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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.
On our last full day exploring the Upper Amazon, the namesake of this area made its presence felt with lots of rain in the rainforest. Sheets of rain fell last night, obliterating the view of the shore across the river less than a mile away. It’s this rain that feeds the tributary rivers and is such a critical part of the rainforest cycle of life. Fortunately, it let up this morning, and we were able to do our walk in the protected forest area of Casual with an occasional drip from above. Our findings included the Goliath tarantula, a rosy-tailed boa, and a couple of poison dart frogs that looked like they were wearing colorful Freddy Mercury tights. The images tell the story of our forest findings and the community that calls this magnificent place home.
Today we got to experience the forest from a different perspective. Our first hike on ‘terra firme,’ the land in the Amazon that does not regularly flood, took us to the hanging bridges of the Amazon Park. This private reserve borders the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve and protects a vast tract of land while offering visitors a chance to walk at the canopy level for a glimpse of the most active area in the jungle. In the afternoon, we enjoyed a lecture on the Cucama-Cucamilla, the native people of the area. The beginning of the rainy season finally caught up with us, and in the late afternoon, we witnessed a massive electrical storm that brought a copious downpour of rain. An incredible show that we observed from the open bar on the top deck with some delicious pisco sours in hand!
In 1801, the race was on to present Queen Victoria with a flower from the giant water lily. The Duke of Devonshire was the winner, and it was no easy task coaxing this massive plant into producing a flower in not-so-tropical England. This morning, we took a short walk in the forest to a pond where there were dozens of these magnificent plants and a few of the much sought-after flowers. The flowers were white, telling us that last night was their first night open. Pink flowers indicate two nights, after which the plants are finished with their pollination cycle before moving into seed production. Each day of exploration has brought new and different highlights from this massive and diverse habitat we call the Amazon Rainforest.
The Pacaya is one of the rivers that gives its name to the amazing area we are visiting. This area is a prime destination worldwide for its variety of wildlife and the sheer numbers that concentrate here. We set out for a half-day outing to spot thousands of birds from over 70 species. We observed turtles, river otters, pink dolphins, countless monkeys, and various other mammals. Afterwards, all agreed it was a formidable experience. To top it off, some brave guests dared to jump in a black water lake for a refreshing swim with pink dolphins. At night, we set out for a hike in the forest, the first real hike of our expedition. With the aid of torches, our intrepid guides found a myriad of insects, spiders, and frogs.
Our day started early, as it does with the denizens of the forest, so we could take advantage of the softer light, cooler temperature, and heightened activity of the native fauna. Our rewards were plentiful and colorful, from Isabel’s saki monkeys to a squadron-like flyover of scarlet macaws. We observed lesser appreciated but no less impressive birds, such as sunbitterns, capped herons, and umbrella birds. We sought the light, waited for the right moment, and were richly rewarded with diverse wildlife sightings and unique photographic opportunities.
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.