Arrive: Iquitos, Peru
Depart: Iquitos, Peru
Note: This trip is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as an agent in booking your reservation with the operator. Please download the Rate Sheet in the Dates & Pricing section to see the full pricing details and contact our Cruise Collection Specialists to check availability.
(High Season Itinerary) Arrive in Iquitos, Peru, then journey by air-conditioned vehicle through the Peruvian countryside to Nauta for lunch (or a box lunch en route, depending on the flight arrival time). The afternoon continues with your first skiff excursion in the Amazon. At 6:00 pm, board your ship and settle into your generously proportioned suite as you begin your adventure. Following a routine safety drill and introduction to the naturalist guides, gather for innovative Amazonian cuisine created by Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is the one of Lima's top ranked dining experiences.
High Season Itinerary (December to May)
Peru's rainy season runs from December through May. This is a relatively cooler and wetter season when the Amazon region receives a little more than half (60%) of its total rainfall. During the high water season the average temperature is 86°F, only 12 degrees cooler than in the low water season. There are great benefits to traveling to Peru's Amazon at this time of year. The Amazon Basin's rivers and streams are about 23 feet higher than they are during the low water season, so that every river, creek and lake is navigable. You are able to explore more of the Amazon's waterways by skiff, and will have access to areas with more plant life and wildlife than during the low water season. The flooded waterways put travelers much closer to the Amazon jungle canopy, where monkeys play and beautiful Amazon birds like to roost. In fact, you are very likely to see many more mammals, both monkeys and others, during the high water season. Enhanced navigation by water has a flip side—areas to walk and hike are sometimes limited at this time, and there will be more mosquitoes than in the low water season. Fishing in the Amazon River is more limited during these months too, but you still have close to a 50:50 chance to get out your rod and reel and make a catch.
Low Season Itinerary (June to November)
Despite its name, the low water season still exhibits some heavy rains. This is the warmer season on the Amazon River, with temperatures averaging about 98°F. A key difference between visiting Peru in this season versus the high water season is that trails and jungle paths flooded from December to May are now easily accessible, allowing you to explore deep in the jungle by foot (and accompanied by fewer mosquitoes than during the flooded season). The flip side of this is that water levels on the Amazon River and its tributaries are much lower from June to November, which means that many of the creeks and lakes visited during the rainy season are inaccessible. Lower water levels, however, can be a bonus in another way: during these months fishing is 100 percent guaranteed and you stand a fair chance to catch a piranha. And while you are farther below the birds that roost in the Amazon jungle canopy, you will have the chance to see dozens of species of migratory birds in flight, something you would completely miss during the high water season.
Day 1: Iquitos / Transfer to Nauta / Embarkation / Maranon River
Day 2: Ucayali River / Pacaya River
Day 3: Pacaya River/ Ucayali River / Tapiche River
Day 4: Clavero Lake / Jungle walk in the San Jose De Sarapanga Forest
Day 5: Arrival in Nauta / Manatee Rescue Center/ Transfer to the Airport
At time of reservation: $1,000
100 days prior to departure: Balance
*Please note that this differs from our standard policy.
Minimum fee: $500 per person
91-120 days prior to departure: $1000 per person
90 days or less: 100% of trip cost
*Please note that this differs from our standard policy.
Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.
Days 1-4 (4 nights)
Drawing inspiration from the mystical blackwater lagoons of the Peruvian Amazon, the Aqua Nera's sleek design and contemporary décor is an elegant setting for cruising the exotic Amazonian waters. Her 20 spacious suites feature air-conditioning, en-suite bathrooms, generous closet space, and floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic river and rainforest views. Award-winning...
Days 1-4 (4 nights)
The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest. There are shore excursions featuring nature walks and village visits, and river outings by skiff. It is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active.
Conditions along the Amazon River in Peru divide into two seasons: a high water season from December through May and a low water season that lasts from June until November. Cruising the Amazon in either season promises rich rewards with breathtaking opportunities to view and photograph magnificent plant and animal life unlike anywhere else on earth.
If seeing the glorious Amazon rainforest at its lushest and getting up close to lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying slightly cooler temperatures) sounds most attractive, then December to May might be your best choice. If jungle hikes and spotting exotic migratory birds perched on trees between flights across Amazonia appeals most to you, while still having the chance to see capuchin monkeys, kinkajou, and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions, you might be happier choosing the warmer, low water season.
Weather in this region of the Amazon remains generally warm with some rainfall even during low water season. In fact, despite being the "rainy" season, during the high water months, the Amazon only gets about 10% more rain than in the low water season. So, as you choose the time of your cruise on the Amazon River (in either season), we suggest you consider the following three key points:
The Amazon basin is as lush and green as it is because it gets an abundance of rain -- 12 feet a year on average. In a typical year, the Amazon River rainforest experiences 200 rainy days, which means that there will be days of rain even in the low water season. However it rarely rains all day. Rain most often falls in passing cloudbursts, which allow the vessel to coordinate excursions accordingly. When it does rain, you are provided sturdy ponchos to ensure you stay extremely comfortable so you can focus on the astonishing Amazon jungle scenery.
Peru's rainy season runs from December through May, which is summer and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. This is the relatively cooler and wetter season when the Amazon region receives more than half (60%) of its total annual rainfall. During the high water season, the average temperature is 86°F, only 12°F cooler than in the average low water season. Benefits of visiting Peru's Amazon at this time of year include the dramatic high water panorama. The Amazon Basin's rivers and streams rise about 23 feet higher than during the low water season. Aside from the striking visual effect, this also means that every river, creek, and lake is navigable. Thus, the ship's tenders are able to cruise further along the wildlife-rich waterways of Amazonia and bring guests up close to more plants and Amazon animals than during the low water season. Flooded waterways carry you significantly deeper by water into the Amazon jungle canopy, where the kaleidoscope of Amazon birds flutter about. Although the odds of sighting wildlife do not change significantly between the two seasons, you are likely to see more of some Amazon wildlife favorites such as monkeys, turtles, and caimans during the high water months. Enhanced navigation by water has a flip side -- areas to walk and trek become less accessible at this time of year. When you do find usable hiking trails, so will the mosquitoes that are more prevalent now than during the low water season. Fishing in the Amazon River is actually more limited during these high water months too, but you still have close to a 50/50 chance to reel in a memorable catch.
Low water season in Amazonia coincides with winter in the Southern Hemisphere, from June to November. This is the warmer season on the Amazon River, with temperatures averaging about 98°F. Despite its name, the low water season still exhibits some heavy rains. A key difference between visiting the Amazon in low water season vs. high water season is you are able to access the jungle trails that get flooded from December to May, allowing you to follow your naturalists and local Amazonia guides deeper into the jungle by foot, and accompanied by fewer mosquitoes than during the high water season. Guests also tend to spot an even greater abundance of migratory birds in flight during the low water season. However, the trade-off at this time of year is that water levels on the Amazon River and its tributaries drop much lower from June to November, which means that many of the creeks and lakes that we visit by tender during the rainy season are now inaccessible. Lower water levels do offer a bonus: good fishing is 100% guaranteed, you even stand a fair chance to catch a piranha.
Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!
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With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.
Level 1 – Easiest
Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.
Level 3 – Moderate
Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.
Level 5 – Strenuous
Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.