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Arrival from Lima, a 1 hour 25 minute journey to the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. Your Aqua Expedition's guides await you at Iquitos International Airport. Claim your luggage, which our porters deliver to your suite, then board our air-conditioned bus for the ride to the river. Transfer to Nauta Wharf. Enjoy a scenic one-and-a-half hour drive through the Peruvian countryside to the small village of Nauta. You will be traveling on the only road out of town to the end of the line, as it only goes as far as Nauta. The Aqua Amazon, your home for the next four nights, awaits you. Welcome to the low key luxury of the Aqua Amazon. Settle into your well appointed river facing suite as the vessel begins to move and thus begins one of life's great adventures. Ascend to the Observation Deck if you wish to take in the view, as the Aqua Amazon leaves Iquitos behind. Over the next four days, the Aqua Amazon sails along the largest tributaries of the Amazon River, as well as on the mighty Amazon itself, towards remote destinations visited by only a few of even the world's most experienced travelers. Toast your journey and your dinner companions as you gather for a first-night welcome dinner, with fine South American wines accompanying fresh local seafood, fruit and vegetables.
Amazon River (Cruising), Brazil
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Enjoy your gourmet buffet breakfast before boarding our comfortable excursion skiffs for your first adventure. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and plenty of cold potable water are always available for you on board the skiffs. As we travel from the Amazon River onto its black water tributaries, fishermen paddling dugout canoes greet us. Our naturalist guides help you to spot terns, egrets, orioles, hawks and kingfishers as well as monkeys among Amazonia's other fascinating inhabitants. At Charo Lake, bait your hooks to catch piranhas, as the Guarani Indians named these vicious creatures, and other Amazon fish as well. Return to the Aqua Amazon to icy cold towels while fresh squeezed camu camu juice awaits you. The vessel continues up the Amazon River, while you relax, or even take a nap, before lunch. Lunch of Peruvian inspired midday fare in our air-conditioned dining room. In mid afternoon, enjoy a lecture about the fish of the Amazon in our air-conditioned Indoor Lounge. Learn about the 28 species of piranha swimming in the black waters of the Amazon and its tributaries, as well as the catfish, paiche fish that grow up to 12 feet long in these waters, and about how Aqua Expeditions provides fishing equipment and technical advice to Amazonia fishermen. Back on the skiffs, we head off to the Yacapana Islands, or Iguana Islands so called because of their resident reptiles. Looking like tiny dinosaurs, they crawl over the ground and rest in the treetops. As we continue exploring the waterways by skiff, gray and pink freshwater dolphins swim and play around our boats. The people of Amazonia believe these very dolphins turn into humans to steal handsome men or pretty women from their villages during celebrations. As the sun sets, different kinds of wildlife come out. Search for caiman, frogs, owls and capybara, the world's largest rodent and a most curious sight to behold. To the Headwaters. Return to the Aqua Amazon as it continues upstream, to where the Ucayali, Maranon, and Amazon Rivers converge. This is considered the birthplace of the Amazon River. Return to the Aqua Amazon and Dinner at 8pm.
Maranon River, Paacaya-Samiria National Reserve
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Breakfast and Jungle Walk. Starting out from Pacaya-Samiria Ranger Station No. 1, take a jungle walk guided by the Park Ranger who introduces you to the sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia and leads the way to one, where villagers plant palms to obtain oil. Return to the Aqua Amazon for Lunch, followed by a siesta. At 3pm, enjoy a lecture about the Taricaya Turtles in our air-conditioned Indoor Lounge. Our naturalist guides recount the history of these adorable creatures along the Amazon, their near extinction and the recent efforts supported by Aqua Expeditions that are successfully growing the turtle population in the Pacaya-Samiria Nature Reserve. Monkey and Dolphin Expedition. On this late afternoon expedition, you are very likely to have another chance to see the Amazon's two different kinds of freshwater dolphins - gray and pink. Keep your eyes on the jungle canopy too, where our naturalist guides help you to spot some of Pacaya-Samiria's 13 species of monkeys including tamarins, howlers, dusky titi and pigmy marmoset monkeys. Watch for crocodiles, and keep your binoculars at the ready, as you are likely to see more than 200 species of birds. Return to the Aqua Amazon and Briefing: Time to learn about tomorrow's adventures and review your Wildlife Checklist with our naturalist guides followed by dinner at 8pm.
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Breakfast then Birthplace of the Amazon. On this last morning of your Amazon adventure, the Aqua skirts the edges of Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. Here we witness one of the great phenomena of the Southern Hemisphere as the sun rises over the birthplace of the Amazon River. Two major tributaries, the Ucayali and the Maranon, converge to give birth to the world's greatest waterway. Meet the genuinely welcoming people of Amazonia at a riverside community. Your naturalist guide acts as interpreter so that you may talk with them about their life along the Amazon. Of course, no one has to interpret these kids' bright smiles and wide-eyed curiosity about you. On the way back to the Aqua Amazon, we navigate on a small connector canal between the Ucayali and Maranon Rivers, to admire the world's largest aquatic plant, the giant water lilies, or Victoria Regias. Here you become one of a very small number of people who have ever seen these plants bloom. Share a last lunch with your fellow passengers, before your onward journey. En route to Iquitos airport, your naturalist guides bring you to visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have rescued. Learn about this highly successful project, supported by Aqua Expeditions since its inception, and efforts to help these endearing mammals. See how the manatees are cared for, and prepared for re-introduction into their natural habitat. Check-in at Iquitos International Airport at 4:30. Your guides will help you with check-in, and will stay with you until its time to board for your flight back to Lima. Note: All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change. A yellow fever vaccination may be required for travel to the Amazon region Airfare is extra. Call for our lowest prices.
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