amazon cruise. During a nightly briefing, we’ll review the following day’s Amazon Voyage expedition itinerary and meet the crew. Tonight, we journey slowly toward the confluence marking the beginning of the Amazon River, stargazing and storytelling with our local guides. (B,L,D)
Day 3 • Sunday
Confluence of the Amazon River / Río Ucayali
We awake this morning on the Amazon River, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life as our Amazon River cruise ship continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds. The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River in Peru. Amazingly, we are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way! On our Amazon Voyage adventure, travel waterways aboard sturdy excursion boats to areas where we may find marsh birds such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant. We turn into the Río Ucayali, where we’re apt to find gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Later we take an excursion into the surrounding rainforest in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths. As dusk approaches, fishing bats begin their night’s foraging. (B,L,D)
Day 4 • Monday
Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
After a peaceful breakfast along the black-water Sapote Creek, we explore a small tributary of the Ucayali. We look for animals including primates, sloths and an enormous variety of birds. Our Amazon Voyage adventure continues upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Although scientific studies are far from exhausted, the Pacaya-Samiria is the known home to 450 bird species, 102 species of mammals, over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians, and countless plants. This afternoon, an excursion into this largest wetland reserve in the world provides the opportunity to see 13 species of primates, including monk sakis, red howler, saddle-backed tamarin and squirrel monkeys. We explore Caro Lake, connected to the river by way of a very small stream, where we may find flocks of greater ani, often seen following monkeys in search of insects disturbed by the monkeys’ foraging. We enjoy a nighttime boat excursion for a chance to find caimans, capybaras, common potoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)
Day 5 • Tuesday
Rio Pacaya / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Spend the day exploring this flooded realm, seeing wading birds such as herons, wattled jacanas and horned screamers. Venturing deep into the rainforest, tour an igapo (seasonally flooded forest), where plant life is very different from what we see along the main course of our Amazon cruise, and walk through the forest. Once we reach the reserve's second checkpoint, hike around the ranger station. Lucky guests may release turtle hatchlings. A delicious lunch energizes us for afternoon excursions with our expert naturalists, where we may find scarlet macaws, hoatzins, black-collared hawks and red howler monkeys.(B,L,D)
Day 6 • Wednesday
After an early breakfast, we board our excursion boats for access even further into the heart of these vast wetlands. As our Amazon Voyage adventure cruises the narrow waterways, we’ll find birds such as canary-winged parakeets and spectacular blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws. Primates also are fairly common, including noisy squirrel monkeys. We arrive at a ranger station, where we may take a short hike to explore the forest. After a picnic lunch, we gradually make our way back to our riverboat through the maze of waterways. Visit a village along the river, with the chance to learn about the lives of the “Ribereño” people who live there. Accompanied by guides who grew up along the river, this is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through gardens learning about medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. The children are especially excited to see their faces on digital cameras and to show off their school and sing Peruvian songs. Depending on the villages visited during your Amazon River tour, you may also have the opportunity to see an IE-funded water treatment plant. The clean drinking water provided by these plants is having an enormous positive health impact in remote river villages. Learn about medicinal plants and enjoy a blessing ceremony by a respected village shaman. (B,L,D)
Day 7 • Thursday
Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
This morning we head back downriver, with a morning wildlife or other activity. Aboard the ship, take advantage of the open-air top deck, learning to make traditional Peruvian dishes or enjoying an enriching lecture. After dark we’ll go out in our excursion boats to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and look for nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)
Day 8 • Friday
Wake up early for a morning birdwatching excursion along the Yarapa River. After breakfast, try your hand at piranha fishing in Ubos Lake. Piranha are very common in the slower-moving water. With luck, we may catch red-breasted, white or black piranha, and feast on our catch this evening at dinner. Once back aboard our Amazon River cruise ship, we enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 9 • Saturday
Iquitos / Lima / Depart
In the morning we disembark in Iquitos. Enjoy a walking tour of this frontier city. Take a boat excursion to tour the Belen Market before visiting the IE-funded Las Mavinas urban garden project. After lunch, fly back to Lima and connect with your overnight flight to the U.S. ( B,L)
Day 10 • Sunday
We arrive Sunday and connect with flights home. (Meals Aloft)
Because conditions at the time of our visit and new opportunities always determine what is possible on the Amazon, our Amazon cruise expedition itinerary is flexible. The itinerary shown is a guide to what we may do, but it’s always subject to change.
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.
Options and Extras
What's included in the price of IE’s Amazon Voyage travel packages?
- Guided tours & lectures by native naturalists
- Services of experienced expedition leader
- 8 nights’ accommodation
- All meal on cruise
- Wildlife excursions on land & by skiff in three habitats: varzea, igapó and terra firma
- Use of hydrophones to listen to pink river dolphins
- Piranha fishing
- Pre-dawn birding
- Local village & school visits
- Nighttime skiff rides & rainforest walks
- Full educational program with lectures & field interpretation
- Visit to Ranger Station #2 used for scientific study
- Cooking demonstrations
- Complimentary laundry aboard our Amazon River cruise ship
- Blessing ceremony with a local Shaman
- Tour of colonial Lima
- Private dayroom until international flight
- Tips to porters & waiters for included meals
- Arrival & departure transfers
What kind of visas are required for travel to Peru?
Bring a valid passport. We recommend that your passport remain valid for at least six months after your departure date. Visas are not required for US or Canadian citizens.
What vaccinations are required before Amazon Voyage cruises?
No inoculations are required to enter Peru or to return to the US after visiting Peru. The CDC recommends malaria pills and the yellow fever shot; however, you should consult with your personal physician.
Should guests bring electrical adapter plugs?
Electrical current on the riverboat is 110/120 volts, the same as in the United States and Canada. There are no hairdryers available onboard. The Lima hotels accommodate 110/120 voltage appliances, and a hairdryer and iron is in each room. The voltage in hotels outside of Lima is 220 volts, and hairdryers are available from housekeeping.
What kind of weather can you expect during your Amazon Voyage and Lima tour?
The Iquitos area, near where IE explores on the Amazon Voyage travel package, is located a few degrees south of the Equator and is characterized by strong tropical sun and rainforest. Average temperatures range from the upper 70° to upper 80°F year around during the day, to the lower 70s at night. It can be cool on the river at night or on overcast days. There is very little seasonal variation between winter and summer temperatures. The average humidity ranges from 60-80%, and rainfall occurs approximately 250 days out of the year. Most showers occur in the late afternoon or evening and are of short duration.
Lima temperatures vary from 70-84°F January through March; 63-81°F April through June; 59-66°F July through September; and 61-75°F October through December.