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.
Over the 37 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. IE’s exciting daily excursions include pre-dawn birding, school visits in local villages and even piranha fishing! In true expedition fashion, our Amazon River tour is aboard a classically designed riverboat, the Amazon Star. 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 Experience
Aboard our 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 jungle; or the awe of floating along narrow streams accompanied by pink dolphins. Drawing on insight from our native Amazon travel guides, IE intentionally varies the villages and tributaries we visit, ensuring you get the most authentic rainforest experience possible.
Explore with Pioneers in Amazon Travel
International Expeditions pioneered travel to the Peruvian Amazon, and our nature-focused, small-group expedition travel remains the standard for Amazon Voyage expedition cruises. 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 expedition leader — accompany our Amazon Voyage 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 travel deep into the protected Pacaya-Samiria Reserve and 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.
Kayaking in the Amazon
Birding on the Amazon
Visit a village school
Optional Pre-Trip Extensions
Experience vibrant Lima as you delve into some fo the city's most interesting sights!
2017 Pricing: Double Occupancy $718; Single Occupancy $1,208
Arrive in Lima, Peru, where you are met and transferred to our the Swissotel. (Meals Aloft)
Tour historic Lima, visiting Casa Aliaga, a private home dating back to the Conquistadors. See the Cathedral, where Francisco Pizarro is entombed, and Plaza de Armas. Before lunch, tour the monastery and vast catacombs of the Iglesia de San Francisco. (B,L)
Begin your Lima tour this morning by browsing the vibrant Indian Market. Enjoy a guided tour of the Larco Herrera Museum, housed in an 18th century vice-royal mansion built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid and surrounded by beautiful gardens. The museum was founded in 1926 and has the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru. The galleries provide an overview of 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history.Dinner tonight is at the museum. (B,L,D)
Wings Over Peru: Nazca Lines & Ballestas Islands Pre-Extension
Make the most of your travel to South America by combining the Amazon tour with our pre-tour extension to Peru's Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are among the most astonishing early human creations — a series of large geometric shapes and depictions of animals, humans and plants carved out of the desert by a civilization that lived here between 200 BC and 600 AD. Their purpose has been the subject of intensive scientific investigation as well as all kinds of speculation. Since the Nazca Lines are best seen from the air, aboard this Wings Over Peru journey, you soar above the lines on a flightseeing excursion. We’ll also go by boat to the Ballestas Islands to see an incredible spectacle, with tens of thousands of roosting seabirds and colonies of sea lions patrolling the beaches. This extension adds two days to the length of your journey.
Interested in traveling to the Nazca Lines after your Amazon cruise? Call for details!
2017 Pricing: Double Occupancy $1,298; Single Occupancy $1,648
Our expedition begins with our flight to Lima. On arrival, we meet our guide and transfer to our hotel for the night. (Meals Aloft)
Lima / Paracas / Nazca / Paracas
We depart Lima early this morning and drive south to the town of Paracas, where we board a small plane for our flight over the Nazca Lines. Among the many figures we see are the “hummingbird,” “monkey” and “dog,” along with some of the many lines that run through the desert. Returning to Paracas, we enjoy an afternoon at leisure and overnight at La Hacienda Bahia de Paracas. While here you can relax seaside or treat yourself to a massage at the spa. (B,L,D)
Ballestas / Lima
This morning we take a boat ride to the Ballestas Islands to see its thousands of seabirds: Humboldt penguins, Inca terns, two kinds of boobies and three kinds of cormorants. More than 200 species have been recorded here. Noisy sea lions also inhabit the beaches and waters. We continue on for more wildlife viewing, including Chilean flamingos. After our boat ride, we return to Lima. We have the evening to relax at our hotel. The rest of our group arrives this evening. (B)
Rainforest Canopy & Lodge Extension
From first light until after dark, immerse yourself in the sensations of our Amazon rainforest tour while enjoying our comfortable, air-conditioned lodge artfully constructed to exist in harmony with the surrounding environment. Explore a different side of Amazon rainforest travel as you head high into the canopy at day break, encountering birds and other wildlife in the treetops.
