8 Day Zafiro Amazon Cruise
8 Days/7 Nights
From $8,000 per person
(Dbl. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)
Discover the biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon on this 8 day cruise aboard the Zafiro. Departing from Iquitos and then Nauta, you will explore the tributaries of the Amazon River in search of caiman, monkeys, dolphins, and other wildlife. You will also have the opportunity to interact with native villagers. Highlights include visiting the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth, meeting with a local shaman, and a cooking class in a native home. On your final day, you will also visit the Manatee Rescue Center.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 7 nights (aboard the M/V Zafiro) and 9 meals (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners).
Best Time to Go: June-November.
Places Visited: Iquitos & the Northern Amazon.
Note: This itinerary is subject to change according to climatic conditions at certain times of the year. The excursions can be modified at the discretion of the Zafiro crew.
Day 1 (Sat): Iquitos-Amazon River.
Flight from Lima and arrival to Iquitos (1h 25m). Our guides will be waiting at the Iquitos airport to transfer you by private vehicle to our main pier, where we will board the Zafiro.
Get accommodated in the rooms, accompanied by our staff. The ship begins navigating the Amazon.
Discover the facilities aboard Zafiro. Enjoy a cocktail in our bar or enjoy the breathtaking view from our indoor and outdoor lounge.
Meet with the guides. This meeting will explain the program of the trip, the activities, and routes that will be taken, the important moments in the expedition and the particularities of the life and landscape of the area, as well as other curiosities.
Safety drill. Safety on board is essential, that is why a safety drill will be conducted to get to know and understand the ship’s protocols.
Meeting with the cruise director. You will meet the director of the cruise, who will present the first summary of the activities.
Welcome dinner **. The welcome dinner will be served at 8:00pm. Overnight aboard the ship. (D)
Star gazing. From our third deck you can discovery the most unfathomable starry sky you have ever seen.
** Our team is prepared to attend any special nutritional needs. Notify your crew about preferences in advance so that we can offer you the best alternative.
Day 2 (Sun): Amazon River-Yanayacu de Yacapana-Headway of the Amazon-Piraña Caño-Nauta Laguna-Marañon River.
Exploration of Yanayacu de Yacapana. We will travel, on board our skiffs, to Yukama, a native reserve with around 17 black water lakes, abundant wildlife and home to the indigenous communities Ayacucho and San Juan. There we will see different species of birds and monkeys and learn more about nature.
Breakfast. Our daily buffet offers a wide selection of traditional dishes, Peruvian specialties, homemade baked goods, and freshly prepared fresh juices.
Tour bordering the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. We will discover a flooded forest that covers five million acres at the headway of the Amazon.
Expedition to the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali rivers. We will travel in our skiffs to the place where the rivers meet—forming the Amazon. The diversity of species that inhabit this area is immense: long beak swallows, laughing hawks, gray tangaras, correlimos, parakeets, short-tailed parrots and many more species of birds. We will explore the first river in the reserve of Pacaya-Samiria, the Lake of Pirañas, in search of wild life.
Return to Zafiro for lunch. Upon boarding the ship, the food will be served.
Conference on Amazonian philosophy. Our guides will introduce us to the idiosyncrasy, beliefs, and profound thinking of the Amazonian population.
Excursion to the Nauta lagoon inside the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. We will discover the ¨jungle of mirrors¨ and sharpen our senses on how to locate toucans, parrots, macaws, iguanas, sloths, and monkeys in the treetops.
Return to the Zafiro and live music. We will enjoy the colors of the sunset over the waters on the way back to the Zafiro. Upon boarding, we will be able to enjoy a concert of live music by our local band. The Peruvian culinary scene will once again be the protagonist in our dinner on board.
Night boat ride. As the night falls, we will take an optional boat ride that will allow us to enjoy the constellations while we simultaneously look for caimans, tarantulas and boas. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 3 (Mon): Yanayacu de Pucate-Yanayaquillo-San Regis (Amazon Natural Park)-Tiger River-Nahuapa.
Expedition to Yanayacu de Pucate and Yanayaquillo. We will visit several lakes and lagoons on board our skiffs, where we will have breakfast later; enjoying one of the best preserved and protected areas of the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. This area is also popular for dolphin watching.
