Amazon Trails & Rivers Sample Itinerary
A tour of the High Forests and Rivers of the Upper Amazon
with a GreenTracks tropical biologist.
A Private Service program for just your family or group. Please inquire.
SATURDAY, DAY 1 – Depart your home and fly to Lima, Peru.
SUNDAY, DAY 2 – Fly from Lima to Iquitos on the morning flight. Greeting at the airport upon arrival. Transfer by private bus to the old settlement of Nauta, reachable by the only road leaving Iquitos. The Iquitos-Nauta region is jungle-locked by the seasonal flooding of the Amazon. No roads can be built to connect this remote region with the outside world. At Nauta we'll board roofed speedboats for the 45-minute ride upstream on the Marañón to our lodge. After settling in, we’ll enjoy a delicious lunch and talk over the options of activities. Most will want a siesta after lunch since the trip from the States and Lima can be tiring, but an afternoon hike can be arranged for those who want to stretch their legs, and a night walk in the forest after supper is a must. GreenTracks is renown for our night hikes. The forest comes alive after dark, revealing many creatures seldom seen by day. (L,D)
MONDAY, DAY 3 – We all gather at the breakfast table, some having gone birding with our guides in the early morning hours, while others may have slept in. We’ll spend the morning wandering through the forest, getting acquainted with the lay of the land, searching for both wildlife and plants of interest. After a hearty lunch and the almost obligatory siesta, we meet in the hammock room (they will gain appeal as the week progresses!) to discuss our plans for the evening. What are our options? A boat trip up the creek across the Marañón to look for nocturnal creatures? A slow night hike in the forest behind us? Our decision (as always) will depend upon the conditions we encounter at the moment. Remaining as flexible as possible allows us to take advantage of the best opportunities as they arise. Exploring the Amazon does not lend itself well to rigid schedules. (B,L,D)
TUESDAY, DAY 4 – Arise early to bird or sleep in until breakfast. We spend our morning either in the forest or exploring the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve by small boat. The Pacaya-Samiria is an excellent area for monkeys, sloths and numerous birds. May be a boxed-lunch if we have wandered far from the lodge. After our return to the lodge, a siesta is a must (your excuse: it’s all the oxygen!), followed by a late afternoon planning session. This night we may opt for poking around the lodge grounds (sometimes easier than deep forest for spotting certain creatures), a night walk (they are always an adventure) or a caiman hunt (catch-and-release) by small boat. (B,L,D)
WEDNESDAY, DAY 5 – We’ll have a late breakfast, having departed quite early in boats to dolphin-watch and to look for riverine bird life. After lunch we’ll visit a nearby village where a glimpse of river life, not to mention a gaggle of giggling kids, can be seen. An optional forest hike will be available for the serious photographers or any others with interest. Night walk after supper. (B,L,D)
THURSDAY, DAY 6 – An early breakfast and we head off in boats, packing lunches, for a trip downriver to climb the observation tower at Grau, the famous junction of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers, birthplace of the Amazon River. On the way back upstream, we’ll visit another part of the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, a beautiful stream hidden behind an island on the Marañón, and an interesting trail through seasonal flood forest. This is a great area for sloths and Umbrella Birds. Return to our base in mid-afternoon, run for cool refreshments and (of course).... a siesta! Nighttime options range from a walk in the high forest to a boat run for caiman to a night of just relaxing and socializing. (B,L,D)
FRIDAY, DAY 7 – Up early for a last look at the forest before packing our gear for the trip to Iquitos. This will be a reverse of your trip in, boating first to Nauta, then by road to the city of Iquitos. You will see Iquitos, the largest city in the world that is not connected to any other by road, for the first time. We’ll get settled in our hotel, grab yourself a lunch if you wish and set off on what many find to be their favorite activity – a GreenTracks tour of the city. Anything but dull and predictable, this involves everything from a trip through the wild corridors of the Belen market to handicraft purchases at the artisans’ stalls. In between are the Iron House, and other famous sights. Dinner is free time but often everyone wants to dine together, so we can make a reservation at one of the better restaurants if you wish. Overnight at our hotel. (B)
SATURDAY, DAY 8 – Up early for a trip to the airport and return to the world outside - Lima. It is always sad to leave this green paradise, filled with incredible creatures, beautiful vistas, and lots of smiling people. But you also know you’ve been somewhere few others have seen. Upon arrival to Lima, make connections with your flight back home or continue with a trip to Cuzco and Machu Picchu to see cloud forest and Inka ruins.