Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)
Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel ideally located in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is the best area of town for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants. (If you are interested and time permits, private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged upon request.)
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores (upgrades available to Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others)
You have a morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Iquitos, in the north of Peru. Upon arrival to the Iquitos International Airport, you will be met by the Delfin II’s guides and transported by bus to the riverside village of Nauta, where you will board the ship to start your cruise. After check-in, you will have dinner, meet the crew and your fellow passengers, and have time to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Delfin II (B,D)
Today will start with an early gourmet breakfast, after which you will prepare for your first excursion in the Pacaya Simiria National Reserve. During the wet season (Dec – May) you will explore Belluda Stream by skiff, and you are likely to spot parrots, macaws and monkeys. You may also see Morpho butterflies and various species of hawks, including the noisy “laughing falcon,” named for its loud falsetto call. During the dry season (Jun – Nov), you will have the chance to do some hiking at Yanallpa, where you can explore two different kinds of ecosystems: “flooded forest” and “terra firme forest.” Here you may see snail kites, black-tailed ant birds, manikins, tanagers, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, nun birds, orioles, blackbirds, and pygmy marmosets. Your hike will take you to a lagoon filled with unique fresh water fish, where you will explore the waters in a dugout canoe.
After your excursion you will return to the Delfin II for lunch. In the afternoon you will head to Dorado River in the skiffs, with a good chance of seeing gray and pink river dolphins and possibly swimming with them. You may also spot snail kites, festive parrots, endangered scarlet macaws, olive-spotted hummingbirds, Amazonian parrotlets, iguanas, squirrel monkeys, and wood creepers.
Delfin II (B,L,D)
This morning you will board the skiffs early to head into the heart of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve for further exploration of the largest protected wetland reserve in the world. The wildlife tends to be very active in the early morning, and you are likely to see parrots, macaws, toucans, kingfishers, black collared hawks, southern swallows, white winged swallows, and manikins, plus troops of squirrel monkeys and small family groups of red howler monkeys. As the sun starts to heat up, you will continue along the shores of the Pacaya River, and breakfast will be served as you float amidst a favored dolphin feeding spot. After breakfast, you can jump in the water for a refreshing morning swim.
In the afternoon you will enjoy your gourmet lunch as the ship navigates back down the Puinahua River toward Nauta. In the afternoon you will explore Atun Poza. During the wet season (Dec – May), you will explore Atun Poza by skiff, where you are likely to see egrets, herons, hawks, long-legged neo-tropical cormorants, loud horned screamers. You will also have a chance to explore other black water lagoons linked to this huge lake, where wattled jacanas can be found along with a variety of spiders, grasshoppers, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, and beetles living along the freshwater swamps and marshes. You may also see social spiders and observe how their webs embrace huge parts of a tree. During the dry Season (Jun – Nov), you will go hiking at Atun Poza, passing through tropical rainforest with emergent trees and canopy trees reaching up to 55 meters in height. You may see giant otters, and this is an excellent location for spotting birds such as the blue-fronted jacamar, collared trogons, and red-capped cardinals. Back aboard the ship in the evening, you will have a farewell dinner and live music performed by the Delfin II staff and crew.
Delfin II (B,L,D)
This morning after breakfast you will board the skiffs and head to the village of Puerto Miguel to meet local villagers and learn about their culture, traditions and folklore. Afterward you will explore the Yarapa River, where you are likely to see squirrel and capuchin monkeys, herons, egrets and green iguanas. You will reach a beautiful lagoon called Uvos, named for the fruit that grows wild along its shores, and try to spot the pink river dolphins that ply its waters in search of fish. The forest also boasts abundant flora, including a variety of bromeliads and orchids, and monkeys frequently appear here.
After lunch back aboard the ship, you will disembark at Nauta, where a bus will be waiting to take you back to Iquitos. En route you will stop at the Manatee Rescue Center for a brief visit before continuing on to the airport for your flight back to Lima.
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores (B,L)
Today you will fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. When you land in Cusco you will be met at the airport by a local representative who will transport you to your hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (8,500 feet elevation), a long, fertile river valley surrounded by snow-capped peaks that lies between Cusco (11,000 feet elevation) and Machu Picchu. Starting here helps you adjust to the high altitude of the Andes and is a great way to see how the local people continue to live in the traditional Andean manner. You’ll make a visit to the Pisac ruins and town en route to your hotel (if you are feeling up for it you can walk down from the ruins to the town; ask your guide about this option). You’ll stop for lunch at a great small restaurant serving creative modern variations on traditional Andean dishes.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)
Today you have a full day of exploring more of the Sacred Valley, seeing less-visited sites that will deepen your understanding of the local culture. First you will make a visit to the unique Incan site of Moray, and the nearby town and ancient salt pans of Maras. After your picnic lunch, you’ll visit Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)
Today you start a 2 day/1 night trip to Machu Picchu, giving you plenty of time to see the area. In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel for transfer to the train station, where you catch the train to Machu Picchu. You will visit Machu Picchu with a private guide, enjoy lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, and then have the chance to explore the ruins on your own before returning to your hotel in Aguas Calientes (the ruins close at 5 pm and the last shuttle down is at 5:15 pm).
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)
Today you make an unguided return visit to Machu Picchu in the early morning to observe the ruins. This is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu, or hike back along the Inca Trail to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate). After visiting the ruins you will make your way down to the train station for your afternoon train back to Cusco and be dropped off at your hotel.
Hotel Libertador Cusco (upgrade to Palacio Nazarenas or other options is available) (B)
Today you’ll have a privately-guided exploration of Cusco, including a visit to Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you enjoy views of the surrounding area. Cusco is a fascinating city, with many colonial buildings constructed on top of the remains of Incan palaces. You can observe massive Incan walls along many streets of the city. Enjoy dinner out at one of Cusco’s excellent restaurants.
Hotel Libertador Cusco (B)
In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival to Lima you will have assistance at the airport in making your connecting flight home. If you have extra time before your international flight, we often arrange a driver for our travelers so they can go out to eat and see some more of Lima before their flight.