We highly recommend our 7-night Amazon river expedition cruise on the Aria Amazon.

High Water Itinerary: November – May

Departs: Iquitos, Peru

Ends At: Iquitos, Peru

Duration: 8 days 

At our welcome dinner, sit down, relax, sip fine South American wine, toast the beginning of a beautiful journey and enjoy the innovative Amazonian cuisine, created by our Executive Chef whose imaginative use of local products – fruit, fish, spices – makes every meal a delightful adventure. (The menu always offers choices) 

Experience our most luxurious and comprehensive Amazon journey among the Amazon River’s two powerful tributaries: the Marañon and the Ucayali, as well as several hidden black water lakes.

Kayak, canoe and swim in these unspoiled black waters, keeping eyes peeled for the Amazon’s legendary pink dolphins.

Witness of one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere, the birth of the Amazon River.

Take a short jungle walk in the San Jose flooded forest and see the unforgettable giant water lilies.

Enjoy a breakfast picnic accompanied by jungle symphony and fishing along the black waters of the Pacaya River.


From the moment you step on board, enjoy the ARIA AMAZON’s low-key luxury. As you settle into your handsomely appointed, generously proportioned suite, you will feel the vessel begin to move the beginning of one of your life’s great adventures. We suggest you stand on the Upper Deck to take in the view, as the ARIA AMAZON leaves Iquitos behind. Over the next seven days, you will also sail along the two largest tributaries of the Peruvian Amazon, the Ucayali and the Marañon, as well as on the mighty Amazon itself. You are embarking on a spectacular journey to a place visited by only a very few of even the most experienced world travellers.


Yacapana Islands Exploration and Dolphin watching
The locals call Yacapana Islands “The Islands of the Iguana” because of the large number of these reptiles – like tiny dinosaurs – which inhabit them. Amazon folklore says that if you touch an iguana, you will develop some of its characteristics and, as no one wants to look like them, these animals are well protected. We will also see the famous Amazon River dolphins, pink or gray, along our route. Amazonian people believe that these dolphins possess the power to turn into men and women of great beauty. We will pass close to lush islands, giving you the opportunity to take good pictures of the tropical flora and fauna. 

Return to the ARIA AMAZON.

Yarapa River Exploration and Fishing in Moringo Lake.

This morning you will board our comfortable skiff to sail from the Amazon River to the Yarapa River. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and fresh water are always available in our private boats. As you float down the Yarapa, past the occasional fishermen paddling in their canoes, keep your binoculars ready to spot wildlife: terns, tropical songbirds, black collared hawks and sloth share this wonderful world with us. Upon our arrival at Lake Moringo, use your hooks to try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas and other fish species. As you fish, trained naturalist guides will tell the story of the lake and its inhabitants. 

Return to the ARIA AMAZON.

Cold towels await you back aboard the ARIA AMAZON. As the ship continues down the Amazon River, you have free time to rest or take a nap before lunch. Lecture in the lounge by our naturalist guides.Canoeing and swimming at Lake Clavero. We sail on to Lake Clavero where villagers paddle in their traditional dugout canoes. You may wish to swim in the lake’s calm waters and visit the community to interact with our Amazonia neighbors who will be pleased to welcome you. Return to the ARIA AMAZON. Before dinner, sip a classic Peruvian pisco sour on the Upper Deck while watching the sunset.


Ucayali River Expedition / Yanallpa
This morning, board the skiffs to explore a fascinating black water stream, part of the vast Amazon flooded forest within the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guides will tell you about the jungle as we explore what scientists call a “gallery forest,” because of its dense vegetation that creates a tunnel of leaves. As we explore this type of riparian vegetation, watch above for parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys.

Return to the ARIA AMAZON. 

Optional Peruvian cooking lessons

Dorado River Exploration and Night Excursion
This afternoon we take a magical journey through the “Jungle of the Mirrors,” where towering trees are reflected in the dark river. We move on to Dorado River where you may observe enchanting parrots, macaws and a variety of primates, unperturbed by our presence. As we make our way back to the ARIA AMAZON, you may see alligators, frogs and fishing bats. Return to ARIA AMAZON. Crew presentation. Towards the Birth of the Amazon River and Dinner. While you dine, we continue our journey upstream, toward the headwaters of the Amazon River, where the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers merge.


Birthplace of the Amazon
This morning, the ARIA AMAZON skirts the edge of the vast Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. Get up early to see one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over the origin of the Amazon River. Here, the junction of two major tributaries, the Ucayali and the Marañon, form one of the greatest waterfalls in the world – certainly this is nature at its most captivating. Your morning excursion will be accompanied by abundant bird song, as you glide in our small boats past large-billed terns, laughing falcons, exotic short-tailed parrot, and dozens of other vibrantly hued birds.

