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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.
Explore the waterways of the flooded “Mirrored Forest” of Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve with a team of expert naturalists.
Glide down jungle streams by skiff or kayak, spotting pink and gray dolphins, enormous water lilies, monk saki monkeys, three-toed sloths, piranhas, and scarlet macaws.
Learn about the everyday traditions of the native ribereños on visits to villages at the river’s edge.
Go on rain forest hikes, birding walks, and nocturnal river safaris, and get immersed in the wild atmosphere of the Amazon from the comfort of the intimate Delfin II.
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 visit to the celebrated Larco Herrera Museum, fly to Iquitos and continue overland to Nauta, where our ship awaits. Get settled in your elegant, hardwood-paneled cabin and gather for a welcome dinner of fine Peruvian cuisine prepared by our onboard chef. Tonight, step out on deck to gaze at the magnificent night sky over the Amazon. Delfin II (B,L,D)
Days 3 & 4 — Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Glide into the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, one of the largest swathes of pristine jungle in South America, stretching more than five million square acres. The reserve floods annually with nutrient-rich waters and is known locally as the Mirrored Forest for the reflections created by its glass-like waterways. In kayaks or skiffs, skim along the Pucate River looking for parrots, macaws, and perhaps shaggy-tailed monk saki monkeys or saddle-back tamarins. Encounter a very different ecosystem on hikes on terra firma, or explore up-river in a skiff. Reach the junction of the Maranón and the Ucayali, two powerful rivers that border the reserve and converge to create the Amazon and later, pay a visit to a village on the river’s edge to learn about the traditions of the ribereños. Learn about the inspiring work of Minga Peru, a non-profit that has helped improve health and livelihoods for the people of the Amazon with the support of the Lindblad-National Geographic Fund.
Delfin II (B,L,D daily)
Days 5 & 6 — Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Venture deeper into the rain forest on narrow tributaries, seeking out pink dolphins, iguanas, and giant water lilies. On a birding hike, look for an astounding variety of species, from tanagers and hummingbirds to oropendolas. As the sun sets, slip through the forest in a skiff, using a spotlight to find caimans, frogs, fishing bats, and other creatures of the night. From December through May we explore Atun Poza by skiff, looking for lagoon birdlife, and take a short walk to a local community. From June through November, hike through the rain forest in search of the soaring ceiba, or kapok tree. In skiffs, we reach Yanayacu lagoon, the furthest point in our journey, and with luck, enjoy a chance to swim with pink dolphins.
Days 7 & 8 — Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
During the wet season, look for massive paiche, the Amazon's largest fish, and infamous piranhas, an important food source for the local people. As the water recedes later in the year, explore the spontaneous ecosystems of temporary islands that appear. Travel by skiff to Puerto Miguel and get acquainted with the culture, folklore, and daily life of the villagers.
Days 9 & 10 — Nauta/Iquitos/Lima/U.S.
Enjoy one last morning excursion by skiff to view wildlife. After lunch, disembark in Nauta and pay a visit to the town’s manatee rehabilitation center. Return to Iquitos in time for a late afternoon flight to Lima. After breakfast the next day, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel (B, L; B)
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.
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.