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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.
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 is the last full day of our expedition, and what a magnificent day it was! We have truly been amazed by the beauty of the forest and our daily encounters with wildlife. On our last day, we maximized our time and departed very early in the morning. We headed to visit a small creek known as Pahuachiro. It made for a great final skiff ride, as we encountered many of the birds we have seen before, and even some new ones to add to our bird list! Later in the morning, we went to terra firma and hiked over a trail known as “Casual.” This trail is named after a small village located a few miles away, and it truly provided us with marvelous encounters to complete our Amazon expedition. Some of the locals joined us and became “local guides,” hiking through the forest and returning with precious cargo…snakes, tarantulas, poison dart frogs, etc. So many curiosities would have escaped us if we had been by ourselves, and the assistance of local people in spotting wildlife was very much appreciated! It all finished where we started, but the area looked somehow different. Locals had created modest stands to display handcrafts and carvings that some of our guests purchased as souvenirs! Right after we returned, we navigated to the confluence of the Marañon and the Ucayali Rivers and enjoyed a nice “camu-camu sour” to celebrate our navigation on the Amazon River itself! Lunch was served shortly after that. We enjoyed a great presentation on the region’s Indigenous folklore, which was presented by one of our naturalists. Our afternoon was spent visiting a nearby village known as Amazonas community, which gave us an understanding of what it is like to live here. Food tasting, strolling in the village, and even more shopping was not a bad way to finish our day and our expedition in the great Upper Amazon!
In the morning, some guests had a great time kayaking or standup paddleboarding. Others went on a skiff exploration up Supay Creek. As usual, we saw hundreds of birds. Highlights included an olive whipsnake crossing the lake and the chance to finally take a good photo of a kingfisher. In the afternoon, we had a lovely presentation by photo instructor Aaron. Afterward, we enjoyed more skiff explorations up the Yucuruchi Creek, the first tributary of the Ucayali River. We saw dozens of additional species of birds, squirrel monkeys, and two very outgoing and playful red howler monkeys.
Today we had the chance to explore one of the most remote areas in this region, the Pacaya River. The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is composed of multiple rivers and creeks. All these waterways bring an incredible amount of water from the inner Amazon basin. Rich in nutrients and minerals, this water mixes with the main river systems, which, in time, flow right into the Amazon River. Our journey started early. For a few hours, we traveled on our skiffs along the Pacaya River. The landscape in this area is somehow even more beautiful than what we have seen so far, and it feels even more pristine. Our journey was quite eventful, and we stopped several times to observe troops of howler, squirrel, and capuchin monkeys foraging in the treetops. Impressive flocks of snowy egrets, neotropical cormorants, and the famous “jabirus,” or wood storks, were a common sighting today. We journeyed deep into the reserve and spent quite a bit of time observing. Our efforts paid off, as we even encountered a capybara crossing the river. The cavy was, of course, photographed by many! Our great galley crew made the journey to surprise us with a delicious lunch along the river. We even got to jump in a lake to refresh ourselves. As we were swimming in the relaxing waters, we were surprised by pink river dolphins that circled the lake, adding another highlight to an already terrific day!
The Ucayali River is usually considered part of the Amazon because we include the longest tributary in the overall length. We did a skiff exploration up Belluda Caño, a little offshoot of the Ucayali. We observed squirrel monkeys, brown capuchin monkeys, three-toed sloths, a southern tamandua anteater, and many birds. One skiff even spotted a monk saki monkey. In the middle of the afternoon, we enjoyed an Amazonian fruit tasting from naturalist Jorge. Later in the afternoon, we explored the El Dorado River by skiff and came across a village where local children found a porcupine in the river. We stayed out until well after dark to look for black and spectacled caimans.
Today is the second day of our expedition, and we are fully enjoying all the pleasures of Delfin II and our adventure on the Amazon River. Early in the morning, we arrived at a location known as Capitan Clavero. A community by the same name is located nearby. A cargo ship literally “docked” near our ship to offload their cargo on the only piece of land available. People from all over arrived by foot and in little canoes, ready to collect what was delivered. All kinds of trading commenced just a few feet from our ship. It was very interesting to see how cargo is delivered to villagers. Our adventure started early in the morning with a nice kayaking option on nearby Clavero Lake. This black water lagoon offers access to many creeks, and we used one of them for an exploration on the skiffs after breakfast. Our adventure was on the wet side, but the exploration was very successful. We encountered several pink river dolphins, sloths, and birds along the way. During the afternoon, we traveled upriver until we reached a location known as Iricahua Creek. After a nice lunch and a wonderful photo presentation, we boarded skiffs and explored the creek. The afternoon was as sunny as it gets. The temperature dropped in the late afternoon, and it was simply delightful to enjoy the breeze as we traveled on skiffs to look for wildlife. Birds are always delightful to see, and lots of colorful ones showed up, making identification easy. Our expert naturalists identified several species, and we took great photos in the perfect afternoon light! It was simply a fantastic way to finish the day.
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.