International Expeditions Amazon Voyage Aboard The Zafiro

Amazon Voyage

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International Expeditions Amazon Voyage Aboard The Zafiro

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Amazon Voyage

Over the 40 years that International Expeditions has been leading Amazon River cruises, our guests have enjoyed unrivaled access to the Peruvian rainforest’s most pristine areas and the company of the river’s most knowledgeable guides. 

While specific stops are never guaranteed, daily excursions can include everything from birding at dawn, school visits in local villages and even piranha fishing! Join IE and be transported to the Amazon of your imagination to discover a rainforest that pulsates with an unrivaled diversity of wildlife.

Authentic Amazon River Experience

Aboard this luxury Amazon River cruise, you’ll create a lifetime of memories: the joy in the eyes of a village child when you visit their school; the enveloping darkness of the rainforest; or the awe of floating along narrow streams accompanied by pink dolphins. Drawing on insight from our native Amazon travel guides, International Expeditions intentionally varies the villages and tributaries we visit, ensuring you get the most authentic experience possible.

Explore with Pioneers in Amazon Travel

International Expeditions pioneered travel to the Peruvian Amazon, and our nature-focused, small-group expeditions remain the standard for expedition cruises in the Amazon. IE not only pioneered travel to this region, we still work with many of the naturalist guides that we helped to train. Ensuring a worry-free and educational journey, these expert local naturalist guides—along with an experienced expedition leader—accompany all of our Amazon cruises. Each day, these knowledgeable Amazon River travel guides use their decades of learning and guiding experience to serve as lecturers, field guides and friends as you explore the rainforest.

Go Deeper Into the Rainforest

International Expeditions’ exclusive Amazon River tour covers more than 600 miles on the Amazon and its tributaries. You'll explore three different habitats so you have the best chance of spotting rare wildlife! On our Amazon River cruises, we look for monkeys, birds, sloths and other mammals, pink and gray dolphins and so much more.

Amazon River

Optional Pre-Trip Extensions

Lima Pre-Extension

Wings Over Peru: Nazca Lines & Ballestas Islands Pre-Extension

Rainforest Canopy & Lodge Extension

Daily Itinerary

Amazon River Cruise Itinerary

  • Day
    1

    Arrive Lima

    Fly independently to Lima, Peru, the nation’s capital and largest city, and transfer to the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel for the night. (D Aloft)

  • Day
    2

    Lima / Iquitos / Embark / Amazon River

    Fly over the Andes to Iquitos. Board the elegant riverboat, Zafiro, home for seven nights. Enjoy stargazing and storytelling with our local guides while cruising slowly on the Amazon River toward the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    3-8

    Amazon River & Tributaries

    Spend the next six nights aboard your plush riverboat navigating deep into the tributaries of the Amazon—a web of forests and lakes that pulsates with a chorus of birdlife, the calls of primates, and flashes of colorful butterflies. 

    More than 1,300 species of birds, 40,000 plant species and grey and pink river dolphins can be found in this lush, ever-changing rainforest known collectively as “The Amazon.” 

    Enjoy unprecedented access to three habitats, varzea, igapó and palm-flooded forest, including the deep reaches of the protected Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, for the greatest diversity of wildlife sightings, including spectacular blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws, hoatzins and horned screamers. Traverse the waterways aboard sturdy excursion boats to areas where you may find marsh birds such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant. Nighttime excursions may reveal caimans, capybaras, common pootoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife. Periodically throughout the year, guests may even release turtle hatchlings.

    Daily excursions include early morning birding, enriching presentations, school visits in local villages and even piranha fishing! Learn about the lives of the Ribereño people as we visit villages perched along the riverbanks. This is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through their gardens and learn about medicinal plants from a local Shaman. Depending on the villages visited during your voyage, you may also see an IE-funded
    water treatment tower or home filtration systems provided through our partnership with a local conservation organization.

    Pointing out details no guidebook could provide are your IE Expedition Leader and the ship’s team of world-class naturalists, while Zafiro’s attentive crew ensures exceptional service in the wild. (B,L,D daily)

    amazon voyage overview scarlet macaw
  • Day
    9

    Iquitos / Lima / Depart

    On an early morning excursion to Pilpintuwasi Rescue Center, see two- and three-toed sloth, red uakari and even a jaguar which have been rescued. Upon arrival back in Lima late this afternoon, dayrooms are provided until time to connect with independent overnight flights home. (B,L)

Optional Post-Trip Extensions

Machu Picchu & Cusco Extension

Things to Know

What kind of visas are required for travel to Peru?

