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Aria    4 Day / 3 Night programs

 

High Water Itinerary (December - May)
Low Water Itinerary (June - November)

 


Aria  Itinerary,  4 Day / 3 Night, High Water (December - May)

Day 1 - Friday: LIMA to IQUITOS - AMAZON RIVER

Fly from Lima to Iquitos on the afternoon flight. Your guides await you at Iquitos International Airport. Claim your luggage then board our air-conditioned bus for the short ride to the river.

Transfer to Iquitos’ Main Wharf. The Aqua Amazon, your home for the next three nights, awaits you.

Embarkation and Check-in. Welcome to the low key luxury of the Aria 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.

Safety Drill and Briefing on the Observation Deck. Before dinner, participate in our routine safety drill and then head into the air-conditioned Indoor Lounge to meet the cruise director and for your first briefings from our naturalist guides about the adventures ahead.

Welcome Dinner. Toast your journey with our sommelier-selected fine South American wine that accompany the Amazonia-influenced cuisine of Aqua Expeditions Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. Schiaffino’s healthy and innovative recipes incorporate the freshest local products – fruits, fish, spices – adding culinary adventure to our journeys. (Menus always offer choices, including a vegetarian option – please let us know any other specific dietary requirements in advance of your voyage). Perhaps a nightcap on the Observation Deck, counting constellations. (Dinner)

Day 2 - Saturday: AMAZON - YANAYACU - YACAPANA - YARAPA

Sunrise Over the River. Catch your first glimpse of the Amazon, as you watch the sun come up over this vibrant world of wonderful wildlife.

Our sumptuous daily breakfast buffet offers a wide selection of traditional egg dishes, Peruvian specialties, homemade baked goods and fresh-squeezed juices, made from luscious tropical fruits you may never have tasted before.

Yacapana Isles Exploration. Board 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.

Locals call the Yacapana Isles the “the Isle of the Iguana” thanks to the great number of these reptiles, resembling tiny dinosaurs, which inhabit them. We pass very close the islands, giving you an opportunity to take photos of the vibrant flora and fauna. Go fishing here too for the Amazon’s infamous piranhas with our naturalists.

Return to the Aria Amazon at 11:45 where icy cold towels and fresh squeezed camu camu juice await 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.

Expedition to the Yarapa River at 4 PM. We continue exploring the waterways by skiff, to where gray and pink freshwater dolphins swim and play around our boats.

As the sun sets, different kinds of wildlife come out. Search for caiman, frogs and owls.

Return to the Aria Amazon at 7:30 PM. Perhaps sip a Camu Camu Sour on the Observation Deck as the sun sets followed by another Peruvian-inspired dinner from our Executive Chef. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3 - Sunday: UCAYALI - YANALLPA - DORADO RIVERS - PACAYA SAMIRIA NATIONAL RESERVE

Breakfast at 7 AM then Flooded Forests of Yanallpa Excursion. Explore the Yanallpa Stream looking for wildlife such as Squirrel monkeys, Saddleback Tamarin monkeys, sloths and other species. Walk among the rainforest trees that grow in these seasonally-flooded areas as our guides explain how this vegetation withstands the high water during these months.

Return to the Aria Amazon followed by Lunch and a siesta.

Ucayali River Excursion to Watch Monkeys and Dolphins. On this late afternoon trip, we head off in search of freshwater Amazon dolphins. Bring your binoculars to observe the many species of birds crisscrossing the Ucayali, among them the macaws stand out for their dramatic coloring. As the sun sets, watch for nocturnal wildlife on the Dorado River, especially the caiman that our guides have a native’s instinct for spotting. Often they are able to reach out into the black water to pick up one of these prehistoric reptiles for once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.

Return to the Aria Amazon at 7:30 followed by a relaxing dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4 - Monday: AMAZON BIRTHPLACE - PUERTO MIGUEL VILLAGE - NAUTA - IQUITOS

Breakfast and Birthplace of the Amazon. On this last morning of your Amazon adventure, the Aria 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 Marañon, converge to ‘give birth’ to the world’s greatest waterway. Nature here appears especially dramatic: birdsong accompanies your morning excursion as you glide past river banks populated by Large-billed Terns, Laughing Falcons, Gray Tanagers, sandpipers, five kinds of parakeets, the exotic Short-tailed Parrot, and countless other colorful birds.

Puerto Miguel Village. Meet the genuinely welcoming people of this riverside community and with your naturalist guide as interpreter, 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. This visit also offers an excellent opportunity to buy easy to pack artisanal handicrafts, from painted coconut bowls to surprisingly chic seed bead jewelry.

On the way back to the Aria Amazon we navigate on a small connector canal between the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers, to admire the world’s largest aquatic plant, the giant water lilies, Victoria Amazonica.

Early Lunch as you share a last lunch with fellow passengers, before your onward journey.

Disembarkation/Manatee Rescue Center/Transfer to the Airport. Disembark in Nauta at 12:15 PM for the 1.5 hour countryside drive to Iquitos. 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 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, or transfer to a hotel in Iquitos. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Note: All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.

