La Amatista Amazon River Cruise Explore the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve on the classic riverboat, M/V La Amatista
La Amatista (named for the gemstone, amethyst) is constructed with lots of beautiful hardwoods, the ship has a wonderful charm and atmosphere. Hundreds of travelers have enjoyed its comfort and explorations. In 2012, the ship was remodeled to offer even nicer cabins. The roomy 15 cabins have two twin beds or one queen bed and all have private bath with shower. All cabins have exterior view windows, air conditioning, smoke detectors, and hot water 24 hours a day.
The 9-Days Amazon Cruise package includes 6 nights onboard ship, two overnights in Lima, and domestic airfare from Lima - with some 2023 departures starting at around $2,559 (or less with some departures) per person in double cabin. It is one of the best values on an Amazon River Cruise currently available. See below for more details and contact us for dates and discounts.
PACAYA SAMIRIA NATIONAL RESERVE
This part of the upper Amazon Basin has two main seasons; high water and low water. The seasons are based on what is occurring on the slopes of the Andes hundreds of miles away, not rain in the local region. Interestingly, in the Amazon rivers it is not uncommon for the water levels to rise with no recent rains, or the water levels fall after rains. Therefore cruises' daily itineraries will change depending on traveling in high water season (December to May) or low water season (June to November). The proposed routes and excursions will vary some, depending on the type of weather, the level of water of the rivers, as well as the wildlife cycles (see sighting lists at bottom of page). We trust the expert guides to modify the daily activities for the particular interests and safety of the group. See below for a brief outline typical itineraries.
The Cruises Include:
Transfers Iquitos airport / Nauta / Iquitos airport.
Full board with all meals on board and during the shore tours.
All shore and boat excursions on the Amazon Rivers.
Bottled water and non-alcoholic house beverages.
Entrance fees to Amazon Natural Park and Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
Naturalist tour guide and assistance.
NOTE: You are welcome to add overnights in Iquitos before or after the Amazon cruise. We normally use the Hotel Dorado Plaza. We also arrange day tours to such places as: Manatee Rescue Center, Quistococha Zoo, Pillpintuwasi Butterfly Farm and Animal Orphanage, Fundo Pedrito in Barrio Florido village, Belen Market, Boras Indian village, the Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve and more.
9-Day, Pacaya Samiria Cruise Package on La Amatista
THESE SPECIAL CRUISE PACKAGES INCLUDE:
- 6 nights aboard the Amatista riverboat.
- 2 nights in nice Lima hotel.
- Roundtrip flights between Lima and Iquitos.
- Arrival transfer and breakfast daily in Lima.
- Launches and land excursions with expert naturalist guides
- 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners. (Allow USD50-80 for meals not included in Lima. Extra drinks and tips are not included.)
- Certified naturalist guides and support staff on board the riverboat.
- Transfers Iquitos airport / Nauta / Iquitos airport.
- Entrance fees to Amazon Natural Park and Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
CONTACT US FOR CURRENT COSTS
Pricing is dependent on dates and discounts may be available on certain departures.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT 50% additional - No surcharge for share basis (willing to share room)
* Contact us for the travel times of interest.
AMATISTA CRUISE PACKAGE ITINERARY: 9 Days / 8 Nights
Day 1, Arrive Lima
Upon arrival from your international flight, you will be transferred to your hotel and overnight in Lima, the nation's capital and largest city.
Day 2, Iquitos/Amazon Riverboat (1B,1L,1D)
Today we will begin very early, with time for a simple and quick breakfast before catching our flight to Iquitos, where we’ll transfer to our Amazon River boat, our home for the next seven days.
But before boarding, we get acquainted with this jungle port city an orientation tour. This is the country’s main river port, established in 1864 in the heart of rubber country on the Amazon’s deep waters. Like any port, it has a hustle-bustle feel, yet it is not without its places of quiet and shaded retreats. Much of the architecture we see is a 19th-century vestige of the era when European commercial barons held sway over life and culture here. And while Iquitos has seen many fortunes rise and fall, its isolation has remained constant: access to the city is by air or river only.
