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Iquitos Tours - Tours in Iquitos
Sail down the Amazon River waters, bound for the border towns of Leticia (Colombia) and Tabatinga (Brazil) and enjoy a hike through the Amazon forest, visiting villages to learn their way of life in the jungle and know their culture. Discover the small tributaries in the boats of expeditions, where pink and gray dolphins suddenly surprise you.
Iquitos to Leticia Cruise
Upon our morning arrival in the jungle frontier city of Iquitos a representative meets and brings us to Iquitos’ main dock area where we board the M/V ARAPAIMA, the most modern tourist vessel on the Amazon River and our ultra-comfortable home for the next week. As soon as everyone is aboard and settled, we begin our cruise down the mighty Amazon. Following cabin assignments, an English-speaking naturalist/guide gives a general ship orientation, crewmember introduction and ship’s safety information while sailing along the city’s riverfront, passing lumber factories and small villages. Later, we enjoy a delicious lunch featuring authentic Peruvian dishes followed by a visit to a local sugarcane liquor or “cachaza” factory at the Yanamono Creek. At sunset as the motorized-canoes, take us further downstream to the mouth of the Napo River you may feel like explorers in the wake of Francisco de Orellana, the Spaniard who in 1541 named the river "Amazonas" for the Amazons of Greek mythology as his expedition encountered fierce female warriors in the area. See graceful herons with their slender postures reflected on the river, curious pink and gray river dolphins and countless birds. Return to the M/V Arapaima for dinner and overnight aboard. (L, D)
Note: We highly recommend arriving one day prior or in the morning hours of departure day. We can help you book an overnight or day-use room at local hotels, if needed.
On the second day, we arise with the M/V ARAPAIMA tied up at the mouth of Palometa Creek, near the village of Pebas. Our guide takes us on a motorized canoe excursion to a nearby black water lake or “cocha”, for an exciting early-morning bird-watching adventure. Here we have many opportunities to look for exotic birds, as well as other wildlife. For example, we are likely to encounter the Hoatzin, one of the jungle’s most unusual birds, which can mimic the sounds of a number of animals. After breakfast, we visit a small Bora or Wuitoto Indian community where we receive a warm welcome from the chief and villagers. This visit carries us back in time, as these natives live much like their ancestors hundreds of years ago. Boras and Wuitotos maintain their traditions, values and customs as in the old days, such as using hand-made tools in their everyday lives as yuca or manioc grinders and shakers. We are invited into their traditional building or “Maloka”, made from sticks and a palm leaf thatched roof held together with different types of jungle vines, where they perform traditional dances. There is time to buy or bargain with the villagers for the multi-colored handicrafts they make using jungle seeds and vines. After lunch aboard the M/V ARAPAIMA, an extensive primary and second growth forest hike on the Limon Creek gives our guide the chance to point out the marvelous wonders of the jungle. We see Oriole blackbirds, Yellow-headed Caracaras, Squirrel and Capuchin monkeys, colored butterflies, leaf-cutter ants, trees like the giant Kapok merging overhead to form a verdant archway, leaves the size of umbrellas, vines with incredible sizes and shapes, and medicinal plants. Along the trail, we learn which plants are edible and which are poisonous. After dinner, the day ends with a night boat excursion to look for nocturnal wildlife and watch a crowded sky full of stars, while we sail the silent waters of the Amazon River. (B, L, D)
The third day begins early in the morning, as we explore the rainforest along the banks of the Amazon River in our motorized canoes. We should hear and we hope see monkeys and birds like toucans, parrots, kingfishers, and Black-necked Red Cotingas at Alfaro Island. After our morning excursion, we enjoy breakfast as our ship drifts silently downstream while we observe the river’s lush green forest and occasionally a handmade dugout canoe loaded with produce or people.
At mid-morning, we visit a typical Amazon jungle village at Paranaquiro to observe the daily life of people living in this part of the world. We continue cruising down the Amazon River, passing jungle homes, light thatched-roof dwellings, inhabited by countless natives, especially children, walking along the shoreline. After a lavish lunch served aboard, we arrive at the channel of Caballo Cocha Lake. The hour it takes to cruise up the channel is astonishing as it is only one-hundred feet wide and provides us with the unique opportunity to listen to animal sounds coming from both riverbanks. Near the mouth of the channel it is easy to spot groups of grey and pink Amazon River dolphins arching silently out of the black water.
