TURQUESA, TURMALINA, AMATISTA & ESMERALDA PROGRAM PREVIEW
REFERENCIAL PROGRAM FOR 8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS AMAZON CRUISE
There are several riverboats that sail into the Pacaya Samiria natural reserve.
Day 1 - Iquitos - Pacaya Samiria Amazon cruise
We embark on our vessel. Soon afterward, we cast off and begin our journey into the greatest wilderness on Earth. Tonight, as we cruise slowly up the Amazon, the stars above present an incredible spectacle of both northern and southern constellations. (B,L,D)
Day 2 - Pacaya Samiria Amazon cruise - Rio Marañon / Rio Ucayali
We wake up this morning on the mighty Amazon river. As our boat continues upriver, we are amazed at the ever-changing panorama of jungle life. Small villages occasionally come into view along the shoreline, channels weave through island mazes providing close-up views of a variety of marsh birds, including Oriole Blackbirds, Purple Gallinules and Yellow-headed Caracaras. We arrive at the junction of the Río Marañón and Río Ucayali, the place indicated on most maps as the inception of the Amazon River, about 2,400 miles west of the Atlantic Ocean. We turn up the left fork, the Ucayali. An outstanding feature of this river is the large population of both Gray and Pink Amazon River Dolphins, often seen cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Our morning excursion takes us into the surrounding rainforest in search of Giant Water Lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths. We return to our boat for lunch. This afternoon we may visit a small village or, perhaps, call on a local shaman. As dusk approaches, we focus our attention on the river as the fishing bats begin their night’s foraging. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Pacaya Samiria Amazon cruise - Rio Ucayali / Requena
This morning our excursion takes us into a small tributary of the Ucayali. Our guides use their expertise to help us search for an incredible variety of animals and birds. After returning to the vessel we continue up the river, heading for the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. This afternoon our excursion into the largest wetland
reserve in the world provides the opportunity to view a variety of primates, including Red Howler and Squirrel Monkeys, as well as Monk Saki, a unique primate that frequents seasonally flooded forests.Tonight, a nocturnal visit to the reserve reveals Caiman, Capybara, Common Potoo, frogs and other wildlife, active at night. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Pacaya Samiria Amazon cruise - Requena / Rio Trapiche
Our outing begins at an optimal time for wildlife observation. We can expect to see numerous wading birds, such as the White-necked Heron, Black-capped Heron, Wattled Jacana and Sunbittern. In addition, parrots are quite common, and we may observe the most conspicuous of these, the endangered Scarlet Macaw, often seen flying in pairs or small groups. Along the river channel we hear leaves rustle high in the trees as the Red Howler monkeys, in small family groups, feed on leaves, a staple of their folivorous diet. Midmorning we stop at higher ground to take a leisurely hike through a varzea. This seasonally flooded forest is surprisingly open, due to its periodic inundation with water, and is likely to reveal Three-toed Sloths in the upper canopy and a proliferation of butterflies, including the spectacularly brilliant Blue Morpho. We enjoy a picnic lunch at a ranger station before heading back to our vessel for more opportunities to observe wildlife as we explore the river channels. This afternoon we depart for the Tapiche River. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - Pacaya Samiria Amazon cruise - Rio Tapiche / Rio Marañon
This morning our vessel enters the Río Tapiche for a short distance. Today’s activities include swimming in the river, paddling a dugout canoe, and visiting a river village. The villagers here may present small hand-made crafts for sale, if you are interested. After a full morning, we return to the ship and continue down the Ucayali toward the Río Marañón. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Pacaya Samiria Amazon cruise - Terra Firma
Today we enter the Terra Firma, the type of forest envisioned when one hears the word "jungle." Large trees festooned with epiphytes, palms, woody vines and a vaulted canopy create the shadowed mystery of tropical rainforest. Our trail winds through the forest arriving at a canopy walkway where we explore the world above the forest floor. Throughout the morning we experience the awe of Earth’s most prolific life zone. Plants, invertebrates and animals surround us as we become immersed in the forest. Returning to the ship for lunch, our trip continues as we start back toward Iquitos. This afternoon our excursion on a blackwater river provides one last chance to enjoy the beauty of tropical rainforest. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - Pacaya Samiria Amazon cruise - Iquitos
After breakfast, we arrive at the docks and disembark in Iquitos.
(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
NOTES ON THE ITINERARY:
Please note that the day to day schedule must be considered approximate. The exact order of the activities and specific features may be altered due to navigational considerations.