 


Aria  Itinerary,  4 Day / 3 Night, Low Water (June - November)

Day 1 - Friday: LIMA - IQUITOS - NAUTA - AMAZON RIVER

Fly from Lima to Iquitos on the afternoon flight. Your guides await you at Iquitos International Airport. Claim your luggage 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 Aria Amazon, your home for the next three nights, awaits you.

Embarkation and Check-in. 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 Nauta behind.

Safety Drill and Briefing on the Observation Deck. Before dinner, participate in our routine safety drill and then head into the air-conditioned Indoor Lounge to meet the cruise director and for your first briefings from our naturalist guides about the adventures ahead.

Welcome Dinner. Toast your journey with our sommelier-selected fine South American wine that accompany the Amazonia-influenced cuisine of Aqua Expeditions Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. Schiaffino’s healthy and innovative recipes incorporate the freshest local products – fruits, fish, spices – adding culinary adventure to our journeys. (Menus always offer choices, including a vegetarian option – please let us know any other specific dietary requirements in advance of your voyage). Perhaps a nightcap on the Observation Deck, counting constellations. (Dinner)

Day 2 - Saturday: AMAZON - YANAYACU - YACAPANA - YARAPA

Sunrise Over the River. Catch your first glimpse of the Amazon, as you watch the sun come up over this vibrant world of wonderful wildlife.

Our sumptuous daily breakfast buffet offers a wide selection of traditional egg dishes, Peruvian specialties, homemade baked goods and fresh-squeezed juices, made from luscious tropical fruits you may never have tasted before.

Yacapana Isles Exploration. Board 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.

Locals call the Yacapana Isles the “the Isle of the Iguana” thanks to the great number of these reptiles, resembling tiny dinosaurs, which inhabit them. Amazonian beliefs state that if you touch an iguana, you will develop some of its characteristics and, as no one wants to look like one of them, these animals are well protected. We pass very close the islands, giving you an opportunity to take photos of the vibrant flora and fauna. Go fishing here, too, for the Amazon’s infamous piranhas with our naturalists.

Return to the Aria Amazon at 11:45 AM where icy cold towels and fresh squeezed Camu Camu juice await you. The vessel continues up the Amazon River, while you relax, or even take a nap, before lunch.

Lunch at 12:45 PM, Peruvian inspired midday fare in our air-conditioned dining room.

In the late afternoon, expedition to the Yarapa River. We continue exploring the waterways by skiff, to where gray and pink freshwater dolphins swim and play around our boats.

As the sun sets, different kinds of wildlife come out. Search for caiman, frogs and owls.

Return to the Aria Amazon at 7:30 PM. Perhaps sip a Camu Camu Sour on the Observation Deck as the sun sets followed by dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3 - Sunday: YANALLPA - MAGDALENA VILLAGE - PACAYA SAMIRIA NATIONAL RESERVE

Optional sunrise excursion at 6:30 AM to see and hear wildlife along the Ucayali River followed by breakfast.

Jungle Walk to Madgalena Village. Stroll through the village of Madgalena, a small community of just ten families. After you meet the people, including lots of lively and curious children, your naturalist guides lead you through the jungle to a beautiful lake to behold the world’s largest aquatic plant, the giant water lilies, Victoria Amazonica.

Return to the Aria Amazon at 11:30 followed by lunch and a siesta.

Late afternoon Ucayali River Excursion to Watch Monkeys and Dolphins. On this 4 PM trip, we head off in search of freshwater Amazon dolphins. Bring your binoculars to observe the many species of birds crisscrossing the Ucayali, among them the macaws stand out for their dramatic coloring. As the sun sets, watch for nocturnal wildlife, especially the caimans that our guides have a native’s instinct for spotting. Often they are able to reach out into the black water to pick up one of these prehistoric reptiles for once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.

Return to the Aria Amazon at 7:30 PM followed by dinner in our elegant dining room. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4 - Monday: BIRTHPLACE OF THE AMAZON - PUERTO PRADO VILLAGE VISIT - NAUTA - IQUITOS

Breakfast at 7 AM then Birthplace of the Amazon/Puerto Prado Village. 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. We witness one of the great phenomena of the Southern Hemisphere as the two major tributaries, the Ucayali and the Marañon, converge to ‘give birth’ to the world’s greatest waterway, the Amazon River. Nature here appears especially dramatic: birdsong accompanies your morning excursion as you glide past river banks populated by Large-billed Terns, Laughing Falcons, Gray Tanagers, sandpipers, five kinds of parakeets, the exotic Short-tailed Parrot, and countless other colorful birds.

Travel onward by skiff to Puerto Prado native village, to meet and interact with the hospitable Cocama Indians. With your naturalist guide acting as interpreter, you may ask them about their way of life along the river as they share their culture, traditions, and folklore with you. This is also an excellent opportunity to purchase some of their handicrafts and original folk art.

Return to the Aria Amazon at 11 AM followed by lunch where you share a last lunch with fellow passengers.

Disembarkation/Manatee Rescue Center/Transfer to the Airport. Disembark at Nauta at 12:30 PM for the 1.5 hour countryside drive to Iquitos. 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 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, or transfer to a hotel in Iquitos. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Note: All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.