Bring a valid passport. We recommend that your passport remain valid for at least six months after your departure date. Visas are not required for US or Canadian citizens.

What kind of weather can you expect during your Amazon tour?

The Iquitos area, near where IE explores on the Amazon Voyage travel package, is located a few degrees south of the Equator and is characterized by strong tropical sun and rainforest. Average temperatures range from the upper 70° to upper 80°F year-round during the day, to the lower 70s at night. It can be cool on the river at night or on overcast days. There is very little seasonal variation between winter and summer temperatures. The average humidity ranges from 60-80%, and rainfall occurs approximately 250 days out of the year. Most showers occur in the late afternoon or evening and are of short duration.

Lima temperatures vary from 70-84°F January through March; 63-81°F April through June; 59-66°F July through September; and 61-75°F October through December.

What's included in the price of IE’s Amazon River travel packages?

  • Guided tours & lectures by native naturalists
  • Services of experienced expedition leader
  • 8 nights’ accommodation
  • All meals on cruise
  • Wildlife excursions on land & by skiff in three habitats: varzea, igapó & terra firma
  • Piranha fishing
  • Dawn birding
  • Local village & school visits
  • Nighttime skiff rides & rainforest walks
  • Full educational program with lectures & field interpretation
  • Visit to Ranger Station used for scientific study
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • All onboard Peruvian cocktails, soft drinks, local wine and local beer.
  • Blessing ceremony with a local Shaman
  • Tips to porters & waiters for included meals
  • Arrival & departure transfers

Accommodations

Amazon luxury riverboat, Zafiro

The Zafiro

Travel aboard the Zafiro, a luxurious vessel we have chartered for your adventure, which blends stylish design and modern comforts. Classic touches include magnificent floor-to-ceiling windows and — for those on the Upper Deck — private balconies. A ship staff and crew of 25, including a cruise director and local naturalist guides, are joined by an IE Expedition Leader to ensure an unprecedented level of service. All 19 spacious suites are air-conditioned and feature en-suite bathrooms, a desk and ample closet space.

Amazon Zafiro Master Suite

CABINS

Lower Deck Suite: Cabins with convertible twin or California King-sized bed and panoramic floor-to-ceiling window. Approx. 226 sq. ft.

Upper Deck Suite: Cabins with convertible twin or California King-sized bed, panoramic floor-to-ceiling window and balcony. Approx. 226 sq. ft.

Master Suite: Cabins with convertible twin or California King-sized bed, panoramic floor-to-ceiling window with 90° view. Approx. 248 sq. ft

Zafiro Suite: Cabins with convertible twin or California King-sized bed, panoramic floor-to-ceiling window with 180° view, balcony and Jacuzzi-style bathtub and convertible sofa bed. Approx. 480 sq. ft.

Zafiro Jacuzzi

PUBLIC SPACES

SAVOR regional specialties and contemporary cuisine infused with flavors from the surrounding rainforest. The atmosphere is casual yet elegant as you sample Amazon fusion cuisine while enjoying spectacular views from the panoramic windows.

CONNECT with fellow travelers, chat with your local guides or enjoy snacks and a drink in the large indoor lounge. The comfortable furnishings make a perfect spot for relaxing with a book or enjoying the passing scenery.

GLIDE past the Amazon rainforest and clusters of wooden houses on stilts with children playing soccer as you sip morning coffee and take in the fresh air from the river’s most luxurious Observation Deck. Siesta on a cushioned lounger beneath a soaring canopy — ideal for avoiding the sun’s glare. Plus, ease into the Zafiro’s outdoor Jacuzzi to relax after a shore excursion.

INDULGE  in aromatherapy or a massage in the spa, which is staffed by a wellness specialist. 