We will also make a brief stop at the Amazonian Manatee Rescue Centre. The Amazonian Manatee is very rare and endangered mammal unique to the Amazon Jungle. This centre focuses on rescuing orphaned manatees who have been victims of poaching. The centre helps rehabilitate and reintroduce these wonderful creatures back into the Amazon Basin. Here you will have a see the efforts of the rescue centre as well as have the opportunity to feed these amazing and loveable animals.
Once on board ship, you can just relax and let the wild rainforest surround you. Step out on deck to watch the riverbanks go by—but keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as gray and pink dolphins.
Our ship casts off and wends its way to the confluence of the Marañon and Ucayali Rivers. Here, it is generally (but not universally!) considered that the Amazon River begins, at least in name.
Day 3, Marañon River / Amazon River / Ucayali River (1B,1L,1D)
After breakfast, we have an excursion on the Amazon and some of its tributaries to see the wonders of the rain forest. This is our chance to see monkeys, sloths, and a variety of birds.
Back onboard , we’ll gather for lunch, followed by a presentation on the Amazon River. Afterwards, we’ll walk along the shores of the Ucayali River, located in the Yucuruchi region of the Amazon. Here we’ll have an opportunity to see the giant Victoria Regia water lily.
Day 4, Marañon River / Pacaya Samiria National Reserve / Shaman Visit (1B,1L,1D)
Today we rise early to visit the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve for a full day of discovery in Peru's largest national park.
Then, keep your eyes wide open and your binoculars at the ready to catch sight of cocoi heron and striated herons, colorful macaws, squirrel and woolly monkeys, caimans, sloths and many more primate, bird and mammal species. Current counts record more than 200 bird species and 10 primate species within its boundaries. Our route takes us over the tributary waters of the Marañon. Along the way, our guides will point out the interesting wildlife species that inhabit the riverbanks—not to mention unusual fish and vegetation in the river.
After lunch, we have an introductory discussion about shamanism that will help us understand the traditions of the rain forest people. Spend the afternoon exploring yet deeper into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, where we'll listen to the local birdsong and keep our eyes peeled for sighting the different animal species found in this area.
Before dinner, we'll touch upon the spirit realm, paying a visit to a local shaman. Mystic ... minister ... healer—one might consider a shaman to be "all of the above." But to understand shamanism requires something of a leap of faith, a leap into the spirit world that is the shaman's domain.
Shamanism is practiced around the globe, and is universally distinguished by a trance state called shamanic ecstasy. In these "out of body" travels, the shaman enlists denizens of the spirit world to help him with a variety of duties, from healing the sick to assisting a deceased person's soul into the afterworld—and all the while, the shaman remains conscious. Before you leave the Amazon jungle, you'll gain rare insight into the complexities of this phenomenon when you meet an actual practicing shaman in a river village. He'll introduce us to his spiritual healing craft and tell us about rain forest plants that indigenous peoples have for untold centuries held to possess curative properties. Your experience may not be "out of body," but it's sure to be out of the ordinary.
Day 5, Marañon River / Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (1B,1L,1D)
We return to our riverboat and prepare to meet a local Indian family. They will welcome us into their home to share conversation over the midday meal, introducing you to their culture, costumes, and way of life. This is a rare and unforgettable opportunity to gain new insight into a world truly apart from our own.
Be sure to be well rested, so that you won't miss our late-night excursion to discover who comes out at night in the jungle! As we join our Trip Leader for a nighttime boat ride in the wild, be on the lookout for mammals, bats, and reptiles such as capybara, black caiman, poison frogs, and a vast number of other species.