Return to Zafiro for lunch. We will reenergize on board the cruise ship with a full lunch. Afterwards, we will enjoy time for rest ad relaxation.
Kayaking. We will become one with the waters of the Amazon and end up swimming next to the pink dolphins.
Conference on geographic positioning. Our guides will explain more about the hydrography of the rivers.
Expedition to the Amazon Natural Park. Excursion at sunset where we will take a short walk through the forest and walk on the hanging bridges at this park while observing its abundance of colorful birds.
Tree planting ceremony. After embarking on an incredible experience with the shaman, we will participate in the tree planting ceremony in the Amazon Natural Park.
Return to Zafiro for dinner. We will recuperate our strength with a dinner aboard the Zafiro.
Night excursion on the Tiger River towards Nahuapa. The Tiger River is one of the most important ramifications that flows towards the river Marañón. It has hundreds of small rivers flowing towards it. We will explore the Nahuapa, one of those small rivers, in search of alligators, snakes, tarantulas, nocturnal monkeys and birds. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 4 (Tue): Marañon River-Samiria River-San Martin de Tipishca Kukama.
Expedition to the Samiria River. We will have breakfast on board the skiffs, and then we will go down the Samiria River and its distributaries into the deep jungle to discover the abundant wildlife that inhabits it (yellow and blue macaws, toucans, parasol birds, monkeys, capybaras).
Return to Zafiro for lunch. Lunch will be the best time to recharge batteries and prepare to continue discovering the Amazon rainforest.
Conference on the Amazon. Discover, from the hand of our guides, where the name ¨Amazonas¨ comes from and learn more about the flora and fauna that inhabit it.
Visit to the San Martin community of Tipishca Kukama on the banks of the river. We will meet the genuine and welcoming inhabitants of this Amazonian community through our guides, who will act as interpreters. We will have the opportunity to buy handicrafts made by these same inhabitants and to exchange smiles with the children of the zone.
Visit to Tipishca Lake. We will discover this century-old lake that houses a large supply of good fish, including piranha and catfish. Birds in the lake are abundant, the lake attracts many species such as yellow and blue macaws chiricotes, tiger herons, black wattles, Pygmy and Amazonian pejerreyes. We may even see hoatzins, red-capped cardinals and ringed pejerreyes.
Concert of live music aboard the Zafiro and dinner. We will finish the day by recuperating with a typical Peruvian dinner. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 5 (Wed): Marañon River-Pampa Lake-Shiryacu-Nauta-Yucruchi.
Expedition to Lake Pampa. Before breakfast we will go bird watching. We will follow the coastline to surprise the many species of monkeys and birds, including terns, neotropical cormorants, garzetas, herons, hawks and, our favorite, the hoatzin.
Return to the Zafiro for breakfast. Time to gather energy to continue discovering.
Fishing for piranhas and meeting with the local shaman. We will begin our expedition with piranha fishing in the Shiriyacu stream. We will then walk in the jungle to find the local shaman and learn about the complementary medicine of the Amazon and the ancestral traditions. We will have the opportunity to ask questions to the shaman.
Return to Zafiro for an early lunch. We will share the last lunch on board and bid farewell to this four day tour.
Lecture on myths and legends. Our guides will explain the myths and legends that grow around the Amazon and its communities.
Late-night excursion to admire the giant aquatic lilies. We will navigate through a small canal that connects the Ucayali and Marañón rivers and we will have the opportunity to admire the largest aquatic plant in the world. At nightfall we will discover the symphony emitted by nocturnal birds that inhabit the skies of the Amazon.
Dinner. Upon returning to the cruise chip, we will enjoy a comforting Amazonian dinner. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 6 (Thu): Ucayali River-Yanallpa River-Trapiche River-Dorado River-Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.
Breakfast. Grab energy for a day full of activities.
Expedition to Yanallpa River. After breakfast, we will stroll along incredible streams of black water, explore the “gallery forest”, and observe the parrots, macaws, and saki monkeys in the trees along the banks of the river accompanied by our guides and their explanations about the jungle.
