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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.
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?
6 Fascinating Birds to Find on an Amazon River Expedition
Exploring the Amazon’s Pacaya Samiria Natural Reserve has an uncanny way of inspiring travelers who’ve never gone bird-watching before to start scanning the trees and the sky for the most stunning, elusive, eccentric birds. Here are a few to look out for on your adventure.
Sail in tropical style & comfort with a small band of explorers. Delfin II accommodates just 28 guests in 14 beautifully appointed outside suites. This stately riverboat redefines modern elegance. Airy open spaces are detailed with clean lines in tropical hardwoods.
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.
Colombian filmmaker and photographer Federico Pardo specializes in natural history, environmental, and human stories. He received a National Geographic grant in 2019 for his Vanishing Primates project, and garnered two Emmy awards—one with National Geographic's “Untamed Americas” and another with Univision's “The Amazon: A Paradise for Sale.”
Wildlife photojournalist, filmmaker, and field biologist Tim Laman uses his cameras as tools for telling the stories of rare and endangered wildlife and revealing some of Earth's wildest places. He has published more than 20 feature stories in National Geographic magazine and worked on films for the National Geographic Channel, BBC, and Netflix. Tim's work has garnered numerous awards, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016.
Ami Vitale is a National Geographic Explorer, photographer and filmmaker, as well as an ambassador for Nikon. She is also the founder and executive director of the women-led nonprofit Vital Impacts, which supports humanitarian projects around the world.
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.
Today we explored Pahuachiro Creek before breakfast, looking for special sightings along the Maranon River. Pahuachiro Creek is a small body of water with beautiful forest on both sides. This area is home to creatures such as yellow-headed caracaras, black-collared hawks, large-billed terns, and some species of monkeys. In the morning after breakfast we explored Casual Rain Forest on the riverbank. As the name suggests, it is a rainforest! It is a vast green jungle with an interesting trail that leads through an amazing collection of giant trees and palms where many types of animals hang out. As we explored the forest, we had an encounter with the master of the jungle! We spotted a red-tailed boa slowly moving among the bushes. Its camouflage is impressive — without the expert eyes of the local guides we would have missed such an event. These forests are so full of life; besides the abundance of trees there are the many creatures here that we saw with our own eyes. On the ground there were snails and tarantulas, and the sounds of many insects that we cannot see due to their camouflage. The Upper Amazon is not only a vast green forest but also home to many human settlements divided into small communities close to the riverbanks. Today we visited Amazonas Community to learn about the local culture and way of life. It was very interesting and exciting to spend some time with the leaders of the community, hearing their stories about education, fishing, and agriculture. It was a very enriching experience for all the visitors. Over the years we have visited different settlements along the rivers of the Upper Amazon, and we have seen how their lives have improved in terms of education, empowerment, and production of fine handicrafts. Today we had an opportunity to buy some souvenirs produced by the women of the community. Their figures and weaving are amazing, very colorful and of good quality. All these items are made from natural palm fibers found in the surrounding forest. It was another amazing day in the heart of the rainforest!
This morning before breakfast we explored Belluda Creek, a tributary of the Ucayali River. The moment we boarded the skiffs we had our first encounter with the wildlife in this area. A few feet from the shore we spotted a green iguana on a small bush, basking in the first sunlight of the morning to warm up and start its day. Shortly afterwards we observed some toucans on a tall tree, singing and flying above us. The shore of the creek was full of wading birds such as great egrets and cocoi herons, the largest in the Upper Amazon. We also observed small herons and egrets all around. The muddy shore was teeming with small flycatchers as well. We spotted a number of kingfisher species, including ringed, Amazon, and green kingfishers. The forest was quiet and cool at this hour, as the sun was rising and shedding its light through the tiny spaces among the trees. However, at the riverside there were plenty of birds just starting their morning activities. After breakfast we explored the forest. Here we went for a walk to discover what was under the big trees and vines and palms. As we walked we observed big nests of army ants; we also learned about the large trees and their medicinal value for the local communities. At the end of the morning walk we started navigation to our next stop: Yarapa Creek in the region of Paranapura, for afternoon activities. This is another great place for bird watching among the surrounding forest and shore grasses. Here we observed a new forest in the process of forming, due to the path of the river and the annual changes to its natural course. In this way lagoons are formed surrounded by forest and swamps, which are the right conditions for the giant lily pads known as Victorias regias! Once we visited the giant lilies, we boarded our fleet of skiffs to search for more forest creatures. Today was amazing from the early morning start with plenty of wildlife sightings, and this afternoon was no exception — we soon encountered a troop of wooly monkeys with a baby! What could be better than that? What an amazing day!