Village visit
We will travel by boat to a community located along the Marañon River, where you will meet and interact with local villagers in this remote part of the world and learn about their traditions and folklore. Walk around with our naturalist guides to see how Aqua Expeditions works with these communities to improve their natural resource management. You will also have the opportunity to shop for local handicrafts directly from the artisans.

Return to the ARIA AMAZON. 

Visit to the City of Nauta. 

This afternoon, we will visit the town of Nauta, founded in 1930. Nauta is the main point where villagers from around Amazonia come to sell the products they harvest in their rural communities. We’ll walk around Nauta to gain insights into the life of these coastal peoples. We will also visit the local fresh market, with your guides on hand to point out the different fish caught by the fishermen of Amazonia, and all types of indigenous fruits. Later, you may explore the Lupunillo or Marayali Creek, a tributary of the Marañon River.

Return to ARIA AMAZON. 

Meet new passengers who have signed on for the four-night trip, and enjoy your gourmet meal as we start our journey along the Marañon River.


Expedition on board our boats to Yanayacu – Pucate River. This morning, visit the Yanayacu – Pucate River within Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Here on this black water river you can observe many species of flora and fauna, especially macaws and several species of primates like squirrels monkeys, capuchins monkeys and the famous river dolphins, either pink or gray. You will also have the opportunity here to fish for the ferocious piranha.

Return to the ARIA AMAZON.

Lecture in the lounge by our naturalist guides who will tell you about sustainable development projects carried out in this part of the Peruvian Amazon Village Visit. On this visit to a community located along the great river Marañon, our expert guides will introduce you to the native people of Amazonia. You will be invited to visit the lands where they practice subsistence farming and see how they cultivate wild plants and trees to earn income. In the primary forest, your guides will also teach you about the fruit trees and medicinal plants hidden in the jungle.

Return to the ARIA AMAZON


Exploration, breakfast on board and walk along the Samiria River
This morning your naturalist guide will talk about sustainable development projects in Amazonia. You will visit one of the projects, where villagers are planting palms to obtain oil. Your guide will also show you the artificial nests created in the sand to protect turtle eggs. Then we will go into the jungle to encounter wildlife and learn first-hand about the value of medicinal plants found here. Keep an eye out for the famous Ceiba tree, the highest in the Amazon. We will have the opportunity to make brief trips in traditional Amazonian canoes and to swim in the waters of the Samiria River.

Return to the ARIA AMAZON. 

Cooking lessons. Lecture in the lounge by our naturalist guides. Excursion to Nauta Caño Nauta Caño is part of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, also known as the Forest of Mirrors due to its dark lagoons, which reflect the scenery. In this area we will observe toucans, macaws, and iguanas, among many other species. As we make our way back to the ARIA AMAZON, you may also see alligators, frogs and fishing bats.

Return to ARIA AMAZON.


Marañon exploration and trail walk.

We sail along the Marañon River, watching the different species of flora and fauna as we approach the Casual community where we will hike on land. Here you will see a plethora of wildlife, so keep your binoculars ready to observe tanagers and orioles as well as various reptiles and amphibians. Keep an eye out for the beautiful and eye-catching but poisonous frogs along this fascinating trail, as well as trees and medicinal plants. Canoeing at Sapira Creek – Marañon river (Optional)

Return to the ARIA AMAZON. 

Yanayacu Islands Exploration Yacapana and fishing
The locals call Yacapana Islands “Islands of the Iguana” for the large number of these reptiles – like tiny dinosaurs – that inhabit them. We pass by in the skiff, giving you the opportunity to take plenty of pictures. After our arrival at one particular spot, you may use your hooks to try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas and other fish. Your naturalist guides will tell the story of the lake and its wildlife while you watch the sunset. En route, we will also go in search of the world’s largest aquatic plant called “Victoria Regia.” As the sun goes down, photograph the freshwater Amazon dolphins both gray and pink.

Once back on board, the ship will continue its journey down stream, sailing toward Iquitos through the night.

Meet in the lounge with our naturalist guides for the Crew Presentation
The guides will introduce some of the crew members whom you may not have met, who worked “behind the scenes” to ensure your memorable trip has been filled with countless exceptional experiences.


Morning Excursion
Depending on the weather, we will tour the flood zone that borders the city of Iquitos and observe the houses and shops that actually float on the Itaya River for several months of the year. Then we will visit the traditional market of Bellavista Nanay, bordering the Nanay River, to see products from the Peruvian Amazon including exotic snacks like the Amazon Caterpillar. Called “Suri,” these caterpillars live in the palm trees and are considered a very appetizing snack for Amazonia people, even in the city.

Return to the ARIA AMAZON,

Amazonian orphanageSadly, it’s time to finish packing. Please leave your packed suitcases in your suite for pickup before going to lunch. Disembarkation / City Tour / Manatee Rescue Center. This afternoon, we will take you on a tour of Iquitos, glorious city in the days of the rubber boom. Visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. Later, we stop at the Amazonian Indian Market San Juan, where, you may wish to shop for local crafts before leaving.