Mid-afternoon the ship ties up at the village of Caballo Cocha, where we take advantage of the time for a short walk prior to trying our luck fishing. Using the motorized-canoes our guide finds us the best spot for piranha fishing, using just a wooden stick, a bit of fishing line, a hook and a cube of beef. After dinner, it is time for another Amazon high adventure – Caiman (alligator) spotting with a flashlight and with the best of his skills, our guide will catch a one with his bare hands! Believe me these two activities, piranha fishing and Caiman spotting, will give you bragging rights at home for years to come. While returning to the ship, we enjoy additional opportunities for viewing nocturnal wildlife and Southern constellations and continue our journey down the Amazon River. (B, L, D)
After cruising all night, we awake this morning on the Amazon River at Santa Rosa Island (Peru) and at the Three Frontiers (Peru, Columbia, Brazil). Breakfast is served aboard, and then the motorized-canoes transfer us to the remote cities of Leticia, Colombia, and Tabatinga, Brazil. There is time to visit and explore two intriguing cities where the Spanish and Portuguese cultures and languages are closely intertwined. It is a unique opportunity to watch the locals shop for imported goods, shop for souvenirs, buy one of the local children an ice cream cone or just relax with a refreshing drink in one of the local bar-restaurants adjoining the main square.
After walking and exploring the cities, we return to the M/V Arapaima right on time for lunch aboard and sail up the mighty Amazon River. From the observation deck, we have spectacular views of the jungle as the ship winds along a narrow section of the river on our way to Iquitos. Late afternoon, and if time permits, we make a brief stop at Micos Island on the Colombian side to spot a great number of monkey species and huge Victoria Amazonica Lily pads, blooming in a river estuary. Later, we stop by the Cayaru River, where we have the opportunity to view a huge variety of colorful birds, and with luck, three-toed Sloths and monkeys. After enjoying a delicious regional dinner aboard, our ship moves against the river current through the night. The observation deck allows us to observe the stars presenting an incredible spectacle of Southern and Northern constellations. (L, D)
An early wake up call gives us time for a cup of coffee or tea before leaving in the motorized- canoes for a bird watching excursion at one of the many oxbow lakes in the area. After our morning excursion, we enjoy breakfast, and prepare for an extensive jungle walk through a primary and secondary-growth jungle near the village of San Juan of Camucheros. Our native born naturalist-guides show us how to survive in the jungle; finding food and water, learning how to make a fire; and pointing out termite nests, lizards, big trees, medicinal plants, and other types of wildlife. It is a fantastic beginning for understanding Amazon ecology. After lunch aboard the M/V ARAPAIMA, we venture into the virgin rainforest by entering high ground for a jungle hike and a chance to spot a great variety of blossoming bromeliads, delicate orchids, ferns, huge Ceiba trees, strangler figs, lianas, vines, medicinal plants, frogs, caterpillars and ants. Then visit a nearby black-water channel to watch for blue-and-yellow Macaws, White-throated Toucans, tanagers, and woodpeckers, among other birds. Nightfall is the perfect opportunity to observe the distinctive red shining eyes of the Black Caiman (alligator) along the narrow shorelines of a stream. During the night, the ship continues sailing up the Amazon River, while we relax and absorb the sights, sounds and smells of the lush jungle from the top deck of the ship. (B, L, D) D)
Very early in the morning, we grab our binoculars and set off to a small black-water lake, home to a myriad of birdlife. As we slowly motor on the tranquil waters of the Ampiyacu River, we enjoy breathtaking views of the rainforest and spot pink river dolphins and a large collection of exotic birds. Following our bird watching outing it is time for a filling breakfast. Nourished and refreshed it is time to get ready to visit a Yagua Indian village for a first-hand look at the daily lives of their people. The tour through the village allows us see the virtues of rainforest life, and highlights the problems facing a people caught between their own culture and traditions and the imposing Western way of life. It is an amazing experience to visit with the village chief and his relatives who teach us their unique blowgun hunting techniques and perform some traditional dances. We can also try our bartering skills to buy their handicrafts with our westernized articles. Reboarding the M/V ARAPAIMA, we may relax and enjoy the breeze on the river as we reach cruising speed. The observation deck provides us with magnificent views of the river. After lunch, the adventurous activity is fishing for black and red piranhas at the Apayacu River. It is also the habitat of other fish species such as arawana, sardine, and Zungaro catfish. Sunsets are a special time in the Amazon as they provide an unbelievable spectrum of colors and cloud shapes. HINT: ALWAYS have your camera at hand to take pictures when the sun begins to set behind the lush foliage. (B, L, D)
At mid-morning our ship docks in Iquitos and following breakfast and disembarkation, we have time to browse and visit some of the tourist sights in Iquitos, to shop or relax. The locals travel by motorized rickshaws; they are inexpensive, very noisy, but a unique way to explore this exotic town. Transfer to the airport for flight to Lima.
Note: Transfers from/to hotel or airport are not included and are charged as additional services. Also at additional cost, an array of activities suited to every interest like a city tour, a visit to the local zoo, meals at local restaurants or stays at jungle lodges before or after each cruise program may also be scheduled
Other services not mentioned in the tour
Bar service (beverages and / or soft drinks)
All visits as described.
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