Day 6, Marañon River / Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (1B,1L,1D)
Today we rise early and set out to explore the impressive biodiversity of this unusual ecosystem. We’ll look for a quiet spot to enjoy our picnic breakfast, followed by a trip to explore Choroyacu. We’ll also ride up the Nahuapa River for a little fishing expedition. What’s biting? Piranhas, of course! Reputedly “the most ferocious fish in the world” (to quote Teddy Roosevelt), piranha are a dietary staple for many of the Amazon rain forest’s indigenous people. While fearsome, they’re also esteemed as some of the best eating fish in South America. They have a light, nutty-tasting flesh that lends itself wonderfully to any number of cooking methods, which we’ll discover when we cast our lines today. Piranha aren’t terribly selective about what they eat, making piranha fishing fairly easy. No hand-tied flies or special casting technique required. It’s often enough just to drop a line—usually baited with raw meat or chicken—where they’re swimming.
We will also visit Choroyacu Creek where we’ll have the opportunity to climb in a dugout canoe and explore this scenic area with the locals. After lunch, you’re invited to plunge into the river for a swim, perhaps sharing the water with some pink or grey river dolphins. Back onboard, we’ll enjoy a video about the flooded forest. Then we can kick up our heels as we learn a local dance.
Water level and seasons permitting, we’ll have another chance to witness the nocturnal life of the rain forest after dinner this evening, as we venture out in small boats onto the Marañon River. Perhaps our flashlights will reflect the red eye shine of the black caiman—or even the glowing yellow eyes of a jaguar!
Day 7, Nauta / Sapisapi River (1B,1L,1D)
This morning, we’ll call on the town of Nauta, where the Ucayali and the Marañon—the major headstreams of the Amazon—join together. On our included tour, we’ll ride the local motorcars and browse the local market. You’re welcome to try your hand at bargaining!
Continuing on our way, we visit the Sapisapi River to look for charapas and turtles. The river has given up its secrets—or at least some of them.
Tonight, we’ll celebrate our discoveries at our Farewell Dinner and Party, complete with live music, aboard our ship.
Day 8, Iquitos / Lima (1B)
Disembark at Iquitos. We will transfer to the Iquitos airport for our flight back to Lima. Once arriving in Lima airport you will be met and transported to your hotel. Spend a final night in the City of Kings and enjoy a Pisco Sour or try some Peruvian ceviche!
Day 9, Lima (1B)
Morning transfer to airport for flights out - or extend your stay.
M/V La Amatista Ship Specifications
Built: 1994 in Iquitos, Peru - Remodeled: 2012
Weight: 820 tonnes
Draft: 8.6ft / 2.6m
Length: 124ft / 38m
Width: 28ft / 8.6m
Capacity: 31 passengers Speed: 10 Knots
Engine: 322hp Caterpillar
Generators: 2: Stamford 95 kwa & Olympiam 68 kwa
Voltage: 110 & 220V
Cruising Speed: 8 - 10 knots
Water: 2 x 820 Gallon fresh water tanks
Water Treatment: 6,0000lt Aerobic Biofilter Tank
Radio Communication: HF, Satellite Phone
Navigation: GPS, Radar, Sonar
Security: Radio communication system with separate battery, satellite phone, life jackets, flare signals, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in each cabin, onboard defibrillator.
Crew: 15 including Cruise Director & 2 English-speaking naturalist guides
Launch Boats: 3 with 4-stroke, low emission outboard motors - 1 x motorized canoe holding up to 6 passengers - 2 x motorized canoes holding up to 20 passengers
- The Main deck has 8 Cabins
- The Top Deck has 7 cabins & a covered dining room (which comfortably seats all passengers at the same time)
- The Observation Deck is a spacious sundeck with a fantastic 360° panoramic view, and a covered area with a bar and seating.
14 double cabins, with one queen-sized or two twin beds and private bathroom.
1 triple cabin, with three single beds and private bathroom.
All cabins are 170 sq ft (16 sq meters) and have air-conditioning, private bathroom/shower, hair dryer, smoke alarms, desk, wardrobe, chest of drawers, dresser, 110V & 220V electrical outlets and hot water 24 hours a day.
Click here for a 20 minute Youtube video about the Amazon Voyage on the La Amatista.
All our Amazon tours may be combined with other explorations in Peru.
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