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Iquitos Tours - Tours in Iquitos
A trip down the Amazon River and its natural reserves and forest biodiversity and scenic beauty found also enjoy the colorful species of birds, trees, fish and more.
This region has been identified as one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet is part of it and enjoy it responsibly.
Pacaya Reserve Cruise
Samiria Natural Reserve Cruise
Our early morning flight takes us from Lima, across the snow-capped Andes Mountain range to the tropical forest and winding rivers of the Amazon, to the exotic city of Iquitos. After collecting our luggage, we are met by our English-speaking naturalist/guide and make our way to the M/V ARAPAIMA docked near downtown Iquitos. En route to the ship, we enjoy a short sightseeing tour to view Belen Market, the main square, plazas, the Eiffel or Iron House, and the Boulevard area. We board the M/V ARAPAIMA and following cabin assignments, an English-speaking naturalist/guide gives a general ship orientation, crewmember introduction and ship’s safety information, amenities and excursions to be held for the day. Our departure is a few miles downstream on the Itaya River passing islands of varying sizes, small villages and farms lined along the river shore as we meet up with the Amazon River.
A Peruvian welcome buffet lunch is served in the dining room while the M/V ARAPAIMA continues to sail during the middle of the day. Later in the afternoon, we stop for a motorized boat excursion into the rainforest to observe the enormity of the trees and the incredible variety of vegetation that surrounds us. At mid-evening, we pass the juncture of the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers, both major tributaries of the Amazon, where this spectacular river begins its flow to the Atlantic Ocean. We continue upstream on the Marañon River to the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. (L, D)
We awake to the exotic sounds of the dawn chorus and join our naturalist guides for a bird-watching excursion along the Marañon River’s edges. Excellent views and photo opportunities wait to astound and amaze you. Different species we might see here include jacamars, Ibis, parrots, the spectacular red-and-green, blue-and-gold and Scarlet Macaws and other wildlife that reside within this virgin paradise. A lavish buffet luncheon is served aboard followed by an optional lecture of the wonders of the Amazon jungle. Early afternoon, the M/V Arapaima arrives at San Martin Lake an integral part of the Pacaya/Samiria National Reserve.
When the day starts to cool is the opportune time to get back into our motorized aluminum boats and head back to the jungle for further first hand exploration. Invisible birds call intermittently to each other in shrill chirps shattering the silence like distant gunshots while our eyes search in all directions trying to locate the sources of these unidentified noises. A perfect ending to a day with nature is to relax and enjoy a wonderful regional dinner while the M/V Arapaima continues sailing up and deep into the Samiria River. (B, L, D)
At daybreak, we continue our fascinating cruise program by exploring an Amazon flooded forest and a black water oxbow lake at Ranger’s check point #2. The lake is often crowded with giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies; their enormous leaves can exceed five feet in diameter. We search the jungle surrounding the lake for primitive-looking birds called Hoatzins and have a chance to see a wide variety of colorful birds, Three-toed Sloth and numerous species of monkeys like Squirrel and Capuchin. Our English-speaking naturalist guides teach us how to catch piranhas and other species of fish just using a wooden stick, a bit of fishing line, a hook and a cube of beef or chicken. Here, we can see the true variety of the Amazon’s edible fishes such as the huge Paiche or ARAPAIMA GIGAS, which is a primitive 60 – 80 pound fish that has scales so large and rough that Amazonian people use them as a rasp or for decoration. Tonight, we board our motorized canoes and use our flashlights to pierce the darkness and perhaps catch the shining red eye of the black Amazon Caiman (alligator), frogs, snakes and birds. This is a most extraordinary and unforgettable day; one filled with fabulous photos and stories to take home. (B, L, D)
After breakfast we are introduced to the daily life of the river people. Naturalist guides, educated in biology and ecology, translate, for park rangers and native guides, and compliment your Amazon expedition cruise with explanations of the significance of annual rainy season floods to the health of the rainforest. Slowly we make our way upstream on the Samiria River and then into even narrower waterways, a wall of tropical vegetation lining each side of the river. Our naturalist guides share fascinating tales about the region’s ecology to help us understand the uniqueness of the Amazon River Basin.
The vast variety of wildlife and flora found in this unique environment is overwhelming– try to imagine 250 species of tree per hectare and 573 species of birds! Although we are literally tripping over plants, the fauna is much harder to locate, as each find is a discovery in itself, and usually the result of hours of patient searching. (B, L, D)
Another fascinating full day finds us exploring many areas around the Samiria’s reserve. An outstanding feature of this river is the large population of both gray and pink Amazon River dolphins, often seen cavorting near the ship and along the shoreline. It takes a sharp eye to search for primates, such as Capuchins, Pygmy Mormosets, and black monkeys, sloth and colorful birds. We can expect to see trees in a mind-numbing variety of shapes, sizes, colors and configurations, vines weaving themselves amongst the trees, creepers hanging from the vines, and orchids and bromeliads. We return to the ship just in time to take a quick shower and eat an early dinner before our next adventure – Cayman spotting. We board aluminum boats to go with our naturalist guide into marshy areas looking for the red eyes of the caymans along the riverbanks. When night falls, we start our cruise back to the Marañon River. (B, L, D)
Today, we hope to reach a region of flooded forest and small jungle lakes where we have the chance to spot the pre-historic Hoatzin bird. We also get to fish for giant armored catfish, sardines, and piranhas – if you do catch your own, these fish make an outstanding lunch or dinner (the chef will be happy to cook them for you). We stop at Nauta Caño creek to hike into the forest to stretch our legs. This also gives us a chance to see things we might not see from the river. This area is famous for its high concentration of wildlife and with luck we may see many rare and endangered species. During the afternoon, we visit a village at the Yarapa River to shop some souvenirs and learn how people in this part of the world live in conjunction with their surroundings. Tonight, we bid a goodbye to our captain and crew at a farewell dinner. (B, L, D)
We arrive in Iquitos this morning and after disembarkation you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima. (B)
Please note: This itinerary is a guideline – it is important to allow room for the unpredictable and unexpected surprises that make each trip unique. We will find it is more satisfying to let the jungle, the weather and our naturalist guides lead the way. Trust the expert guides if they find the need to modify the itinerary for the best interest and safety of the group.
Note: Transfers from/to hotel or airport are not included and are charged as additional services. Also at additional cost, an array of activities like city tour, visit to local zoo, meals at local restaurants, jungle lodges before or after cruise program, suited to every interest, may also be scheduled.
Other services not mentioned in the tour
Bar service (beverages and / or soft drinks)
07 días, 06 noches a bordo del M/F .
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