The Zafiro is a luxury vessel made for cruising the Peruvian Amazon jungle. The panoramic windows and open social areas allow guests to enjoy the amazon rain forest whilst on the boat as well as when exploring by canoe or by foot with the expert guides. Onboard enjoy excellent cuisine with Amazonian influence, an observation deck equipped with a Jacuzzi, outdoor bar, indoor lounge, spa and gym. The indoor dining room is the perfect place to share experiences from your excursions with your fellow travellers. Each suite offers twin or king beds, air conditioning and private bathrooms.
You will be met by a representative from Zafiro on arrival at Iquitos Airport, Peru. You will then head to Double Tree by Hilton Iquitos for a briefing and lunch. Board the private bus for scenic 1.5 hour drive through the Peruvian countryside to the small city of Nauta, the oldest town in the state of Loreto where you will board Zafiro. On board you will be assisted by the crew to check in and settle into your suite which is waiting to take you on your amazing Amazon journey.
As the vessel begins the river navigation enjoy the comforts of the ship, perhaps relax on the observation deck with a drink and watch the sun setting over the river. Before dinner your naturalist guide will give you an overview of the itinerary for the next few days. After a hearty dinner of Amazonian influenced dishes, enjoy some live music with the band on board or head to the top deck to take in the stars.
Before breakfast, you will have your first activity: Birdwatching. Travel on the comfortable expedition boats to the native reserve of Kukama (Yanayacu de Yacapana):. Here you will find 17 blackwater lakes, filled with wildlife and home to the indigenous communities of Ayacucho and San Juan. Here you will see many birds including herons, swallows and macaws You may also see the monk monkey, lion monkey, iguanas and sloths.
Back onboard enjoy a breakfast buffet with a wide selection of traditional dishes, Peruvian specialties, homemade baked goods and freshly prepared fresh juices. After breakfast, head back out to explore the Yanayacu area of Yacapana or Isla de Yacapana, better known as Isla de las Iguanas. Visit the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali rivers; where these two rivers join creating the great Amazon River. Here you will see the famous pink dolphins.
After lunch the ship will sail along the Marañón River. Enjoy onboard lectures about Amazon people and Amazonian philosophy.
In the afternoon explore Nauta Creek inside the Pacaya Samiria reserve. Here you may see toucans, parrots, macaws, iguanas, sloths and monkeys on the top of the trees. Hike through the community of Puerto Prado, where you can find the largest aquatic plant in the world, giant water lilies, or “Victoria Regias”.
Following dinner there is an optional night boat ride enjoy the constellations while the naturalist guides look for alligators, tarantulas and snakes.
Today you will explore the different lakes and lagoons of Yanayaquillo on board the expedition boats. The guide will point out the biodiversity of the region. When you reach Laguna de Japón enjoy a picnic breakfast and one of the best preserved and protected areas of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. This area is popular for watching pink dolphins.
Take a take a hike towards the Yanaquillo Ravine, which crosses towards the Marañón River where you may see toucans, camungos, blue-billed herons, kingfishers, gray herons and parrots.
Back on board you will have lunch and time for relaxing. In the afternoon board the kayaks and take a swim with the pink dolphins. The afternoon will be filled with an excursion in the Amazon National Park with a walk through the forest and on hanging bridges through the canopy.
After breakfast visit the community of San Regis. Meet the welcoming inhabitants of this Amazonian community through your guides, who will act as interpreters. Walk through the jungle to meet the shaman of the community and learn about the medicine of the Amazon and traditions and participate in a tree planting ceremony.
Following lunch and some time to relax and listen to an onboard presentation from the guides, explore the Shiriyacu stream. Here you have the opportunity to fish for the famous piranhas while using local equipment and techniques.
Very early this morning board the expedition boats to head towards the city of Nauta, the second most important city in the region. With the guides, visit the market and learn about trade in the area, as well the different ingredients used in the Amazon.
After breakfast,visit the Laguna de Sapi Sapi surrounded by banana palms and seasonal fruit trees, where paiche is cultivated, the second largest freshwater fish in the world. Here you will see charapita turtles, butterflies, different birds and different fish that live in this lagoon.
In the evening explore the Casual area in search of wildlife such as poison dart frogs, colorful frogs and more. Walk on dry land until you reach the area of giant trees known as avatar. At nightfall, you will hear the impressive symphony in the Amazon forest, while nocturnal animals emit their piercing sounds and calls along the canopies of trees. Your guides will help you spot alligators and tarantulas.
Before breakfast board the expedition boats and cruise to the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali rivers which create the majestic Amazon River. Here you will see different types of birds and the famous pink dolphins.
After breakfast visit the community of Vista Alegre. Here a member of the community will demonstrate local cooking techniques. Visit the Vista Alegre butterfly farm project, to learn about butterflies in the Amazon and their importance to the environment.
The afternoon expedition will take you to the Yarapa River. Explore the waterways in the expedition boats sailing towards the place where the pink and gray freshwater dolphins swim. Take a walk in Yarapa looking for wild life and enjoying the lush rain forest. When you reach Piraña Creek,one of the first tributaries of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve you will be able to try piranha fishing. In the evening take a nocturnal excursion in search of black caimans, fireflies, tarantulas, snakes.
Start the day exploring the water paths in the expedition boats in search of capuchin monkey, choros monkeys, marmosets and other primates. Your guide will point out unique species in the riverbanks and aquatic plants and their function within the environment. You may also spot sloths in the trees, macaws, dolphins and whirlpools of fish formed by the river currents. ALong the way you will see fishermen and residents involved in their daily activities.
After lunch continue exploring the Amazon river and spotting the creatures that inhabit its banks. In the afternoon the ship will continue its course downstream, sailing towards Iquitos through the night.
Very early this morning board the expedition boats and visit the Bellavista Market. Admire the houseboats and taste some of the local products. Return to Zafiro for the last breakfast on board before disembarkation.
On the way to the airport, you will visit the Amazon Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers take care of the endangered species of manatees that have been rescued. See how the manatees are cared for and prepared for their reintroduction to their natural habitat.
You will then be transferred to the airport and assisted with check-in for your onward flight.