10-Day Family Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Discover the value of true "family time" as you reconnect with your children and your inner-child on a journey deep into the Amazon. Don't waste another valuable vacation worrying about the details. Join IE and let our expert staff take care of all the arrangements so that you're free to enjoy family fun on the legendary Amazon! Join our Amazon Voyage for a journey packed with activities and excursions to energize, inspire and educate kids of all ages. Cruise into narrow tributaries where your kids can fish for piranha, spot wildlife on nighttime excursions, meet children growing up in remote villages and more! This is truly Amazon for the Kids. Ecotourism isn't just for grow-ups anymore!

Day 1 • Friday

U.S. / Lima

Fly to Lima, Peru — the nation’s capital and largest city — and transfer to the Swissôtel for the night. Go to bed early — you’ve got nine busy days ahead! (D Aloft)

Day 2 • Saturday

Iquitos / Embark Amazon Riverboat / Amazon River

Try to get a window seat for our flight over the Andes Mountains to Iquitos. The only way in and out of this frontier city is via plane or the river! Board our riverboat, home for the next seven days of our Amazon cruise. Settle into your cabin, then meet everyone on the top deck to meet our crew. (B,L,D)

Amazon for the Kids: Games will be a fun way to find out about the plants and animals of the Amazon without learning too much! Come up with your best "fish stories" because tonight we're storytelling with our local guides.

Day 3 • Sunday

Confluence of the Amazon River / Río Ucayali

Wake up! That sound you hear isn't the alarm, it's the loud symphony of the birds and primates that call the Amazon home. Aboard motorized skiffs we see some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life. Small villages dot the shoreline, and at this time of day we might even see village kids fishing or paddling dugout canoes (you'll get your chance soon!). This morning we'll be at the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers, which marks the beginning of the Amazon River. We turn into the Río Ucayali, where we may find gray and bubble-gum pink dolphins. If you lived in the rainforest, where would you go to school? How do you stay entertained when you live in a small, isolated village? Visit a village along the river, with the chance to learn about the lives of the "Ribereño" people who live there. We’ll visit their school (you can bring school supplies to donate) to learn songs and a little Spanish. Fortunately, you don't always have to speak the same language to have fun! Later, walk trails into the surrounding rainforest in search of giant water lilies (they can hold the weight of a baby!) and elusive wildlife, such as monkeys and sloths. (B,L,D)

Amazon for the Kids: Seriously...Pink dolphins! See if you can capture a great picture of our bubble-gum colored friends as your guide tells you legends of the pink dolphin. Map the trail of a leaf cutter ant and begin learning survival skills during an afternoon hike through the jungle. Grab a frozen lemonade and join your parents for Happy Hour on the top deck. Bring along a map to show village children where you're from before learning songs and playing. Paddle dugout canoes, made from a single tree!

Day 4 • Monday

Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

Forget what you've heard about piranhas as the "Jaws" of the Amazon River, today we explore a small tributary in search of red-breasted, white or black piranha. Grab a pole and with luck, you might even feast on your catch this evening! Journeying into narrow tributaries, look for primates, sloths and an enormous variety of birds. As the grown-ups "siesta," we continue upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, the largest wetland reserve in the world. An excursion here provides the opportunity to see primates including monk sakis, red howler, saddle-backed tamarin and squirrel monkeys. Head back into our excursion boats tonight for a chance to find caimans (keep your hands in the boat!), capybaras, common potoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)

Amazon for the Kids: There are more than 20 ways to cook a piranha, and you'll learn all about them as you fish for these colorful fish. Spend some time tonight stargazing as our crew teaches you about the Southern constellations. Spend your siesta time learning to play the cajón or zampoña — Peruvian instruments.

Day 5 • Tuesday

Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

Spend the day exploring this flooded realm, the oldest protected reserve in Peru. Bond with your parents over the binoculars as we look for wading birds such as herons, wattled jacanas and horned screamers. Don't worry, there are also lots of birds you already recognize such as parrots, including the endangered scarlet macaw. But not all of the interesting life is taking to the sky! We watch for increasingly rare giant river otters, and may also see black caimans and manatees. During a walk through an igapo (seasonally flooded forest), your naturalist will help you identify wildlife and mimic monkey and bird calls. (B,L,D)

Amazon for the Kids: What's the difference between a cute little frog and one with deadly poison in its skin? Two hints; look for its "blue jeans" and listen to all the survival tips your guide knows! Grab your bathing suit and take a dip in the Amazon...that'll top any story your friends have about vacation!

Day 6 • Wednesday

Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

The only people heading deeper into the Pacaya-Samiria are the scientists that are still here studying the rainforest! Skiffs are going to grant access even further into the heart of the vast wetlands, where we might find birds such as canary-winged parakeets and blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws. Primates are also fairly common, including noisy squirrel monkeys. At a ranger station we may take a short hike to explore the forest — a great time to perfect our rainforest survival skills. After a picnic lunch, make our way back to our Amazon River cruise ship through the maze of waterways. Once aboard the riverboat, it's your turn to join in as our ship’s crew plays local instruments. (B,L,D)

Amazon for the Kids: Mmmm, Inca Kola! It's your chance to try Peru's most popular soft drink! Learn how to make a natural mosquito repellent from medicinal plants and how to find water in leaves during a jungle walk. Popcorn and a movie are a great way to round out the day!

Day 7 • Thursday

Río Ucayali / Amazon River

Watching the sunrise may never be this much fun again! Sunrise in the Amazon means fishing bats, low-hanging sloths and an entire ecosystem trying to squeeze-in some hunting and eating before the heat of the day. If a sunrise skiff ride isn't for you, learn about Peruvian cooking. (B,L,D)

Amazon for the Kids: Soccer is definitely South America's favorite sport, and today you'll create your own jersey to wear (with pride) when playing with village kids. Join our captain to practice navigation and learn how they map a river that's always changing. Brush up on your Spanish by quizzing your Expedition Leader (he's NOT going to teach you any naughty words; don't ask). Start wrapping up your wildlife checklists from the Young Explorer's Field Guide while you've still got native naturalists around to answer questions.

Day 8 • Friday

Amazon River

Even if you don't want to wake-up for the early-morning birdwatching excursion, be sure to meet the group after breakfast for a trip onto the Yarapa River and Ubos Lake. Back aboard the riverboat, take advantage of the open-air top deck, learning to make Peruvian food before a festive farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Amazon for the Kids: Show off your dance moves and musical ability at a festive dinner. You might even get your parents to wiggle their hips a little!

Day 9 • Saturday

Iquitos / Lima / En Route

In the morning we disembark in Iquitos. Enjoy an interactive visit to the visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have rescued. After lunch, fly back to Lima and board overnight flights home. (B,L)

Day 10 • Sunday

Arrive Home

PLEASE NOTE: Because conditions at the time of our visit and new opportunities always determine what is possible on the Amazon, our itinerary is flexible. The Amazon Voyage tour itinerary shown is a guide to what we may do, but it’s always subject to change.

Read more about our Amazon River cruises on the IE Travel Blog.