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Sail into the Amazon’s cathedral of green
There’s a pulse to the Amazon, an undercurrent. Inky waters backed by layers of green forest. Wild bird calls fill the air. A leafy branch shakes to reveal a troop of clamoring monkeys. The river water levels can rise by feet overnight, creating new networks of tributaries in what used to be only forest. With nimble, custom-made skiffs we explore this flooded forest, venturing into places no human has seen. With the exquisite Delfin II as your base camp, you’ll discover the pristine upper reaches of the legendary Amazon in style.
Book by October 31, 2022, to save 10% when traveling as a group of 6 or more people on select departures. Take advantage of these great savings while enjoying traveling with your friends and family. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
Peru’s Pacaya-Samiria Reserve is the largest protected seasonal flood forest in South America. The legendary river provides sustenance and utility for the communities who live along the banks and fosters a staggering level of biodiversity. The exquisite 28-guest Delfin II is perfect for our daily explorations; it'sdesigned for the river environment and to keep you connected to it.
Delfin II is a most gracious and lovely river ship. Spacious and clad in gleaming hardwood, she is both modern and authentically of the Amazon. Her public spaces are beautifully appointed—with tropical flowers and native handicraft decorative details.
The Best Time to Visit the Amazon: High Season Vs. Low Season
The Amazon, the “King of All Rivers,” supports the world’s most biodiverse rainforest. All life along it adapts to its seasonal fluctuations. What are these river fluctuations in this seasonally flooded forest, and when should you go?
Any given visit to the many small and medium-sized streams, known locally as 'caños,' is simply fascinating! This morning we spotted many colorful bird species: woodpeckers, tanagers, cotingas, jacamars, and kingfishers.
Carlos Romero, Expedition Leader, January 27, 2022
See, do, and learn more by going with engaging experts who have been exploring this region for decades. Go with an expedition leader, naturalists, and local experts on birding, history, and more.
Veteran expedition leaders are the conductors of your experience. Many have advanced degrees and have conducted research or taught for years. They have achieved expedition leader status because they possess the skills, the experience, and the depth of knowledge necessary to continually craft the best expedition experience for our guests.
Every Amazon expedition offers an exclusive service—a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. This naturalist is specially trained to offer assistance with camera settings and the basics of composition to help you become a better, more confident photographer.
Most of the naturalists were born in towns along the riverbanks and educated in schools in Iquitos. Each hand-picked guide is specially trained before joining the Lindblad expedition team. All are fluent in English, and their personal knowledge, gained from village elders, along with their scientific training makes for fascinating storytelling, as authentic as it is well informed.
Praises to the chef and his crew for the best Lindblad foods so far. Wow! I loved the use of local fruits, etc., and special sauces. Keep the chef. He is excellent and we are foodies.
Making a Difference
Lindblad Expeditions supports stewardship efforts in the places we explore, and one way we do that is through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund. Traveler contributions to the LEX-NG Fund in the Amazon currently support our regional partner, Minga Peru, in its efforts to promote sustainable change for indigenous women and their communities.
Our last day to explore the Amazon’s richness has arrived. With nostalgia, we began the day with a fabulous breakfast made by the hands of our expert, native Amazonian chefs. The river was calling us again. With the skiffs ready, we boarded them and set off to enjoy the Amazon one last time. Our destiny was a wonderful creek with many stories to share. Birds flew by like they did all week. We observed one sitting on top of a large tree. It was noticeably large in size and had a strikingly colorful bill. “It is a toucan,” the guide said. What a privilege to observe such a beautiful bird. The journey went on. The river is endless and majestic, harboring all sorts of life everywhere. The Amazon gives us the best gift, the gift of life. We enjoyed a brief moment of silence to hear the sublime sounds of Mother Nature. The last outing of the journey had arrived, this time to visit a small community of the Amazon. They welcomed us with a display of handcrafts made by their skillful hands. We bought some of their wares, which they sell to help support themselves in this difficult and remote place. Our guests enjoyed discovering a different culture, with traditions and a unique living style. Deep in the jungle, isolation makes it necessary for people to learn survival skills, like our ancestors did before they moved to the urban sectors. It feels great to contribute to the economy by purchasing the people’s creations. We are now saying, “See you soon, great Amazon River. See you soon, great people. It was a great voyage. We will never forget you.”
