U.S. / Lima
Fly independently to Lima and overnight at the Costa del Sol Ramada. (Meals Aloft)
Lima / Iquitos / Monkey Island
Fly to Iquitos and head out onto the Amazon River to Monkey Island. Monkey Island is a private reserve whose free-roaming inhabitants include wooly, saki and titi monkeys as well as tamarins and marmosets. Tonight, board La Estrella Amazonica, our home for three nights. (B,L,D)
Amazon River & Tributaries
Awake on the Amazon River, seeing a panorama of rainforest, small villages and narrow tributaries. A morning excursion is a chance to watch for marsh birds such as green ibis and yellow-headed caracaras. Enjoy a look at life along the river during a guided village visits. Stroll through gardens learning about medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. After an afternoon siesta and naturalist-led discussion on wildlife, try your hand at piranha fishing. IE’s chef will even prepare the day’s catch for a Happy Hour snack! (B,L,D)
Neyser’s Reserve / Amazon Medical Clinic / Amazon Library
Awake to the sounds of the forest, joining your naturalist for an early morning excursion by small boat looking for birds and animals that are found along the banks of the Amazon and its tributaries. After a hearty breakfast, we visit a private reserve where rainforest birds and animals that have been injured are brought to be rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Some animals that cannot be rehabilitated or that began as pets and then were abandoned have been brought here to live out their lives un-caged in a natural but protected area. Next we visit a Yagua village. Yagua people live scattered throughout the Amazon Basin, supporting their communities with small-scale agriculture, fishing and light hunting. Additionally, the Yagua are known for their craft-making skills, and you have ample opportunity to purchase wooden animal carvings, decorative blowguns, and a variety of necklaces, bracelets and jewelry fashioned from natural materials such as seeds and fibers. This afternoon we visit the Amazon Medical Clinic. Former IE traveler, Dr. Linnea Smith, gave up her medical practice in Wisconsin to start this clinic serving the people of this remote area. Also stop at the Amazon Library located near the clinic. The library has an average weekly attendance of over 100 adults and children, and offers a Reading Club — students who read 100 storybooks receive a book of their very own — usually the only book they have ever owned. This evening after dinner we have an excursion by boat to search for nocturnal animals and to listen to the sounds of the rainforest at night. (B,L,D)
Canopy Walkway / Ceiba Tops
We say goodbye to La Estrella and the crew early this morning at a local market where we see the interesting rainforest fruits, vegetables, live animals and household products that are traded among people from different villages. We then board small motor powered surreys and are driven across the Indiana isthmus to a place on the Napo River where boats are waiting for us. The Napo is one of the world’s largest rivers but is overshadowed by the Amazon which it flows into. We travel a short distance on the Napo where we disembark and walk the trail to the Canopy Walkway. In conjunction with Amazon Explorama Lodges, IE conceived and funded the building of this system of suspended pathways and platforms in 1992. We gradually ascend the walkway to a height of more than ten stories, emerging above the seemingly endless canopy. Enjoy a close-up view of life in the canopy: plants and bright flowers attracting gorgeous birds and other creatures. After lunch at the Napo lodge, visit an Enthnobotanical Garden, where over 240 medicinal plants are cultivated by a local shaman who will explain the nature of Amazonian natural healing and the uses of some of the plants. In the afternoon we set out for the beautiful and comfortable Ceiba Tops Lodge, our home for the night. Ceiba Tops is in a spectacular rainforest garden setting overlooking the Amazon. The cottages are air conditioned and very tastefully decorated. Before dinner you have time to enjoy the pool, explore the gardens or walk a short distance on a trail to see the largest Ceiba tree in this part of the rainforest. (B,L,D)
Ceiba Tops / Iquitos / Lima
We return by boat to Iquitos this morning and transfer to the airport for our morning flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, we tour historic Lima visiting the Cathedral, Plaza de Armas and the monastery and catacombs of the Igelsia de San Francisco with lunch in a local restaurant. We continue to the Swissotel for dayroom use. This evening we are transferred to the airport for international flight. (B,L)
Lima / U.S.
We return to the Lima airport this morning for our flight to the U.S.