2017 Pricing: Double Occupancy $998; Single Occupancy $1,248
Fly independently to Lima, Peru, and overnight at the Costa del Sol. (D Aloft)
Fly across the Andes to the lively frontier city of 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. Board a speed boat and head out onto the Amazon River toward Ceiba Tops Lodge. This evening, join our guide for a jungle hike, visiting the immense ceiba tree for which the lodge is named. (B,L,D)
After a hearty breakfast, travel to a Yagua village. The 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. Call on the Amazon Medical Clinic operated by former IE guest Dr. Linnea Smith. The clinic provides river communities with their only access to modern medical care. Before returning to Ceiba Tops, stop at a library offering a book club, computer classes and special activities for students at local schools. (B,L,D)
Walk the trail to the Canopy Walkway. In conjunction with Explorama Lodge, IE conceived and funded the building of this walkway in 1992. Wooden steps take us from the forest floor to suspended pathways and platforms. 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 lodge, visit the ReNuPeRu Ethnobotanical Garden, where plants are grown for use in local medicine and healing ceremonies. (B,L,D)
Iquitos / Embark
Ceiba Tops / Iquitos / Embark
Awake to the sounds of the forest, joining your naturalist for an early morning bird walk. Transfer by boat to Iquitos. 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. After lunch, meet your fellow Amazon cruise passengers in Iquitos and embark the Amazon Star. (B,L,D)
Amazon River Cruise Itinerary
Fly independently to Lima, Peru, the nation’s capital and largest city, and transfer to the Swissôtel for the night. (D Aloft)
Lima / Iquitos / Embark Amazon Riverboat / Amazon River
Fly over the Andes to Iquitos. Visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have rescued. Learn about efforts to help these endearing mammals. See how the manatees are cared for and prepared for reintroduction into their natural habitat. Prior to boarding our riverboat, survey the history of local tribes at a small museum. 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)
Confluence of the Amazon River / Río Ucayali
We awake this morning on the Amazon River, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life as our Amazon River cruise ship continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds. The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River in Peru. Amazingly, we are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way! On our Amazon Voyage adventure, travel waterways aboard sturdy excursion boats to areas where we may find marsh birds such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant. We turn into the Río Ucayali, where we’re apt to find gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Later we take an excursion into the surrounding rainforest in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths. As dusk approaches, fishing bats begin their night’s foraging. (B,L,D)
Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
After a peaceful breakfast along the black-water Sapote Creek, we explore a small tributary of the Ucayali aboard our excursion boats. Look for animals including primates, sloths and an enormous variety of birds. Our Amazon Voyage adventure continues upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Although scientific studies are far from exhausted, the Pacaya-Samiria is the known home to 450 bird species, 102 species of mammals, over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians, and countless plants. This afternoon, an excursion into this largest wetland reserve in the world provides the opportunity to see 13 species of primates, including monk sakis, red howler, saddle-backed tamarin and squirrel monkeys. Explore Caro Lake, connected to the river by way of a very small stream, where we may find flocks of greater ani, often seen following monkeys in search of insects disturbed by the monkeys’ foraging. We enjoy a nighttime boat excursion for a chance to find caimans, capybaras, common potoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)
Rio Pacaya / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Spend the day exploring this flooded realm, seeing wading birds such as herons, wattled jacanas and horned screamers. Venturing deep into the rainforest, tour an igapo (seasonally flooded forest), where plant life is very different from what we see along the main course of our Amazon cruise, and walk through the forest. Lucky guests may release turtle hatchlings. A delicious lunch energizes us for afternoon excursions with our expert naturalists, where we may find scarlet macaws, hoatzins, black-collared hawks and red howler monkeys. (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast, we board our excursion boats for access even further into the heart of these vast wetlands. As our Amazon Voyage adventure cruises the narrow waterways, we’ll find birds such as canary-winged parakeets and spectacular blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws. Primates also are fairly common, including noisy squirrel monkeys. Once we arrive at a remote ranger station, enjoy a refreshing swim. Gradually make our way back to our riverboat through the maze of waterways. Enjoy an al fresco lunch and time to relax before our afternoon excursion. (B,L,D)
Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
This morning we head back downriver, with a morning wildlife or other activity. Visit a village along the river, with the chance to learn about the lives of the “Ribereño” people who live there. Accompanied by guides who grew up along the river, this is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through gardens learning about medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. The children are especially excited to see their faces on digital cameras and to show off their school and sing Peruvian songs. Depending on the villages visited during your Amazon River tour, you may also have the opportunity to see an IE-funded water treatment plant. The clean drinking water provided by these plants is having an enormous positive health impact in remote river villages. Learn about medicinal plants and enjoy a blessing ceremony by a respected village shaman. Aboard the ship, take advantage of the open-air top deck, learning to make traditional Peruvian dishes or enjoying an enriching lecture. After dark we’ll go out in our excursion boats to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and look for nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)
Wake up early for a morning birdwatching excursion along the Yarapa River. After breakfast, try your hand at piranha fishing in Ubos Lake. Piranha are very common in the slower-moving water. With luck, we may catch red-breasted, white or black piranha, and feast on our catch this evening at dinner. Once back aboard our Amazon River cruise ship, we enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)
Iquitos / Lima / Depart
Disembark in Iquitos and fly back to Lima for lunch. Dayrooms are provided until you connect with flights home, which depart after midnight. (B,L)
Arrive Sunday and connect with flights home. (Meals Aloft)
Optional Post-Trip Extensions
Machu Picchu & Cusco Extension
A visit to Machu Picchu, the grandest of all the Inca sites, must stand out as a highlight of anyone’s travels. It has the most dramatic of settings, atop an Andean mountain surrounded by other peaks. For all its extent — Machu Picchu has some 200 structures, along with brilliant stone masonry — it was almost forgotten until its rediscovery in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. But there is a great deal more to see, and this Machu Picchu tour includes a variety of experiences in the great city of Cusco and in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
2017 Pricing: Double Occupancy $3,498; Single Occupancy $4,488.
Please add $399 for in-country air & $185 for park fees.
Iquitos / Lima
Late this afternoon, we fly from Iquitos to Lima, and overnight at the Costa del Sol. (B,L)
Lima / Cusco / Urubamba Valley
Fly to Cusco — the heart of the Inca Empire. Drive into the historic Urubamba Valley, stopping in Chinchero to browse and shop for Andean handicrafts and alpaca sweaters. Visit the Urubamba Market and spend tonight at the Aranwa Hotel. (B,L,D)
Board the train to Machu Picchu, where we spend the afternoon exploring the ruins with our guide. Our home for the next two nights is the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. (B,L,D)
Today is yours to explore Machu Picchu or simply relax! Wake up early and hike to the Sun Gate or enjoy some early morning birding in the abundant gardens surrounding our hotel, home to 16 species of hummingbirds. (B,L,D)
Ollantaytambo / Sacsayhuamán / Cusco
Catch the morning train back to the Sacred Valley. Explore the mighty archaeological wonder of Ollantaytambo, where ancient temples and fortresses were built to protect the Sacred Valley. After a Paso Fino horse show at Wayra Ranch, continue across the valley toward Cusco. We stop at Sacsayhuamán — a huge fortress of massive stones which zigzags across the side of the mountain. Spend tonight at the Aranwa Hotel. (B,L,D)
Stroll the streets of Cusco, exploring the Koricancha — also known as Santo Domingo, Santa Catalina Convent and the Cathedral. After lunch, the afternoon is free to explore on your own before a farewell dinner featuring Andean fare. Return to the Aranwa Hotel for the night. (B,L,D)
Cusco / Lima / En Route
Fly back across the Andes to Lima, and transfer to the airport this evening for flights home. (B,L)
Connect with your flight home. (Meals Aloft)
Things to Know
What kind of visas are required for travel to Peru?