Today we had the opportunity to explore another section of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The plan was to go as far as possible. We left Delfin II before sunrise to take advantage of the fresh, cool morning. Nature was waking up, and flocks of white-winged parakeets filled the sky with their majestic songs and flight. It was an early concert of not only parakeets but also of the different bird species that live in the reserve. It was a good welcome committee. We spent the whole morning exploring the reserve. Our breakfast was served at the “Jungle Café,” one of the several ranger stations inside the reserve. A breathtaking view of the reserve was enjoyed by all as we shared our different animal sightings. On our way back to Delfin II , we stopped in Yanayacu Lagoon. It was the moment we had waited for, the traditional “Piranha Plunge.” One by one, our explorers jumped in the mirrorlike black waters of the lagoon. In the distant, flocks of cormorants, egrets, herons, and jabirus were seen foraging along the shoreline. It was a great outing. Mother Nature allowed us to enjoy sightings of black caimans, macaws, howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, turtles, and many other forest dwellers. We all concluded that what we had seen was just a glimpse of the vast and mighty Upper Amazon!
The waters of the Ucayali River and its tributaries are unceasingly fertile, teeming with life anywhere you go and everywhere you look. This place has been blessed by Mother Nature with an enormous number of resources, most generated by the great Amazon River. Before breakfast, we set out on a skiff exploration to discover the wonders born from the womb of the Amazon. Endless species of birds are attracted to the abundance of habitats and fish available here. Some guests went for a walk into the soul of the green jungle at a place called Yanalpa. Both options were equally interesting with endless opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife. From the skiffs, our naturalist and driver spotted a tiny hummingbird nest hiding in the leaves of a tree. We waited patiently until we saw the hummingbird. Different species of monkeys, like golden-bellied capuchins, live high up in trees where they find food and refuge. We spotted blue-and-yellow macaws, which was so exciting. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get a photo as they fly by overhead. After enjoying time on board, we set out again for more skiff explorations. We entered El Dorado River. The river’s dark brown waters produce so many fish that nourish numerous species of animals and humans. After sunset, we continued exploring this magical and legendary place. We were looking for a creature that is better seen at night when their eyes, red like laser pointers, are revealed just on the surface of the water. It is challenging to find and photograph them, but our local guides are just amazing at spotting wildlife. The diversity in this place has no parallel anywhere else on earth. We felt grateful for another opportunity to see the wonders of pacha mamma.
This morning, we woke up next to an interesting lake, Clavero Lake. This lake was formed when the Ucayali River changed its course many years ago. Even though the water still flows to the river, it remains deep enough to be a good place for fishing. We explored our surroundings on skiffs. We could see the “riberenos” setting up gill nets and checking on their catches. Opportunistic birds soared around the boats, trying to see if the fishermen might turn away from their bounty for a moment. It was a morning loaded with different bird sightings. Our naturalist explained the forest dynamics of the area and the natural history of the diverse wildlife. In the afternoon, we had another opportunity to explore the riverside of the mighty Ucayali River. The low water season is beginning, and a lot of migratory birds are starting to gather and enjoy the food that is found aplenty here. There is so much to see and so much to learn about the Upper Amazon’s biodiversity.
The Amazon is like a different world, immense and fertile with infinite flora and fauna. The lungs of Peru and of the world. After sunrise and breakfast this morning, we embarked on the skiffs to explore the abundant wildlife at Nauta Creek. With the help of our keen, eagle-eyed naturalists who are familiar with the area, we observed and photographed several species of birds, sloths, and well-camouflaged bats. It is common to see small human communities along the riverbanks. These families make their living by working the fertile soil. The abundant rainwater helps them grow crops for their own use and for commerce. We spotted men in small canoes catching fish along the river’s edge. Back on board, one of the naturalists gave a presentation on the fruits of the Amazon, with a fancy market style display included. After a delicious Peruvian lunch, we had some time to rest before continuing with the afternoon’s program. This time, we planned to explore the land. The skiffs dropped us off at Casual Forest, where we were welcomed by members of the small community. They kindly shared with us about their passion for and care of their homeland. We encountered a highly venomous red frog, a giant and hairy tarantula, a sloth, and a boa constrictor, all of which are normally well hidden. The people living here know where and how to find them. To thank the people for their kindness and to support their economy, we bought some of their beautiful, well-made handcrafts. Today, we thank Mother Nature for letting us into her heart of immense riches and mysteries.
FAQs and key information
From climate conditions, to electrical outlets, to packing the right footwear, find answers to the questions Expedition Specialists get most often.