Starts Sundays. January to December7 days from $5895.00
Arrive Lima, Perú
Welcome to Peru. You are met on arrival in Lima, and taken to your hotel in an Oceanside section of vibrant Lima, the sophisticated Miraflores district. This large cosmopolitan city, called “The City of Kings,” is known for its important historical sites and high-quality museums. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
Your culinary introduction to Peru begins today with a morning visit to Surquillo market, a local shopping complex that features a variety of fruits, vegetables, steaks and fish.
Continue to downtown Lima, where you will admire the Aliaga House, an ancient viceregal house delivered by Franciso Pizarro to one of his captains after the foundation of the city, and its construction started in 1535. This genuine jewel of the colonial architecture is currently inhabited by his descendants. Tour the San Francisco Monastery, a remarkable colonial masterpiece of architecture, with a vast collection of religious art, a 17th century library, a cupola with a superb carved ceiling and a maze of catacombs containing hundreds of bones and skulls.
Visit a local tavern to sample traditional Peruvian snacks and drinks, before continuing to the Pueblo Libre district. Visit the Larco Herrera Museum, which was founded by Rafael Larco Hoyle in 1926 and is located within a colonial mansion built on a seventh century pyramid. Here you may find the most complete collection of prehispanic pieces of gold and silver as well as erotic art. More than 45,000 archaeological objects are silent witnesses to three thousand years of Peruvian history. After your tour you will be returned to your hotel and the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.
This evening you will be transferred from your hotel to the renowned Central Restaurant, voted the best restaurant in Peru in 2012 in Peru’s Summum Gourmet Survey. At the Central Restaurant you will experience why Peruvian cuisine is recognized globally. Refined and contemporary, the cuisine at Central reveals the Chef’s passion for creating flavors, perfecting culinary techniques and enhancing the virtues of the ingredients. After dinner you will be transferred back to your hotel. (B,D)
Lima, Iquitos & Embark on Amazon Cruise
You will have leisure time today to explore Lima on your own, before transferring to the Lima airport for your flight to Iquitos. Upon arrival in Iquitos you will be met and transferred to the M/V Aqua, your home for the next four nights. Settle into your beautiful stateroom on this deluxe vessel.
Aboard the M/V Aqua guests are treated to a world class dining experience, featuring unique Peru recipes and cuisine. Noted Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, one of Peru’s top ten chefs, has created Aqua’s exclusive menus. Chef Schiaffino uses flavors from the jungle to perfect each dish that he creates. His main ingredients include sofrito, turmeric and sachaculantro, along with garlic and onions. Dinner each evening promises to be a Peruvian culinary feast for the senses, paired with premium South American wines. Daily you will enjoy fresh, delicious Peruvian cuisine (with a bit of continental influence), either served on board in the ship’s elegant dining room or out and about on a luxury cruise excursion in the Amazon jungle. Tonight you will meet your fellow travelers at your first onboard dinner. Raise a glass of fine South American wine to toast the beginning of a beautiful journey, then look out the window and watch the river go by as you experience your first wonderful meal aboard the M/V Aqua. Perhaps enjoy a nightcap on the Upper Deck, under the stars, before retiring. (B,D)
Cruise through the Peruvian Amazon
Over the next three days, you will sail along several tributaries of the Amazon, as well as on the mighty river itself. You are embarking on a spectacular adventure, to a place visited by only a few of even the most experienced world travelers.
The Amazon River Jungle offers millions of acres of lakes, streams and swamplands. You can see hundreds of species of fishes, such as the Arapaima, Paiche or Pirarucu.There are also thousands of registered species of plants, and hundreds of species of amphibians, mammals and birds – including endangered species like the Nutria, The Harpy Eagle, the Black Titi Monkey, the Red Monkey, the Goeldi’s Monkey, and the Giant Armadillo. Explore the Belluda stream in the Pacaya National Reserve, and look for the monk saki monkey, the saddle back tamarin monkey, and the beautiful morpho butterfly.
Travel aboard comfortable skiffs to venture into the Pacaya River, and view its many wildlife species up close. Keep a special eye out for manatee, which can weigh up to 900 pounds. These herbivorous mammals can be seen most easily when they feed on the aquatic vegetation, such as aquatic grasses and water lilies that grow near the shoreline. This Amazon region is also host to a large concentration of turtles, such as the Charapa and the Taricaya, as well as the gigantic Anaconda, also known as the Yacumama or "Mother of the Water", which can reach a length of up to 25 feet! You may also spot Grey and Pink Amazon River Dolphins.
The included shore excursions provide you an opportunity to learn about the local culture - see village life and interact with the locals. The night safaris reveal night herons, caiman, and the millions of stars in the sky. In the evenings relax and enjoy the opportunity to discuss your observations with the experienced guides on board. (3,B,3L,3D)
Iquitos to Lima & Depart
The excursions today depend on the level of the river. Weather and time permitting, this will be the last opportunity to see how people live along the Amazon—by floating in skiffs through the lively riverside community of Belen, in Iquitos. Here, where the houses and shops actually float on the river during some months, you will see the bustling food market for the entire Peruvian Amazon. All local inhabitants throughout the region sell and purchase goods here.
After lunch onboard, you will disembark and transfer back to the remote city of Iquitos. This bustling town, complete with a house built by Gustave Eiffel, was once a rich center of the rubber industry. Before you head for the airport, you will visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have seized from local people, including fishermen. Biologists will give a presentation about the project and its efforts to help these helpless mammals. You will also see how the manatees are cared for and are prepared for re-introduction into their natural habitat. Finally, you will visit the San Juan Amazonian Indian Market, for a last chance to shop for local crafts.
You will be assisted with check-in at the Iquitos International Airport, and our guides will stay with you until you have boarded your flight back to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima you will connect to your flight home or onwards to your next destination. (B,L)
Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel, Lima
Located in Malecon de la Reserva, an exclusive residential area with a spectacular ocean view, Miraflores Park Hotel is a relaxing, comfortable oasis. The hotel combines personalized service, exceptional dining, and indulgent facilities. Colonial architecture, superb museums with Inca gold and Pre-Columbian antiquities, and glamorous shops, bars and restaurants are all just moments from the hotel. Hotel facilities and services include an incredible rooftop heated swimming pool, spa, and gym, as well as a business center, fine restaurant and lounge. Access to the Internet and personal computers are available upon request.
The 130-foot-long, Aqua is the first true luxury cruise ship on the northern Amazon River in Peru and can accommodate a maximum of 24 cruise ship guests plus crew. This luxury cruise ship is the perfect size to sail along the Amazon River, providing extremely comfortable lounge, dining and sleeping accommodations and modern navigation technologies and standards for cruise ship travel and safety on the water. The Aqua's twelve oversized cruise ship suites, including four Master suites, feature en suite sitting areas and generous outward-facing picture-windows with panoramic Amazon river views. Each of the handsomely decorated, air-conditioned cruise ship suites measure between 230 to 240 square feet. Four of these suites can be interconnected, to cater to families.