This affordable Amazon tour is perfect for anyone looking for a private escape. From first light until after dark, you will be immersed in the sensations of the Amazon rainforest. Bright flowers, birds and butterflies are found in an array of hues. While monkeys, frogs and dolphins are spotted on your frequent excursions.
What is Custom Travel? The itinerary below is only a small sample of options in the Peruvian Amazon. Every traveler can envision their ideal way to see the world. International Expeditions’ experienced Custom Travel Planners create individually tailored tours that match your style of travel, budget and timeline. Tell us the dates you wish to travel, and we’ll take care of the details.
Call Custom Travel Planner Kim Guth at 800-234-9620 ext. 137 for more information.
Fly independently to Lima, Peru and overnight at the Ramada Costa del Sol.
Lima / Iquitos / Explorama Lodge
Fly to the bustling city of Iquitos. Tour this rubber boom town, where some of the buildings are covered in tile brought as ballast to Iquitos from Portugal by the rubber barons. From town you will continue on to Explorama’s boat docks and travel down the Amazon River to Explorama Lodge. There will be an orientation upon arrival and hike along the "Lake Trail" through seasonally flooded lowland rainforest. Your Amazon tour guide will explain the differences between the plants and animals that inhabit the flooded forest as compared to the terra firme forest on higher ground. Overnight Explorama Lodge. (B,L,D)
Enjoy a morning hike along the Bushmaster Trail. Studies by the Missouri Botanical Gardens have found one of the highest biodiversity of trees per square hectare in the world along this trail. Your guide will point out examples of native plants used as ornamental plants in other parts of the world. Lucky guests may also find poison dart arrow frogs, squirrel monkeys or marmosets. At the Yagua village your guide will explain their culture and how their way of life has changed over time. There will also be an opportunity to see some of the local crafts and for a demonstration of the blowgun, which some Yagua elders still use for hunting. In the afternoon there will be a boating excursion along the Amazon in search of pink and gray river dolphins. Overnight Explorama Lodge. (B,L,D)
Explorama Lodge / ExplorNapo
After breakfast, board a small boat for an Amazon cruise heading to the ExplorNapo Amazon Rainforest Reserve and ExplorNapo Lodge. Stop along the way to visit a river clinic run by an American doctor for local residents. Dr. Linnea Smith or her Peruvian doctor on staff will talk about health issues of the area and how they are able to treat them. Visit to the ReNuPeRu Ethnobotanical Garden. This garden is used to show rainforest tour guests plants used in modern medicine as well as examples of native plant remedies which science may utilize in the future. Your guide and a respected shaman (medicine man) will point out many plants, seen here and also growing in primary rainforest, which are used by local residents in the construction of their homes, canoes and tools. Enjoy an evening boat excursion along the Sucusari Stream in search of caiman, to enjoy the night sounds and, if it is a clear night, to see the stars and constellations of the Southern sky. Overnight ExplorNapo Lodge. (B,L,D)
Hike to ACTS, the Amazon Conservatory for Tropical Studies, and the Canopy Walkway. This suspended bridge spans 500 meters, connected by tree platforms and reaching a height of over 115 feet above the forest floor. Here there is time to observe a part of the rainforest rarely seen by man but accessible without any type of climbing skill or equipment. Your guide will discuss the importance of light in the battle for growth of the trees and how the plants must adapt to the very different environments on the forest floor and at the top of the canopy. A peaceful boat ride takes you to a blackwater oxbow lake formed when water from the Napo River became separated from the main flow of the river. These lakes provide another environment within the rainforest and are often covered with giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies. You may also see the elusive hoatzin, a prehistoric-looking bird that is born with claws at the end of its wings. Overnight ExplorNapo Lodge. (B,L,D)
ExplorNapo / Ceiba Tops
Try fishing during a boating excursion, where your guide points our see some of the incredible diversity of fish in the Amazon River, including piranha. There are more species of fish in these waters than in the entire Atlantic Ocean! This afternoon head to Ceiba Tops Lodge, where hotel-style rooms with air conditioning and hot water provide more of the comforts of home and a start for your return to civilization. Enjoy a short jungle hike to the Heliconia Garden, where many species of these interesting plants are cultivated, or to the small lake where Victoria Amazonica water lilies can be found. These lilies can reach three feet in diameter and have long sharp spines on their underside to protect them from fish below. Your naturalist Amazon tour guide will also explain the interesting life cycle of the flower of these lilies and their special mode of pollination. In the evening you can return to this lake to spot caiman which can be found with a flashlight looking for their shining eyes. Overnight Ceiba Tops. (B,L,D)
During a morning excursion to visit a local community and school, the ribereños share more about their way of life, which depends on the movements of the mighty rivers and the rainforest around them. If school is in session, the students will proudly teach you some of their favorite songs. During an afternoon hike in the primary and secondary forest, your guide explains the difference between these two forest types and where you will see many huge trees literally covered in epiphytes including the immense Ceiba or Kapok Tree for which the lodge is named. A nighttime rainforest tour reveals a variety of katydids, moths and other insects attracted by the electric lights. Overnight Ceiba Tops. (B,L,D)
Ceiba Tops / Iquitos / Lima / En Route
Explore the town of Indiana, originally a Franciscan mission. The town has grown into one of the largest river communities in the region with its own market, high school and small hospital. Take motorized rickshaws, locally called “motocarros,” to the market town of Mazan. Browse the market, seeing produce brought from the forest as well as basic needs brought from Iquitos for purchase or trade. Return to the Amazon River on a small lane which connects this river to the Napo River. Your Amazon tour ends this afternoon when you return to Iquitos for flights to Lima. (B,L)
Due to the ever changing nature of the rainforest, day-by-day activities are subject to change due to weather, trail or river conditions.