Exploration of the Trapiche River. On the way back to the Zafiro we will explore the Trapiche river and we will take a walk with our guides to learn about medicinal plants, and search for insects, snakes, and birds. The guides will identify the fruit trees and medicinal plants that comprise the natural pharmacy of the Amazon.
Return to Zafiro for lunch. Upon boarding the ship, the food will be served.
Exploration of the Dorado River. We will take a trip in our skiffs through “the jungle of mirrors”, where we can see the tall trees reflected in the black water of the river. We will observe the parrots, macaws, primates and sloths that inhabit the banks of the river. On the way back to Zafiro we can observe alligators and frogs in the water, as well as fishermen bats flying over us.
Return to Zafiro for dinner. Enjoy the dinner aboard the Zafiro. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 7 (Fri): Ucayali River-Yarapa River-Amazon River-Panguana 2nd Zone.
Breakfast. Another day begins with delicious Amazonian foods.
Expedition to the Yarapa River. We will continue exploring the water ways in the skiffs to the place where the pink and gray freshwater dolphins swim and play. We will observe monkeys such as the capuchin and marmoset. We will also observe birds such as flycatchers, trogons, and carpenters as well as other typical creatures of the Amazonian ecosystem.
Return to the Zafiro and start navigating downstream to Iquitos. Once back to the Zafiro we will serve lunch and enjoy some time with some relaxation and rest.
Cooking class in Panguana 2nd zone. We will enjoy a cooking class in a native home with our guides as interpreters. We will learn firsthand about local cuisine and taste the culinary art of the Amazon.
Return to Zafiro. Once on board, the cruise will continue its descent by the river towards Iquitos.
Informational session in the interior lounge. We will look back to remember everything we discovered on our trip and learn more about the Amazon and its geography.
Wildlife viewing. We will admire the creatures that inhabit the banks of the Amazon River.
Dinner and presentation of the crew. After dinner, our guides will introduce us to all crew members. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 8 (Sat): Boat Trip Itaya River-Disembark in Iquitos-Transfer to the Airport-Manatee Rescue Center.
Boat trip on the Itaya River. We will navigate this tributary of the Amazon and admire the floating houses of the Belen Market.
Return to Zafiro for an early lunch. We will share one last lunch before the trip back home.
Transfer to the airport and visit the Manatee Rescue Center. On the way to the airport we will visit the rescue center for Manatee; where biologists and volunteers take care of the endangered species. We will see how manatees are cared for and prepared for their re-introduction into their natural habitat.
Check-in at Iquitos International Airport. Your guides will assist you with Check-in and departure formalities to board your flight back to Lima. (B,L)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Prices & Dates
Price per Person
|First Deck Suite||$12,000||$8,000||$6,667|
|Second Deck Suite||$12,623||$8,415||$7,013|
- The above prices are valid until December 31, 2022.
- There is a minimum age of seven for all departures.
- Triple price is based on one Child 11 or under sharing the cabin with two adults.
Saturday departures throughout the year. This itinerary is offered during the low water season, which runs from June to November. A slightly different itinerary is offered during the high water season, which runs from December to May.
- South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
- Transfers to/from vessel when arriving on recommended flights to Iquitos.
- One night accommodation at Double Tree by Hilton Iquitos.
- Accommodations on board the M/V Zafiro.
- All meals scheduled on board.
- Natural juices, soda, coffee, tea, water, and beer (on board the ship).
- Entrance fee to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
- Licensed, English-speaking tour guides.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Domestic airfare.
- Hotel nights before/after the cruise.
- Gratuities to ship crew and guides (Suggested $20-$30/person/night for the crew, and $7-$10/person/night for the guides).
- Gifts and personal items.
- Travel insurance.
We will be happy to quote the cost of airfare, land services, and travel insurance and to make these arrangements for you.
Group/Private: All services included in this tour are operated on a group basis.
Passport/Visa: U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Peruvian embassy in their country before traveling.
Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan.
To Book This Trip: Call or email us to confirm the availability of the ship and airfare for your desired dates of travel. Once we have confirmed availability, you will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of $900 per person. The balance of the trip cost is due 90 days prior to departure.
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