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Upper Amazon

Upper Amazon

Cruise Highlights:

  • Explore Peru’s Pacaya-Samiria Reserve.
  • Walk alongside giant Amazon water lilies – the largest in the world
  • Meet ribereños, natives of the reserve, whose friendly children often show up to greet us.

At a glance

Duration: 10 Days, 9 Nights

Coverage: Roundtrip Lima, Peru

From: $5,870

Season: January - February, April - May, September, November - December

Activities: Birding, Nature, Wildlife

Book this Trip › or call us toll-free 1-888-815-5428

Lindblad Expeditions

Exploring Peru’s Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

This Upper Amazon voyage explores a unique habitat, Peru’s Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, containing flooded forests that form the headwaters of the immense Amazon River.

Take an Amazon River cruise aboard the elegant riverboat Delfin II, skimming past massive lily pads by day, and gaining a fresh perspective on life by night, as we spend our evenings relaxing on the open top deck under the stars.

The immense seasonal flood forest of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve is delimited by two rivers, which meet in the easternmost corner of the reserve to form the Amazon River. Over 60% of the birds in Peru reside in the reserve, while rare pink river dolphins swim its waters, and red howler monkeys swing through its jungle canopy. We’ll even get a chance to meet the native people – called ribereños – who rely on sustainable fishing, hunting and agriculture, just as their ancestors did.

Most of the daily outings are aboard comfortable, 10-person skiffs, which glide easily through the intricate network of waterways in the Amazon and surrounding areas.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

DAY 1 — U.S./Lima, Peru

Arrive in Lima and spend the night at the Costa del Sol Ramada.

DAY 2 — Lima/Iquitos/Nauta/Embark

Fly to Iquitos today and drive via bus (1 ½ hours) to the riverside town of Nauta, where we embark Delfin II. Once on board, you are welcomed by hardwood floors, rattan sofas, wooden-slat hammocks and a graceful, modern design. The enthusiastic Naturalists and Expedition Leader will set the informal tone for your expedition. And our chef will introduce you to Peru’s haute cuisine and local delicacies, all prepared with an Amazonian flair. (B,L,D)

DAY 3 — Exploring the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

The Pucate River is one of the three main rivers in the reserve. Never does nature seem more bountiful than here in the tropics. The wildlife and the biodiversity are tremendous, and with experienced naturalists at your side, understanding will come easier. Aboard the skiffs and kayaks we explore this black water stream, looking for parrots, macaws and perhaps monkeys, such as the monk saki with its gray and black body, naked face and long shaggy tail. You might also see the saddle-back tamarin whose high chirping notes can easily be confused with those of a flock of birds. (B,L,D)

DAY 4 — Exploring the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

Experience one of the principal ecosystems within the Amazon basin: terra firma. Disembark and hike to see the vegetation and wildlife, distinctly different from the seasonally flooded forests. For those not interested in hiking, it is well worth traveling up-river by skiff. We reach an important junction of the Amazon headwaters, where the Ucayali & Marañon rivers merge to form the mighty Amazon River. Visit the Sapuena Village to learn about the life of the ribereños—those who live on the riverbanks. (B,L,D)

DAY 5 — Exploring the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

Today we venture to find the giant Amazonian water lily Victoria regia. This beautiful aquatic plant grows in small lagoons known as cochas. Hike a trail with excellent bird watching, and learn about caciques and oropendolas. At the junction of the El Dorado River, look for dolphins and see abundant birdlife. Sharp eyes may find an iguana lazing in the sun and sloths hanging in the upper canopy. A watch is also kept for squirrel monkeys. We return to Delfin II after sunset in order to see nocturnal life along the river. We will be prepared with a spotlight! (B,L,D)

DAY 6 — Exploring the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

Sail further into the heart of the Pacaya-Samiria Nature Reserve. From December through May explore Atun Poza by skiff. Look for lagoon birds such as egrets, herons, jacamars, ringed kingfishers and various raptors. If the river levels are sufficiently low, a short walk to a local community will be offered. From June through November, hike through a rich ecosystem, passing through a classical tropical rain forest. Biologically, this kind of forest is probably one of the richest habitats on earth, supporting the most species of plants and animals per unit area. Our goal is to reach the giant “ceiba” or kapok tree with its immense trunk diameter. By skiff we depart for our furthest point in the journey, up the Pacaya River to Yanayacu lagoon. The waters of this lake originate in the very heart of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. This rain-forest wilderness is home to red howler and capuchin monkeys, three-toed sloths and numerous species of parrots. Today, with luck, we may swim in the vicinity of Amazonian pink river dolphins! (B,L,D)

DAY 7-8 — Exploring the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

We coninue exploring by kayak and skiff. From January through July, rivers flood and lowland forests have more than three feet of standing water at the base of trees. Flowering and fruiting coincides with this flooding and many fish, including piranhas, swim around the trees to feed on the fallen fruit (so the super-carnivore reputation of piranhas as a bloody-thirsty fish is quite exaggerated!). From July through December, search for the shorebirds that appear only at this time of year. When the river is very low, huge white sandy beaches emerge and young, sometimes temporary river islands form, creating special ecosystems favorable to sand pipers, terns and kingfishers. By skiff we stop at Puerto Miguel Village to learn about their culture, traditions and folklore. Back on board, our talented staff on Delfin II will delight you with some live music. (B,L,D)

DAY 9 — Nauta /Disembark/Iquitos/Lima

After lunch we disembark and return to Iquitos by bus. There is time to visit the manatee rehabilitation center before flying to Lima. In Lima, we proceed to the Costa del Sol Ramada for the night. (B,L)

Dates & Rates

Dates Suites Master Suites Single
Oct 14, 2017 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Oct 21, 2017 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Oct 28, 2017 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Dec 02, 2017 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Dec 09, 2017 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Dec 16, 2017 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Dec 23, 2017 $7,680 $8,690 $10,980
Jan 20, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Jan 27, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Feb 3, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Feb 10, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Mar 3, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Mar 10, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Mar 17, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Mar 24, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Mar 31, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Apr 28, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
May 5, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
May 19, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
May 26, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Jun 30, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Jul 7, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Aug 18, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Aug 25, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Sep 1, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Oct 13, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Oct 20, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Oct 27, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Nov 3, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Dec 8, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Dec 15, 2018 $6,690 $7,830 $10,040
Dec 29, 2018 $7,680 $8,690 $10,980

* Reverse itinerary
† Photo Cruise


Upper Amazon Itinerary Map


Delfin II

Delfin IITake an Amazon River cruise aboard the elegant riverboat Delfin II, skimming past massive lily pads by day, and gaining a fresh perspective on life by night, as we spend our evenings relaxing on the open top deck under the stars. View ship details...

Cruise Reviews

Delfin II - June 2010

Delfin IIWe have arrived! At last after so many years (the last trip of the Polaris up the Amazon River was back in 1996), Lindblad has returned with guests to the largest rainforest on earth.

On landing in Iquitos airport, we were met by the natural history staff of the Delfin II in the airport, and soon enough we were off to the village of Nauta on the banks of the Marañon River. By driving to Nauta from Iquitos we saved ourselves time and the ship a long sail. By the time we boarded the Delfin II, we were only a hop, skip and a jump from the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. We were anxious to get started, so in the afternoon we put on our rubber boots and went for a walk in the Amazon.

View the entire review...

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