Voyage to the headwaters of the mighty Amazon in the heart of Peru's rain forest aboard the elegant riverboat Delfin II. Slip through an intricate network of jungle waterways in a skiff, spotting hundreds of bird species as well as caimans, tamarins, and sloths. Skim past massive lily pads, peer up at towering ceiba trees, go fishing for piranhas, and witness glorious sunsets on the still waters of the Amazon River basin.
Arrive in Lima in the late evening and transfer to our hotel.
Ramada Costa Del Sol Airport Hotel
Enjoy a morning tour of Lima and the renowned Larco Herrera Museum. Later, fly to Iquitos and continue overland to the riverside village of Nauta, where the elegant Delfin II awaits. Settle into your cabin and gather for a welcome dinner of fine Peruvian cuisine on board. Tonight, step out on deck to gaze at the magnificent Amazon night sky.
Delfin II (B,L,D)
Spend this week exploring the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, a pristine swath of jungle stretching more than five million square acres that harbors some of the Amazon's most fascinating flora and fauna. Bordered by the Marañón and the Ucayali, two powerful rivers that converge to create the Amazon, the reserve floods annually with nutrient-rich waters. It is known locally as the Mirrored Forest for the reflections created by its glassy water.
Set out into this remarkable wilderness on daily excursions by skiff; kayak; and when the water level permits, hikes on terra firma. Skim past giant lily pads afloat on black-water lakes, and venture deep into the rain forest on narrow tributaries. Spot sloths and monkeys, including variably colored saddleback tamarins, noisy howlers, and shaggy-tailed monk saki monkeys. Watch for an outstanding variety of birds, from tanagers and hummingbirds to parrots and endangered scarlet macaws. In the river, look for massive paiche fish, the Amazon's largest; rare pink dolphins; and the infamous piranhas, an important food source for the local people.
Enjoy an opportunity to swim in a lake in the reserve's interior. Seek out the Victoria amazonica, a beautiful giant water lily that grows in small lagoons. Go on a birdwatching hike, listening for the vocal oropendola and then looking for its telltale yellow tail. Watch the sun set and listen to a cacophonous symphony of nocturnal animals calling out across the treetops. Then slip through the forest in a skiff as night falls, using a spotlight to find caimans, frogs, fishing bats, and other night creatures.
Pay a visit to one of the communities on the edge of the reserve and get to know the ribereños, those who live on the riverbanks, and their age-old traditions. Meet local women and children, and watch them make jewelry and other handicrafts. Hear about how local subsistence farmers cultivate wild plants and trees to earn income. Hear about how the locals find edible fruits and indigenous plants with medicinal properties hidden deep in the jungle.
Delfin II (B,L,D daily)
Disembark in Nauta after lunch and return to Iquitos overland by bus, then take a late afternoon flight to Lima.
Ramada Costa Del Sol Airport Hotel (B,L)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Combine the Upper Amazon expedition with our Peru: Land of the Inca trip and experience the ancient wonders of Machu Picchu and Cusco. Please call for details.
Book by June 30, 2013 for a $500 air credit on select 2013 departures. Applies to new bookings and is subject to availability.
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.
Conservation Biologist Taylor Edwards is an Assistant Staff Scientist at the University of Arizona Genetics Core, where he and his team conducted public testing for National Geographic's Genographic Project (an innovative global program in which people can trace their ancestry back 60,000 years using markers in their DNA). His background includes a combination of wildlife ecology and molecular biology ,and he blends the two disciplines in his own research to answer questions about the conservation of species. A reptile and amphibian aficionado, Taylor work covers a variety of species ranging from endangered tortoises to giant frogs. At home in deserts and rain forests, his research has taken him to China, Brazil, Mexico, Namibia, and Cameroon. Taylor has joined numerous expeditions to the neotropics, and he considers the Amazon Basin to be his biggest inspiration in his efforts to preserve the world's biodiversity.
Taylor will join the following departure:
Nov 09 - 18, 2013
This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.
Please call for information on adding a pre-or post-trip extension to Machu Picchu on your Upper Amazon expedition!
Prices are per person, double occupancy. Due to limited availability, single cabins are offered on a request basis only; please call for availability and rates. Airfare is not included in the expedition cost. Round-trip economy airfare between Miami and Lima is $800 and between Lima and Iquitos is $370 (subject to change).