Delfin II Cruise Review
Itinerary: Upper Amazon - May 2012
Quite the trip.
Flew into Lima, overnight at airport hotel Ramada Costa del Sol. Next morning flight to Iquitos about 1 hour on a regular jet. On landing we were met by staff and driven in a lovely air conditioned bus, about 2 hours with water and snacks served through the country side and unique little town of Iquitos to Nauta. This bus rides takes the place of a long day of sailing which we were told not very interesting scenery.
Boarding the ship was seamless. The Defin II is a very upscale vessel owned by a lovely local couple. We sailed out and got acquainted with our lovely home for the next few days. Everything was top notch as our cabin with floor to ceiling windows. Five star accommodations in very primitive surroundings. Everything made from local wood and very conscious in conversation issues on the ship. Decor and food all represent the local culture and presents an education in different food experiences. Regular fare is also available. There are two category cabins on this 28 passenger ship, nice Master and nicest Master Suite, we were lucky to get the Master Suite. Cabins and public areas are spacious with fine linens and furniture. Bar and lounge on top deck and dining room on Upper Deck. Buffet breakfast, sit down lunch and dinner. No internet.
What we saw and did...LOTS
Each day was a new adventure, the Amazon is the worlds second longest river and we realize we only experienced a very small portion. The shoreline is ever changing as the tide changes, the naturalists told us that landmarks are hard to come by on the river as it changes so quickly. A landmark there today could be 20 feet under water the next week. Huge differences in water level in dry and wet season.
We found our eyes could see more and point out more as the days in the jungle went by. Our first day we could rarely see what our guide was pointing out as everything "is up in a tree". We progressed to at times seeing things before he did.
The jungles are full of birds 500 species, 132 species of mammals, several monkeys, giant river otters, 1200 species of plants, 259 species of fish etc etc., many plants for medicinal use. Monkeys, dolphins, (pink).
We were always out in 10 person skiffs, sometimes on our own, sometimes all of us together. We had great naturalists who have grown up in the area and therefore know the river very well. Not much on other boats on the river, other boats are local for transportation and navigating logs and things towards the cities or village to village. No big ships here that is for sure.
We visited villages that seem to be full of happy healthy self sufficient people without any of the trappings of modern society. They look dirt poor on the surface but learning their culture and ways of life, they are very rich in outlook and satisfaction without all the necessities that we would feel necessary. We visited a 15 child school with grades 5-12. They have a blackboard, desks and pencil and paper, not much more. I believe the teacher is a traveling teacher, not sure how that works. We fished, we swam, we learned about the "riverside people", experienced so much nature and culture of the Amazon. If I was to compare this trip to another destination I would say Costa Rica in vegetation and weather. Amazon being so much more primitive and lacking of Americans and tourists. At least the areas we visited.
Was this one of my all time favorite trips, no it was not. Perfection in the logistics and accommodations. The destination itself was very interesting for a few days, I would have preferred maybe a five night trip instead of seven and maybe a few days in Lima. Just a suggestion.
—R and J, Orlando, FL