Voyage to the headwaters of the
mighty Amazon in the heart of Peru’s
northern rain forest aboard the elegant
riverboat Delfin II. Slip through an intricate
network of jungle waterways in a skiff
in search of a variety of birds, as well as
caimans, tamarins, and sloths. Skim past
massive lily pads, peer up at towering ceiba
trees, and witness glorious sunsets on the
still waters of the Amazon River Basin.
Explore the amazing biodiversity of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve with our team of naturalists, and encounter rare pink dolphins, sloths, howler monkeys, giant lily pads, and an astounding variety of birdlife.
Learn from a National Geographic-Lindblad certified photo instructor, who travels with us aboard the Delfin II riverboat.
Glide into the Amazonian backwaters by kayak or skiff for an up close look at the intricacies of this rain forest ecosystem.
Meet the ribereños, indigenous people who live along the river’s edge, and get a glimpse into their traditions and way of life.
Itinerary - 10 Days
Day 1 — U.S./Lima, Peru
Arrive in Lima in the late evening and transfer to our
hotel. Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel
Day 2 — Lima/Iquitos/Nauta
After a morning tour of Lima, fly to Iquitos and
continue to Nauta. Embark our ship and enjoy fine Peruvian cuisine for dinner. Delfin II (B,L,D)
Days 3 through 8 — Exploring The Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Spend this week exploring the Pacaya-Samiria
National Reserve, a pristine swath of jungle
stretching more than five million acres and harboring
fascinating flora and fauna. The reserve
is bordered by the Marañón and the Ucayali,
two powerful rivers that converge to create
the famed Amazon, which floods annually with
nutrient-rich waters. Pacaya-Samiria’s “Mirrored
Forest” is created by the glassy reflections of the
reserve’s waterways during flood season.
Explore this remarkable wilderness on daily
excursions by skiff, kayak, and—when the water
level permits—hikes on dry land. Skim past
giant lily pads afloat on black-water lakes,
and venture into the rain forest on narrow
tributaries. Spot sloths and monkeys, including
colored saddleback tamarins, noisy howlers,
and shaggy-tailed monk saki monkeys. Watch
for an astounding variety of birds, from tanagers
and hummingbirds to parrots and endangered
scarlet macaws. Look for signs of the massive
paiche fish, the Amazon’s largest; rare pink
dolphins; and indigenous piranhas.
Season permitting, seek out Victoria amazonica, a giant water lily that grows in small lagoons. Go on a bird-watching hike, listening for the
vocal oropendola and then looking for its telltale
yellow tail. Listen to a cacophonous symphony of
nocturnal animals calling out across the treetops
at sunset. Explore the forest in a skiff as night
falls, using a spotlight to find caimans, frogs,
fishing bats, and other creatures of the night.
Visit the reserve’s edge and get to know the
ribereños who live on the riverbanks, learning
about their age-old traditions. Watch them make
jewelry and other handicrafts and learn how
subsistence farmers cultivate wild plants and
trees to earn income. Hear about edible fruits
and indigenous plants with medicinal properties
hidden in the jungle.
Days 9 & 10 — Nauta/Iquitos/Lima
After a final excursion by skiff, disembark in
Nauta and return to Iquitos for the flight to Lima.
The next day, transfer to the airport for your
flight home. Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel (Day 9: B, L; Day 10: B)
Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts--from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes and local culture. The expert featured below will be part of the expedition team on the date noted.
During his eight years on the National Geographic staff, photographer Jonathan Irish launched and directed the National Geographic Adventures program. He specializes in documenting adventure lifestyles, landscapes, and cultures abroad. Jonathan has photographed on all seven continents, and has shot a variety of assignments in Antarctica, Patagonia, and beyond. His photography has appeared in National Geographic and The New York Times, on BBC, CNN, and elsewhere. For the 2016 centennial of the U.S. National Park Service, Jonathan took a year-long road trip with an Airstream visiting and photographing all 59 of America’s national parks.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.