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
- Pre-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
- Complimentary laundry aboard our Amazon River cruise ship
- Guides’ reception with a complimentary Peruvian cocktail, soft drink, wine or beer onboard daily.
- Blessing ceremony with a local Shaman
- Tips to porters & waiters for included meals
- Arrival & departure transfers
Our riverboat is truly an Amazon Star, offering a new way to navigate the mysteries of the Amazon. Imagine stargazing from our purpose-built Observation Deck, the largest of any boat on the Amazon, learning about the stars of the Southern constellations or chatting about local folklore. After drifting down narrow tributaries aboard our sturdy excursion boats or hiking through thick jungle, relax in the enhanced Lecture Room. Each night, guides hold discussions on history, geography and wildlife in air-conditioned comfort. Evening receptions include not only a complimentary Peruvian cocktail, wine, beer or soda but a chance to mingle and socialize before enjoying live entertainment from the crew. Plus, this is the only riverboat in the Peruvian Amazon to offer satellite internet service for guests!
Modern Comfort in the Wild
Amazon Star is designed to offer you an unprecedented personal experience in this untamed frontier. Spacious, air-conditioned cabins — each approximately 220 sq. ft. — feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies, so you are constantly surrounded by rainforest vistas. Cabin interiors feature furniture hand-crafted by Peruvian artisans, plush linens and roomy private baths.
UNWIND with a cup of Peruvian coffee on your cabin’s private balcony — ideal for staying surrounded by the symphony of tree frogs and birdlife while contemplating your day. A covered, open-air bar stocks bottled water, sodas, wine, local beer and your favorite cocktails. Cushy seating and overhead fans make this an ideal place to relax or chat with your guides and fellow passengers.
EXPLORE expedition-style aboard spacious, comfortable excursion boats or try IE’s Hobie kayaks for up-close encounters with jungle wildlife and the winding waterways.
SAMPLE local delicacies and international favorites — including fresh fruits and vegetables purchased along the river. Large windows in the Dining Room mean you’ll never miss a dramatic sunset.Read More
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.
Cusco native Angel Cardenas has spent the past 11 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!
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.
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.
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.
Segundo Mesia Coral grew up along the Momón River in a tiny village of just 20 families. After finishing elementary school at the age of 11, Segundo was “adopted” by a family of Belgian anthropologists who had come to do research in his village. The Belgian family supported Segundo’s education and he made the difficult decision to leave his family and pursue higher education in Iquitos. After earning his degree, Segundo began working in the tourism industry at a hotel in Iquitos and working in the rainforest with biologists doing research. Segundo later studied to become a naturalist and has spent more than 20 years working as a naturalist guide.
Amazon Voyage: October 27, 2017
Peru-native Luis Davalos works with The Nature Conservancy on a variety of projects designed to conserve the rich biodiversity found on indigenous lands. These areas are vital to ensure both a healthy, functioning ecosystem as well as the sustainability of indigenous livelihoods. Luis has a background in Social Responsibility, Development and Education in Diversity, which he taught at the university level.
Amazon Voyage: April 21, 2017
England-native Barry Walker started bird watching at the age of 13. After birding extensively in Europe and the Middle East, Barry switched his attention to the neotropics, and has lived in Peru for more than 35 years. Having seen more than 1,710 species in Peru alone, he is well known for his field experience when leading tours.Barry is the author of Field Guide: the Birds of Machu Picchu and the Cusco Region as well as Peruvian Wildlife: A Visitor's Guide to the High Andes. Barry has also participated in many archaeological expeditions, discovered unknown Inca archaeological sites and has a keen interest in the Inca period and the Conquest of Peru.
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.