SEE THE ZAFIRO

 

Field Leaders

Dennis Osorio

Dennis Osorio

Amazon Cruise Expedition Leader

An avid birder, Dennis Osorio holds a master degree in hotel and tourism management with a concentration in Sustainable Tourism. After completing guide training in South Africa, his passion for travel and wildlife led him back home to Peru to seek a position in the Amazon, and in IE he found the perfect match to his commitment to conservation and the environment. Dennis is a guarantee of success to any expedition in the Amazon.

amazon voyage guides angel cardenas

Angel Cardenas

Amazon Cruise Expedition Leader

Cusco native Angel Cardenas has spent the past 20 years leading small-group expeditions in Peru after earning his degree in tourism. Although Angel is adept at spotting birdlife, his true passion is for teaching IE guests about Peru’s extraordinary culture and history. Adding to his depth of natural history knowledge is a true dedication to guests, which is why Angel is earning rave reviews!

amazon voyage guides freddy avalos

Freddy Avalos

Expedition Leader

Cusco-native Freddy Avalos first began working with International Expeditions’ groups in 1998, when he was an assistant guide on our Machu Picchu journeys. Prior to guiding in Machu Picchu, a love of the outdoors led him to guide treks on the famed Inka Trail in the mid-1990s. Freddy earned a degree in Tourism Studies, but his work with IE groups sparked an additional interest in wildlife. After graduation, he volunteered as a ranger in Peru’s Manu National Park, learning about both wildlife and the importance of preserving his country’s natural heritage. Freddy now has more than 18 years of experience in tourism. Freddy’s interests include spending time with his family and taking his bike, backpack, binoculars and camera into the mountains to both photograph and observe wildlife. 

International Expeditions Amazon Guide Juan Tejada

Juan Tejada

Amazon Cruise Naturalist

When Juan Tejada was growing up in a small Amazon River village, he never dreamed that his future teachers would be some of the world’s top rainforest researchers!  He had the opportunity to work with the best botanists, ornithologists, herpetologists and ichthyologists during many International Expeditions Rainforest Workshops.  Juan says this hands-on education taught him "more than I could ever have learned in a classroom with walls." Since then he's been able to share his knowledge with visitors from all over the world, and learned to speak both English and German.  One of Juan’s fondest memories is from a trip to the US, where he toured elementary schools, regaling the children with stories of the rainforest. Children of all ages were enthralled by his tales of piranhas, blowguns, pink dolphins and Amazonian myths.  Even after almost three decades as a nature tour guide, Juan is able to find enthusiasm and a new adventure every time he steps into the rainforest.

Amazon expedition leader Guillermo

Guillermo Knell

Amazon Cruise Expedition Leader

Amazon Expedition Leader Guillermo Knell is a trained biologist with a Master’s Degree in Ecotourism who has a wealth of experience in sustainable tourism development and project management. As the International Programs Field Manager for The Field Museum of Chicago, Guillermo conducted biological inventories, field research and coordinated field logistics in his native Peru as well as in Cuba. While working with Development Center of the Amazonian Native People, Guillermo evaluated natural and cultural activities for potential tourism development, and worked with native communities from Machiguengas, Urarinas, Iquitos and Piros ethnic groups on sustainable development projects. Guillermo has more than 20 years of extensive experience working as a naturalist guide across the Peruvian Amazon and in the Andes, plus was heavily involved in showcasing the various environments and indigenous people of Peru in documentaries for Discovery Channel and the BBC.

amazon voyage guides usiel vasquez

Usiel Vasquez

Amazon Cruise Naturalist

Before migrating to Iquitos with his family in search of a better education, Usiel had already began his life-long love affair with the rainforest, fishing in lakes, gathering wild fruits and learning about the surrounding jungle. While attending high school in Iquitos, he would venture to the main square on weekends, determined to practice his English while mingling with tourists. For more than two decades, Usiel has worked as a rainforest guide, and has assisted researchers and scientists while deepening his knowledge of biology and botany.

A Note About Field Staff

This is just a selection of the Expedition Leaders and Naturalists who may lead your ecotour.  A particular departure may be escorted by any one of them.  If you would like to find out which leaders are scheduled to lead each departure, please contact our office.

From: $6,498 per person
Duration
10 Days, 9 Nights
Guest Capacity
36 Guests
Trip Type
River

Special Offers

Trip Highlights

  • View wildlife on hikes, excursion boat rides & even while kayaking in three different habitats
  • Sample local culture with cooking demonstrations, village & school visits, stops at riverside markets & Shaman blessing ceremony.
  • Learn during guided tours, lectures & field interpretation by experienced native naturalists
  • Dance to traditional music during Happy Hour receptions.