Amazon (10 Days)

Cruise Line: International Expeditions
Ship: Zafiro
Lima, Peru to Lima, Peru
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
Air travel
Lima, Peru

Fly independently to Lima, Peru, the nation's capital and largest city, and transfer to the Swissôtel for the night. (D Aloft)

Lima, Peru
Air travel
Manatee Rescue Center, Peru
Iquitos, Peru

Fly over the Andes to Iquitos. Visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have rescued. Learn about efforts to help these endearing mammals. See how the manatees are cared for and prepared for reintroduction into their natural habitat. Prior to boarding the elegant riverboat, Zafiro, survey the history of local tribes at a small museum. Enjoy stargazing and storytelling with our local guides while cruising slowly on the Amazon River toward the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers. (B,L,D)

Ucayali-Marañón Confluence, Peru

We awake this morning on the Amazon River, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life as the Amazon River cruise ship continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds. The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River in Peru. Amazingly, we are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way! On our Amazon Voyage adventure, travel waterways aboard sturdy excursion boats to areas where we may find marsh birds such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobius, and white-headed marsh tyrant. We turn into the Río Ucayali, where we're apt to find gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Later we take an excursion into the surrounding rainforest in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths. As dusk approaches, fishing bats begin their night's foraging. (B,L,D)

Sapote Creek, Peru
Carocurahuayte Creek, Peru

After a peaceful breakfast along the black-water Sapote Creek, we explore a small tributary of the Ucayali aboard excursion boats. Look for animals including primates, sloths, and an enormous variety of birds. Our Amazon Voyage adventure continues upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Although scientific studies are far from exhausted, the Pacaya-Samiria is the known home to 450 bird species, 102 species of mammals, over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians, and countless plants. This afternoon, an excursion into this largest wetland reserve in the world provides the opportunity to see 13 species of primates, including monk sakis, red howler, saddle-back tamarin, and squirrel monkeys. Explore Caro Lake, connected to the river by way of a very small stream, where we may find flocks of greater ani, often seen following monkeys in search of insects disturbed by the monkeys' foraging. We enjoy a nighttime boat excursion for a chance to find caimans, capybaras, common potoos, frogs, and other nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)

Pacaya River, Peru

Spend the day exploring this flooded realm, seeing wading birds such as herons, wattled jacanas, and horned screamers. Venturing deep into the rainforest, tour an igapó (seasonally flooded forest), where plant life is very different from what we see along the main course of our Amazon cruise, and walk through the forest. Lucky guests may release turtle hatchlings. A delicious lunch energizes us for afternoon excursions with our expert naturalists, where we may find scarlet macaws, hoatzins, black-collared hawks, and red howler monkeys. (B,L,D)

Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, Peru

After an early breakfast, we board excursion boats for access even further into the heart of these vast wetlands. As our Amazon Voyage adventure cruises the narrow waterways, we'll find birds such as canary-winged parakeets and spectacular blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws. Primates also are fairly common, including noisy squirrel monkeys. Once we arrive at a remote ranger station, enjoy a refreshing swim. Gradually make our way back to the riverboat through the maze of waterways. Enjoy an al fresco lunch and time to relax before our afternoon excursion. (B,L,D)

Ucayali River, Peru

Head back downriver, with a morning wildlife or other activity. Visit a village along the river, with the chance to learn about the lives of the "Ribereño" people who live there. Accompanied by guides who grew up along the river, this is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through gardens learning about medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. The children are especially excited to see their faces on digital cameras and to show off their school and sing Peruvian songs. Depending on the villages visited during your Amazon River tour, you may also have the opportunity to see an IE-funded water treatment plant. The clean drinking water provided by these plants is having an enormous positive health impact in remote river villages. Learn about medicinal plants and enjoy a blessing ceremony by a respected village shaman. Aboard the ship, learn to make traditional Peruvian dishes or enjoying an enriching lecture. After dark, go out in excursion boats to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and look for nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)

Yarapa River, Peru

Wake up early for a morning birdwatching excursion along the Yarapa River. After breakfast, try your hand at piranha fishing in Ubos Lake. Piranha are very common in the slower-moving water. With luck, we may catch red-breasted, white, or black piranha, and feast on our catch this evening at dinner. Once back aboard your luxury Amazon River cruise ship, we enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Iquitos, Peru
Air travel
Lima, Peru

Disembark in Iquitos and fly back to Lima for lunch. Dayrooms are provided until you connect with flights home, which depart after midnight. (B,L)

DAY 10
Air travel

Arrive on Sunday and connect with flights home. (Meals Aloft)

Amazon map

About the Ship

Galapagos family guest sea lion

The luxurious Zafiro blends stylish design and modern comforts with classic touches, including floor-to-ceiling windows and — for those on the Upper Deck — private balconies. A staff and crew of 24, including an IE Expedition Leader, cruise director and local naturalist guides, ensure an unprecedented level of service.

What's Included


  • Guided tours & lectures by native naturalists

  • Services of experienced expedition leader

  • 8 nights’ accommodation

  • All meals on cruise

  • Guides’ reception with a complimentary Peruvian cocktail, soft drink, wine or beer onboard daily.

  • Tips to porters & waiters for included meals

  • Arrival & departure transfers

About Us

For 33 years, travelers have relied on International Expeditions’ matchless expertise to discover the captivating wildlife, inspiring landscapes and fascinating cultures of Earth’s most pristine natural and cultural wonders. Our small-ship adventures to the Peruvian Amazon and Galapagos Islands, intimate group journeys to Patagonia, Panama, Costa Rica, Machu Picchu, India and Cuba, and in-depth safaris open the world to curious travelers. IE’s engaging, small-group itineraries delve wildlife, customs and ecological issues — all through the eyes of passionate, knowledgeable local naturalists. Our award-winning itineraries include a conservation focus that affords our guests opportunities to visit scientific researchers and even participate in community service projects on select tours.

Insider Tip

Have guests who want a personal look at all the wildlife an area offers? IE's naturalist guides are happy to take guests on spontaneous pre-dawn birding excursions...just ask!

Terms & Conditions

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for International Expeditions


of 2

Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by

Galapagos & Machu Picchu Excursion

By: DrummerBoy

Reviewed on: 14 Oct 2013

International Expeditions (IE) provided an amazing trip for both locations. Everything was taken care of, the guides/crew were amazing and the food and lodgings equally terrific. I saw sights that you can't see anywhere else! I would highly recommend this trip for all ages.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Splendid trip, diferent and exciting

By: Jose

Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2014

This was a magic and different trip, all nature and splendid vegetation, was something we were really expecting to have in teh Amazons, in the other way the second part of the trip the great machupicchu, and the beautiful Cusco were impresive. Thank you.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy