Luxury River Cruises in Northern Peru

Posted by on November 11th, 2019

An Amazon River cruise in northern Peru is a great way to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Amazon jungle without forgoing the comforts of a luxury accommodation. During a recent trip to Peru, I embarked on a luxury Amazon River cruise out of Iquitos.  The cruise traveled through the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, which is the largest protected flooded forest in the world, spanning more than 5 million acres. As we followed the river through the national reserve, we spotted a wide variety of wildlife, including blue and yellow macaws, squirrel monkeys, brown-throated sloths, howler monkeys, and pink dolphins. Personally, I was most excited to see some of the region’s less-cuddly residents: black caiman, white caiman, piranhas, rainbow boa, iguanas, and anacondas!

Setting off along the water

The Vessels

The vessels in the northern Peruvian Amazon are quite luxurious, with spacious cabins, relaxing common areas, high levels of service on board, gourmet Peruvian cuisine, and excellent guides. For me, two of the make-or-break elements of a trip are the food and the guides. If you choose to book a cruise on the Aria, Delfin I, Delfin II or Delfin III, you can be confident that the food and guides are going to provide an excellent experience.

Excursion on the skiff

Day to Day Excursions

Each day includes guided excursions from your vessel, which can include boat rides through river tributaries (the boats are known as skiffs), jungle hikes, piranha fishing, canoeing with native residents, swimming, visiting a local community, and night boat rides, just to name a few. While doing any of the excursions, or just relaxing on your vessel, you will likely hear and see various types of wildlife.

Floating among giant lily pads

Fun Experience with The Wildlife

During one of my daily excursions, we were on the skiffs cruising through a small tributary. It was an early morning excursion, and the setting was beautiful: the sun was shining and the temperature was warm and balmy. It was a wonderful way to begin the day searching for wildlife. As we cruised along, we started to come upon floating lily pads. These were not just average lily pads – they were huge. It got to the point where our skiff was surrounded by these huge lily pads. Our skiff slowed to a crawl, then to a stop, and our guide slipped quickly to the front. As he laid on his belly and reached over the side of the skiff into the water, I exchanged puzzled glances with the other passengers. A moment later, to everyone’s surprise, he pulled his arm out of the water and was holding a young caiman. It was an impressive maneuver!  Our guide held the caiman gently while explaining a bit about their history, behavior, and how they coexist with the native people in the jungle. This moment became one of the highlights of my trip.

Meeting a young caiman

General Information

The weather in Iquitos is warm and humid, with average maximum temperatures of 95 degrees and minimums of about 70 degrees.  The high-water season is generally from December to May, and the low-water season is usually from June to November.

Visiting a local village

If you’re interested in experiencing the Amazon, a river cruise is a great way to do it.  You see different areas each day and go deep into the jungle, while still enjoying the service and amenities of a luxury accommodation. To start planning your own Amazon River adventures, contact us today!

Macaws flying overhead
A scenic ride
A curious sloth
River adventures

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