We are exploring the Ucayali River and this morning we ventured into the riverside and surrounding forest. This region is full of life — particularly with an abundance of birds — from the water level to the tops of the tallest trees. We landed at Dorado Beach before breakfast, as we planned a walk for birdwatching and exploration of the sand dunes. As soon as we landed at Dorado Beach we had the feeling of being transported to a desert, with dunes and white sand all around! However just 100 yards away the green grass from the river swamps leads to the endless green of the largest jungle on Earth! The Amazon Rainforest and its diversity of bird species became the highlight of our afternoon outing. This beach is home to flocks of large-billed terns that nest on the sand. They make small pits where they lay their eggs and raise their babies. As we walked, we found eggs and nests with babies on the sand — while above the flock of terns were keeping an eye on us and making sounds all around. This beach visit was also great for a leisurely walk, to get a bit of exercise and fresh air before breakfast. As we were having a well-earned breakfast we started navigation to the next visitor site, which is another exciting region of the Upper Amazon that is full of life. Here we disembarked in the late afternoon, as we wanted to stay until nighttime and explore the forest in search of different life forms. This outing was a memorable one in which we spotted the largest of the storks, the jabiru; these giants hang out along the beach looking for fish, baby caimans, or small turtles. In the forest we spotted squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, and enormous flocks of cormorants roosting on giant trees. The night exploration was quite a highlight as it allowed us to see different types of bats, herons, nighthawks, and monkeys going to their roosting. The most interesting of all were the caiman sightings! We were equipped with spotlights to search for them in the vegetation along the riverbank. As it got dark we soon spotted their shining eyes among the grasses. All I can say is “I want to do it again!” – what an amazing day.
In the morning before breakfast we started with skiff exploration at Nauta Creek. After breakfast we had another outing, this time for exploring the Casual Rain Forest. It is full of trees and palms and a myriad of plant species. To guide us, we were accompanied by members of the local community. Being people of the jungle, they know how to find the elusive creatures that hide or camouflage among the trees and forest clutter. Here we had an encounter with the master of the jungle! A green anaconda slowly moving on the roots of a giant tree. Its camouflage was impressive — without the expert eyes of the local guides we would have missed it entirely. This forest is full of life. Besides the abundance of trees, on the ground there were snails and tarantulas, and plenty of sounds of insects that we didn’t find due to their camouflage. The jungle is amazing, and it always has a concert of sounds ready for the ears of visitors. The Upper Amazon is not only a vast wilderness but also home to many human settlements divided into small communities close to the riverbanks. Today we visited Amazonas Community to learn about the local culture and lifestyle. We were very excited meeting the leaders of the community and hearing their stories about education, fishing, and agriculture. Over the years we have visited various settlements along the rivers of the Upper Amazon and we have seen how their lives have improved in terms of education, empowerment, and production of fine handicrafts. Today we had an opportunity to buy some souvenirs produced by the women of the community. Their crafts and weaving are amazing — colorful and of good quality. All these items are made from natural palm fibers found in the surrounding forest. It was another amazing day in the rainforest!
Today we started the morning early and explored the shoreline around the river. This section is often flooded, but by this time of year we can walk in the sand bank where new vegetation is starting to grow. Here we found many bird species, including colorful singing birds and raptors. For the second half of the morning, we ventured into the forest. We hiked in an area that has easy-to-walk trails; they led our groups to a hidden lagoon full of dragonflies and flowers. We also encountered leafcutter ants along the way. Our ship was resting in a location between two rivers, and these kinds of places happen to be the best fishing sites for dolphins. Gray and pink dolphins gave us a show of their hunting skills. In the late afternoon outing, we went to Yarapa Creek looking for monkeys. They didn’t make us wait long, as we found woolly monkeys that were carrying babies and feeding very close to the river edge. We ended the day with a lesson in making Pisco sour cocktails, and a beautiful sunset.
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.