South America Amazon Cruise

National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise

This comprehensive 10-day Upper Amazon cruise includes pre- and post-cruise accommodations in Lima, a morning city tour of Lima and the added bonus of exploring the Amazon with professional National Geographic guides. Such inclusions set the National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise cruise apart from other Amazon small ship cruises. The Delfin II is also one of the only ships cruising the Amazon with a full fleet of kayaks for up-close and personal exploration.

Spend 10 days experiencing Peru travel like never before. Search for three-toed sloths, piranhas, squirrel monkeys, tamarins, white-throated toucans, the famous pink Amazon river dolphin and hundreds of birds roosting and feeding along riverbanks. Enthusiastic and experienced National Geographic guides lead daily motorized skiff rides to beautiful rainforest walks (depending on water levels), past towering tropical trees and down remote tributaries. Kayak in the quiet blackwaters between giant lily pads or swim in a lake in the reserve’s deep interior. Bird-watchers, experienced explorers and those new to travel will enjoy the abundance of Amazon wildlife with equal amazement. Guided night walks reveal caimans, frogs, fishing bats and other creatures of the night. Daytime community visits illuminate how the ribereños, who live on the riverbanks, understand the Amazon and maintain their age-old traditions. 

When the Peruvian Government established the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve in 1982, they encouraged the preservation of wilderness resources of the Amazon Basin, the longest extension of rainforest in the world. Named for the Pacaya River and Samiria Rivers running through it, the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve is bordered by two large and powerful rivers: the Marañón and the Ucayali, which converge to create the Amazon River. Seasonal flooding make the reserve unique in that aquatic species are often more abundant than land wildlife. Some 94 communities live within the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve and their main economy is centered around fishing, agriculture, gathering and hunting, which remains their first and most important activity and main food source.

Itineraries in the Peruvian Amazon vary based on high-water season and low-water season. High-water season is November to May and may allow for more extensive exploration and access via water. Low-water season is June through October and may allow for more trail walks. All listed activities depend on water levels, weather and season. Travelers equipped with a sense of adventure and openness tend to enjoy their experience in the Amazon jungle more.  

The luxury 28-guest riverboat Delfin II operates the National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise, and is the perfect way to personally experience the Amazon while remaining comfortable and relaxed. The open decks and panoramic views make wildlife viewing easy at all times of day. Onboard amenities create a leisurely atmosphere while world-class chefs present the finest Peruvian gourmet cuisine. To truly experience Peru’s Upper Amazon, spend 10 days cruising through flooded forests, kayaking up winding tributaries and interacting with the people and wildlife that call the Amazon’s Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve home.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Amazon cruises and Amazon trips.